We tried to reduce the risk with the new Delta variant. All participants were vaccinated and any singing we did was outdoors or we were completely masked.
In past years, retreatants would come from lives that were hectic, over-scheduled and full of people, commitments, and activities. The silence was a healing balm for the spirit. Healing silence was a feature of this year’s retreat as well, but for many, this was the first time they were in the company of a group of in the flesh humans. We all had wounds, traumas, fears and griefs from the ongoing pandemic. There was more need to process out loud in group sessions. The sharing in spiritual direction tended to deal with deeper life issues.
Almost all the participants dug deep into the practices for healing trauma that were presented in the group read, My Grandmother’s Hands. The workshops gave participants the opportunity to work with what came up in the silence and spiritual practice as well.
All in all, this year’s retreat was intense and deep. We held each other in the silence and when we spoke, creating safety. We sang and sang. We did walking meditation and walked the labyrinth. We did Qi Gong and other body practices. We listened to what our hearts and spirits were telling us.