Retreat without RetreatingApril 5, 2019
Last weekend I received a pamphlet in the mail from a monastery where I did a silent retreat last year. It got me asking the question, why do I need to go away when I could do a retreat in my own house? The answer to this question provides this week’s blog entitled Retreat without Retreating.
As Sundays are days without a regular work schedule, so doing a home retreat provides time for you to do meditative reflection away from the distractions of everyday routines. A home retreat creates the space to take a break from achieving, and the time for you to connect and communicate with your True Self which resides at the core of your being.
- Regaining Control of Your Awareness
Recently at the end of a Netflix episode, a box appeared which said that in 14 seconds the next episode would automatically come on. Now the box is down to four seconds before the next program appears. This is an example of how companies want to capture, and continually hold, our awareness for their commercial gain. Very much our attention is caught up in whatever news item is being played out at the moment, by social media, and addiction to electronic devices. Retreating at home allows you to focus your awareness inwardly.
- How to Build the Structure of a “Retreat House”
The physical space of a retreat at home creates a sanctuary, an oasis from insanity, so you can regroup your awareness. It also creates the time and space for your True Self, the deepest part of who you are, to be able to communicate with you. Creating quiet time in a house retreat allows you to counterbalance the never ending superficial noise of the external world, provides you with time to do an in-depth check on how you are really doing, and opens you up to messages from deep inside of you.
The meditative process during the retreat can also be the time for personal development. During a home retreat you might become aware of repressed negativity, emotional pain or psychological hurts. If an issue does arise, apply the analogy of your dining in a fine restaurant in which awareness, the appetizer, allows you to become conscious of issues that you need to deal with, by viewing them with acceptance, the entrée, which enables you to take appropriate action, paying the bill, to resolve the issue.
- How to Build the Interior of a “Retreat House”
Having a physical retreat space is very much like having an anchor which stops you from being blown around by the ever-changing winds created by social media. When you enter your retreat space, expect to experience insight and wisdom. To create space within your retreat house, replace social media with silence, the language of your Tue Self. Taking a digital sabbatical creates inner stillness which counterbalances the endless noise of the digital world.
You cannot only do a home retreat inside; you can also go outside or do both. To create a conducive environment, you can light incense or listen to meditative music. It doesn’t matter if you sit in a comfortable chair, near a window or on a cushion. What does matter is that you feel comfortable in the stillness of the retreat. You will know when your retreat time is long enough. I found it helpful to develop a small ritual to begin and end retreat time which can be as simple as closing your eyes as you enter and leave your retreat house.
Reading is an effective way to refocus your awareness on the deeper issues in your life. In the retreat space, read deliberately to gain insight and inspiration, not knowledge. Read slowly, focusing on each sentence since what is important is not how much you’ve read but the quality of your meditative experience. Reading poems is especially effective since they speak directly to our hearts. If you are religious, take this time for prayer. If you are not, use the time and space to think about whatever awakens awe and wonder for you. Have a spiritual journal with you inside of your retreat house which is a special book of blank pages in which you can write your insights as they emerge. This provides you with a reference source that you can review during future visits to your retreat house. It is helpful to have a “Not To Do Until Later” pad of paper which allows you to write things when they surface and that you can get back to later. It’s a good idea to memorize something that you read so you can refer back to it in your daily life.
- Takeaways from a “Retreat House” Experience
The process of retreating at home helps you live a balanced life by counterbalancing the external world with inner calmness and peace of mind.
The reason why I send out the Wisdom In Transition blogs on Fridaysis so you have quiet time over the weekends to read them. You can also use the weekly blogs during your retreat time.
When you leave your retreat house, you will have greater clarity, increased energy and a feeling of empowerment by taking control of the two most precious aspects of your life: your time and your awareness. You will leave the home retreat experience with a deeper and expanded level of awareness.
Refocusing your awareness is part of the liberating and renewing Freedom To Be Your True Self Online Workshop Classes whose four weekly class sessions will be live online at 7am and 7pm ET on Tuesday, April 23 and Thursday, April 25. You can switch days if needed. If you can’t make either, a recording of the weekly session will be sent to you.
To learn more and choose class times go to: