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Why do we attend retreats? What is the purpose of the modern-day retreat?
It may surprise readers that we see retreats as a way of restoring ourselves so that we may improve the world we live in. In other words, it’s not all about the self, in spite of what good salesmanship would advise.
Retreats allow us to step out of busy schedules and “hamster wheels” to think, to create, to go within, to pray, to meditate, to heal, to write, or to do whatever it is to bring a sense of wholeness to body, mind, and spirit.
Time spent in nature is a critical part of the retreat. It provides a place to communicate with the natural world and the divine, and to experience the sun, wind, rain, earth, wildlife, and perhaps a primal scream.
It’s really what we do after the retreat that gives back to the world around us.
We go on retreat to go inward: to do inner work, and to prepare our improved, empowered selves to give back to the outer world. It’s a world of frays and fronts that need our support, such as the environment, local politics, activism, art, community work, or race relations.
The world and our society need new ideas, energy, creativity, tenacity, and our words, thoughts, and actions. Find them within, and implement them without.
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