Personal Sabbaticals

taking time out for rest & recreation

8. Personal Day of Rest 8
Personal day of rest
Personal Sabbatical - swimming
Personal Sabbaticals - 3 Day Seasonal Sabbatical

The broader meaning of sabbatical refers to a period of time during which someone does not work at his or her regular job and is able to rest, travel, do research, etc.

A change from a regular routine. 

In the ancient Greek Sabbatical is related to the Sabbath, to rest.

We trace the origins of both sabbatical and Sabbath to the Greek word sabbatonSabbaton itself traces to the Hebrew word shabbāth, meaning “rest.”

sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός)) is a rest or break from work

Sabbatical means ‘leave from work’. Communitarians observe ‘leave from work’ one full day per week to rest from physical and mental labour, as well as, rest from social engagements. Communitarians devote this day to rest, recreation, reflection, reading and research.

Within the communal unions, the usual day to observe the weekly personal sabbatical is Saturday. However, the weekly day of rest is not fixed by adherence to any tradition or constitution. As such, the day communitarians observe a weekly day of rest will vary from communitarian to communitarian and union to union depending on the demands associated with the various ‘Right Livelihood’ enterprises as well as the support needs of people, plants, projects and animals within the communal unions. 

Celebrating Freedom from Slavery by 'Holding All Things in Common'

Communitarians observe both a personal and a communal ‘day of rest from labours’ as a recognition and demonstration that as a united community which ‘holds all things in common’, we are enabled to claim ‘freedom’ from exploitive systems that demand excessive toil, stress and neglect of children, the elderly and infirmed, animals and the environment.

Both the observance of the personal sabbatical and the communal day of rest are reminders that communitarians belong to evolved cultures of free people.  Akin to the Jewish communities, as well as, other communitarian peoples throughout the ages, these two weekly ‘Rest Days’ remind us that by ‘holding all things in common’ we can escape slavery.  By resting’ from labour two full days per week, communitarian unions keep the universal law of freedom alive and active, presenting it as a path for all peoples to adopt and thus escape enslavement.

The observance of weekly sabbaticals from engagement in labour has a long history.  The roots of rest from work have their origins in words such as Shabbat, Shabbes, Shobos and Sabbath in cultures as old as Judaism and with variations associated with all Abrahamic law-based religions that include Christianity and Islam.

According to Jewish religious law, the observance of Shabbat, which is a derivative of Sabbath, meaning (cessation of labour), begins on Friday evening a few minutes before sunset and concludes on Saturday evening, on dusk when three stars can be seen in the sky. The lighting of candles and the recital of a blessing ushers in the celebration of the weekly Shabbat – day of rest.

Benefits of Regular 'Time Out'

For millennia, religious leaders along with the medical profession have recognized that rest is a requirement of both mental and physical health and wellbeing including increased resilience under stress, stronger immune system, greater inner peace and improved relationships. 

Those who are older or recovering from accident or illness, often rest for two consecutive days per week to support a return to health. However, most will not forfeit the Celebration of Sunday to gather and participate in the communal feast, lectures and entertainment.

Social Fasting

‘Alone Time’ activates a different brain pathway that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping us wind down from all the cortisol and adrenaline that coursed through our veins during the week. Recharging, whether in the form of reading, sleeping or walking in nature, activates the acetylcholine pathway, calming us down and making us more content and joyful.

Observing a Weekly Personal Day of Rest

To understand its meaning at a time when we feel our wheels spinning: A Time Out! A Moment For Regrouping! A Rechecking of Ones Compass! A Sabbath Moment: To Rest, To Play, To Reassess Ones Priorities, To Reflect Where You’ve Come From; Where You Think You Need To Go! What To Hold Onto, What To Let Go!

From the second year of association, on, communitarians observe two personal sabbaticals. The first is a weekly ‘day of rest’ observed as a fast from social engagement as well as resting from all forms of mental and physical ‘toil’. The second is observed as a longer retreat at the beginning or end of each season. 

Observing Seasonal Retreats

The second type of personal sabbatical is observed as a longer period of social fasting. Throughout the year, at the beginning of each season, communitarians retreat to be alone in nature. Seasonal sabbaticals are usually span 3 days to a week. Rarely longer, as most communitarians have responsibilities. 

A time to test resilience. A time to ‘Know Thyself’ before returning to union with renewed clarity and vigour to contribute to the development and continuation of liberated love in action. 

Seasonal Sabbaticals are the perfect time for reflection as well as regrouping.