Doing my own home retreat (see yesterday’s entry) got me thinking about the whole idea of retreats-and unfortunately why nowadays it seems to be only for those who can afford to stop their lives and pay to go into the forest for a few days.
Seems that all spiritual practices encourage some type of stepping away from everyday activities for a period of time, and usually in solitude and in nature. To replenish, to quiet the mind, to separate from distractions and media stimulation and away from the demands of others.
It can be very uncomfortable, being removed from all the gadgets of our lives. But I think its more than just a sampling of the ascetic life. You notice everything much more – the time of day, the sounds around you, your own appetite, memory triggers. It’s a type of deep noticing of your own thoughts and deep listening of life around you.