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Creative Wisdom for Wobbly Times
Dates: Sep 15, 2022 - Sep 18, 2022
Days: Thu - Sun (3 Nights)

Instructor(s): Kate Lila Wheeler, Rachel Bagby

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Sound? Silence? Writing? Practice? In a world where so much is shifting unpredictably, the fundamental Four Noble Truths that serve as a bedrock of Buddhist inquiry can similarly serve a community of practice devoted to creative embodiment and expression of the path(s) that lead to the end of suffering.

This retreat invites us to explore how to cultivate such a community by experimenting with such practices.

Can we flush out creative invitations we find in ourselves and each other where we already live, at least part-time: in the unsettledness of being? This may just be what the Buddha has alluded to as the First Noble Truth. If so, we already are living the truth of Dharma, alive and awake in our deepest nature. Can we express—call on and call in—this intimate truth in ways that amplify our individual and communal aliveness? What unfolds if we listen to our realizations of the First Noble Truth and find courage to speak them? It's likely each of us feels, deep down, that our own incompleteness means we need further study and support to realize our wholeness. Let’s not be caught there, or forget that each of us is needed to complete one another.

As we love and know ourselves, we might unfold subsequent Truths as free human beings, never fully definable or caught in roles, challenges, and quandaries that arise along our path.

Retreat leaders will encourage being present (sati) with love (mettā) as core ways of exploring paths that lead to the end of suffering. Can we make ourselves at home on wobbly ground? On this retreat, there will be writing, singing, and silence; listening and speaking; and unstructured periods, so that we can appreciate napping, embodied practice, the season, and the land. 

Noble Silence: 

This retreat will include periods of Noble Silence.

Experience Level:

Some meditation and retreat experience is suggested.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Three spaces will be held for self-identified BIPOC participants until eight weeks before this course begins when they will be released generally. Therefore, we encourage you to join the waitlist even if the course appears full as additional spaces may become available. Please see our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies for more information.

As we work to become a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming; please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.

  • Kate "Lila" Wheeler is grateful for the Asian roots of the Buddhist tradition and for the capacity of our hearts to be infused with ethics, caring and wisdom.  She/they began training as a student in 1977 and is given rein to teach by mentors from several Dharma lineages.  From 2016-2020 she co-led the Spirit Rock teacher training, the most diverse to date in Western convert Buddhism.  She grew up in Latin America; spent time in monastic robes in Burma, and now lives in Somerville, MA with her husband, an anthropologist.  Published writings include fiction, essays, and journalism.

  • Rachel Bagby is an award-winning author, vocal artist, educator and leadership/civic engagement consultant whose work and writing draws on four generations of her Mommaline’s praxis: growing food, medicine and resonant communities across diverse rural/urban, political, economic, spiritual and racialized ecosystems. Rooted in 30 years of mentoring women leaders to unleash their voices as instruments of compassionate change, she has co-facilitated retreats at Garrison Institute, IMS, Omega Institute and Spirit Rock.