Preparation for your retreat
You will see from the brief overview of our day, that seven hours has been set aside for you to spend with me at Mountain Ash Farm.
But the retreat actuallybegins the evening before, on your own time.
Try to lay aside Wednesday evening as best you can to take care of any details that will distract from your day of contemplation and rest.
Come as lightly as you can, attending to any of your particular needs
so as to avoid fretting once you are here.
Except for emergency contact, please allow your day to be disconnected
from the technology that ties us to the outside world.
As much as possible, spend the evening of preparation in quietness.
Wear comfortable clothes - it is a day for you to relax.
Weather in the country can be changeable
and the cold weather approaches, so bring an extra sweater
and comfortable footwear for country walking.
You may consider bringing a journal or notebook.
But leave behind all reading books, cell phones, lists and agendas of all kinds.
This is a day for your own pleasure - a day to wonder and wander, to absorb new thought and to find yourself refreshed by the simple act of being.
Take time to consider the writing I have included on the third page.
Bring your open heart.
Your precious self is what is most needed.
shape of the day
Arrive, settle, Light Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00
10:00 - 10:30
Morning: Division of Dutie
11:00 - 11:30
Evening: The Examen
12:00 - 12:30
Lunch, Rest, Wander
12:30 - 2:00
In the Moment Recollection
2:00 - 2:30
Spiritual Direction, Retreats
Resistance as Mysticism
3:00 - 3:30
Afternoon Tea, Departure
3:30 - 4:30
We will be following this pattern: 20 minutes teaching, 10 minutes of inquiry, followed by a half hour to reflect quietly and separately. We will gather in a large comfortable room for the teaching. There are endless individual places inside and outside the farm to sit, reflect and journal. Except for the morning breakfast, afternoon tea, and periods of inquiry, we will be practicing noble silence.
Between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. we will be observing ‘noble silence.’ This is a restful gift, allowing you to turn inwards and more fully absorb what is being taught. I will be speaking, of course, and you may ask me questions directly, but there is no cross conversation among yourselves during this time.
If you have not practiced this discipline before,
you may find it challenging in the beginning.
We are social creatures and the need for communication is natural.
But you will come to see the restorative value of compassionate silence.
I will speak more on this matter when we begin. But as we gather before hand and settle, be mindful to leave behind social chatter and instead
attend to the natural companionship of our gathered group
and the beauty of the world surrounding us.
Look into the face of the one before you. It is divine.
Listen to your heartbeat. It will tell you all you need to know.