You may be asking yourself, “Is an at home retreat the right thing for me?” Here are a couple questions you can ask yourself before you give it a try.
Have ever attended a structured retreat? If you have been on a retreat before, an at home retreat will be much more comfortable in most cases. You will be able to plan a day that makes sense to you but that follows a structure you may be familiar with. If you have never been on a retreat but still want to give it a try you may want to ask someone who has been on a retreat to help you plan out your personal at home retreat. Maybe you could even invite them to “attend” with you.
Can you put away your phone? If you can’t turn off your phone for the length of your retreat it will be very easy to get distracted. Any level of concentration, focus and calm you might have developed will dissipate with that first bzzzzzz bzzzzz.
Will you be able to be left alone? Will you be in a setting where friends, family, or roommates will know that you are on retreat and to leave you alone? If not, well, you know how it is going to go. Maybe you could all do the retreat together, or you could get one or two friends and retreat at one of your houses with strict rules that you are not to be bothered. For some people the motivation to stay focused on the retreat might be increased if you are sharing the retreat with others.
Can you let go of your expectations? Your expectations may be a big hindrance. If you are expecting complete calm and peacefulness and a mind of pure bliss you might be disappointed. Instead try and be with the experience as it is without desiring the retreat go a certain way in order for it to be “good.”
In the end you really don’t know until you try. Start small, maybe two hours broken up into 1/2 hour sessions of moving and sitting meditation and see how it goes. Then next time go a little longer, maybe four or six hours. Before you know it you may be able to retreat at home all day.