There is no one way to do a retreat. Some people seek disciplined structure, some want to focus on silence and meditation, some seek inspiration, clarity, nourishment or deep relaxation through a variety of means. Some people want focused time to dedicate themselves to their art or passions, while others are interested in exploring and unfolding issues, questions or problems. Many people want a combination of these things, and some aren’t quite sure what they want.
Some people come with years of experience and devotion to a particular religion or tradition, some come with no particular allegiance to any path, and some may be new to even thinking about these things. I appreciate the Sufi perspective which says there is only one path and it is yours, and it is my desire to help you orient yourself to discovering, unfolding, appreciating and trusting that path that is uniquely yours.
I work with each person to co-create a unique retreat that is appropriate, do-able, and hopefully nourishing and refreshing. Some people want more support and input than others, and I aim to be available at whatever level the individual wants or needs.
Depending on your living situation, an in-home retreat can be fairly easy to do, but for some it may not be possible. If you have children or lack private space in your home, or if you know that your familiar environment would pose too many distractions, you might consider borrowing space in a friend’s house that is more quiet and less disruptive. Or you might choose to camp or rent a room or cabin someplace conducive for retreat.
LOGISTICS: If you live with people it is important to discuss with them your plans and needs. If your partner or housemates are willing to grant you this time, space and privacy for your retreat, you will need to come up with a retreat plan that works for all of you. Remember there is no one way or right way to do an in-home retreat.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you think about whether your own home will be conducive for a retreat or if you would be better served by borrowing or trading space in someone else’s home:
-Is there a place in your house that can be dedicated solely to you for these days you are on retreat, a place where you can create an altar and have undisturbed privacy?
-Do you have a place where you can sleep alone for the nights that you are on retreat?
-Do you want to include cooking your own meals as part of your retreat, or do you want to ask a partner or friend to prepare them for you so that you can eat them alone in your private retreat space?
-If you do a retreat at home, can you realistically avoid the temptations and distractions present in your familiar environment such as tv, computer, phone, chores, etc.?
-Do you want to maintain silence during the entirety of your retreat, or do you want to include brief and minimal check-in with household members?
-Who will do the chores and tasks that you typically do yourself, or do you want to do some of these things yourself in the midst of your retreat?
-Do you have access to natural beauty whether it be your yard or garden, or a near by park?