Into the Woods
A Guided Contemplative Practice of Presence and Deep Listening
Our fragmented and full lives make it difficult to live into the present moment. Forests offer an invitational way to do so. They help us slow down to let our feelings and thoughts catch up to us, and when we create space for that to happen, words and insights sometimes burble up to us from unexpected places.
This three or four hour (your pace) guided contemplative practice occurs in the
company of old and young trees and other creatures living in a small forest that is
nourished, in part, by a small creek running through it. Benches pepper the forest
path, and a treehouse prayer cabin offers space for journaling, prayer, and
The forest offers retreatants a chance to see what happens in the stillness
when they wander and visit the woods for an extended time. It creates room for
deep listening for those who come with questions or thoughts that need
After meeting briefly with me in the Treehouse Prayer Cabin for a welcome and centering exercise, the Into the Woods retreat sends you on a treasure hunt of sorts along the paths around Fern Creek's forests and fields where you visit seven Pausing Benches, each with a meditative thought and exercise to use if helpful. The exercises are crafted to help you slow down and be present to the moment, while
also inviting you to listen deeply for longings, questions and affirmations shimmering beneath the surface.
Once God, the woods and you are done, I encourage you to return to the prayer cabin and write a reflective response of your experience before leaving.
Recommended recompense: $100