Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Silent Retreat

When I wrote the following, the weekend alone was pretty much set in stone but now it is more vague and indefinite. As a result, I may not do the retreat. However, I am going to assume I shall, as should you who are reading this. Rob is going out of town this weekend which means I can do a weekend retreat again. My last retreat included yoga, reading from Buddhist books, eating simple foods, and time for meditation. I was thinking of doing a retreat dedicated to a particular theme, although I also knew I would want to still do my morning yoga and take my morning walk, regardless of how else I choose to define the time. One thought I had I’ve already set aside as illogical—my hand cramps up when I write for too long and committing the time to drawing all weekend is an invitation to failure because my hand couldn’t handle hours of sketching, etc. So I’m setting that idea aside and trying to choose another. In no particular order, here are the ones I am considering: One: Julian of Norwich I adored her writings when I took my Medieval literature course and I would love to discover that her writings still touch me deeply. Of course, should they no longer affect me then I will have devoted my weekend to a theme that no longer fits my spiritual needs. Two: Yoga I could spend the time practicing various forms of yoga (hatha being the foundation but including a free form practice, a pranayama practice, etc.), meditation (including time spent in chanting), etc. while also reading from yoga texts, including one of the sutras. Three: Thich Nhat Hanh I could say the focus would be on Buddhism but, really, it would be on the teachings of Thay. I have a cd set of his from a week long retreat as well as several books and his mindful movements and walking meditation dvds. I could easily keep thinking of other ideas, other themes, other ways of focusing the weekend, but three seems to be enough. I would like to choose one by Wednesday because, whatever I choose to do, I will want to ensure I have the various things gathered—including texts, cds, etc. I am lucky to have the opportunity to separate myself from the world every now and again and I am frankly looking forward to doing it. My last retreat was cut short because the neighbors decided to throw a party, complete with dogs, children, and even a couple of motorcycles. It was noisy, fun, and intrusive because I couldn’t focus on my practices so I released it. I had enjoyed so much of it already and losing a few hours at the end didn’t seem like that big a deal. Having said that, I sincerely hope our new neighbors won’t decide to throw a party and that this time I can enjoy the full weekend as a retreat.

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