Saturday, August 22, 2009

RETREAT: "The great work of the contemplative is gratitude", Thomas Merton




Posted by Picasa

We're fortunate to have Fetzer Institute in my community. I've spent many days/weeks out at their retreat center about a half an hour & a world away!! Beautiful experiences no matter what the season or length of stay, alone or participating in a group.
I organized a stay for a discussion group I am a member of and booked the 8 cottages (ONE IS IN THE PHOTO COLLAGE AT THE TOP IN THE UPPER LEFT CORNER of it) and the large building for group work. Each had their own cottage around the laurel and tucked in the woods. A new experience for some, we gathered for food, stretching, walks, and I taught a little tanka lesson. Off everyone went with the little journals I made for each, and sharing followed. Plenty of solitude and labyrinith walks and wanderings about through the woods, in a stone 'chapel', and around the mini gardens (buddhist, hindi, native, english, .... et al).
two of my tanka here~~~expanded haiku....31 syllables, and by line it's 5,7,5,7,7

The mown path skirts
around the acre's bouquet
of wild,long-stemmed,uncut
flowers that seem to be there
just to call us together.

Women arrive, one
at a time to find their
way back to a Breath.
Gathering, then dispersing for
solitude and sweet dreams.



  1. oh gosh,
    nice post reading
    sipping latte
    in treehouse
    early sun streaming.

  2. Wonderful post Nancy, a retreat put on by you at Fetzer Institute sounds magical. How grand to have a cabin all to oneself and days to walk, write and meditate. One would be remarkably changed by such a retreat. Thank you for sharing.

  3. so beautiful to see the pix of what you emailed me my dear! just beautiful! Such lucky women to get to play with you and have a beautiful journal made by you as a keepsake! xxx

  4. This retreat sounds like soul food. Lucky you to have something so close. Your journals look neat...where they to be used as visual diaries or do they contain your wonderful writing?

    Thankyou for your comment:) Sorry to hear you have the same painting issue as me!

  5. lisa.....the little journals were used to write their little tanka...those 5 line poems, or any other form they felt comfortable with..great sharing followed. and i've heard from some who have written more!!

  6. It sounds blissful. Having ones own cottage and solitude for thought, gathering later. Beautiful tanka describing your experience.

  7. Such beautiful photos of a place that I would love to someday visit. I imagine the gathering you created to be a space in which sacred connections were experienced by all who attended. Just beautiful.