We should not be afraid to use the expression SPIRITUAL RETREAT to refer to our retreats. If we analyze the two words that make up the phrase, we will see how it is really a simple, close, beautiful and even exact expression, which we should use and practice more.
On the one hand there is the word RETREAT:
The notion of retreat, recess (spiritual or recreational) is used to name the practice that involves moving away from daily obligations and material affairs for a time to devote yourself to contemplation, meditation, or recreation.
A retreat is generally considered to be a way of approaching oneself (or that which transcends oneself). Through concentration, attention, contemplation, relaxation, meditation, reading, walks, music, beauty, poetry, silence, a healthy diet … a person can put aside their earthly problems, recreate and indulge in deeper or higher questions.
To Retreat means precisely that, To Retreat: leaving the place where one habitually lives and stop doing what one usually does to change it, for a few hours or days, by new actions that are often healthier. For instance: being silent, meditating, going on walks, eating healthy, exercising, doing yoga, walking carefully, contemplating life, re-establishing our biological schedule. That is, also, not to watch TV, not to read the press, not to use social networks, not to smoke, not drinking alcohol … or at least reduce its use and consumption. Actions that, if you put the minimum due interest, can become a habit.
On the other hand there is the word SPIRITUAL:
In many traditions, the word “spirit” refers to life force, the basic energy of being. In symbolic terms, the spirit is the breath of life. The Hebrew ruah, the Greek pneuma, the Latin spiritus and the Sanskrit prajna all use alternatevly “breath” and “spirit.” Traditionally, this life force is manifested in our love; in the passions and inspirations that motivate us and connect us with the world and each other.
According to Professor Carole Crumley, spirituality has to do with the fundamental forces that drive our lives, our deepest loves, passions and concerns.
It is the source of our sense of meaning and our will to live, the source of our deepest desires, values and dreams. Spirituality is then, not a thing apart from our lives but it is the fundamental source of energy that fuels all of our emotions, relationships, work, and everything else we consider significant.
Contrary to popular belief, spirituality is not something special or extraordinary.
On the contrary, it is something totally ordinary and completely natural. All people have a spiritual life.
Spirituality has to do with creativity, with poetry, with music, with dancing, with singing, with breathing, with walking, with eating, with loving, with being free! That is precisely what spirituality will offer you, to increase your freedom.
All those activities where the soul intervenes are spiritual activities. And what are the activities in which the soul intervenes? The answer is very simple: activities that are done from the heart. And what are the activities that are done from the heart? Those to which we do not put our mind in it. Those actions in which thought does not intervene.
The always analytical and calculating mind, does things in exchange for other things. It always considers possible risks before taking action. The mind always dreams of the earnings, it never does anything for nothing. Always feeling either above or below the circumstances.
On the other hand, when we act from the heart, we do not analyze anything. We do not judge anything. We do not expect anything in return. We place ourselves and feel on the same plane, neither more nor less.
We become one with what we do. We merge with life. We are located in a magical place where nobody and nothing is more or less than nothing and nobody. Where there are neither fat nor skinny, neither handsome nor ugly, neither rich nor poor. Beyond Good and Evil. The spirit lies beyond all interest. This is called “unfolding your spiritual being”, or just flowing, or loving.
In short, a SPIRITUAL RETREAT helps us to bring us all together (if with oneself it already works, imagine with two, or three, or six or more!). It helps to find the best of ourselves that rests hidden within us. It helps us to let it out and share it. That is SPIRITUALITY, that is a spiritual retreat.