I just got back from a 4 day self-retreat. My standard has been Buddhist (Insight) meditation retreats (like at IMS). This was different. I went to a place called the East Mountain Retreat Center which is a sweet little ecumenical retreat center in the southern Berkshires. The director, who is a retired UCC minister, met with me once a day, and taught me some interesting, more Christian based, practices (like centering prayer, and a brief introduction to the Ignatian exercises) which I had been curious about, and wanted to compare with the Buddhist practices I'd been exposed to.
Just getting away, of course, is incredibly useful. For me, it was the demarcation from my life as a technology consultant/programmer, etc. to my life as a seminarian. I was quiet, meditated, did a little yoga, I read a fair bit, drew and painted, wrote, just sat with myself for hours. It was such a treat. The food was good, and simple, and everything was uncomplicated. It was nice to be in the woods of New England (I was realizing how much I will miss them.)
Amazingly, I feel ready to start this packing, selling, moving, etc. process - much more ready than I felt on Friday.