Planning Your Personal Retreat

Personal Retreats

Kathleen with folded palmsA personal retreat is taking a holiday to celebrate with the spiritual core of your being. It is taking dedicated time to allow yourself to focus on your thoughts, ideas, creativity, feelings—tapping into the part of you, the biggest part of you, that gets lost in everyday busyness and routine.

At first, when you arrive, you may be stunned by the beauty and silence of the Ananda Mediation Retreat, the gardens, the lovely sound of water fountains, the sparkling sun pouring in through tall pines, but it is the silence that brings the first-time visitor to a sudden stop.

Once getting settled in your cabin, you may feel so calm that the first thing you want to do is take a long delicious nap! In a day or so, you acclimate and feel yourself flowing with your non-routine. Reading, hiking, enjoying the view from Bald Mountain, painting, writing, the day is yours alone. Rediscover the inspiration that flows from that silent place within yourself; that place that can only find itself in Silence.

Pack simply, bring inspiring books, paper, paints, clothes to suit the weather, especially a warm hat in the winter, and a flashlight. A special note about reading material. We suggest uplifting stories and books, because the non-restlessness of your new environment will allow you to go

Peace of Mind Interior

Peace of Mind Interior

deeply into what you are reading. Inspired writing gives you its gift of expanding your consciousness in this setting.

If you are planning to cook in your cabin. Your appetite may be hardy, but you won’t want to overeat, it saps the energy that you discover as you relax and rejuvenate in your quiet environment. So bring quick-cooking rice, veggies, maybe some parmesan cheese, simple seasonings you like. Your tastebuds will not need much to be happy! Make cooking enjoyable and simple. Focus on healthy, organic quality the food you choose for your retreat.

If taking a retreat is new to you, start with 2- 3 days and see how you do. Then, the next time you come, maybe you will want to stay longer…retreats can be a magical experience, however, don’t push yourself. Come to it naturally, at your own pace with an eager heart.

Taking Time for Seclusion
The difference between a retreat and seclusion is one of degree.

Bench for a meditative rest

Bench for a meditative rest

In a personal retreat, you may still be engaged with people, and perhaps creative projects you’ve brought from home that you could never find the time to complete.

In seclusion, when outward activity is calmed, inner awareness expands and deepens. You will find badges in your cabin that say, “Please excuse me, I am in silence” so if you wish, the staff and others will not speak with you as you maintain a deepening inner silence.

During a seclusion, you may wish to focus more on prayer, reflection, and meditation. These activities are the central focus of a spiritual life. A life that grows within you even after you head back to the city. However, a life that needs to be constantly fed. Taking time for spiritual focus and activities in your daily life will help you to build your new-found inner life.