I write from "OurmLady of the Pines" retreat center where I am enjoying day 4 of a six day silent retreat.
Silent except for one hour a day of spiritual direction and then a little bit of talking last night with my friend Debbie. That is how I found out there is wi fi here and that is why I am able to write this. So there you go.
Many people have asked me what you do on a silent retreat and, honestly, it is a lot like vacation except for the focus...which is on being with God. We each have our own rooms with a single bed, sink, desk, and chair for reading. We share bathrooms. I am in room 23 .off on an end wing and now I know...one of the rooms without wi fi:)
We have breakfast at 8 , lunch at noon and dinner at 5:30. We eat in silence and mindfully...that is to say slowly and prayerfully.
During the day there is one other scheduled occasion...time with our spiritual director. I meet with Susie at 11 am. I usually start the day with a morning walk and then I write in my journal and read. I have been reading (and finished) Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr. I sometimes go sit on a bench on the grounds or on a wicker chair on the porch. I have been writing quite a bit.
For the past 3 days I have gone swimming which has been refreshing and powerful for me as many images come up as I am swimming or just floating. Water is a profound metaphor on our spiritual journey,
One of the tools that Susie gave me was "praying backwards through the day" which is a time of reflection...not only on what has happened during this day but my feelings that have come and gone. It is in our feelings tha t God speaks most profoundly to us and this is an opportunity to reflection and explore what God is doing with me.
My desire for this week has been to "Go Deeper" with God and the book that I have read is about the 12 steps and our relationship to God. I have found myself naming and praying about some of my addictions. What is interesting and helpful is that some of them are not available to me this week- no TV, no computer games, no late night snacking, Helpful to be in a place that fills my soul with those things that are real- like beauty, nature, music, silence and not the poor substitutes I fall back on.
This morning when I woke up (after 8 hours sleep!) I realize that I have not been waking up with a "bounce" like I do at home. And what I realize is that it is because I am not "doing" like I usually do. In fact, I imagine that if I were Susie, I would be waking up with a bounce at the prospect of doing spiritual direction. It is very different for me tombe on the receiving end....just being and receiving.
And so I titled this blog entry...being with God. This is a gift and a discipline to have time away and an empty calendar so that I can be and receive.
And I am definitely receiving ...healing for my soul, and rest for my spirit and guidance for the living of this precious life God has given me.
I just sat quietly and listened to a CD called "Surrender". Here is what I wrote down
I will teach your ways of deliverance for souls yearning for love
My soul sees the giver.
Make me what you will. MI place myself at your altar.
May it all be so