Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Personal Retreat

Seeing how it’s going to be a relatively quiet weekend for me next – I have no plans to travel anywhere, nor am I expecting any visitors – it seems to me that next weekend offers me an excellent opportunity to have a “personal retreat.” I’m sure I will receive some interruptions, such as calls from family and friends; but by and large I will be on my own.

I believe I would have enough to do to keep me focused properly. I know the 10 precepts and I’m sure I could follow them for three days. Even the part about not eating beyond noon. I have plenty of Buddhist literature to study and contemplate. I can practice some walking meditation. The sitting might be a challenge because I’ve never sat any longer than 30 minutes at a single time.

So I think I have an idea of how to structure my time during this mini, self-contained retreat. But I’d love some suggestions. Perhaps some of you have tried this before and have some insight you could share. Please do! I welcome any and all advice.


  1. If you struggle sitting longer periods, then just do more shorter periods. I've done "home half day retreats" before, and I found that it worked well to sit 20 minutes, then doing walking meditation for 10-15 minutes, then go back to sitting.

    As for studies, maybe pick one thing and focus on that. I was working on the Hsin Hsin Ming last time I did a home retreat, so I just sat with the poem and commentaries to it.

    Hope that's of some help.


  2. Hey Thanks Nathan for the idea of focusing on one thing to study. I've started reading the Lotus Sutra along with Thich Nhat Hanh's commentary, so maybe I will stick with that.