The so-called ‘quest’ that I facilitated each year since 2002 on the land in Hiram (with the exception of last year because of my knee surgery) is now morphing into
The Earth Circle Spiritual Retreat.
It will be held here at my home in
West Bath, ME
within the circle of life on this land.
The dates remain the same,
Sunday afternoon, September 21
through Saturday morning, September 27.
EC Spiritual Retreat is being welcomed here by the wonderful pines, the oaks, the fruit trees, the tidal inlet, the extensive garden of 22 raised beds, the studio, our home with its warm running water, toilets and showers, kitchen, deck for outdoor dining area. The property includes several fire circles, plenty of places to camp and for solo time with trees and nature and the possibility of a walking labyrinth manifesting itself under the pines in the area where the sweat lodge once was. A labyrinth, an ancient physical meditation is a much gentler process for the Earth herself than sweat lodge.
How did this shift happen? I assumed that now that my knee is healed and I am healthier than I have been in a number of years, I would of course hold the Nature Healing Retreat, (as I had tried to rename it, even though it continued to be called ‘quest’ by everyone, except me.) on the land in Hiram as usual.
However as time passed, I noticed that I was ‘dreading’ it. And there were only three people even expressing any interest. And I couldn’t find a support person as I had in years past. I thought that that the ‘dread’ feeling would pass as it had in past years, as interest build. But no, interest didn’t build, it almost melted away and the feeling in my body just seemed to deepen. I began to have this nauseous feeling in my body when I thought about it. I began to realize I was pushing something that was not wanting to happen.
A previous ‘quester,’ who I asked if she would be a support person, told me that she couldn’t do it because of the ‘hill.’ This was someone decades younger than me. I began to think, maybe at 73 I am too old to do this. So Peter and I talked about it last Tuesday and with his support, I made the decision that I was ‘done’.
That I would not do it again. Period.
The next morning I announced that decision on a skype call with participants in the Enlightenment Transmission. Dave happened to be on the call. He asked what was wanting to happen in its place. What had that DECISION made room for in my life?
That question opened up a slew of realizations! It was not my age that was making me nauseous when I was thinking of quest. It was not the hill. It was energetic. It was a week without the energetic cleansing of daily showers, the energetics of no easy hand washing before eating or after toileting, the lack of daily green juice nutrition, the need to monitor hydration intake so as not to need to get up at night in the rain to urinate, and other ways in which living in the wild, without easy access to the blessing of water, is an energetic compromise I am no longer comfortable making.
The amazing benefits of ‘quest’: the presence of trees and nature for ‘Forest Therapy’, the presence of the Earth to stand on, lay on, sleep on, heal from (click the links to find references to the science behind these benefits); those benefits are all right here in West Bath along with warm showers, plenty of clean healthy water from the tap and the further opportunity to provide really healthy organic food, or even a green juice cleanse.
The guidance that has become stronger over the years is and has been for this week long experience to be more communal, more interactive, and more responsive to the spontaneous guidance of Spirit and away from the illusions of Native American ‘wannabe’ concepts.
All of that can happen here even more easily than in Hiram.
The vision/ intention of this retreat is of a deep spiritual renewal. The vision is to honor and align with the individual needs of the attending participants and provide for an emotional, energetic and physical cleanse appropriate to each.
I have spoken to the two people who had originally committed to ‘quest’. They are at least if not more enthused with this new evolving vision of a Spiritual Renewal Retreat. I hope this new vision will be appealing to others for whom the quest is no longer a fit.
I am sure the retreat will evolve as participants contribute their intentions and needs.
My vision so far looks like this:
The days will resemble Rest Stop days.
For those of you who may not have come to a ‘Rest Stop’, the day includes things like:
Oshana energy work;
time in a ‘teaching’ circle, in which intuitive awareness is transmitted and shared usually on a particular theme;
healthy vegan lunch;
solo time in nature;
end of the day sharing circle.
The one day events have reportedly been very rejuvenating for participants. Imagine a whole week of them.
I have spoken with Nicole Pelkey. She has offered to support us during the week with her in depth knowledge of healing nutrition and her experience with the Oshana energy work.
I see the theme of the week being:
Honoring and Meeting
the Needs of our Body and Soul.
I see it including:
- Learning about and having a healthy, organic cleansing diet;
- daily cleansing showers;
- daily Oshana energy work;
- daily wisdom teaching, sharing circle of intuitive insights on particular themes;
- Plenty of solo time with Nature and the Earth;
- Time to partner with a tree or other plant spirit;
- Group and solo time communing with and experiencing outdoor elements, (spending time with an outdoor fire, the ocean (a twenty minute drive), swimming in a fresh water pond (if not too cold for you(us) in Sept., a fifteen minute drive);
- Spending time with tidal currents in the inter-tidal zone behind our home,
- Taking a hike alone or together in the dark to make friends with it;
- Being nourished with organic vegan food, much of it from the gardens.
I see the retreat having both residential participants and daily participants. Residential participants have the option to tent, there are numerous tent sites, or ‘camp’ in the studio. We also have a guest room (first come, first serve on that option.)
Daily participants could choose to come from their home, stay in a B&B, or whatever they prefer. There are many options in the area.
I am very enthused about this vision which is so much more in tune with my intuition and the way it has been pushing me for quite a number of years.
It feels very RIGHT to me on so many levels. But this morphing is being announced only 5 weeks prior to the dates this year, so I don’t expect to be inundated with participants, but I am happy to be surprised.
The fee for previous retreats was $750, and is anchored in for those who previously committed to the retreat before it morphed. This retreat will include a diet of prepared organic food, so the fee is now $950. A deposit of $100 is requested to reserve your space. Installment payments are an option for previous participants in my events.
Daily participants need to commit to come for the first day and the last day at least and then can chose which week days they wish to participate in. On week days and the last day they need to arrive by 9 AM. The fee per day for daily attendees is $130 day or $850 for the whole retreat.
I love the land in Hiram, having spent so many years in such intimate connection with it. The day that this vision for a retreat here in West Bath came through, I got the inspiration to call the Northeast Wilderness Trust and offer them ‘first refusal’ on purchasing the land. It adjoins a vast track of land they recently acquired through the gift from a neighbor, which is now called The Earthrest Preserve.
I didn’t know if they even purchase land. I just knew my age with no retirement, I can’t afford to give it to them. I left a message on their voice mail. The next day they called me back. They do purchase land if they can raise the money to do it. They will meet with me on Labor Day to take a look at it and we shall see what wants to happen. I am excited that it might even be possible. That way it would be preserved as wilderness and accessible to former questers or anyone else who choose to enjoy it.
Please spread the word regarding this spiritual retreat to anyone you know for whom it may be a fit. I am very excited to be offering this opportunity. I know it will be a blessing to all of us who attend.
A FAVORITE QUOTE
“When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego, and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get into the forests again, we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power, we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.” - D. H. Lawrence