If you feel drawn to spending several days in silence, you are welcome to join us. Silence is a wonderful way to come to stillness. Silence helps to slow down. Through silence we become more aware and we start noticing our environment and our life in a different way. Silence dusts the mirror of our soul and helps to grow closer to our essence.
We will spend five days in silence, starting Wednesday evening (Feb 7) after supper and ending Tuesday morning (Feb 13), with a sharing on Monday evening. External silence, the absence of words and a quiet environment, helps to come closer to an internal silence, one where the racing thoughts slow down and we can really listen to ourselves and be in touch with our environment in different ways. We will try to leave behind what distracts us from internal silence and we will engage what helps foster stillness. Generally speaking, this may mean that we leave behind books, computers and phones and we engage in walks, journal writing, art, meditation, yoga etc. Of course, our individual journeys vary in what helps and hinders our silence.
For many of us it is not easy to be silent and to become still. Paradoxically, practicing silence in groups is easier than doing this alone. Therefore, we will form some kind of a silent community by being in the same house and sharing our meals together. In addition, a couple of times a day there will be an opportunity to spend 30 minutes as a group in silence in the same space, for those who wish. The rest of the journey is an individual one.
When we enter into silence, we enter a bit into the Unknown. We do not know what will happen, the journey will likely be with ups and downs. If at any time during the retreat you will be helped by a brief conversation to enter or re-enter the space of internal silence, I am available on an as needed basis.
Commonweal is a wonderful location to do a silent retreat. It is in Northern California, about 90 minutes from either San Francisco or Oakland’s airports. It is located on a 60-acre site at the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
As a group of maximum twelve, we have Pacific House to ourselves. It has twelve private bedrooms and five shared bathrooms. In the fully equipped kitchen, we can prepare our own meals. The past years one person a day volunteered to prepare a simple meal for the whole group. We will likely continue that tradition, unless someone would be interested in cooking and being silent.
I am really looking forward to the retreat and to meeting the silent community we will create together. Below you will find some additional practical information. Reservations on a first come first serve basis. Feel free to forward this document to people whom you think may be interested.
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