Posts Tagged ‘Retreat Center’
We like to make choices. But can there be too many choices and what is the effect? I heard Dr. Sheena Iyengar speak on the subject. She said the number of items in a grocery store has risen from 37,000 to over 100,000 in a couple of decades. Do we need that many choices of jam? She reported that when we are overloaded, we procrastinate, make worse choices and often feel less satisfied with our choice.
A retreat center is a good place to take a deep breath and make good choices. It is an art and it takes time and information.
In the Courtyard sits a fountain that has been filled in with dirt that now holds flowers and a bell. The silver bell, once part of a locomotive, lived from 1936 – 1986 at Silver Lake Evangelical Campground, on the Tewksbury-Wilmington Town line, before coming to Rolling Ridge. It has for a long time called folks together.
Recently, it sounded regularly, calling Buddhists together for meditation. It was central to their week because they were in silence, often in sitting prayer, or in meditative walking around the grounds. Better than someone shouting, the bell rang out a call, an invitation. Come and gather. It is a lovely, clear sound – you are invited. Come. Pay attention.
God of openness and new life, in this Easter time, remove me from the tombs of doubt and despair, turn me from dead ends and shattered dreams, and lead me to new hope and a bright tomorrow.
Walk with me down uncharted roads and ordinary paths, always leading me to a deeper trust and more faithful service.
I open my heart to your Easter Joy. Amen.
From Openings – A Daybook of Saints, Psalms and Prayer by Larry J. Peacock, Executive Director of Rolling Ridge
Thomas Carlyle once wrote, “In silence, great things fashion themselves.” I wonder what ideas, thoughts, or discoveries are being shaped as 55 Buddhists are spending 8 days in silence at Rolling Ridge? I spent time living with Quakers at Pendle Hill , learning how to befriend silence (if is harder than it looks), but many of my staff are wondering about this week. Not talking for that long, oh my.
I like to think of all the prayer and meditation seeping into the walls of this retreat center and leaving a blessing for those who come next. Just as all the camp youth from the 60′s to the turn of the century left laughter and joy in the walls and halls, now we add silence and prayer. This old estate has heard lots and we are delighted for all the traditions that find a welcome here, each adding to the environment. Tell me what you experience on your next visit to Rolling Ridge. Listen.
“What are you bringing from last year into the new year?” One of several intriguing questions in an email from a friend who coaches others to a fuller life. Upon reflection, I wrote in my journal that I am bringing grief and gratitude.
I learning to recognize and honor that the grief that the year didn’t end as well as I would have liked. It was a hard year for the retreat center and we worked hard but our bottom line is disappointing. The budget issues threaten to tie me in knots.
Yet, I am bringing gratitude for the persons I work with, a wonderful staff, supportive supervisors, and the wise counsel and pointed questions from coaches. I am bringing gratitude for my family, decent health and the joy of walking to work on these 38 acres – though I am walking more carefully on snow and ice.
What are you bringing into the new year? I am also bringing hope – for new projects, better budget controls, some new landscape plans and the launching of our new website.
What about you?