every year i go on a retreat - this year i am not going on anything organised or landing with a monastic community - i am simply heading into the woodland with a tent, hammock and some supplies. the phone and email will be off. i'll be cooking off a fire and off grid for a while... i have blogged before about silence and retreat. i have come to value this practice for my own wellbeing, my own sense of reconnecting with life, leaning into the love that holds the universe together aka god, remembering who i am and what's important, and i simply find that turning the noise off is regenerative. forgive the parallel but it is like making a clearing in a woodland - it lets the light in and new life comes. curiously enough last year in silence i had the idea of getting a woodland - i don't know if that would have come to me without space for nothing. but it feels great a year on to be going on retreat into the woodland that emerged out of last year's silence! for those of you into the enneagram for people like me stopping doing stuff is also an important practice.
i actually started the practice of retreat in an annual way because we were recommending it to all our pioneer students at cms. and i thought i can't do that if i don't actually do it every year myself! when i first did retreats i did a few with other people which i also really enjoyed and think in some ways it's an easier way into the practice. if that's where you are at there is a fantastic retreat been organised at the end of april if you are an outdoors type of person. it's a mountain retreat led by paul who is part of mountain pilgrims which is an innovative fresh expression of church in cumbria. there are a maximum number of twelve places so if you are interested in that i recommend booking quickly. see below for the flyer and the link to book is here. sadly i can't go on that one myself though it looks great.