The Solo Householder Retreat

What I learned:

  • Get family out of the house.
  • Get pets out of the house, or practice fluid acceptance as your schedule changes.
  • Turn off the phone.  Let people know beforehand that you won’t be available.
  • Turn off the computer.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Plan meals.  Do the shopping ahead of time.  Try to “fix” rather than “cook.”  Remember to be mindful when preparing food.  Don’t try anything new for the first time; stick to what you know is good for you.
  • Do chores before the start of the retreat.  Get the laundry and shopping done for the week to come so it’s not a distraction.  You’ll have enough to think about.  Trust me.
  • Don’t bother to check the mail.
  • Stay indoors or in enclosed outdoor areas as much as possible.  Avoid people.
  • If you do encounter others, like neighbors, let your practice be compassion.  They probably won’t understand noble silence, and you won’t want to be rude.
  • Make a schedule long before you start.  Then use it as a guideline, not a rulebook.
  • Forgive yourself when you get off track.  Then get back on track.
  • Experiment.  Now is a good opportunity to try varying your meditation practice or sitting position.
  • Be realistic.  You will need time to transition from one activity to another.
  • Consider whether you will exercise.  Exercising may increase your energy more than you wish, but you may feel off balance if you skip a regular session.  Listen to your inner wisdom.  You can always change your mind.
  • You may fall asleep.  If that happens, engage in nap practice!
  • Allow an hour or two after the end of the retreat before planning interactions with others.  Give yourself time to ease back up to speed.

May all beings benefit!

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