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Ourselves, Growing Older 2016 Retreat

May 13, 2016 - May 15, 2016


A creative retreat, alone and together.

Host Mary Holscher shares this invitation:

The intention of the retreat is to offer a time to reflect, write, create, listen, and be fully present to the realities of growing older. Chinook has been a lovely part of my life for four decades and I welcome the opportunity to share the whole of the Chinook land with you. We begin Friday at 11:30 AM (to get settled before lunch at 12:15) and end Sunday at 12:30 (before lunch).

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, art, and being with ourselves and with nature in silence as means to deepen our reflections. We will share delicious, organic meals together prepared by Chinook’s wonderful chef, Christyn Johnson. 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. 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 final dialogue session, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). Following dinner, each participant will choose one of three options for a creative session: Poetry, Song-Writing and Drawing from Nature/Self-Portraits. 

Sunday will be our second round of creative sessions (participants will remain with the same small group both days). We’ll have a closing session in Thomas Berry Hall at 11:15, with an opportunity to share our poems, songs, and art and gather for final reflections. Leave-taking will be by 12:30.

The cost for the retreat is $485. This includes two nights lodging and meals from Friday lunch through Sunday breakfast, as well as snacks.  We have room for 21 participants staying on-site and 2 for retreat, meals and snacks only, in addition to Paul and me. Secure one of the spaces (first come, first served on room selection) with a non-refundable $200 deposit mailed to:

Mary Holscher

6715 Phinney Avenue N.

Seattle, WA 98103.

Additional information about food, lodging, a Whidbey Institute Welcome Packet, and final fee payment will be provided upon receipt of registration. Email  or call me at (206) 524-0704 with questions. 

I look forward to sharing this special time and place to write, create, talk, and be together with you!




May 13, 2016
May 15, 2016