Online Retreat & Program
Things to think about and make ready before the retreat starts:
Your family and housemates
Have a discussion with them about your retreat day. Let them know this is a silent retreat, so even if you are moving around your home, you will not be speaking to them at all during the day and need to keep interactions to a minimum. You may want to share a copy of your retreat schedule and plan, to help them support you and alleviate any anxiety they might have about disturbing you.
Think about where you want to have your retreat. Set up your cushion or chair. Have a space nearby where you can do moving mediation in place.
You will need access to Zoom meetings for the whole day. Make sure every space you plan to use has Internet access. Think about what device or devices will be best for you to accomplish this. It’s probably not a good idea to wear headphones all day, but you may want to use them during the Dharma talks. If so, have them ready.
If you plan to use the speaker of your laptop computer, check to see if it is loud enough, especially if you plan to maintain some distance between yourself and the laptop. You may find it useful to connect to an external speaker, if you have one.
If you plan to use your phone, have a way to prop it up so you can see it easily and do not have to hold it. This will also help maintain stability for your picture on the screen, so you do not disturb your fellow practitioners.
During the retreat, close all applications, including e-mail and your web browser, to optimize your connection on Zoom and to minimize distractions.
A retreat day is a day to be unplugged. Turn off all ringers, sounds and notifications on your phone, and on all other devices you plan to use. If you won’t be using your phone for Zoom, you may want to consider shutting it off and keeping it in a drawer or somewhere out of sight.
Have a plan for your lunch. Think about whether you’d like to cook something then, or prepare something in advance. Either way, shop and prep in advance so you have what you need. Consider eating a vegetarian meal for lunch.
Things you might do during break/work period
- Go for a walk
- Do some cleaning
- Do the laundry
- Organize drawers or cabinets
- Other household chores
- Stretch or exercise
- Have a cup of tea
Things you should avoid during break/work periods
- Talk to family members
- Watch TV
- Listen to music
- Listen to podcasts
- Use your phone
- Use social media
- Job-related work