Monday, December 2, 2013

Waiting in the Night, Welcoming the Dawn: A Mindful Advent

Waiting in the Night, Welcoming the Dawn:

A Mindful Advent

* online retreat *


Advent is here again. Advent awaits us. Advent embraces us. 

Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, is a time of slowing down, even as the preparations for Christmas in the surrounding society speed up. In this season of waiting for Christ, we take in the good news slowly, steadily, lighting candles one at at time, adding a new insight, a layer of understanding, a little light every week. Advent challenges our impatience and invites us to enter God's patience.

Yet Advent is also a time to enter God's impatience, a time when prophets challenge our apathy and paralysis and urge us forward, a time in which the stories and songs in the scriptures speak of a God who longs to transform our hearts, our society, and creation itself --soon, now, urgently.

One of the challenges of this season is to figure out the connections between our time and God's time, to readjust and balance our sense of time, to discern when it is appropriate to enter into God's patience and when it is time to enter into God's impatience.
  
Advent and Christmas are also a celebration of space, of God entering human space, dwelling in human space, in the most intimate way possible: by becoming human. The celebration of word become flesh, the discovery that God-the-other is also God-with-us (Emmanuel in Hebrew) --that is the good news of Advent.

We celebrate in Advent God's invitation for us to view our space --our society, our environment, our neighbor, our own flesh-- as sacred, pregnant with justice and hope, filled with hidden treasure.
 
Would you like to live Advent more mindfully?

Are you excited about Christmas?

Or is the holiday season difficult for you because of grief, depression, or addiction?

Do you feel a call to deepen and enliven your faith life?

For any of those reasons and more, 
you may find this online retreat helpful.
  
Waiting in the Night, Welcoming the Dawn offers resources and practices organized according to a steady rhythm:

* Sunday (or Saturday evening): a pause to ponder each new week of Advent with the scripture readings in the Sunday lectionary.

* Mindfulness Monday: guidance into a spiritual practice to focus the beginning of each work week. 

* Midweek check-in on Wednesday night or Thursday morning: a time to pause in the midst of our busy lives and touch base again with the message(s) of the Advent season, to listen, gaze, remember, dream, and discern.

* Extra gifts here and there: a piece of music, a bit of wisdom, an image to contemplate, a saint's feast to celebrate. We will commemorate special days within the season: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sankta Lucia, the O Antiphons.
 
A set of practices will accompany us throughout this Advent retreat:

naming 
listening
gazing
remembering
imagining
discerning
committing acts of hope

Though this retreat is not exclusively 
for people who have a hard time with the holiday season, 
it is particularly mindful of them 
while attending also to the season's invitation to joy.

An online retreat? How does that work?

* An online retreat does not mean you spend all your retreat time at the computer! The online dimension offers readings, images, music, spiritual exercises, and other resources, but they are there to nourish, challenge, and dwell with you in your daily life. What the online dimension does is enable you to go on retreat in a way that suits your weekly schedule and rhythm of life and to tailor the resources to your own need while receiving gentle guidance.

* The retreat offers these resources online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.

* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.

* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.


Registration


To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net. I will send you full registration instructions with payment address (if you have chosen to pay by check) and online sign-up information. 


Cost
 
$ 90
Note: You have the option to prolong the retreat through the 12 days of Christmas until Epiphany at no extra cost. The retreat blog is already set up for it. No extra registration is required.
You may pay

a) by check (write me for the mailing address when you register)

 or
b) by credit card via PayPal (you do not have to have a PayPal account to use this option, though of course if you have a PayPal account, you can pay from that).
    Just click the "Pay Now" button below for a secure PayPal connection.





Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent

A meditation for the beginning of Advent is here on Jane's blog, Acts of Hope.


May this be a blessed season for you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer: A Month of Memory -- November Online Retreat

In Christian traditions, November is sometimes called the month of memory. It begins with the feast of All Saints on November 1, followed immediately by the feast of All Souls or All the Faithful Departed (November 2 goes by different names depending on the tradition).

"Saints" are not just formally recognized or canonized saints, though various traditions in Eastern and Western Christianity do have ways of formally recognizing holy women and holy men and of commemorating them. "Saints" is also the name the early Christians used for themselves and for those who had preceded them in life and death. Saints are our grandmothers and persons we have met on the street, people whom we know only by name and people we know well, companions in faith and struggle, role models and sources of wisdom.

One of the themes in my life's work, including in these retreats, has been the relationship between spirituality and social justice, or what the founding prior of Taizé, Brother Roger, called "struggle and contemplation." Dorothee Soelle, a favorite theologian of mine, spoke of "mysticism and resistance."  

I have found that there is among many people a hunger for deepening this connection between contemplation and justice, so I have designed an online retreat for the "month of memory" that focuses on holy women and men in whom this connection was and is alive. They can become faithful companions to us on our journey as we learn from and about their lives and their writings.



What, when, where

* A month-long online retreat, November 1-30.

* Read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule and lifestyle.

* You'll need 15 minutes of focused time every couple of days.

 * Reflect on the life and writings of companions in justice and prayer, pray with them, learn from them.

* We will learn about and from three companions a week through

* a brief passage from each companion's writings (not always from a book; our sources are also journals, letters, speeches, poetry, sermons...);
* some biographical information;
* a spiritual exercise for you to practice or a prayer or meditation related to the companion of the day.
* Our companions will be mostly from this past century, many deceased, some still alive. They will include (among others) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, William Stringfellow, Pauli Murray, Oscar Romero, Desmond Tutu, Bayard Rustin, Clarence Jordan, Cesar Chavez, Maria Skobstova, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye



Cost

* $75 if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after Oct. 16) if you are a recently furloughed government worker, if you are unemployed, or if you are a student or retiree on limited resources.
* $90 if you register from Thursday, October 17 on. (You may join the retreat any time during the first ten days of November.)

* Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

 
An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above, with some images as well to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.


* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.


* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

* Here is a recent article about online retreats in which I am quoted.



Registration

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net. I will send you full registration instructions with payment address and online sign-up information. (Both of these are simple.)

Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.


Initially posted September 12. 
Edited and reposted October 21 to move the announcement toward the top of the blog.

Note: I am also running a nine-day retreat (with daily check-in) focused on the life and wisdom of Dorothy Day, beginning October 31 and ending November 8: Dorothy Day: A Novena Retreat. Interested? Have a look here. Also note that there is a "package deal" if you wish to take both retreats.

Dorothy Day: Online Novena Retreat October 31-November 8

No time for a retreat? Think again...

Interested in radical Christian commitment, justice, and mercy?



Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day: A Novena Retreat 

What, when, where


* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, October 31-November 8, 2013, with the help of the writings of Dorothy Day (Nov. 8, 1897 - Nov. 29, 1980).
Click here for an informative essay on Dorothy Day. See also at the bottom of this post for a brief biographical description.
* Simple and accessible:

one quote per day
one spiritual exercise per day
one prayer per day


* At home, in your daily life: read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

* You'll need 20 minutes a day of focused time and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* $45 if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16 (or if you are financially strained; see below).

* $55 if you register between Thursday, October 17 and Thursday, October 31 .

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge.

"Novena retreat" ?

A novena is a sequence of nine successive days of prayer–usually prayers of either petition or thanksgiving. It is generally a public and popular spiritual practice and is found most often in the Roman Catholic religious tradition.

I am using the word “novena,” meaning nine days, as part of the description of this retreat to indicate that it is nine days long and involves daily meditation and prayer.


Dorothy Day was a Roman Catholic, but the novena retreat is ecumenical and open to all. It is a new twist on the traditional novena.

An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above, with some images as well to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.


* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.


* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

* A recent article about online retreats in which I am quoted.


Registration

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net. I will send you full registration instructions with payment address and online sign-up information. (Both of these are simple.)

Cost

* $45 if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after Oct. 16) if you are a recently furloughed government worker, if you are unemployed, or if you are a student or retiree on limited resources.
* $55 if you register between Thursday, October 17 and Thursday, October 31.

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

I will send you the mailing address when you write me to register.

Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.



Dorothy and daughter Tamar Theresa
Dorothy Day (1897-1980) is best known as the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, an anarchist, pacifist, lay Catholic Christian movement, and of the newspaper by the same name. Journalist, activist, mother, speaker, she was also a person of prayer whose Roman Catholic religious observance cannot be separated from her work for social and economic justice and peace and from what Christian tradition calls “the works of mercy.”

Initially posted September 12. 
Edited and reposted October 21 to move the announcement to the top of the blog.

Note: I am also running a month-long online retreat beginning November 1, "Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer; A Month of Memory." Interested? Have a look here. Also note that there is a "package deal" if you wish to take both retreats.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Contemplation and Justice in the Season of Saints

Do you have (or want to develop) a commitment to integrate
contemplative practice and prayer
with
 active concern for justice and peace?

Two online retreats can support you on this path.

They begin at the end of this month. 
Both are in the Christian tradition
One is nine days long and the other lasts for one month.  

Read on to see which one may be best for your rhythm of life. 
You are, of course, welcome to participate in both retreats.

(1) A Novena Retreat with Dorothy Day



       * October 31-November 8
                                             A daily 15-minute commitment.

        * Each day for 9 consecutive days:

              one quote by Dorothy Day
              one related spiritual exercise
              one prayer

       * $45  if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.

        * $55  if you register between Thursday, October 17 and Thursday, October 31.

       * Registration is open now. To register, write readwithredmont@earthlink.net.

       * More details about this retreat here.

You are welcome to take both retreats, in which case you are also welcome to a "package deal" of $135 if you register from Oct. 17, $110 if you register by Wed. Oct. 16 or are economically strained. 

(2) Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer: 
              A Month of Memory

      * November 1-30
                                          15 minutes** three times a week for a month.
                                                                                                         ** or more, if you wish!

       * Reflect on the life and writings of companions in justice and prayer, pray with them on your own time, in your own context.

       * Our companions will be mostly from this past century, some still alive, and include (among others)  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Clarence Jordan, Thomas Merton, William Stringfellow, Pauli Murray, Oscar Romero, Desmond Tutu, Bayard Rustin, Cesar Chavez, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye. 



 

       * $75  if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.

       * $90  if you register between Thursday, October 17 and Monday, November 4.

      * More details about this retreat here.  

      *Registration is open now. To register, write readwithredmont@earthlink.net.

While these two retreats may appeal to different audiences 
because of their difference in structure and schedule,  
you are welcome to take both of them
If you do, I will be happy to offer a "package deal" of 
$110 if you register by Wednesday, October 16
or are financially strained
or $135 if you register from October 17 on.


Please note that I will offer an Advent retreat 

December 1-24

 Magnificat! Prayer and Prophecy in Advent

Details forthcoming in late October. 
Registration will open the first week in November.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Hurry Up and Slow Down" online retreat: it's not too late

Some of us have a little more trouble slowing down --or even thinking about slowing down-- than others. 

So, even though the "Hurry Up and Slow Down" online retreat began a week ago, you're still welcome to join! You can start the retreat a week late but still do the full six weeks, since "Week One," "Week Two," and so on are very clearly labeled on the retreat blog, and I can help orient you. 

All you need is about 20 minutes every day or two.

Have a look here for the full retreat description, and drop me a line


Monday, September 23, 2013

Discount day! Half off on "Hurry Up and Slow Down" retreat

Hurry Up and Slow Down: Spiritual Practice in Daily Life begins this week. If you write me (the e-mail is at the link above, so you will have to read that blog post slowly and carefully) mentioning this discount offer, and if it is still, Monday, September 23, 2013 in your part of the world (your e-mail time stamp will tell me), you may take the retreat at 50% off.

Happy first day after the Equinox, wherever you are!

Peace to you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall 2013 online retreats: spiritual refreshment, justice, prayer


We're offering four online retreats this fall:

The first is our popular six-week retreat, "Hurry Up and Slow Down," which is designed for persons of many religious affiliations and also for spiritual-but-not religious people.

The other three are in the Christian tradition and reflect in some way reflect a commitment to integrate contemplative practice and prayer with active concern for justice and peace.



(1) Hurry Up and Slow Down:
Spiritual Practice in Daily Life

       * Six weeks from the week of September 23 to the week of October 28.
      

       * 15 minutes a day of spiritual practice.

       * Each week of the retreat has an anchoring theme: mindfulness, breath, place, time, community, earth.

       Suitable for those who are religiously affiliated as well as for those who consider themselves spiritual, but not religious.

       * $105 if you register (and mail your check) by Tuesday, September 17 Thursday, September 19 (discount deadline extended!).

       * $135 if you register between Friday, September 20 and Wednesday, September 25.

       * A few discounted places are available for those in financial hardship.

 

       * Details here. To register, write readwithredmont@earthlink.net.

(2) A Novena Retreat with Dorothy Day

 
       * October 31-November 8: a daily 15-minute commitment.

        * Each day for 9 consecutive days:

              one quote by Dorothy Day
              one related spiritual exercise
              one prayer

       * $45 if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.

        * $55 if you register between Thursday, October 17 and Thursday, October 31.

       * Registration is open now. To register, write readwithredmont@earthlink.net.

       * Details here.

(3) Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer: 
A Month of Memory

      * November 1-30: all month, one companion every two or three days (three a week).

       * Reflect on the life and writings of companions in justice and prayer, pray with them on your own time, all month.

       * Our companions will be mostly from this past century, some still alive, and include (among others) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, William Stringfellow, Pauli Murray, Oscar Romero, Desmond Tutu, Bayard Rustin, Cesar Chavez, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye.

        * $75 if you register (and mail your check) by Tuesday, October 15.


       * $90 if you register between Wednesday, October 16 and Monday, November 4.

      * More details here. To register, write readwithredmont@earthlink.net.


(4) Magnificat! Prayer and Prophecy in Advent

       * December 1-24

       * Advent as a time to enter into God's patience and God's impatience.

       * Reflection with the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Testament in Year A of the Western Christian lectionaries.

       * Details forthcoming in October. Registration will open the first week in November.

Click the links above for more details! Questions? Write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net.

"Hurry Up and Slow Down" returns beginning September 23!

Praise for "Hurry Up and Slow Down"
Last fall, when I felt as if I had NO TIME, and I mean NONE, to do anything, because I was so busy, I signed up for this retreat.
What a big gift I gave myself... I did not have much time, so having some focused time to replenish my spirit was great.
Highly recommended!
 --Fran Rossi  Szpylczyn, New York

The "Hurry Up and Slow Down" retreat was one of the most valuable I have ever experienced, because, it encourages the participants to take nuggets of time on a regular basis for guided reflection and renewal, rather than trying to devote a whole weekend or several evenings to the pursuit. It's well done and well worth the time commitment as well as the money.
--Joanne Fisher, Michigan
What, when, where

* A 6-week online retreat from September 23 to November 3

* At home, in your daily life, 15 minutes a day

* Simple, accessible, gently focused on practice, with spiritual exercises

* Each week of the retreat has an anchoring theme:

mindfulness
breath 
place 
time 
community
earth

* Suitable for those who are religiously affiliated as well as for those who consider themselves spiritual, but not religious.

* If you think you don't have time for "Hurry Up and Slow Down," you're exactly the person who will benefit from it.
You are, of course, most welcome if you do have time!
Cost

$105 if you register (and mail your check) by Tuesday, September 17 Thursday, September 19 (discount deadline extended!)..
$135 if you register between Fri., Sept. 20 and Wed., Sept. 25.

Some discounts are available at discount for those in financial hardship. Talk to me.

Read below for a more detailed description.


Write me at

readwithredmont@earthlink.net

to register

or 

if you have any questions or concerns.





Details

Hurry Up and Slow Down is a spiritual retreat accompanying your daily life. It offers guidance, but it is not an academic class with a lot of reading. It is simple, accessible, and gently focused on practice -- the "how" of living every day mindfully and reverently, in a way that suits our own circumstances and takes into account how busy we are. Each week will have a theme or anchor. The weekly themes will be rich and basic:

* mindfulness  breath *   place  *   time  *   community  earth *

These themes can be building blocks of spiritual practice whether we are religiously affiliated or not. 


Every week, with the theme of the week, will include four components, offered each Sunday and accompanying you throughout the week:

1. Awareness of the week's theme:
Taking stock, naming, asking and answering questions, doing a little writing (or drawing if we are more visually inclined).

2. Inspiration:
A short reading, an image, an insight, a bit of wisdom about the theme for us to ponder during the week.

3. Practice:
An exercise related to the week's theme, a concrete how-to that we can incorporate into our daily life throughout the week.

4. Tradition(s):
Some insights into the week's theme from the experience and wisdom of religious traditions. We are not the first to grapple with the themes of our retreat and we are not alone.

Registration

The retreat begins Monday, September 23. 


Registration will remain open till Wednesday of the first week of the retreat (September 25) but please note that cost is less expensive if you register early!

To register, write Jane Redmont at readwithredmont@earthlink.net.


Payment

 
As I noted above, the cost for this six-week retreat is $135 for the full six weeks but only $105 if you register (and mail your check by) Tuesday, September 17. A few discounted places are available for the financially strained; you are on your honor to decide whether this applies to you. Please write and ask about this if you are in a situation of financial hardship.

Write me at readwithredmont@earthlink.net to register. Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration, by check or money order. I will send you the mailing address when you write me to register.

How can you have an online retreat?

 

By offering the retreat resources (themes, quotes, images, videos, guidelines for spiritual exercises, and more) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.

What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (in this case the retreat facilitator) allows in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. Random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments. Once you register for the course, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.
 

A recent article about online retreats

Jane Redmont is quoted and featured in the article. Read it here.

Privacy and community

Do I have to talk to other people on the retreat? I'm a very private person.
 
and/or
 
Can I get some support here? I'm not sure I can stick to this all by myself.

The retreat will offer you a choice in finding your preferred balance between the solitary and the communal, between privacy and solidarity.

1) You can be private and just read the blog and use the exercises, practices, and quotes on your own.  

or

2) If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.

Either way, in your participation on the blog, silent or speaking, you must respond respectfully to others and observe basic confidentiality about participants sharing of experiences and opinions: it's fine for you to say to people outside the retreat "someone in a group I'm in mentioned [issue, insight, dilemma]" but not the name or identifying characteristics of the person or the story.
This online retreat is meant to help you find time and opportunity to breathe and pause in your busy life, but not to make you feel guilty when you struggle to do so.  Begin where you are, not where you "ought to be."
Facilitator
 

Jane Redmont, author of two books, When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life, Generous Lives: American Catholic Women Today, and more than 100 articles, is a spiritual director, retreat leader, pastoral worker, and theologian. Jane has given workshops on "Prayer in Our Busy Lives" and on "Spiritual Practices for the Busy, the Harried, and the Overcommitted" as well as lectures, retreats, and workshops on praying with anger and depression; intercessory prayer; using body, breath, and voice in prayer and meditation; ecological spirituality; prayer and the work of justice; Jewish insights for Christians; Sabbath and time; Buddhist and Christian insights on anger; and Christian feminist spirituality, around the U.S. She has also taught full courses on the contemplative life and on prayer at the undergraduate and seminary/graduate levels. 

Jane was active in ecumenical healing services in communities affected by AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s, led weekly prayer services for peace in the early 2000s, and more recently facilitated weekly Centering Prayer and Taizé services. A U.S. American raised in France, Jane was educated at the Lycée de Sèvres, Oberlin College, Harvard Divinity School, and the Graduate Theological Union; she is an Episcopalian (Anglican) shaped by Catholic contemplative and social justice traditions, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots, and the study of yoga and Buddhist (especially Zen) meditation.