Monday, 3 June 2013

Reflections from St Beuno's: Entering Into Retreat

Here is some guidance I was given when I started my retreat at St Beuno's.  The suggestions given seem to be good advice about life in general, and something we can all try to build into our daily, hectic schedules.

Healthy Lifestyle:
Give yourself plenty of time for sleep.  Eat in moderation and avoid alcohol.  Exercise the body - walking and fresh air are ideal.  

Slow Down
Deliberately slow down, spend more time on everything you do.  Relax, quite consciously, take longer breaths, walk more slowly, do things more gently, for you are waiting for God, and you will meet God in the stillness and stillness takes a little time.  Simply wait, meanwhile...

Become aware of everything around you:

  • the sounds
  • the patterns of light
  • the feel of things, their roughness and smoothness
  • the scents and aromas carried through the air - warmth and coolness
  • take trouble to notice even the taste and texture of your food
  • feel and smell the flowers the leaves and the countryside
  • through this creation God speaks to you, sings to you
Ask the Lord to open your senses, open them wide, that you may learn to listen to his voice.  

Although silence in daily life may be difficult to achieve, we can build moments of silence into our days.  On the topic of silence St Beuno's say: silence is not intended as an ascetic penance but to enable you to get in touch with what is deepest within.  For a few days in teh year it is good not to seek escape from yourself or God by filling our time with TV, computers, radio, mobile phones, chatter or the many other distractions of daily life.  Don't rush to fill the space, doing nothing can be creative.  

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