As a long-term mystic intent on developing personal virtues and on deepening my connection with the Divine, spiritual practices have been a staple or mainstay in my daily life for decades. Periodically, I have the great privilege of engaging in a guided spiritual retreat, as I did this past weekend. Previously, I’ve devoted between two days to a full week for those retreats; this was the first time that I experienced a single-day retreat.
This time I lacked the luxury of settling into my retreat; I had to “go for it,” fully realizing that the next day my activities would resume as normal. Fortunately, my current guide, who I’ve been working with for over three years as part of the Sufi Order International (SOI), is the North American head of the healing order of SOI and is a very accomplished retreat leader. I was pleased that she recognized my spiritual maturity enough to give me plenty of leeway in determining the theme of my retreat and in designing my day as it progressed. However, my guide was also able and willing to provide some structural guidelines and suggestions for specific practices that proved very facilitative during the day.
It’s never advisable to disclose detailed content about one’s retreat. However, I’m clear that general comments would be helpful for others who are considering participating in some form of spiritual retreat.
Essentially, my day’s activities involved a combination of deep communion, reflection, spontaneous (i.e. non-prescribed) reading, journaling and walking, plus sitting in nature. As I mentioned above, I had the freedom to organize the day in a way that worked for me, yet observing a few key timing guidelines, in the process.
Typical of what most people report, my retreats serve to fling open my heart, create fresh insights and perspectives, bring me closer to the Divine, and to rejuvenate me. However, the accompanying intense focusing is at times tiring, challenging and/or confrontational. This heightened one-day plunge was no exception. What made the day particularly special and impactful was that I chose to take my retreat on the final (eighth) day of this year’s Jewish Passover, a holiday I observe fairly diligently every year.
I am available to facilitate two-day retreats (e.g. weekends) for those wanting a relatively brief excursion into universal spirituality. www.energyforlife.us