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:

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.


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

$ 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)

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.


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.