Ceremony & Retreats
INDIVIDUAL & GROUP RETREATS / CEREMONY / RITES OF PASSAGE
A full life is made up of both big and small initiating experiences that honor the life that has been lived, mark significant thresholds, and open us to new growth. Retreats, ceremonies, and rites of passage are rich opportunities to immerse ourselves in community-supported healing, grieving, reflection, visioning, celebration, growth, and empowerment. Through meaningful ceremony, contemplative silence, authentic dialogue, sustained meditative experiences, and nature-based ritual, participants can restore balance to their personal lives and reaffirm their connection to all of Life. Guided by the work and teachings of Joanna Macy, Thomas Berry, Joseph Cornell, the Ojai Foundation, Malidoma & Sobonfu Some, Steven Foster & Meredith Little, David Abrams, Stephen Jenkinson and Bill Plotkin, I have facilitated ceremonies, nature-based rituals, rites of passage, and contemplative retreats for groups and for individuals of all ages for the past 15 years. Creating the right conditions for authenticity and deeper connection to ourselves, each other, and the natural world is my greatest passion.
Booking: Contact Jenne
Each of the many retreats I have experienced with Jenne Sluder has opened a path into sacred time and creative space. What gifts make her an incendiary leader? Irrepressible passion for integrative learning, poetic clarity of speech, sensitivity to individual needs, adventurous and grounded connections to nature and the human spirit, commitment to authentic communication, attentiveness to whatever ignites the creative flame in the human soul, an easiness with young people, elders, and every stage in between.
– Beth Keiser, Professor, Guilford College
~~~ A Sampling of Past Retreats ~~~
Unwind & Renew: A Mind-Body Wellness Retreat at the North Carolina Arboretum
Like painting or playing an instrument, releasing cumulative stress is a skill that can be honed through practice. This weekend retreat is an immersion into gentle mind-body practices to release muscular tension, calm the nervous system, digest emotional distress, and de-clutter the mind. Expect very gentle stretching and breath-based movement, guided progressive relaxations, personal journaling, mindful group sharing, and indoor/outdoor contemplative practices. Excerpts from the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. will offer a reflection on the power of practicing care for ourselves as a skillful means to deepen our sensitivity and attentiveness to others and to take mindful action in the world.
True Love: Practices in Radical Compassion for Self & World
Passionist Earth & Spirit Center
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself…
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. Walt Whitman
The one person who will always be with you for as long as you live is yourself. Who better understands how to be in the world in a way that protects you, nourishes you, opens you and is true for you than yourself? Do you have your own allegiance?
My inner struggles are often as challenging and disheartening as the struggles I witness in the world. There is trauma inflicted by the world around me—some of it I have subtly endorsed, ignored, exploited, and coauthored. It leads me continually to the question—am I holding my one vessel for experiencing the world Beloved?
Compassion toward oneself generates a loving heart that is authentic and joyful rather than weary and torn by judgment. Restorative practices renew the quality of our presence to the world around us. We become more alive and more available to life.
Saturday, September 10th offers a day of consciously tending to our relationship with ourselves—the foundation of all our relationships. Our mirror for the day will take many forms—the still pond of our minds after restful silence, the raw honesty of our hearts when we look deeply, the supportive presence of one another through gentle witnessing, and the soul-stirring reflections of the natural world.
Stillness, Darkness, Formlessness:
A Contemplative Cave Experience
If you are not living on the edge you may be taking up too much space. Jim Whittaker said that in his memoir about climbing Mount Everest. Nothing to do with thrill-seeking, living on the edge is about showing up in every moment, about being willing to step out of your comfort zone, and about putting yourself in situations where new learning is possible. The edge I am inviting you toward takes place in a cave rather than the summit of the world’s highest mountain. It isn’t a dangerous edge and it isn’t a physically strenuous edge. It is a creative edge, a nurturing edge, and a soul-stirring edge.
You have been summoned to a cave. The cave ~ located near the town of Frankford, WV ~ welcomes you with a wide entrance through which you can walk from the filtered light of the forest into a serene embrace of still darkness. The mouth leads to a long stream passage that varies from 4 feet to 15 feet in height, and is 10 to 20 feet wide. With relatively dry clay banks at its bends, the cave also presents unique rock formations. The cave could easily be a character in a Dickens’ novel, as it calls itself: Higginbothams.
The Holy Dark: A Contemplative Gathering
Common Light Meeting Place
Black Mountain, NC
Truth Mandala: Grief Ritual
Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting
Black Mountain, NC
We all experience pain and loss in life – conflict, illness, disappointed dreams, broken relationships, loved ones who die or suffer, and even inherited and ancestral pain. It is important to have healthful ways to digest and release that pain with community support and to regularly cleanse ours hearts together. From the spirit of Joanna Macy, the Truth Mandala is a transformational ceremony designed to break through our cultural barriers of grief in order to allow our souls to stir back toward life.