Gathering within...

 (c) A. Furchert, 2014 @ Stanford University

(c) A. Furchert, 2014 @ Stanford University

A winter solitude invitation

In our last blog post we reflected on the art of solitude and introduced you to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and his letters to a young poet.

Today we offer you a special invitation for our upcoming winter solitude cloister retreat at the end of this month. With this we hope to create a space of rest and rejuvenation for all of you who long for a time of quiet and reflection and also those who feel they have not yet fully arrived in the New year. Just as winter is a season of resting and deepening, in which life's forces work in hidden ways, our soul's winter solitude may be preparing us for new awakenings. 

Since this is a late notice opportunity and we only have a small number of rooms available, we encourage you to make your reservation as soon as possible. We are looking forward to welcome you to our winter solitude with some wine and cheese around the fire place at the beautiful St. Johns Abbey guesthouse. 
 

Pausing at the threshold

In our turn of the year cloister retreat we used an evocative image of the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard: He describes the human journey through life as a path providing each of us two eternal guides at the way side: "the one calls forward, the other calls back."

Still both guides do not contradict each other or confuse the wanderer by their "double call", instead they are in "eternal understanding with each other:"

 

"The two guides call to a person early and late, and if he pays attention to their calls, he finds the road and can know where he is on the road, because these two calls determine the place and indicate the road, the call of regret perhaps the better, since the casual traveler who goes down the road quickly does not get to know it as does the traveler with his burden. The one who is only striving does not get the road as well as does the one who regrets; the former hurries ahead to something new, to something new -- perhaps also away from the experience; but the one who regrets comes along afterward, laboriously  gathers up the experience."  
                                                                                           ---Søren Kierkegaard

 

Suggested practice
Take some time away from all your doing to sit and be. Take a look from inside on your life's path. Whom or what is calling you from within? Some past experiences longing to be gathered? Or a future task in need of appreciation? What ever it is, cradle it for a while under your heart.


Blessing

May the winter of your soul
meet you with quiet enfolding:
under the cold surface
may new life prepare itself to come
may you find in your winter solitude
a place of rest and new beginnings.

AF

Pondering your questions: Buber and Rilke on being "in-between"...

Pondering your questions: Buber and Rilke on being "in-between"...

The Art of Solitude

The Art of Solitude