As we celebrate the winter solstice, we acknowledge the change from one year to the next, and anticipate the stillness of snow-covered days… followed by spring’s bursting into life… summer’s expansiveness and warmth… and autumn’s abundance and release.
Those who have attended one of our four-day season retreats here on the hill – whether it be the silence of winter stillness, the transformation and new growth of spring, the light and interfaith exploration of summer, or the letting go and harvest of autumn – know the deep and rich experience of setting aside the hustle of everyday life to enter into four days of restorative contemplation and community. They know the inspiration that comes from being attentive to the rhythms of the land and the seasons, and how those often mirror our own internal cycles.
Is it time to attend to your own season of life? Read more here about this year’s winter stillness retreat, and the two-part spring and fall Journey into Trust series. More information about the summer solstice event will be coming soon! We’d love to see you here on the hill sometime soon…
What participants have had to say about their seasonal retreat experiences:
It’s funny – two of my major life decisions both had major turning points at past Woolman Hill retreats. Those retreats have really played a significant (positive) role in my life. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be for the new year. It’s sort of cool that such a small amount of time can have such a big impact.
I had a very, very valuable time on the hill for New Year’s: finding access to a level of contentment and deep sense of serenity that had been absent for some time. It was a pleasure to prepare the first meal of the year for a grateful group, and I sincerely appreciated the scholarship assistance that was made available.
My sister just stopped over on her way back to Rhode Island and she was in tears over how wonderful her experience was up on the Hill. She has been very stressed out and needed time to reflect and re-center. Your flexibility with accommodating her was key…thank you so much. The Hill means an awful lot to our family; it is a place of healing and magic. Trust that if I am ever blessed with money, the Hill will benefit!
The New Year’s retreat settled into our two and a half days of silence. Those days opened out immensely – the sixty hours expanded rather than elapsed – could time be a great parachute lifted on breaths of peace and joy? My inner monologue (with its musical sound track!) gradually quieted and love flowed in. Yes, I walked alone in the snow, napped near a sunny window, ate in silence with the others, sat in the ancient meeting house, turned occasionally to my journal, reading, and handwork. Yet time opened up and I came home to myself on currents of gratitude. Sunday’s meeting for worship and the worship-sharing that closed the weekend confirmed the power of the experience for every one of us, no matter how much loss and turmoil had brought us to Woolman Hill. How rare an experience! How to carry some of this treasure into my daily life?
This is my first four-day workshop. It was very interesting the depth reached on the third day. What a luxury to have the extra day.
Really nourishing, paced for deep rest and insight, exciting experience of mindfulness practice.
This retreat has been the turning point in my life. I was searching, not knowing what I was searching for other than peace…and I found so much more here.
It’s true that the Spirit is powerful and moves on its own. But we humans can facilitate or impede its movement: “spiritual engineering.” Retreats can be one of the most powerful ways the Spirit moves. Thank you, Woolman Hill!
The impressions from our time together—singing, dancing, meditating, walking, eating!, conversing, laughing—remain with me. Thank you.
I still remember the experience from a few years ago as a transformative moment in my life.
I loved hearing about traditions and practices I was unfamiliar with and experiencing some as well. This is the first time I’ve come away from an event feeling that a transformation has begun within me. I have new ideas and a greater sense of direction for fashioning the rest of my life.
I was very impressed with the facilitators, their knowledge, presentations, their ability to engage feedback from participants, to validate their ideas, their teachings. We were made to feel very welcome, very important and were helped with content and process that was uplifting and life lasting. There are no words adequate enough to acknowledge and appreciate them. I loved it all, thought it was so artfully done. I loved the sunrises, the early 6:30am sessions for those of us who were early birds or simply wanted more time with each other and the facilitators. The content was excellent and so uplifting and the balance of reading, lecture, experiential was masterful and so beneficial.
I valued the gentle guidance and flexibility; adequate space for rest, free time… The atmosphere of trust and encouragement, support and spiritual space to be here.
Three days was so important to give us time to find the pathway to release…
A safe, respectful place is created for exploration, trying out new materials, play and fun interwoven with simple, deeply meaningful rituals.