What is a Spiritual Retreat?
I always thought of a spiritual retreat as something that takes place in a convent or monastery – I suppose because when I felt I needed this experience I went to a convent for a week.
I remember walking in to my small “cell-like” room and seeing the crisp pure white bed linen and breathing a sigh of relief.
It had been a time of great change and turbulence for me. All the changes were good and things were going well, but I felt I needed to take stock and catch up with myself. Hence the time on retreat at the convent.
I had a very quiet week of solitude and saw just one person – the nun who was my spiritual guide during my stay. We spoke few words to one another but her presence was sweet, light, and welcome to me.
Re-Entry to the World
At the end of the week I returned to my temporary home and picked up the threads of my worldly life. I expected to feel refreshed and able to take control of events, but the reality was not like that. It felt as though I had not been away at all and I remember the disappointment of realizing that I seemed to have resolved nothing during this particular retreat experience.
Home At Last
About a year later I took instruction in the Transcendental Meditation® technique. From my first meditation I was aware of the fact that I had found what I was looking for. It took a little while to come to the awareness that what I had found was that connection to myself – my inner me and outer me had become united.
I had experienced a spiritual retreat for the first time. That 20 minute dive into the Transcendent had allowed my senses to retreat from their twenty-four-hour duty to the world outside. My attention had gently gone within where everything was so soft and serene and welcoming, just like the snow-white bed in the convent, but now there was no disappointment, only fulfillment. I was flooded with relief and happiness. When I came out of meditation and re-entered activity I felt energized, renewed and lighter. It was easier to find solutions. I felt I had come home.
Thirty six years later the story is the same. Each meditation is as wonderful as the first: each brings that precious time of retreat leading to renewal.
A New Decision
Some time ago, I made the decision to live permanently in a community of women where everyone practices Transcendental Meditation and the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Program℠. Our whole focus is on diving deep into the Transcendent and bringing out to the world an influence of peace, of harmony and joy that is so powerful the negative trends in the environment – the world – disappear. Our program is called The Mother Divine Program℠.
Where we live – surrounded by the beauty of nature – is saturated with that peace. Many ladies come from the city to visit for a weekend or sometimes a week in order to bask in the atmosphere and gain some relief from the fast pace of life in the world. It is not about getting away from something that is not good and going towards something that is good. It is about becoming whole – partnering the dynamism necessary for a successful life in the world with the deep silence of the eternal side of us that we call the Transcendent. Here they can practice their daily meditations without worrying about the busy schedule of the day. Everything is taken care of for them. When they leave they take lightness and bliss through our gates to their own homes and families.
A Thoroughly Modern Retreat
This is a very modern form of spiritual retreat for ladies. We are providing something that for centuries has been offered to those seeking inner peace, integration – except that it is no longer necessary to retreat physically. The individual is able to retreat day after day without ever leaving home. If they choose to come to our home for a while, for example to our center in New York state, Switzerland or Thailand, it is because they know it will bring an unimaginable bonus to their already-much-lighter life.
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