I'm asked periodically what happens on extended Centering Prayer retreats. I usually mention their purpose, structure and fruits in the broadest of terms, realizing I cannot adequately convey what is unique and spiritually significant for each individual. Sometimes I mention Tom Ward's excellent description of his first retreat in Spirituality, Contemplation and Transformation: Writings on Centering Prayer (Lantern Books, 2008).
I've been attending these types of retreats for years and I'll attend one March 20-29, a 10-day intensive facilitated by David Frenette and Thomas Keating at the Garrison Institute on the Hudson River. See schedule below.
To offer a small window through which others might look and learn, I'll chronicle the retreat here on LifeSprings http://lifesprings.posterous.com/ starting March 19. In keeping with the contemplative value of simplicity, just a few words and/or a single visual image will be shared each day of the retreat.
You're invited to visit during or after the retreat and/or share the chronicle with someone who may have asked you, "So, what happens on those retreats?" "Do you really not talk for days?
Here is the daily schedule.
6:30 am - Rise
6:45 am - (2) 30 minute periods of Centering Prayer separated by a meditative walk
8:00 – 9:00 am - Breakfast in silence
9:15 am – Session
10:45 am - (2) 30 minute periods of Centering Prayer separated by meditative walk
12:00 – 1:00 pm - Lunch in silence
3:30 pm – Session (Presentation & Guided Meditation)
4:45 pm - (2) 30 minute periods of Centering Prayer separated by a meditative walk
6:00 – 7:00 pm - Supper in silence
7:30 pm – Optional Session (with Questions and Answers)