Retreating to Advance

When I tell friends I’m going on a retreat, they tend to think of beach walks, massages, “pampering me” time. Or maybe those are the images that get me packed up and out the door. Some retreats are like that, but that’s not the kind I usually choose.

Retreats with a lot of silence and meditation time always bring me home to my own being.  So I know the healing powers of quieting the mind in a retreat setting. What I tend to forget is all the resistance of my hyperactive mind. Also the fact that inner work is work.  The movement to stillness is usually fraught with the noise of all the annoying thoughts and beliefs that want to be heard and questioned. What I do know from experience is that lasting change begins within, in the silent realm of the unseen. So I have proof that it’s worth it.

During Geneen Roth’s five-day retreat last week I was moved once again by the power of retreating from daily life to discover what I don’t take time to notice in my usual daily flow.  Roth eloquently described this magic several times, and I jotted a few things down to remember the next time I believe it’s not worth it to uproot myself and move out of my comfort zone. As I reflect on my experience at this retreat, I find tons of evidence to prove that all the following statements are true. With a capital T.  So, from her mouth, here’s a concise list of why I’ll continue to retreat in order to advance toward my true nature.

“At a retreat you get support to see what you’d need much longer to see on your own.”

“When you get there, there’s no there there.”

“We immerse ourselves in remembrance of what’s here. To experience that. To do it again and again.”

“There are two dimensions: to discover what’s keeping us from being ourselves and to consciously evoke that sense of who we know we are, what we know we are.”

“A retreat is a vortex field where all the false beliefs come up.”

“At a retreat you get support to see what you’d need much longer to see on your own.”

“It’s an opportunity to go back to your own direct experience.”

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