In silent retreat we give ourselves a gift, a separate, sacred space, where we can encounter and contemplate what is really going on with us, with one another, and with the earth. Silence is where we can feel our joy more deeply, take stock more accurately, and—this can be the more difficult part—become more fully aware of our woundedness and despair.
But why open to all that? Because the silence we share holds us. It opens us to be touched and to be taught really important things about life, death and rebirth. Under its spell, we can find a loving way through the difficulties and challenges we face. As we settle into silence, calmness comes. Liberation from the press of daily “shoulds” and “oughts” occurs. Balance is regained. Healing happens. We are kissed by the spirit of life and a sense of our wholeness is restored.
At our final vespers, retreatants gave testimony to such experiences. And among the final words spoken in our final worship were the words, “I’m ready.” Tomorrow we gather one last time, to bring our circle of silent community to a close. Ready or not, we will exit this alternate reality with renewed strength, more love, deeper insight and clearer intentions, better prepared to meet the challenges of life and the uncertainties of the future waiting for us.
A retreat in silence, under the gentle, wise guidance of experienced spiritual directors, and in the company of dedicated companions of the soul. I heartily recommend it. Perhaps we’ll see you next year at SpiritRest.