I’m excited to announce my first online class for 2017, Unburden Your Heart: Letting Go Anger, Pain & Fear. In times of social change and confusion, it’s important to travel light. With every abysmal headline and news byte, our burden of painful old stories grows more unwieldy, leaving us less resilient and courageous than we actually are. By unburdening our hearts, we free up our energy to enact positive change in the world, and embody the solution instead of the problem. What could be more hopeful than that?
What a great time I’ve been having as always at Omega Blue Spirit. Stephan Rechtschaffen has created a real life paradise for reflection and renewal, self-exploration, spiritual practice, and being in this superb tropic setting. Howler monkeys, baby turtles hatching on the beach, chartreuse colored birds in the trees. And teaching with old friends and admired colleagues, Roshi Joan Halifax, Joan Borysenko, Elena Brower — big souls all. I look forward to teaching this retreat every year. Next week, Australia. Peace.
I’m happy to be returning to the Omega Blue Spirit retreat center in Costa Rica in 2017. I’ll be teaching “Writing To Awaken: Spiritual Memoir as a Healing Path” from January 7-14. Located on the Pacific coast, Blue Spirit offers participants the opportunity to sample from the week’s courses as they choose, and I’m delighted to be teaching this year with Roshi Joan Halifax and Joan Borysenko among others. I hope to see you there! Click here for more info and registration.
I had a great group at Esalen for this year’s Writing To Awaken Workshop. Forty-five participants in the brand new Aldous Huxley room above the newly refurbished main building, and what a group it was! The intimacy, trust, and mutual respect that can form among a group of total strangers in a weekend’s time never ceases to amaze me. Folks wrote on a variety of topics — “The Mother’s Gaze,” “Awakening Genius,” “Locating the Sacred in Everyday Life” — challenging subjects that helped them break new ground, psychologically and spiritually, sharing their writing and experiences with the larger group. Thanks everyone for your commitment, creativity, and courage! I hope that our paths cross again soon.
It was a pleasure to return to Hollyhock this summer to teach Writing To Awaken. This year’s group was inspiring and wonderful, as was Cortes Island itself. This small island off the coast of British Columbia is home to a fascinating community of artists, seekers, and cultural icon who spend time in this exquisite, peaceful place. One night, Rupert Sheldrake, the famed biologist and author, was interviewed by a well-known priest on the subject of “Pilgrimage in Contemporary Life.” Another day, our friends Chloe Goodchild (“The Naked Voice”) and Oriane Lee Johnston invited us on a boat trip on the beautiful sailboat, Misty Isles. Hollyhock is a superb location to do deep writing and I look forward to returning against next August.
What a wonderful week we had in France. The Writing To Awaken: The Story of Your Life retreat prompted excellent work from our group, who hailed from around the world (Australia, Iceland, U.K. U.S.) and supported each other famously. Thanks to all for your wholehearted participation. And to our hosts, Mike and Susie, for welcoming us again at Le Perchoir des Paons in Gindou and to Florence Lombard for welcoming us into her home again. Hope to see you again next year!