Sri Ramakrishna says:
Whatever may be a householder’s profession, it is necessary for him to live in the company of holy men now and then. … First of all, the company of holy men; then shraddha, faith in God. … it is necessary to seek the company of holy men, practise prayer, and listen to the instruction of the guru. These purify the mind.
Spiritual retreats are conducted for three days annually during July-August. Such retreats give an opportunity to live in the holy company of monks consecutively for three days, hear them give talks on varied spiritual topics, sing the glory of God, meditate — in short, live a spiritual life in holy company.