For those who do not know what a Guided Imagery Retreat is, I offer this brief description as I have now made this retreat for four years from January 2-9. We begin the first afternoon with prayer and a short session where we listen to music and then fill out in the present tense what we saw or experienced during this shorter exercise which helps us to remember to be aware not only of all the images, but also feelings and sensations. Then, every other day you have about an hour and a half session with your guide. You are lying on a bed, very relaxed, and your guide plays music that helps you to begin to have images; you are to say out loud whatever you see, feel, hear, and your guide writes it all down and will go over it with you at the end as she often has written things you, or God, or someone, have said that you forgot. Then you spend the rest of the day going over what happened and listing the content, feelings, sensations, and significant images. You see your guide for a half hour every afternoon and this is one of the greatest gifts of the retreat. On the day you do not have a guided imagery in the morning, you are still busy having a dialogue with your most dominant images; looking to see if there are any images you would like to dismiss or ignore, and then looking at the affect of feeling level contained in your image and how does the flow of feelings from your imagery look to you now. You also are to state the major theme of your imagery. Then you look to see what is happening in your life at this time, and finally you write any insights or connections emerging between the material of your imagery experience, prayer, reflection and your conscious present life? You also give a title to your GIM experience. You are to write also what you sense God may be sharing with you, revealing to you about yourself, your world, your God. Then you look to see if there are some Scripture passages that come to mind in relation to your imagery experience, list any wonder questions, and state what seems to be the underlying message.
Now you know why I find this retreat a great deal of work, but it does stay with one and I have found each very fruitful.
I will be sharing more tomorrow on what happened in my first image!