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Retreats

Retreat books

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There : A Mindfulness Retreat With Sylvia Boorstein by Sylvia Boorstein / Paperback / 1996. For both the "do-it-yourself-er" and group retreat participant, this is a wonderful step-by-step guidebook through a weekend meditation retreat. Sylvia's long teaching and retreat-leading experience with Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society infuse this guide with insight, simplicity and wit - a perfect blend for a retreat guide.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh Paperback Reissue edition / 1991. I first read this classic account of a personal retreat when I was in high school - and it's continued to provide inspiration over the years. Lindbergh's retreat, done at a beach cabin, illustrates the process of stripping away the demands of our daily activities and deepening the appreciation of the harmonies just beneath the surface.
Gift from the Sea
Hardcover Reissue edition / 1991
Gift from the Sea / Large Print
Gift from the Sea/Audio Cassettes recorded by Claudette Colbert / Audio Cassette /

Silence Simplicity and Solitude: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat by David A. Cooper / Paperback / 1994. This is a more comprehensive guidebook for retreats, and includes descriptions of the retreat experience in all the major religious traditions, with extensive suggestions for retreat preparation and spiritual practice during a retreat.

A Guide to Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh / Paperback / 1985. A retreat, and the practice of meditation, is not limited to periods of sitting - in fact, I think one of the ways we can integrate a meditative awareness and mindfulness into our daily lives is with walking. This book suggests many ways to approach this practice.

Peace Is Every Step : The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh / Paperback Reissue / 1992. I'm in the habit of eliminating or reducing drastically my reading when I retreat, but having one book to open at random for a brief bit of inspiration can be a help. This book fits that description admirably, with short commentaries on everyday mindfulness. Good for non-retreat times, too.

The 3-Day Energy Fast : Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Claim Your Spirit by Pamela Serure / Hardcover / 1997


Retreat books
Retreat tapes

= titles I've read & recommend
Books without checks are by authors whose work I respect, or are books that others have requested or recommended.


Drawing on the Artist Within : An Inspirational and Practical Guide to Increasing Your Creative Powers by Betty Edwards / Paperback / 1987. This is a follow-up to "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," and approaches creativity in the visual arts as a tool for self-exploration. You need not be any kind of an artist to make some surprising and wonderful discoveries using the exersizes in this book, which can easily be used as a retreat focus.

At a Journal Workshop : Writing to Access the Power of the Unconscious and Evoke Creative Ability by Ira Progoff / Paperback / Revised edition 1992. Whether you adopt the entire "intensive journal" approach or not, Progroff's techniques and exercises add immeasurably to the depth and coherence of journal-writing. In particular, I've found some of his exercises incredibly effective for breaking out of the inevitable "stuck points" - those loops of self-examination in journaling that concern the issues that seem to follow us in different disguises throughout our lives.

Retreat tapes

The Present Moment : A Retreat on the Practice of Mindfulness/Cassettes by Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong / Audio Cassettes / 1994. While I was not an attendee at this U.S. retreat, I did attend Thay's 1995 retreat in California (along with 540 others stuffed into a camp with bathroom facilities for maybe half that number), and his talks and "presence" were wonderful! I'd recommend these tapes just on the basis of the value of the retreat I attended.

Noble Heart : A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles by Pema Chodron / Audio Cassettes / 1998. Ani Pema Chodron's books are so unabashedly down-to-earth, direct and supportive, they're among those I regularly turn to when I find myself flat on my face... again. Her tapes are equally wonderful.


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