Article appeared in ECS magazine, Nepal, June 2018
By: Susan M. Griffith-Jones
When you are ensconced in the world of the Lamas, doing a retreat is not much of a big deal. “He’s gone into three-year retreat”, “She’s doing a retreat of such and such a practice”, “I’m thinking about doing a short retreat at such and such a holy place” are all commonplace conversations in that world.
But, people outside of this realm have a bit of a hard time understanding what it’s all about. Just the idea of being locked away in a room all on your own, without contact to the outside world and doing nothing but meditation all day long are things that seem really radical, but in truth, it’s not really like that. Doing a retreat is where you constantly practice the mental exercises your teacher has given you to do. No more procrastinating or doing just a short practice in the evening because you’re tired from work, or would prefer to watch a movie; in a retreat, your whole life is dedicated to the ritual you must now perform and work on your mind.