Silent meditation retreat is an opportunity to move away from our everyday lives. Some may see this as an opportunity to escape them but the power of retreat is not to escape our lives but to provide perspective on them.
Everyday our minds and energies are dominated by the demands of our lives, from work, family, friends, chores, or simply the to do list. The immediacy of the demands somehow gives them an importance that is unwarranted. Moving away from these demands in retreat provides perspective on their true place in the grand scheme of our lives. We begin to see that most of these demands are really not that important after all. We begin to see that other things that have been relegated to back stage and neglected are actually much more important.
It has been pointed out that absolutely no one, on their death bed, regrets not spending more time at work. Retreat can provide this same kind of perspective. We come away from retreat with a clear realization that we must give higher priorities and more time to our emotional and spiritual lives. We must invest the precious time of our lives in rest and contemplation. We must devote ourselves more to others and especially to caring for ourselves. We can see how important our relationships, family and friends are to our inner reality.
Yes, work, chores etc. must be done. But, by putting perspective on their true importance we become less stressed and anxious about them and don’t ruminate about unfinished tasks. Rather, we can begin to live our live with balance, making sure that we take care of what constitutes the to do list of our happiness and growth. Retreat can provide this perspective for us and is part of its life-altering power.