How do you plan your return home from a retreat or vacation? Do you come home at the very last minute, so that the travel is exhausting and the first day back at work is a struggle? Or do you plan to have a day — or at least several hours — to unpack, make sure you have fresh food to eat, and have brought the feeling of vacation back into your home life before getting back to work?
When I was studying on retreat in Arizona, Paul Muller-Ortega took particular pains to emphasize the importance of doing savasana for at least a few minutes after sitting for meditation for a “slow re-entry.” Without the resting time in between practicing/adventuring/celebrating/retreating and working, it is like eating a loaf of bread right out of the oven, rather than giving it at least 10-15 minutes to rest. Right out of the oven, the is too hot and the texture is not right, and we cannot taste how good it is. Give it a chance to rest, and it is exquisitely hot and fresh and perfect.
We need to rest, to reintegrate, to settle or we can feel like there is no point in going on vacation. How many people do you know (perhaps you have said this yourself) who say there is no point in going on vacation because it just makes work harder on return? When I take a shorter vacation/rest/retreat to account for reintegration time, and then fully reintegrate, the rejuvenating properties of getting away definitely last longer.
I returned very late Sunday night. Yesterday I practiced at home, did my laundry, cleaned the yoga room, petted the cats, had a massage, did a little reading, cooked delicious food (homemade granola, kitcheree, greens from the garden), and went to sleep early. Now I am off to work, seeking to bring what I learned into my day.