Loving, Living, Dying: Autumn Practice
October 14-17, 2018 | Breitenbush Hot Springs | Detroit, Oregon
Our lives tumble in streams of love, joy, and wonder. And they plunge through rocky chasms of pain, distress, loss, and letting go. In this retreat, we’ll explore nuances and shades of the whole range of experiences that define what it is to be human.
Stepping away from our daily roles and routines at Breitenbush Hot Springs, we’ll allow beauty, wonder, and our love of the world to mingle with the challenges of loss, anguish, fear, and letting go.
Joy and beauty can be found in every breath, but upheaval, pain, losses, and grief are often close at hand for many of us. They arise in response to trauma and the death of loved ones, and also to the fading of dreams and unraveling of beliefs, to changes in relationships and life circumstances, and instability in world conditions.
By integrating all these textures and colors, allowing their truth into our awareness, we can weave them into whole cloth. With nothing rejected or left out, the tapestry of our lives becomes deep, vibrant, and meaningful.
Using dharma dialogues, teachings, and contemplative tools from a range of traditions (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Sufi, to name a few), we’ll explore the fertile terrain of loving, living, and dying. Shared reflection, discussion, and interactive practices will support us in cultivating skills to carry us through bright sunny days as well as the pounding storms of our lives.
Early risers are welcome to attend optional early morning sessions of chanting and meditation before breakfast. Three practice sessions each day – morning, afternoon, and evening – will include silent meditation, reflection, discussion and interaction. These ninety-minute sessions will be balanced with ample time to hike, soak in the hot springs, rest, and enjoy the autumn beauty of the forest.
All are welcome. If you are living with terminal illness or are a caregiver, or a health care provider, please come. If you live with raw or unresolved grief, please come. If you love the world and know that challenges are inevitable in the journey, please join us.
– Retreat starts Sunday, October 14, after dinner and ends Wednesday, October 17, after lunch.
– Sessions are held in the Forest Shelter, between the cabins and the lodge.
– We can arrive at Breitenbush at 3pm Sunday enjoy the pools or trails and settle into our lodging before dinner at 6:00.
– Our first session in the Forest Shelter begins at 7:30, and our closing will end at 11am Wednesday. We’re welcome to stay for lunch and a soak, departing any time before 3pm.
Registration: Call Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. There is no presenter fee; dana for the presenter after the retreat is optional. Lodging rates and facility information are online at Breitenbush.com. Lodging and $63 facility fee are payable to Breitenbush.
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.