We all experience unexpected events on a daily basis, these will happen during Home Retreat. Different techniques will serve different retreatants in different ways. It is important to not use unexpected circumstances to dilute the quality of the retreat with excuses or laziness. Whatever the circumstances, be prepared for surprises to arise. On Home Retreat these demand flexibility in schedule and attitude. When they do arise and you must amend your daily schedule, that’s fine. Make the needed changes with conscious intention and amend the remainder of the day to refocus towards the practice. Make flexibility and continuity your priority. Integrate everything into the practice; it’s the point of the retreat.
For example, when my day is interrupted by unforeseen circumstances (car trouble, a surprise doctor or dentist appointment, an unscheduled business-related email, etc.) which forces changes to my schedule, I typically respond by replacing my usual hour-long sits with a number of one-to-ten minute sessions throughout the day whenever the opportunity allows. This permits me to continue the momentum of my practice and even deepens my intention while still attending to the situation at hand. In this manner, the retreat does not have to be put on hold until the unforeseen event is taken care of. You may find other techniques or schedule changing strategies that work better for you. The important thing is to stay aware, experiment and stay committed. Remember: Flexibility equals kindness. This is a major part of the training. Without flexibility and a special attention towards kindness for self and others, the practice becomes a chore. Remind yourself that you are doing this for the benefit of yourself and for all beings everywhere.