April 22-23, 2021


Meeting ID: 834 8312 9965
Passcode: 768768

9-11 am and 1-3 pm each day
(Mountain time)


Real Eyes

The perils of seeking spiritual real - iz - ation

It Is Enough

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, see what’s there. It seems that any moment of interest or pain or adversity can surprise us into the larger totality of life, breaking our current limits and allowing us the chance to redefine ourselves in response to the larger sense that is upon us. That we are opened — so suddenly and so often — is the way the soul unfolds on Earth.

(Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening)


Spring slowly makes its appearance here in the Northern Hemisphere. Shy as seasons go, Spring sticks its head out just long enough to look around before retreating from another Winter storm of snow...or rainbows. It was just a few months ago that many of us winterized our homes. We made sure our storm windows were in good working order. We put away our flower pots, fueled our snowblowers and made sure our boots and shovels were easily accessible. We knew we could not avoid Winter or fight it or wish it way. The best we could do was allow for it, and winterizing was how we prepared.

Since we were last together many have been confronted with circumstances that surprised us. Death, sudden health crises and disease, loneliness, scary infections, life-saving equipment that stops working the moment it is most needed, challenging transitions that emotionally and physically exhaust us with their demands. A Winter of a different kind. Our conditioned reaction is to clench. We’re looking for a way out to a better place which we cannot yet see. Mark Nepo suggests that our real work in these moments is to look more closely at what’s there, and stop seeking what’s not there.

It’s as if there is a form element underneath all experience. It holds the full potential of each moment. Our best chance of finding it is to relax our clench, open to and see with our real eyes the subtle and unmoving quality of mind. It reveals the larger sense that is upon us, the larger totality of what is actually going on. This seeing is done with our heart, curiosity and willingness to allow things to be as they are.

All too often, seeking spiritual realization is focused on the search for something else. An experience, a state of being, a certain emotion, a new insight we can announce to others. Similar to much of our personal or leadership development work, we are eager to be someplace else, anyplace, other than where we actually are. In this Spring 2021 gathering of the Refiners’ Playground we want to have a conversation about the ways we have been “surprised by the larger totality of life” present where we seldom look and least expect to find it: right here.

Please plan to join us! Go ahead and register. There is no fee and we are eager to be with you!

Love & warm virtual hugs.

Jim and Dan


APRIL 22-23, 2021 virtually



We are an open community of spiritual explorers who meet on a quarterly basis to share our current learning, questions about and experiments on the nature of reality. In particular, we seek to know the True Self directly while examining all of the hilarious ways we try to be something other than this! Our two day retreats are typically attended by 18-20 people from around the country. The dialogue is rich, at times profound, always compassionate and frequently hilarious. Come as frequently as you like and stay for as long as you like.


We meet in groups that range from 18-20 people. We share our stories of what we understand through direct experience and/or are currently learning through our own active experiments on the nature of being. There are no long-winded speeches or dazzling intellectual discourses. We tend not to agree or disagree with each other and seldom give others advice. We have no front of the room instructors or teachers as we all serve this role. We find that when we share our experiences with one another, as co-explorers- we each become more clear and confident about taking our next steps.


People who most benefit from the "Playground" are those who have:

A life long yearning to know what is true about themselves and the universe.

Grown tired of the typical self-help menu with its implied assumption there is some "defect" in us that requires improvement.

Believed more licenses, degrees or certifications will leave them finally and forever feeling "enough".

Many years' experience feeling alone, judged, misunderstood and have simply grown tired of this. And even more tired at having contributed to or led the charge themselves!

If you have experience with any of the above, welcome to the club! You will likely enjoy the solid food of the "Playground". The hard truth is that no amount of suffering or achievement can satisfy the deeper longing tugging at our soul. Our secret desire is wholeness and only our essential nature knows how to weave the fragments we present it into a coherent whole. Our hard work and effort to fix ourselves usually make matters worse, or at least continues the entertainment.

There is another way.


You are welcomed to come for as many sessions as you like and can leave whenever you like. Regardless of how much experience you have with deeper work, you will likely find in the Refiner's Playground a quality of dialogue and loving presence unlike anything you have ever experienced before.


$695 per session (includes breakfast and lunch). $2,495 when you sign up for the next four events. A savings of $285!

Bring a family member, partner, significant other at no additional cost!

Your Trusted Guides

The Refiner's Playground is:

“Time to lay down the armaments we use to fix ourselves and to come home. There is an un-changing center within us that isn’t concerned with anything other than NOW. I often see and recognize the Essential that lurks beneath those moments we naturally resist. I speak directly to it and am learning how to move with it and allow it more play in myself and in us. I am here to usher in an intimate, liberating partnership with the Essential in each all of us! We ARE this!”       - Dan Holden

The Refiner's Playground offers us:

“A unique opportunity to embrace the perfection each life experience offers in burning away the dross of our deluded self perceptions, allowing the true, infinite, essential beings that we are to find fuller creative expression now. I am here to playfully master the art of finding, mining and refining the very best in us, allowing it to creatively express itself in response to the perfect challenge or opportunity that presents itself in each moment.”                                                         - Jim Anderson