Feelings are the first conditioned reference we offer the moment. Through our feelings we are prepared to turn away, ignore, or grasp the experience at hand. Feelings set up our attitudes, personal story, and character to carry us forward in a predisposed way.
In beginning a long retreat, it’s helpful to reflect on the inspirations that underlie our spiritual life and how they shape our aspiration. Our inner life emerges through the simplicity of the retreat environment in contrast to an increasingly complex outside world. By trusting in silence and presence we develop the key skills we need to live wisely in both retreat and daily life.