A retreat gives sweetness, making it easy to be interior and do work. A retreat can facilitate a kind of medicine. Figuratively speaking, in our life, many of us have a sort of medicine that we need to take. We might have stress that is largely psychological because we struggle with our own life and mind. We might wonder what we are doing where we are and in the present day, and we need to take a break and get perspective. But we can’t really take a break from ourselves. So, figuratively speaking, this is why we need medicine, to heal and overcome some things. A retreat is the sweetness that helps us take the medicine we really need so that life will be better for us.
Retreats are not about spoiling yourself. If you somehow end up on a retreat expecting only spa treatment and pampering, you might be surprised with what you actually find there. You want relief because you have to work so hard in your life and there isn’t enough time or energy left over to make things better. A retreat is a breath of fresh oxygen-rich air away from the polarity of drudgery and occasional relief. So many people work hard at a job and on the weekends finally try and have some time for themselves. So you need a breath of fresh air. Just like in an airplane, the oxygen mask is there for you who sees it first. Immediately thereafter you help others, because you have oxygen to do the work. When you are wearing the oxygen mask, it won’t be your impulse to simply flaunt it and show the world how lucky or great you are for being able to breathe air. Your well-being is in line with what you need to truly help others, because you are doing the work — creative, spiritual, and holistic — that helps yourself.
This blissful fresh air of a retreat is not possessed at the burden of someone else. Instead, it burdens only the things which you shouldn’t be doing anyway. Thus, the practice which is truly right for a person helps clear away the useless things in his/her life.
This work is actually a type of yoga. After yoga you may feel very good. In yoga, there is a saying: to rub the sweat back into the body. If you try this literally, it may not work so well. But figuratively, at a retreat, you are offering the results of your practice as fuel for future effort.