Thursday, July 6, 2017

Spirituality and Social Media: Online Mindfulness Retreat Begins July 12!

Thich Nhat Hanh

Spirituality and Social Media
an online retreat with
mindfulness practice and conversation
July 12 - August 2, 2017

Spirituality --whether we follow a religious path related to a particular historical community or a less institutionalized wisdom path-- is about everyday life. It involves our minds and hearts but also our bodies and the spaces and times in which we live. Spirituality is not just what we believe but even more, what we practice.

For many of us, social media (interactive internet-based platforms and programs like blogging, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) are a part of daily life now.

--How does our use of social media fit into our spiritual path?
----Can social media help our spiritual practice?
------Is it a challenge, a hindrance, or both? How so?
--------Do we need to develop spiritual practices for our online lives?
rhythms of online and offline times
modes of conversation
impulse control
self-care and care for others
raising energy for justice
meditative moments
(Yes, we can call all these "health and wellness practices" too.)
----How can we better navigate conversation and conflict online?
-------How is social media a vehicle for spiritual wisdom and community?
-----------What does a mindful way of interacting on and with social media look like for me, for you, in our particular life pilgrimage, at this time?

These questions are among the queries (as Quakers might call them) accompanying us on our online retreat.
Our task and challenge
will be to approach these queries mindfully,
without harsh self-judgment or
judgment of others
but with a commitment to make life-giving choices
as we navigate social media every day.
What, when, where

* An online three-week  retreat-and-reflection experience  beginning Wednesday, July 12.

* Simple and accessible:
online check-in every two days
a three-week commitment, July 12-August 2
spiritual exercises relevant to your life online and offline
for persons of any or no religious or spiritual background
* At home, on a break at work, in a coffee shop, on vacation, in your daily life: reflect on the retreat materials in a way that suits your schedule.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge.

* You'll need 10 to 20 minutes a day of focused time and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* Easy registration via PayPal secure 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 are available for those in financial hardship. Talk to me. The benefactor rate helps offset costs and makes scholarship aid possible.
Register here!

Retreat fee (choose one)

An online retreat? How does that work?

The retreat offers resources and spiritual exercises every other day, along with other resources (some words of wisdom, some images to nourish you visually, and a little music to feed the soul) 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, I will send instructions for the one-time-only sign-in mechanism. After you first sign on to the retreat blog, the blog will always recognize you.

More information about the retreat

* Every two days we will check in with the retreat and with each other (briefly if we wish, more if we prefer).

* Every other check-in (i.e. every four days) we will focus on mindfulness in our social media practices.

* In the "in-between" check-ins (i.e. every four days) we will reflect and converse about other themes related to spirituality and social media.
In addition to spiritual practice in our social media lives, which will be a steady thread throughout our three weeks together, we will look at social media as facilitator of spiritual growth (you can replace "spiritual growth" with "faith" or "following the Way" or the word or phrase that better suits your religious or spiritual affiliation), as challenge to spiritual growth, and as opportunity for spiritual growth, and we will also explore social media as "content provider," as educational and aesthetic resource.
The full list of our summer 2017 online offerings is here.

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