Saturday, January 26, 2019

"Hurry Up and Slow Down" returns, begins February 4

Hurry Up and Slow Down:
an online retreat

February 4 - March 17, 2019

Vermont, summer 2013
(c) Jane Redmont

What, when, where, how
* A 6-week online retreat.

* Begins Monday, February 4.

* At home, on a break at work, in your daily life, at any time, day or night, 15-20 minutes every day or two.

* Simple, accessible, gently focused on practice, with ancient and new wisdom to support and inspire you.

* Each of the six weeks of the retreat has an anchoring theme:
mindfulness
breath
place
time
community
earth
* Suitable for those who consider themselves spiritual, but not religious, as well as for people who are religiously affiliated.

* If you think you don't have time for "Hurry Up and Slow Down," you're exactly the person who will benefit from it.
[A few years ago], 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... 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
* Easy registration via secure PayPal link, which takes credit and debit cards in addition to PayPal. Note: You don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method. (If you prefer paying by check, please e-mail me.)
Some discounts and scholarships are available for those in financial hardship. Talk to me.
 
The benefactor rate helps to offset costs and makes scholarship aid possible.

Register here!



Retreat fee (choose one)


Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

More details below the picture.

Idaho Road
(c) Jane Redmont 2011




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. Its focus is 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. The weekly themes are 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 evening 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 more than one religious or wisdom tradition. We are not the first to grapple with the themes of our retreat and we are not alone.
Miller Pond, Thetford Center, Vermont
(c) Jane Redmont, August 2017
Click the photo to enlarge it.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Yearning World: Advent Awakenings with Dorothy Day

As we have for the past half-dozen years, we are offering an Advent online retreat.

Some of you may have taken live or online retreats inspired by Dorothy Day in years past, but we have never reflected on her life, prayer, and practice through the lens of Advent. This is our opportunity to do so.

Advent is a season of waiting and hoping. It is also a season of turmoil, of yearning, even of fear.

There is gentleness and quiet in Advent, but there is also trepidation.

This is a season of prophecy, of warning, a season of learning to cast a new gaze on this old world. What does the future hold, in the long and short term? How can we live in a broken world? How can we who are so small make a difference in a world whose suffering is so great?


In Advent, we look toward the celebration of the Nativity --Christmas-- and also toward the end of time, toward completion, toward a time we can only imagine.

What can Dorothy Day teach not only her fellow Catholics, but Christians of all stripes? 

What can she teach all of us?

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) is best known as the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, an anarchist, pacifist, lay Catholic Christian movement, and founder and editor 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 or from what Christian tradition calls “the works of mercy.”

Click here for an informative essay on Dorothy Day if you want to know more.




This retreat lasts from the first Sunday in Advent (but you can start on Monday if your Sunday is already full) to Christmas Eve: from December 2 to December 24.

Every week will feature two three-part offerings.

Each three-part offering includes a passage from the writings of Dorothy Day, a spiritual exercise related to the reading or its theme for you to practice, and a prayer.


The twice-weekly offerings will come to you on Sundays and Wednesdays, but you can meditate on them and practice the spiritual exercises at other times if you prefer. It will be more fruitful if you keep to the twice-a-week rhythm, but you can focus on the retreat material on Mondays and Thursdays,, for example, or stretch it out for half a week.

An online retreat? Really?

The retreat offers its  resources (short readings or words of wisdom, pictures, spiritual exercises, prayers, and the occasional bonus piece of Advent music) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.
What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this one, 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.
This format of the retreat is ideal if you are a busy person or if you are geographically isolated from retreat centers or other spiritual resources. The retreat requires only 15 to 30 minutes twice a week, at a minimum. You may, of course, devote more time than that to the retreat or divide up your "twice a week" time. Even a short time on a regular basis can be refreshing and beneficial. What matters is faithfulness, even in small doses.

It doesn't matter whether you are a night owl or and early riser. The retreat has a structure and a schedule, but is flexible enough to integrate into your daily life. You can take part in it from home, on a break from work, in a coffee shop, on vacation, anywhere you have a computer or a tablet and some intentional time apart: read, reflect, meditate, and pray with the retreat materials in a way that suits your schedule.

The material will be there on the retreat blog, waiting for you, every Sunday and Wednesday of Advent.
I will be available (in writing, with answers within 24 hours at most, or by phone or Skype (by appointment) to have one or more conversations with you about how you individually can get the most benefit from this retreat and fit it into your life during this often busy month of December. You will have independence, but also personalized support if you wish.
Once you register for the retreat (see below), I will send instructions for the sign-in mechanism. After you first sign on to the retreat blog, the blog will always recognize you when you visit it.

Registration

You can register via the PayPal secure link below, which takes credit and debit cards in addition to PayPal. (It will NOT show me your credit card number.)

You don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method. (If you prefer paying by check, please e-mail me.)

Some discounts and scholarships are available for those in financial hardship. If you are too broke for the discount rate in the drop-down menu below, write me.

The benefactor rate helps offset costs and makes scholarship aid and discounts possible.

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

Register here!



Retreat fee (choose one)




Questions? Write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net.


Cesar Chavez, Coretta Scott King, and Dorothy Day
"... love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.”--One of Dorothy Day's favorite sayings, from the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SAINTS ALIVE! Companions in Memory, Companions in Hope: online retreat Oct. 31-Nov. 21, 2018 *

We are approaching November, the month of memory in many Christian traditions. It  begins with the feast of All Saints and, in Mexico and many other parts of the Américas, the Día(s) de (los) Muertos. Not entirely coincidentally, our first online retreat offering after a long hiatus will offer a reflection with and about the saints in Christian traditions.  

SAINTS ALIVE!
Companions in Memory,
Companions in Hope

a three-week online experience
October  31 to November 21 *

a retreat 
(time intentionally set aside for meditation and prayer)
with a little extra theology thrown in

* The original start of the retreat on October 30 has been pushed back a day,
as has the originally scheduled ending November 20.

He Qi, "After the Resurrection"

SAINTS have been in the news because of the recent canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero and several other holy people, including some of whom you may have never heard, like Nunzio Sulprizio. The calendar of the Episcopal Church commemorates traditional saints and ancient saints as well as holy people who lived more recently or whose fields of endeavor were diverse.

But saints are not just religious celebrities. Saints are with us every day. The theologian Elizabeth Johnson calls the feast of All Saints "That Feast of Splendid Nobodies."

Archbishop Oscar Romero, his people, and their cathedral.
"If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadoran people."

What's in this retreat?

Every day of this 21-day retreat will bring you a saint, with the saint's story and either an image, an icon, a quote by the saint, or a piece of music -- often at least two of these in addition to the saint's short bio.
If you wish, you can just focus on this part of the retreat and focus on the saint of the day, or on a saint every two days if one a day feels like too much, as an inspiration for your meditation and prayer.

There will be a spiritual exercise to go with every saint. By "spiritual exercise," I mean not just prayer or meditation practice, but also concrete actions in daily life.
You may also choose to participate in an additional "track" to enhance your knowledge of and reflection on the saints:

At least twice a week, we will have some reflections and conversations related to the saints, on a theme or a cluster of themes:
What is holiness? What's the "communion of saints" all about? What are saints for, anyway? Do Protestants have saints? Why (and how) do Orthodox Christians venerate icons of the saints? Are only individuals saintly or also communities? What was the earliest meaning of "the saints" in Christian tradition? What kinds of practices have been associated with saints in different parts of Christianity and different parts of the world? Do you have a favorite saint? Who and why? Are there any saints that irritate or repel you? Who and why? What does that tell you about who you think God is? Can saints help us in this crazy world?
For each theme or cluster of themes, we'll have questions and short readings. The readings will be short, usually about the length of one blog post. We'll also have a chance to discuss the readings together (in writing, online; you can write and respond anytime).
You don't have to have a degree or want a degree in theology to participate in this part of the retreat. (Though if you have done specialized study in theology, this may still be if interest to you!) Prayer, practice, ethics, theology, and spirituality are interrelated. Though it is in one sense an academic field of study, theology is not a discipline apart.

Statue of San Martín de Porres
St. Dominic's priory church, London. Photo by Lawrence, O.P.

An online retreat? Really?

The retreat offers its daily resources (the texts or quotes, images, music, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above) 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.
This format is ideal if you are busy. The retreat requires only 15-20 minutes a day. (Or even every two days.) You may, of course, devote more time to the retreat every day or every two days, but the choice is yours and even a short time on a regular basis can be refreshing and beneficial. And it doesn't matter whether you are a night owl or and early riser. The retreat has a structure and a schedule, but is flexible enough to integrate into your daily life.

Once you register for the retreat (see below), I will send instructions for the sign-in mechanism. After you first sign on to the retreat blog, the blog will always recognize you when you visit it.


Registration

You can register below via the PayPal secure link below, which takes credit and debit cards in addition to PayPal. (It will NOT show me your credit card number.)

You don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method. (If you prefer paying by check, please e-mail me.)

Some discounts and scholarships are available for those in financial hardship. If you are too broke for the discount rate in the drop-down menu below, write me.

The benefactor rate helps offset costs and makes scholarship aid and sicounts possible. 

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.


Register here!


Retreat fee (choose one)




Note: Many of the world's rich religious traditions have observances and practices of honoring ancestors and recognizing holy people both dead and alive. This retreat's focus on Christian observance and spiritualities does not presume that the only holy people on the planet were or are Christian. There will be some spiritual-theological reflection related to that, too, though a multireligious approach to holiness in broader perspective is a topic for another retreat, class, and/or book!

Reredos of women saints (with Jesus in the middle), Lindsey Chapel, Emmanuel Church, Boston.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

And.... we're back!

 
This blog-acting-as-a-website has been quiet for some months while I took time to reflect, rest, and recover from a long period of eldercare, mourning, and reorganizing. I had felt I wasn't doing my best in my last few online offerings, so I decided to take some time to regroup so that I could offer my very best to you once I returned. I am well and grateful for the breather, and for the rich lives of my parents, Joan and Bernard, who died within six months of each other in 2016 and early 2017.
I'm also in the process of evaluating my online programs, both on my own and by soliciting feedback on the retreats, classes, course-retreats (a hybrid of class and retreat), and support and resource groups. I have been offering online programs since 2012. I will post a link to the survey in a few days and also e-mail it to those of you who have taken any of my online offerings. As always, you are always welcome to write me at readwithredmont@earthlink.net or to leave a comment here, at the bottom of this post.
Meanwhile, I will offer a couple of online retreats this fall; information about those will be up on this site within the week.

A fuller schedule of new online programs will begin at the beginning of December of this year.
If you have suggestions or requests, I would love to hear (read) them.

In peace,

Jane


Photo: Peonies, June 2018 (c) Jane Redmont