Here is an idea especially suited to a spring retreat.
My favorite way to "do" this retreat is outdoors - in a park, in the woods, or in a local neighborhood. But you can also take this retreat in a coffee shop, in an airport, or while waiting for your kid to finish soccer practice. If you have an hour, or even a half hour, grab it and take this no-equipment-needed retreat.
Start your retreat by setting an intention to focus on really observing your setting -- whether your setting is the airport concourse or a beautifully landscaped garden. Spend several minutes in one location, observing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations of that location, as well as the overall composition and effect. Alternatively, spend five minutes strolling around focusing on taking in everything you can observe with your eyes - color, texture, size, shape, orientation, composition, etc., and then spend the next five minutes focusing on what you can hear, and so forth through the senses.
Not many people can spend an entire hour in observant wonder. The mind is easily distracted by judgment, thoughts of the past or future, and to-do lists. Consider using part of your time to journal or sketch your observations. Writing or drawing will not only help you observe more closely and keep your attention on your subject, it will also help you capture and process any emotions that arise.
By slowing down and really observing your surroundings, without judgment, you will likely experience one or more of the following benefits:
*A release of tension from your body
*A clearer, more focused mind
*A feeling of connection to the universe
*A renewed sense of lightness of being
*A burst of wonder and joy
We are all born intensely observant, curious and attentive to detail. Each new experience has a wonder-ful quality. But as we "grow up," we often lose that sense of wonder as we hurry through the tasks of life.
Just one moment of wonder-ment can add color to your days, and help you stay in the moment, truly aware of living your life. Try it and observe the results!