Proverbs 2:6 “For it is the LORD who gives wisdom; out of his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Life can be a spiritual war of survival: staying alive in a hostile war zone, meeting basic survival needs, engaging in work for a living, building up social networks, attracting allies and avoiding enemies, especially in large congested urban areas.
In our battles we can be harmed from the wounds of war. Wounds can be physical handicaps yet wounds can also be mental wounds of the mind and spiritual wounds of the heart, especially from wrong decisions and harmful social relationships. Today’s urban inner city environment has a lot of stresses and strains. Many fight for sheer survival, suffer from various disorders and need to combat harmful addictions. Major urban problems stand out in need of solvent solutions. To help the people we need to work together in harmony as spiritual workers in the family of humanity.
We need to be totally committed to the spiritual work required of us to prevail and succeed in life. We must keep our morale strong, endure pain and be long-suffering for the greater good. We will be no good to anyone if we let ourselves get all burnt out, scatter our forces or let our vital energies get depleted by energy vampires or other sick social elements.
For those on a spiritual path with heart sometimes we need to take the time for a good sabbatical so we can get away from it all and tune up our inner spirituality. We need to take a good break, stop working on our regular jobs and spend quiet time alone in fervent prayer, quiet meditation and inner reflection.
Other times we need to take an actual physical retreat from our urban warfare and go out with a good group of allies into the peace of nature in a rural area, up to the hills or up in the mountains.
Strategic Retreat ~
In the war of life sometimes we need to take a strategic retreat in order to review our whole life situation so we can later advance with greater clarity of vision and common purpose. Sometimes for our own inner peace and spiritual serenity we need to take time for a spiritual retreat so we can rest up, refresh and recharge our energies. A good retreat is not a defeatist withdrawal but a way to regroup for deepening and expanding our active role in life as spiritual workers in the local community.
To some a strategic retreat may seem a passive waste of time and resources, but in the long run it can help inspire us, keep us faithful and be a stimulus for the long-haul of protracted spiritual warfare. We need to fight the good fight as humane spiritual warriors committed to a life of peace, safety and harmony for all of us.
Trinity Being ~
We need to plan a spiritual retreat with a wholistic approach that relates to our whole being as a trinity being in the realms of the mind, body and soul. We are not only a mind as its brain is encased in a body. We are not only a physical body as we have a conscious soul. We are not only a soul as we exist in the real world of connected reality. Each of us is a trinity being composed of the mind, body and soul. One realm of this interconnected trinity affects the other two realms to different degrees.
We aim to empower the entire trinity of the humane being to be balanced, centered and concentrated in harmony within the matrix of the global society, Mother Nature and the entire cosmos. The mind commands, the body functions and the spirit guides. A spiritual retreat will offer a series of workshops in these three realms:
Mind ~ Proverbs 16:1 “The reasoning of the mind is from man; but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.”
To stimulate the mind we will involve educational predagogy, learn how to keep a spiritual journal for self-expression, learn the principles of mindfulness and discuss basic guidelines for mental health.
Body ~ Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart makes the body healthy; but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
To stimulate the body we will involve basic yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts and physical fitness in general. We can go on daily long hikes to help strengthen our stamina and enhance our presence. We will discuss basic nutrition and life-styles.
Soul ~ Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD; but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
To stimulate the soul we will involve workshops on soulful prayers, deep meditation and spiritual enlightenment. We can have discussions on how we can better improve our emotional sobriety, creative development and spiritual growth.
These are only general guidelines for a Spiritual Retreat Program to be kept flexible in order to allow for creative changes to make it more relevant to program participants. As we gain more direct experience we can modify it with an emphasis on our spiritual evolution as spiritual beings. In the art of war we retreat to advance.
Proverbs 31:12 “Blessed is the man who is willing to help; more blessed is he than he who merely rests in hope, as a tree of life he bears fruit.”