Saturday, November 1, 2008
Kairos. It has taken me a week to blog about it because there is so much that can't be explained in the written word. A 28 acre bubble of love and safety in the hills north of Spokane, Washington. Nothing but ponderosas and huge boulders. Run by Catholic nuns, Sisters Florence and Rita, who are true love personified. Dedicated to assisting in the re-discovery of inner peace, inner knowledge, no matter what the religion. (or lack of one, in my and many cases) We each get a tiny hermitage. Mine, Francis, is the most remote of all of them, however I am still close enough to the main house to feel safe and comfortable. Our retreats are in total silence, with fabulous vegetarian meals served twice daily. Breakfast is on our own, which is so perfect. Snuggle in the hut with hot tea and fruit, or take it out onto one of the endless boulders-with-a-view! For so many years on St. John I had heard about silent retreats and been intimidated by them, even though in my deepest knowing place, I knew I would do them someday. For my first one, exactly one year ago, I woke up the first morning of silence and thought I was supposed to "do" something. I wrote in my journal wondering if I was "doing it" right...and then just got a feeling of all over joy and realized it is simply about being. Not doing. Doing is about obligation. Being is about our original purpose that we have forgotten. Joy. Love. Simplicity. That's it. Since then, and on this third silent retreat, I flow into it with no expectations and no doubt. We enter and then come out of silence with a non-religious ritual, which is walking a labyrinth (see my website) and Eloiwa's www.heart-sounds.com beautiful music with her harp and crystal singing bowls (among many other instruments). During the silence I just walk, sing (yup, I let myself do whatever I want!!), talk to bugs, just be. The silent meals as a group have turned out to be the most life-altering thing for me. It is hard to imagine it before you do it, but it is TOTAL LIBERATION and a re-focusing on self. Especially for a rather co-dependent, people pleaser like myself. :) I am ready for a little longer period of silence. For the next one I might go there by myself a few days early. Here are some photos from Kairos. There will always be room if any of my out of town friends want to come to one!