What is Contemplative Prayer Retreat (CPR)?
These days the word "retreat," not unlike the wounded man in the Parable, has been so used and abused. It also has a certain immediate impact and effect upon some hearers who quickly, quite literally, physically retreated from sight upon hearing the word "retreat." To some, "retreat" is seen as an easy cop-out, escapism from reality, a runaway from facing one's life's challenges. Still to others, "retreat" is met with "Oh, this is not for me" respond. But to most, "retreat" is taken to be another "word fest" or "church camp." All these reactions and responses are normal and expected due to various reasons.
The retreats that Listening Inn design are somewhat different though may have certain similar components of other kinds of "retreats." We do need to retreat physically away from the norm of busyness and demanding lifestyle and to run away from facing one's life challenges, albeit for a certain time-frame only, in order to do the most important thing there is – Listen. CPR is tailor-made for personal time out, away from the hustle and bustle of life, in order to be alone with God so that one can attend to Him who is within. The time of silence and solitude, whether one is the quiet type or not, is so that we can listen in to hear for ourselves, the God who dwells within. It is not an escapism from reality and certainly not an easy cop-out. To wait, and to do so in silence and solitude, is never an easy thing for us all who have become more of a human doing and less of a human being.
The component of "Contemplative" is foundationally Biblical Meditation. It is listening in through the Bible. Reading and hearing the Scripture as God's own love notes to each retreatant individually. It is very much a personal and not just intentional time out with God. This is so, so that the retreatant will have the privacy for Intimacy with Christ, which is Biblical Prayer as Richard Foster has called it "a love relationship." "Prayer" is not so much about asking as it is about listening and receiving from the One who knows our every need even before we speak. Yet in the midst of the "privacy for Intimacy" is the crucial element of Community as seen in the presence of other retreatants. The one another-ness in Christ carry each other along life's highways and byways during the retreat days even while in silence and solitude. Intimacy with Christ breeds witness and personal experience of the Community of Believers even while in retreats. The presence of others help each other to recognize that one is never alone in Christ but there is this "clouds and crowds of witnesses". And this is further enhanced in the daily celebration of Communion at the Lord's Table of Remembrance.
In short RETREAT is very much a "conversion," of being born again, seen in the rhythm of relinquish-and-return, better understood in the following :
Relinquish -all that demand and distract us from the Fullness of Life for a specified period of time in order to...
Enter – into the Inn of God's Heart through Biblical Meditation and Reflective Listening so as to...
Tend – to the Holy of Holies within us as the Temple, the Dwelling Place of God's Holy
Spirit. And having our lenses clarified and senses illuminated, we are to...
Realign – all our soul and heart and strength and mind with God even as we relish in the Healer who is putting us together again, before we make our...
Entrance – back into our marketplace, community, world to face life's challenges and demands, but now with an awakening...
Attentiveness – to the "hidden" God who is still at work in our daily life, and working alongside Him to...
Tend – to the wounded and broken ones in our community of humanity, giving freely what we have so freely received from God who is Love.
Beginners’ 3-day Teaching Retreat
Basic Biblical teachings regarding Meditation, Prayer and Contemplation will be taught each day. Each teaching component is followed by hands-on practicum. A typical day begins with Morning Chapel before breakfast followed by teaching and practicum sessions in the morning and afternoon. The day will end with a corporate time of Recollection before bed. The retreat will conclude with Corporate Reflection and Communion at the end of the 3rd day.
5-Day Directed Silent Retreat
The retreat starts with foundational teaching on Biblical Meditation, Prayer and Contemplation as preparation for retreatants to enter into the next 3 days of silence. During the days of silence there will be a one-on-one Spiritual Direction (SD) session each day. The SD session is for co-discerning, a time to process what may be taking place during the retreat, to listen together what God may be saying. Daily Communion is given during the days of silence and each day begins and ends with a Prayer of Reflection. Retreat ends with corporate reflection and a final Communion.
5-Day Reel Retreat
Similar program of a 5-Day Directed Silent Retreat with the additional material of selected movies. There will be days of silence with daily personal SD sessions, Communion and evening Prayer of Reflection. Retreat ends with corporate reflection and a final Communion.
8-Day Silent Retreat
This usually takes place in Chiang Mai or an overseas location as the Lord would direct. The retreat begins with orientation and basic teaching regarding Meditation and Prayer, followed by at least 6 days of silence. During days of silence there will be daily Morning Chapel, personal SD sessions, Communion and Night Prayer. Retreat ends with Maintenance Tips, Corporate Reflection and a final Holy Communion.
Quiet Day & Mini-Retreat
These are “tasters” catered to introduce participants to the Journey of Prayer and what Contemplative Prayer Retreat (CPR) is all about. A Quiet Day begins as early as 8.30 am with some teaching and facilitation for personal time-out for reflection. The day closes with corporate reflection and thought for the day. A mini-retreat stretches from 24-48 hours with a lengthened program of a Quiet Day and it ends with a Holy Communion.
Minimum number of participants is 15.
Retreatant will have to make own rooming arrangement with the retreat house. We will only come in daily for an hour of personal SD session.