• 21 Jan 2023
  • East Sussex, UK

A Winter Retreat Day: Listening to Inner Wisdom

Tap into the roots of wisdom through cultivating the practice of deep listening.

“Sit, be still, and listen,
because you’re drunk
and we’re at
the edge of the roof.”

In a noisy world, full of competing voices, it can be difficult to hear our inner voice, and in the chaos of daily life we can be pulled this way and that and lose our sense of inner compass. Deep listening requires inner stillness, a willingness to embrace not-knowing and an openness to encounter difference: the other, the new and the unfamiliar. On this winter retreat we’ll offer different modes of listening – to yourself, to others and to the wisdom that is embodied in nature.

Deep listening develops wisdom. Wisdom is a quality that many people seek but how can one access wisdom?

In the context of multiple simultaneous crises in the external world, each of us needs to learn to recover and remember this path to inner wisdom in order to light our way in these dark and sometimes dispiriting times.

Our way of being together will be grounded in a distinctive set of principles and practices —the Courage & Renewal® approach foundeded by Parker J. Palmer and developed through the Center for Courage & Renewal. These are Circle of Trust® retreat practices that help create gracious, trustworthy space for your individual reflection and exploration while also honouring our shared humanity that arises as experiences and stories are shared. As well as being the foundation of our retreat you will find that these practices can be of great value in your everyday life and work.

We will be a diverse circle of people: drawn from different geographies and walks of life, united by a shared desire to discover and listen to our inner wisdom. We aim to create an inclusive and welcoming space for everyone and invite you to join us in this shared endeavour.

During the day we will engage with poetry, silence, sharing of stories, being in nature and also an opportunity to walk an 11 circuit hand-painted canvas labyrinth. We will alternate time for individual reflection and journaling with opportunities for time in small groups and the larger circle to share and listen. Everything we do is by invitation, based on the understanding that you know best what you need. Expect a day that is nourishing for your soul.

Emerson College
Pixton Lane, Forest Row
East Sussex, United Kingdom
RH18 5JX

Website:  https://emerson.org.uk/about-us/
Emerson College, an education charity whose purpose is to develop, practice and teach sustainable ways of working and living through experiential teaching and inner-led change. The campus is set in 22 acres of beautiful botanic gardens and for some of the day, weather permitting, there will be outside, so bring some warm clothes and suitable footwear. We’ll be based in the Foundation Room, a lovely naturally lit room with a fireplace. Given we’re meeting in the middle of winter we’ll be sure to light a fire to greet us and warm our spirits as well as our bodies.

The food is vegetarian made from seasonal, locally sourced, organic produce wherever possible. Much of the food is grown in Emerson’s own biodynamic garden and greenhouses. Emerson can also cater for vegan, wheat-free, gluten free or dairy-free diets.

Emerson College is well connected to transport hubs. Regular direct trains run between London Bridge and East Grinstead and the journey time is one hour. Taxis can be booked from East Grinstead station to Emerson College (15 minute journey). The closest major airport is London Gatwick airport, which is 14 miles from Emerson College. Taxis can be booked (30 minute journey) from Gatwick airport or alternatively local buses also connect Gatwick Airport with Forest Row.

If you are travelling some distance either from other parts of the UK or from wider Europe or beyond, there is an option for staying at Emerson on the Friday evening prior to the retreat.

We recognise that economic circumstances vary greatly and we want to make our programmes accessible to a wide range of people so we offer a choice of ticket fees.

Please choose the fee that fits your economic circumstances.

Supporters Fee: £150. When you choose the Supporters fee you make the retreat more accessible to a wider range of people. This fee enables us to offer a subsided fee rate to individuals who are in need of further financial support.

Standard Fee: £125

Subsidised Fee: £75

All fees include a delicious vegetarian lunch, refreshments during the day, costs of the venue and facilitation.

If you are travelling some distance there is an option of on-site accommodation at Emerson College on Friday, the evening prior to the retreat. The accommodation is available on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis in single rooms with shared showers and toilets.

Eventbrite registrations can be cancelled up to 30 days prior to the retreat, a full refund will be given, minus the non-refundable booking/processing fee taken by Eventbrite. No refund is possible within 30 days of the event. In the unlikely event that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the retreat must be cancelled by us, we will refund all retreat fees paid by participants. Our liability is limited to the retreat fee. We recommend participants have adequate insurance to cover any travel or personal expenses resulting from cancellation or your inability to attend due to for example illness.


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