Spirituality

Forest Bathing – Nature Immersion – Deep Listening – A Retreat from SDI (with me!)

We know being in nature is good for us, on many levels. When we go into nature, we encounter life on a different level of being – simpler and yet richer. The constant chatter of our minds is slowed. Our senses are awakened. The air we breath is fragranced with the scents of pine needles and the loam of the soil. Our ears are caressed by the sound of the breeze as it flutters through the leaves and the branches. Our feet feel connected to energies arising from the earth, waiting for us to make and receive that connection. Our fingers lightly sweep across the soft fir needles along the length of a branch. We pause to gently place a hand on the trunk of a tree, breathe in, and on the outbreath acknowledge a true communion. All becomes still, and for a moment it is so quiet we can hear our hearts beating – in tune to the silent rhythm of all that is around us – and we are one note being played in a symphony of Life.

But we are spiritual directors and companions, and as deep listeners we thusly consider benefits beyond ourselves. We recognize, and are invited into, new levels of spiritual companionship. This involves listening to the trees themselves – what are they saying? What do they want to share with us? How can we listen to the story of the trees? It involves listening to the land – the forest itself, and the earth, and the air. In a time of climate crisis and much environmental stress, doesn’t the Earth too need our companionship?

We then retell the story of the trees to one another. We reflect what has been reflected to us, by the trees, to our spiritual companions. And as spiritual companions, we help to create the contemplative containers that will hold these sacred stories and help to weave them into our collective Story. We hold space for the tree, the soil, the sky. We listen for what needs to be shared. We compassionately mirror back, and we see ourselves too. We dissolve into being with all that is. There is no “us and the trees” – there is no separateness. You and I and the trees – we are one.

This unique Journey will offer many points of entry and many opportunities for contemplative community. Come for rest and renewal, you will receive it. If you need spaciousness and solitude, it will be there for you. Take long walks – either with a spiritual companion or not. Learn a new contemplative tool (or several) to take home in your listening service to others. Make a few new friends and get reacquainted with old ones. Drink from the expansive contemplative wells of nature immersion and spiritual companionship. This space is created for you.

With this SDI Journey we are able to offer extremely reasonable pricing, with an additional Early Bird discount if you register before September 30th. We are offering standard single and double lodging, as well as the opportunity to share a cabin with three other companions of your choosing (see the registration form for information on this special opportunity).

Designed by spiritual directors and companions, for spiritual directors and companions, this Journey retreat is sure to nourish, restore, and intimately connect you to Nature, Contemplative Community, and the Essence of your very Being.

  • Learn and practice Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) – from Dr. Jeanette Banashak, trained facilitator.
  • Receive (and offer!) spiritual direction and companionship in the form of 1/1 and group sessions.
  • Daily guided meditation in the mornings and group reflection and attunement sessions in the evenings.
  • We will offer activities to complement and augment the Forest Bathing experience, including walking meditation, spiritual journaling and haiku writing, artmaking and contemplative photography.
  • There will be unprogrammed spaciousness offered all throughout the week – find your own pace and rhythm for introspection and community engagement.
  • We will intentionally set aside space for Emergence – rather than offer specific programming, we will collectively discern what needs to be offered within a durational space, based on what Spirit is arising in you and in others.

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