…about retreat…

Retreats are great occasions for catching up and adding energy. But most essentially of course is to do nothing and just do/not do all that is offered during the retreat. It depends on what the place offers. I can walk. Sit. Sleep. Read. Write. Eat. Look. Listen. Meditate. Think. Remember. Cry. Laugh. Smile. If it’s a silent retreat the spoken word is absent. I enjoy that. The spoken word is gone and gives chance to focus on whats left. The spoken word may obscure what’s real. I went to the local church where they arranged an eight huor silent retreat. I came across this great book – “Gå med dig och glädjen att vara” (Go with me and the happiness in beeing) by Lars Gustafsson. While reading this book I got a lot of reflections and thoughts that I bring with me and now like to share with you dear reader. First. He listened to Bach mass in h-minor. At one place in the music they sing about the fishers at the lake of Gennesaret. They have problems with catching fish. A preacher comes by and suggests they go further out to the deep waters – “there you will find fish” he says. First the fishermen think “what do you know of fishing- your’e a preacher?” Anyway, they follow his idea and later arrives with tons of fish. The parable tells me that a) help may come from an unexpected quarters. b) defy fear and go deep. There you will find life richness and happyness. Defy the fear and go deep. Second: We say that identity is formed during youth. True. But if we stop there and confine ourselves with that, the quote may imprison us – telling us that you can not/may not expand, change, evolve as person, change ideals getting older. My reflection is – if you say this and live this way you don’t need to be responsible and take action for your need of change when it talkes to you. You just sit back and  wait until the attack is over. Third: He writes about identity. He refers to a writer who says that we have multiple identities (father, son, teacher, husband, brother etc) and the freedom lays in beeing able to switch between the different id’s. Problems may occur when one or more id’s are connected with shame and guilt. In that case we tend to avoid, block and hide them leading to an unfulfilled personality. About help coming from unexpected quarters a story told by Paulo Coelho comes to mind: “A man slipped and fell down into a pit. A preacher comes by and the man prays him for help to get up from the pit. The preacher blesses him and walkes away. A couple of hours later a doctor came up. The man askes for help. The doctor was content to consider his blesyrer on hold, writes a recipe and tells him to buy the medicine at the nearest drugstore. Eventually someone he’d never seen before comes by. He asked for help again and the stranger jumped into the pit. OK? What do we do now? Now we are stuck here the both of us! Whereas the stranger answers. No. We’re not. I’m from this neighborhood and I know how to get up”.   If you never visited a silent retreat I highly recommend you do! /Sten

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