Earthly Peace in the Heavenly Dark
How special a time of year this can be! And yet how complex! The energy, the holidays themselves–these can be, and are supposed to be, life giving and joyful. Yet, this season has an edge, as well. Not only are many of us missing those with whom we used to celebrate gathering in joy and love, but the energy of these December days can themselves be exhausting.
The character of the season becomes obscured by frenzied shopping, party making, cooking, and gathering. Frenzy is the problem. Chanukah, Advent, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa…none of these holidays demand frenetic activity. And still, the quality of this time of year tends to be frantic.
Peace on Earth and in our hearts, we are told. Light faithfully shared will get us through a dark time, we are told. The Light of life is returning, we are told. Community sustains us, we are told.
These days, the biggest complaint I hear about the season is how busy everyone is, how overscheduled, how exhausted.
This season calls for attention, for anticipation, for rest, and most of all, for peace.
How might we gain some peace? How might we sink into the stillness of quiet wonder?
Where Can You Get Some Peace?
There is no trick to finding peace. There is no shortcut. But there are ways to lay our burdens down for a little while. To share a special time with people with whom we travel on this Earthly spin around the Sun.
In fact, we may develop our own traditions, traditions that turn the volume down, that invite contemplation, that enhance our wonder. We need a moment to touch the quiet of the long night, to be present to the deepening dark, to sit with ourselves in this beautiful season.
In a season filled with glitter, gaiety, songs, and eggnog, there is something deeply nourishing about pausing and being present with the darkness and the cold, if cold is what we have within and without us.
I invite you to be nourished. I invite you to a tradition. I invite you to have some peace, some rest, some wonder.
I invite you to a virtual retreat in preparation for the winter solstice.
Come into the Dark
This virtual retreat, Going into the Dark, is a way to set aside a day of reflection, renewal, and rest with the support and companionship of others doing the same.
We’ll meet online together four times over the course of the day. During our calls, we’ll set intentions, listen to and meditate on poetry, listen to and share music, hear stories of the season, and delve deeply into guided meditation.
In between our calls, I encourage each of you to engage in quiet, renewing activities. Maybe that means having a big nap or curling up with tea and a novel. Maybe it means getting out your pencils and coloring. Maybe it means stringing popcorn and cranberries with little ones.
Together we will share the beauty and wisdom of the dark time of the year.
This year’s Going Into the Dark retreat will take place on Saturday, December 15. We’ll meet four times over the course of the day:
8am PT/11am ET
9:30 am PT/12:30pm ET
12:30 pm PT/3:30pm ET
2:30pm PT/5:30 pm ET
We’ll meet on Zoom, an online meeting platform. I’ll have my video on, and you can have your video on or off as you choose.
The cost for the whole day is $150.
Frequently asked questions
How many people will be in attendance?
I keep this retreat small and intimate. There are 12 spaces available.
What if I can’t make all of the calls?
Come anyway! Any amount of getting in touch with yourself and the quiet of the world will be a balm to your soul. One of our retreatants in a previous year could only attend two calls, and yet he spoke of the richness of the day for months thereafter.
I won’t have access to my computer, but I’ll have a phone. Can I still call in?
Yes! In the email you’ll get a day before the retreat, you’ll get phone numbers you can use to dial in via telephone for any or all of the calls.
I really want to do this, but that’s a bad day for me. Can I sign up, get the recordings, and do it myself on a day when I’m free?
Based on feedback from past participants, Going into the Dark will not be recorded this year. This is to protect the sacredness of the retreat and to respect the privacy of all participants.
I’m so excited that you want to share this sacred time with me! Click the button below to sign up.