Activities at Spring Retreat

These are the activities from last spring’s retreat.  We will be soon be updating them with new art projects this year.

Friday night session

Mandala

This opening session will start to unfold our theme of listening for what this season holds for us. Centering down, meditations about letting go, listening for the varied ways the fall calls us… we will start to build the container for our time together.

A simple and inviting art project creating Mandalas will open up other ways for us to listen, express, and be surprised.

Join us Friday night and throughout the weekend for engaging yet approachable creativity projects.  Learn what your creations reveal about your inner self and how they can help point to wholeness.   Different activities will be provided throughout the weekend, supplying an ongoing source of evolving insight.

For more information about the art projects go to Art Projects.

Guided Meditation: Letting Go

Throughout the retreat we will practice short periods of guided and silent meditation.  These practices will help you slow down your restless “monkey mind”, the mind which jumps capriciously from one tree (thought) to another.  We will use techniques such as visualization, mantra, and walking meditation.

Saturday morning session:

The “gathering in” that harvesting calls us to will be different for each person, and this session will go wide, offering myriad, perhaps surprising, ways to think of harvesting’s call to you now: Reclamation, remembering, mindfulness, surprise, avoidance, loss and more… this time will offer many lenses to look at the mystery of what to harvest, when.

The Art Project

Why create art at a contemplative retreat?  We find that art-making can be a meditative process.  Some of us have not created since we were young and certainly few of us set aside regular time for creating.  It can be fun and freeing to explore our imaginative side.  All of us have a creative spark, and can no doubt recall pleasant times as a youth coloring or making objects in art class.

The creativity project follows Nina’ss presentation on the theme.    The presentation is rich, varied and provides much food for thought.  Creating provides focus on a physical process, while the atmosphere of stillness provides the freedom for our minds to reflect on the presentation.  It has been said that “meditation within activity is better than meditation within stillness.”  Notions seeded by Nina’s presentation have opportunity to develop while one is busy cutting, painting, embroidering or collage-making.

The focus of the creative time is the process, not the result.  The process of object making in silence is settling, relaxing and sometimes insightful.   The resulting objects are very personal, an extension of ourselves and sometimes a window into our life.  The environment is encouraging, appreciative and supportive of all efforts.

PrayerFlag

Our art project for Saturday is one of our favorites, creating prayer flags.  Past retreat participants have hung their flags in their gardens, their sacred spaces, and their offices.  The one shown in this picture is hung on a bedroom wall, reminding the occupant to sleep in peace.

 

 

Dream Workshop:  “Dreams:  Messengers of Wholeness”

In this fun, revealing mini-workshop you will learn a method to work with your nighttime dreams that both honors the dream’s uniqueness to you, and also helps you see what the dream may be trying to say that is hidden.  All the workshop participants become helpers in the process, in this easy-to-learn yet surprisingly helpful method.

Social Time and Dinner

After spending much of the day in silence, some of us just want to talk.  Now is the time! Be aware. We just may find our conversations are much deeper than what we usually experience at dinner parties.

Sunday Morning Gentle Stretch

This session is for all ages and abilities.  Our leader, the Reverend Robert Close, has been teaching his very popular “hilarious holy yoga” for years.  This may change your mind about yoga.