Amy Sullivan, Jovani, and I have been having a blast bringing our InVisioning & Renewal Retreat to life for the gathering of participants who will join us. As the details are coming together, I am more excited than ever to share these four primal gifts of direct experience that we offer in the design of this retreat.
The Gift of Sacred Silence
We may think we're spending a lot of time in silence while we're on our computer screens or scrolling on our phones or even driving, but Sacred Silence is a conscious listening to the silence itself. Without entertainment or distraction, Sacred Silence allows a deeper, quieter, inner voice to bubble up to the surface. Our own skill and choices determine how we greet what we hear in the Sacred Silence, but the gift is in the practice.
The Gift of Sensory Immersion in Nature
When we experience Sacred Silence in Nature, we have the chance to engage all of our senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and intuition - in the environment. Nature offers constant exchange with our senses, and often inspires awe and wonder. We may feel a deep communion with all elements of life in our ecosystem. With Sensory Immersion, we invite direct interaction with the sensations experienced in nature, rather than labeling, identifying, or naming with our thinking or prior knowledge.
The Gift of Spontaneous Creation
Too often we are hung up on our own ideas about what creation should be, or how we measure up to other people's creations, rather than simply experiencing the process and actions of creating. A spontaneous approach to art and creativity exercises the muscles of intuition, trust, and presence like no other process I know of. In a world of planning and thinking, we celebrate the gift of listening and playing.
The Gift of a Listening Circle
Most of our communication with others is transactional, adversarial, or linear. What is more rare, and must be consciously created, is a circle in which each participant is invited to listen deeply to themselves and to all others in the circle. It is an awareness of all communication being part of the whole. It is a profound act of mutual support, both to give and to receive listening in a group. After our experiences of Sacred Silence, Sensory Immersion in Nature, and Spontaneous Creation, we will engage in a Listening Circle together, to hear and to share what has occurred for each of us during this experience.
Ultimately, the entire retreat is about Listening, at various levels - listening in nature, listening to the body, listening for the inner voice, listening for what wants to happen in each moment, listening to your own heart, and listening to the hearts of others. It feels natural to conclude the day with a circle of listening.
If you are moved to join us next Saturday, February 3rd, at Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center in Half Moon Bay, you may register using this link.
Amy Sullivan has shared on her blog her "AEIOU"s of inner visioning. Check out this list of helpful reminders too!
And if you haven't seen the latest episodes of "Meet Your Facilitators", where I sat down with Jovani, another "mother" of my visual art practice, you can see these new episodes here (featuring original improvised music created by Jovani and me).