Loving, Living, Dying: Turning Toward Home
October 13-16, 2019 | Breitenbush Hot Springs | Detroit, Oregon
Impermanence and change shape our experience of life. They confront us in shattered dreams and crumbling beliefs; in the loss of a job, or health, or a home; in the death of a precious loved one; or in facing trauma or a terminal condition.
The challenges of change also show up in myriad social and political conditions – in a changing neighborhood, the loss of forests and oceans, extinctions of species, the crisis of division that threatens our society.
Call Breitenbush at 503-854-3320 to register.
Impermanence also shines in bright bursts of creativity and energy, in the brilliance of a sunbreak after rain, the spontaneous kindness of strangers, the scents and colors of the seasons, the emergence of new relationships, and the unfolding of new ideas.
In this retreat we’ll explore the unending circles of coming and going, joy and sorrow, living and dying. Please note, this isn’t a drop-in offering. The material progresses session to session, and continuity within the group supports the depth of openness for everyone.
The only cost is lodging and facility fees; there is no retreat fee. Register by phone with Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. Venue and accommodation details are at Breitenbush.com; dana for the presenter is optional.
Who should come?
If you are living with terminal illness, or love or care for someone who is, or if you’re a medical professional or volunteer, please come. If recent loss or long-untended grief is filling you, please come. If the instability of the world right now feels overwhelming, please come. If you’re drawn to any aspect of this path, you are welcome.
Please note: Though offered without charge, this is not a drop-in retreat. Continuity and commitment to engage in the full retreat (see below) enhances the depth of the work.
These retreat days offer the opportunity to explore love and joy, grief and pain, and how we experience the instability and unpredictability that life delivers to us. We’ll use dharma teachings, meditations, and practices from Buddhism, advaita vendanta, and the bhakti path, along with shared reflection, interactive exercises, and contemplative means. With those timeless skills, we’ll move beyond our habitual perspectives to cultivate a wider view of the soft mists and pounding torrents that shape our lives.
Program sessions run from approximately 9:30–11:00 am, 3:30–5:00 pm, and 7:30-9:00 pm, balanced with time to hike, soak in the hot springs, rest, integrate, and enjoy the beauty of Breitenbush.
Early risers can attend optional periods of chanting and meditation, 7:00-8:00 am, before breakfast. Later, three sessions each day – morning, afternoon, and evening – will include contemplative practices, group discussion and reflection, and personal and interactive exercises.
- The program starts after dinner Sunday, October 13, and ends Wednesday, October 16, after lunch.
- Arrive at Breitenbush at 3:00 pm Sunday to enjoy the pools or trails, then settle into your cabin at 4:00 pm. Dinner will be at 6:00 pm.
- Sessions are held in the Forest Shelter, between the cabins and the lodge. Our first session begins at 7:30 pm Sunday, and we will close on Wednesday between 11:00–11:30 am.
- After closing, we vacate our cabins by 1:00 pm, then stay for lunch or a hike or soak, and depart by 3:00 pm.
- While there is no fee for the retreat, this program is not drop-in by nature. Each session builds on our previous work, and it’s appreciated if all who register participate in the full retreat.
Visit Breitenbush.com for facility rates and details. Register now by calling Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. Space will be limited.
Betsy Toll is founder of Living Earth. She volunteers as a chaplain, supporting dying individuals and those who love them, and also offers workshops, retreats, dharma programs in the Portland area. Her primary teaching influences include Ram Dass, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Joanna Macy. Their wisdom and generosity illuminate the dharma trail and have helped shape her work.