to retreat from the ordinary affairs of our life and take refuge in silence and solitude.
For those on the path of self-cultivation, a personal retreat provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the practice of self-reflection, meditation and mindful movement.
The purpose of retreat is to reduce our usual distractions to as close to zero as possible. With no phone, computer, TV, nothing to read, and nobody to talk to, the outward flow of our attention reverses. We begin to more closely investigate the interior landscape of body and mind. Hour by hour, day by day, we sharpen our focus and attune awareness to the subtleties of our direct experience. Through persistent application of sustained attention, the accumulated effect of our most repeated patterns becomes crystal clear. We literally see the law of cause and effect in action; karma is nothing other than the current state of our body and mind.
We are what we most frequently repeat.
The realization dawns: transformation is only possible if we change the habitual patterns of body, mind and breath.
On retreat, all sorts of unforeseen insights bubble up. Changes in perspective give rise to a newfound sense of clarity and purpose. With no place to hide, we muster the self-honesty to face ourselves in all Nine Spheres of our life.
As you might suspect from these ramblings, on retreat is where I’ve been since the last blog post — out beyond the reach of cell phone service and wifi internet — nestled into the quite forest, attention turned within, “contemplating my navel,” as the saying goes.
I return thinking of you, wondering how you’ve been.
How is your practice?
How is your heart?
In the midst of all that must be done to orchestrate your life, are you making time for silence?
Time for magic?