I would like to hear how other people's first experience at a retreat was. I want to know whether it was easy for you or was it difficult your first time.
It was very easy.
However . . . some people are not really sure they want to be on retreat . . .
I remember a weekend retreat I went on. Someone was at the gates which were locked. She tugged at them and said, 'The gate is locked. No bell. I think the retreat is canceled!' and began to walk away . . .
I turned the handle and pushed. The gate was open.
So she had made the initial effort but looked rather disappointed the gate was in fact open . . .
As for the chanting and walking and sitting meditation. I consider that a holiday. I have never had a difficulty having a holiday . . .