No chargers required: what to pack for your first spiritual retreat
Updated: Jun 30
What you leave behind is more valuable to a retreat than what you bring. It is in the absence of distraction that we can simply be with what is—and discover how much we are fighting it. In the BBC Documentary the Monastery, 5 modern men were chosen to embrace monastic life for 40 days. Each coming from a different background and with wildly different histories of presence and prayer. But the experience of any new "novice" has common themes that anyone who has gone on retreat has experienced. This fascinating made for TV series poses the question: "Does monasticism have anything to offer the modern man?" In taking a break for 40 days and 40 nights from their lives can these (some spiritually inexperienced) men find a place for the presence of God in their busy lives? I watched this series a few years ago when living in a Monastery. It gave us all a laugh and simultaneously a real appreciation for the devotion and presence in our everyday life.
When you LIVE ACIM it is the movement from special to Holy Relationship. Of waiting to be shown Innocence rather than grabbing for specifics to minimize the pain of guilt.
Because of the contrast in the lives of those coming to visit "The Monastery" versus those who live there all the time, you can see the call to hold the space, and the sanctity of relating in this new (less interpersonal) Way. The intimacy is palpably higher and the communication more direct.
Each episode is about an hour so I'd savor each one as a reflection tool. I feel it really does offer a comparative study where we can find our own level of devotion and avoidance of Presence. It doesn't attempt to draw any particular conclusions and firmly allows us our own experience of "The Monastery." I'd love to hear your experience of watching it? ~ in the comments below ~
Here is the 3-part series "The Monastery" BBC 2005 Documentary
Episode 1/3 "The Monastery" BBC Documentary
Episode 2/3 "The Monastery" BBC Documentary
Episode 3/3 "The Monastery" BBC Documentary
In embracing your desire to LIVE ACIM. It is essential to clarify your understanding of A Course in Miracles