Today is the second day of an attempt at a home based retreat. There are good aspects and not so good aspects about trying to do a retreat at home. You can set your own structure with a home based retreat. In the current circumstances of Covid-19 you don’t have to worry about social distancing while travelling or staying somewhere else if you do something on your own and at home. But it is much harder to leave the mundane aspects of your life behind when you stay at home and unless your family joins you in retreat activities you don’t have others to talk to during times of reflection. You also don’t have anyone else keeping you on track for activities.
I developed my own retreat structure which is a mix of devotional time, contemplation, mindful chores and exercise with time each day for reflection too. On the whole it’s working pretty well although there are aspects that I am finding need a bit of tweaking – I definitely wasn’t thinking clearly in putting exercise after lunch for example even with a light lunch. I have also greatly reduced my time on email and Facebook during this retreat and any reading I am doing is focussed around spiritual or religions matters.
I picked this week to try this as my kids are staying with their dad for a week which means my days are not punctuated with their day to day needs. Not that either of them are particularly needy during school holiday periods but there are some care requirements in an autistic family. Technically it’s only one at school now but the lad did try college this year and is now looking at modern apprenticeships. Anyway, I digress, suffice it to say it’s easier to immerse myself in spiritual matters without them here.
Luckily my other half, Neil, is also a druid as many readers will already know so although he hasn’t joined me in this retreat I have been able to talk to him about some aspects. We had an interesting conversation yesterday while walking round our local park. In it the idea of Druidry as an entity came up. This immediately brought to mind a passage I had read earlier that day in the book “Contemplative Druidry” by James Nichol in which Penny Billinton speaks briefly about the concept of egregores although Neil had come to the idea of druidry as an entity in a different way. I have been musing on the idea ever since.
Druidry as a being,
A child growing
Would Druid then become both the name of someone in a form of relationship, consciously or unconsciously, with “Druidry” and the name of the relationship itself? This could also help explain why it is so difficult to define “Druidry” as it is partially formed by those that have relationships to it. This also changes how I feel about being druid as it becomes my relationship, my connection to the entity “Druidry” and like any of my relationships that will always be unique because it is partly shaped by me, a unique being.
It’s been an interesting experimental home retreat so far and I have one more day to complete my intended aim of a three day home retreat.
3 thoughts on “Thoughts on a retreat at home”
I hope that your retreat proves to be a nourishing and illuminating experience. I remember Penny introducing me to the term egregore in her interview, which I can’t believe is now six years ago. I have tended to think of Druids as too diverse and individualistic for a single egregore, if anything culturally suspicious of ‘group mind’ – but as you say ‘Druidry’ is a term that we all relate to, much more than just a label. I am grateful for your invitation to reflect on ‘Druidry’ as a relationship. I certainly started to think that I had moved into a too distant orbit and have been consciously changing that in recent months. Thanks for signing up to my blog and enabling me to discover yours.
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Druidry as an entity, resonated deeply with me. All things good to you, MW