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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Retreat

I am aware of two different kinds of retreat going on at this very minute in our area. I know this, because I received invitations to both. Both retreats have something going for them that I really, really appreciate. In fact, I wish they weren’t happening at the same time, thus forcing me to choose.
This happens a lot. At one time I remember we used to check the calendar and try NOT to book things in conflict. But that was a losing venture. So we just try to remind ourselves, and others, that having choices among more than one excellent event is a blessing.
Now, back to what I was going to say about retreating. As it happens, the two retreats now taking place are quite different. (One might say opposite if one were not careful; but I am anything if not careful, so I won’t say that.) One of them is a silent retreat, focusing on meditation, reflection and loving kindness. Participants will spend time together and in solitude. They’ll eat good food and rest in the peaceful surroundings of the Ziontario campgrounds. The other group of retirees (not seniors or geezers or fogeys, no matter what you’ve heard!) will spend time in community. They’ll eat good food and spend time in study, play, visiting and laughing together in the peaceful surroundings of the Noronto campgrounds.
Both are right on track with ancient definitions of spiritual retreat, whether in solitude or in community. Both focus on the noble goal of separating oneself from the usual environment and happenings of daily life to immerse in a safe and uplifting location or community. Outcomes may be reduced stress, increased creativity and sense of encouragement, well-being and health, physical, emotional, spiritual.
Retreat is a military term too. Perhaps some of the comments about military retreats might help us too. Great care must be taken to understand the purpose of a military retreat or withdrawal, lest it turn into a rout. Excellent military strategists and leaders use retreats to reposition troops or to take a stronger position. An apparent retreat may be “feigned” to throw an adversary off his game plan or to use this time of calm to regroup for a stronger attack.
I like to think in the language of metaphor to see what I can find or learn from considering the different perspectives. What do you think?
Please chat among yourselves. I’m away from my computer connections at a retreat. I’ll check in with you next week.
Posted by Marion

1 comment:

  1. Hi - I can't help but respond about "retreats" as I have a funny story from a junior high camp many years ago at Erie Beach. The youth asked the counsellors if they could have a dance. We discussed how junior high camp was to be a retreat, a chance to get away from the every day pressures they have at home. Well, Cory (I hope you don't mind me telling this)raised his hand and said (with a smile)....How many dance halls do you think we have in Shrewsbury? We had a wonderful dance.

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