January Retreat, Bowen Island, B.C.: Winter: A Season of Listening and Becoming Jan.18-20, 2013
Winter is too often thought of merely in negative terms. It is portrayed as a season of discontent; a season of bleak, white stillness; of freezing desolation and barrenness; a season to simply hunker down and get through.
But winter also restores clarity to life. Falling leaves reveal the contours of landscapes that have long been hidden from view. Snow brightens and illuminates, bringing light to forested depths where shadows once reigned. Sounds become both hushed and amplified, and we begin to hear the world around us in a way we have never heard before.
Join us at the Rivendell Retreat Centre from January 18-20 to explore the ways winter can restore clarity in your own life. Learn of its mysteries from writers such as Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Thomas Merton, Thomas Moore, May Sarton, John O’Donohue, and R.M. Rilke. Reflect on their words through journaling, discussions, and through guided hikes through lush forested trails with your group. Notice the relative ease with which you can see the contours of the landscape through the bare branches of the cottonwoods. Consider how this metaphor might apply to the inner landscape of your own life. Reimagine winter not simply as a season of loss, but a season of deep waiting; one in which nature is merely pausing to allow more robust forms of identity to gestate and emerge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This retreat is based at a Christian retreat center, but the retreat agenda itself is not faith-based. It will appeal to those who appreciate good poetry, reflection, and extended group walks in the rugged outdoors. Trail hikes will figure prominently, and will demand a moderate level of fitness and endurance. Those wishing to participate should be comfortable carrying a day pack for two to four hours on winding, uneven terrain with exposed roots, rocks, etc. Those opting not to go on the extended walks may choose to remain at Rivendell Centre to read, write, meditate, or simply relax.
ACCOMMODATION: Comfortable twin (shared) or single rooms at the beautiful Rivendell Retreat Centre on Bowen Island, B.C. For photos and details about the Rivendell philosophy, see www.rivendellretreat.org
MEALS: Two breakfasts and catered dinners included. Daily group lunches at Snug Cove Café (not included)
COST: $295.00 CAD (before Dec.18); $325 after Dec.19. Fee includes all breakfasts and dinners, lodge accommodation, workshop fee, and guide services. Fee does not include lunches or ferry transport to and from Bowen Island.
For more details and registration information, visit www.innerlandscapes.org