The Bruce Banquets!!!!

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Our Neigbors On Bath Avenue

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A Walk Around Ocean Grove

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Final Sunrise

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Ocean Grove, NJ

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcome To 27 Bath Avenue

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Ocean Grove, NJ

October 2012

Meditating With The Dawn

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Ocean Grove, NJ

Dawn, October 6, 2012

Ocean Grove Retreat – Closing Thoughts

I am back in New York, it is misty outside, our dogs – Mickey and Lucky – have been walked and fed, Lucky has managed to harass the bejeezus out of the cat, Chita, and I am now free to share with you my thoughts and experiences about our retreat.

As you’ve read, our first day was filled with many gifts. The workshops were excellent tools to help us clarify our intentions, to remind us to connect and that we are not alone.  Ending the evening in song was truly the icing on the cake – it gave many of us the opportunity to free voices that have not been thusly exercised in some time, and to remind us the joy of doing so!

On Sunday we had our much loved gift ceremony and, again, it was filled with laughter, tears, surprises, and confirmations of our work.  One participant was given the gift she brought, and then she shared that she wasn’t really ready to part with it. We are One indeed! For the person choosing the gift and being guided to deliver it had no way of knowing on our temporal plane that this was the case!

When we went around to share our individual experience of the retreat, we received the most wonderful surprise.  While many sharings could be perceived as positive, there were those that could be perceived as negative. I am very grateful to those who had the courage to express their Truth at that moment, as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it was to hear. These brave colleagues reminded us that spiritual work is not always neat. It is not always sweetness and light. It is very often messy and very, very painful.

Even as practitioners of Therapy of the Soul and long-time spiritual students, such outpourings of pain and unhappiness can leave us feeling helpless.  For me, it was important to remember that this was Self providing us, each and every individual Perfect Expression of Self, with the opportunity to hold Truth for one another, to practice compassion, to remain non-judgmental, to understand that each of our temporal paths brought us to the retreat.

I am also grateful that what could be characterized as negative experiences were expressed in what was, indeed, a safe place.  Inasmuch as it may not have felt safe at the time because of the claims, issues, old baggage that were brought up for what I perceive as the equivalent of an energetic regurgitation, we were all there to hold the sufferer’s head, so to speak, and offer what we had to offer in the hopes that there was something there that would help the individual Perfect Expressions of Self experience some sort of relief.

It was yet another example of we are all One for it became very clear to me that when one of us suffers, we all suffer, and our belief in the power of suffering is so strong it takes much work by many colleagues to release ourselves from that mirage.

My thanks to Arnie, our teacher and leader, to Bruce, our marvelous chef, and to each and every participant in the retreat, whether physically or spiritually present. This was very special!

Ocean Grove, Sat night

It’s already after midnight and everyone in the house is turning in after a very full day.

After lunch, Arnie continued with his introduction to Therapy of the Soul – a presentation that reminded all of us who are already practitioners, and explained to those new to the subject, the principles of this practical and useful method.  We always need to review, remember, highlight, again and again that Reality cannot perceived with the senses, and that our human condition is temporary since the Truth is that we are eternal beings.

Then we had a short workshop on the meaning of traditions and rituals, and to show that we are all One.  While we were meditating on Truth, the presence of our fellow therapists of the Soul in spirit was quite palpable! Thank you for your support!

Then: dinner (we ate flan!) and singing!

Ocean Grove, Sat p.m.

This morning we had a workshop on journaling.  We discussed various tools: pen and paper, computer, texting, voice recording.  What came to me is that, like for meditation, the commitment to journaling is important, even if all we do is write down today’s date and our initials.  Just that pause to acknowledge the activity, that we are here, that something – or nothing – happened is enough.

What are your journaling experiences?

Lunch was great – chili, salads, lots of roasted vegetables, delicious desserts! And after lunch, I finally made it to the ocean and put my feet in the water!

Ocean Grove, Sat morning Jan 21, 2012

I am sitting by the window of our lovely lavender room in our beautiful retreat house in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  The yogis are doing yoga downstairs and I, not being a yoga practitioner, am looking out at the rain that is now falling over the snow we had last night.  The neighbor across the street is shoveling his walkway.

We began our retreat last night with a magnificent banquet deliciously prepared by Bruce.  I told him his food had seduced me right into stupendous overindulgence!  Indulge today…we’ll see about tomorrow! Great food is, probably, one of the reasons I’ve taken physical form this time around…what do you think are some of your reasons for physical form?

There is an atmosphere of peace and excitement in our little group.  It’s wonderful to gather purposefully to contemplate, understand, decipher, define Truth together.  While we’re focused on this project here, we also feel the blessings and intentions of our world-wide community and it is clear that we are all, indeed, One!

We hold you all in the Light, just as you do the same for us!

I think we’re going to eat again…what joy!