After the Retreat
The Silence has ended. The Contemplation Room is empty. You've returned home and all your problems and bad habits have laid claim to your mind once again. Where is that peace and equanimity you touched when everything else was put aside? Not to worry--it is still there. It just takes a little more effort to contact it. Don't give up and become complacent. Keep trying. Don't let the mind have its revenge!
Get up a little earlier and go to your cushion. Sit a few minutes before bedtime. Find time during your day and go outside, even for three deep breaths. Look at your closest human being without judgment. When everyone is talking choose to say nothing. Notice how it feels to smile. Enjoy being enlightened one moment at a time.
After the retreat see if you can establish one new habit of mindfulness for your day. I know a man who lives across the river from me, a farmer and a writer and someone much beloved in his community. He's lived here for 50 years and every day he is at home he walks down to the river and stands there looking downstream for a few minutes before returning to his work. He notes the tiny daily changes in the river's flow, the way the light plays on its surface, the vegetation along its banks and the birds he sees. This has been his mindfulness habit for as long as he can remember. Such habits shape a life.