“Part of the Whidbey Institute’s path is to help people find their own authentic center point, the place in themselves where they are able to be at ease, to be resilient, to be flexible, and to be at peace.” —Joel Shrut

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Ourselves, Growing Older 2015 Retreat

May 8, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Ourselves, Growing Older: a weekend retreat to write and listen, alone and together
The intention of the retreat is to offer a time to write, listen, and be fully present to the realities of growing older.  We begin Friday at 1 pm, after lunch on your own, and end Sunday at 2 pm, after lunch at Chinook.

We will have a simple, spacious structure to explore privately and together our thoughts and feelings, our fears and hopes about growing older. We’ll use dialogue, creative writing, materials in the Art Barn, music, and being with ourselves and with nature in silence as means to deepen our reflections. Friday afternoon, we settle in, meet for our first dialogue session (adapted from Bohm dialogue, with its emphasis on deep listening to words arising from silence), followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). We will then have a time of silence before dinner to walk the land or rest, read, write, draw. We’ll have dinner together, prepared by Chinook chef, Christyn Johnson. After dinner, we’ll have a second dialogue session, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). Breakfast Saturday morning will be followed by silence (with an optional yoga session led by Paul Finley at 10 am). The silence will continue until lunchtime, with time to write, walk, draw, rest, muse. Lunch will be joyfully social.  At 3, we will gather for our third dialogue session, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). Dinner will be prepared by Christyn. Following dinner we will gather for “open mic” to share poems and short essays written by ourselves or others on the subject of growing older and perhaps a singing session with Paul accompanying on the piano. Sunday will be our fourth dialogue session, after breakfast, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). We’ll gather after lunch in the dining hall to close our weekend. Then, clean up and leave-taking at 2. This is Mother’s Day weekend, so we are ending at 2 to allow those who have a Mother’s Day dinner to have time to celebrate.

If interested, please call Mary Holscher at (206)524-0704 or email her at maryholscher@mac.com.  There is still space available for one or two more people to stay at Chinook (or off-site at a reduced fee of $325, to include the retreat and all meals).  If you can’t come this year and want to be added to the contact list for the Spring 1916 retreat, please let Mary know by email.


May 8, 2015
May 10, 2015