Marcus Aurelius on Finding a Personal Retreat

Marcus Aurelius on Finding a Personal Retreat September 13, 2016

Retreat. by Kylie_Jaxxon (cc) 2013.
Retreat. by Kylie_Jaxxon (cc) 2013.

As an emperor who spent much of his reign on the front lines of war, Marcus Aurelius knew a thing or two about distraction. And clearly he succeeded in finding time to both write and meditate. He wrote this:

Many seek retreats for themselves. Places in the country, by the sea, in the mountains. We want these. But this is a common mistake. You can retreat into yourself anytime. There is nowhere quieter. Nowhere are you more free. Tranquility is nothing more than the good ordering of the mind. 

Go on this retreat constantly and renew yourself. Develop a set of brief and basic principles so that, when you return to them, they will cleanse your thoughts. Then, return to doing what you must do. (Meditations Bk. IV. 3)

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