Question: What does it mean to enter into retreat mode, as it says in the Death and Dying Check List?
Answer: Avatar Adi Da has said that if someone is dying and their condition is clearly terminal, they should use their time intensively for real preparation and not just be busy being socially and conventionally active. He has said if you have only a short time to live, you do not have any business in this world any more, except for un-linking from it. This is a time to basically handle unfinished business of whatever sort that might be. This form of retreat does not need to be done in solitude nor would one need to be completely sedentary if he or she were still mobile. Taking walks in nature or doing other activities which are calming and meditative in nature would serve the process.
He has said, “Preparation for death is a kind of monastic situation, in which essentially you are involved in the Great Process to the degree that you are mature enough to participate in it, but doing it intensively and relinquishing the mind of attachments and of thoughts that belong to the life in the world.” And he instructed one of his devotees who was approaching the death transition to practice “intensely for the sake of purification and release of conditions in anticipation of this transition, instead of being preoccupied with holding on, or animating a merely social disposition.” The entire practice of the Reality-Way of the Heart serves to prepare us to let go of all attachments to body, mind, and world.