The Art and Wisdom of Being Human. A Virtual Retreat

Dear Friends,

In these times there seems to be an intensification of global suffering and the anxiety that comes with it. It also seems that a good portion of this anxiety is a result of feeling helpless in the face of the constant reminders of all that is going “wrong” in the world. During this retreat we will use practices of meditation, small group exchanges, silent engagement with the natural world, and creative expression to help lift the blanket of overwhelm a little, and to bring awareness to the inherent capacities that each human being has to relieve suffering for ourselves and for others.

Creative Expression Practice

There will be six sessions of working with a creative expression during the weekend. You will choose between poetry, drawing, and whittling. These practices will not be geared toward making art, or acquiring a specific artistic skill. Instead, we will use the creative expression practices to begin to free the body, heart, and mind from habitual patterns of achieving, expectation, self doubt, clinging and avoiding. This freeing of the creative spirit can awaken our unique approaches to the natural capacities for spontaneous, kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, with the hope that we will be able to meet suffering, anxiety and overwhelm in daily life with more confidence, and from our deep well of inherent, human goodness.

The recommendation is that you chose a creative practice that you are least familiar with. Supplies that you will need to provide for creative expression:

Poetry: journal and writing tool

Spontaneous Drawing: Graphite and/or colored pencils, and soft pastels. Click here for an example.  Drawing paper at leasst 18′ X 24″.

Woodcraft: Whittling knife and sandpaper. Click here for a good starter knife.

The retreat will happen on Zoom rom the evening of June 20 through the morning of June 24, (These are new dates.) Over the three full days and two partial days we will use meditation practice, small group exchanges and three forms of creative expression to contemplate and inquire into the basic wisdom and creativity of humanness.

Although the retreat will be on Zoom, we will be limiting actual screen time to a few hours per day. There will be times to engage with nature during breaks and during the creative practices, so being in a quiet place with easy access to outdoors would be very beneficial.

Please download the Zoom app before the first day of the retreat. If you have not worked with Zoom before, begin to familiarize yourself with it. More detailed instructions and sign-in codes will be provided once you have registered.There are no fees for participation in the retreat and everyone is welcome regardless of experience in meditation or creative expression. Feel free to forward this invitation to anyone who you think might enjoy and benefit from the retreat.

To register use this link. https://form.123formbuilder.com/5838522/2024-june-retreat-registration-form

The instructions for registration are pretty straightforward, and if you have questions or are not able to register please email William at: wrgentner@gmail.com

If you cannot attend the entire retreat, you are welcome to participate by dropping into the meditations or dharma talks. Please go ahead and register so that I can send you the links for those.

I look forward to retreating with you!
Warmest ease,
William

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