YOUR INVITATION TO REFINER'S PLAYGROUND
January 20-21, 2022
A VIRTUAL GATHERING
Meeting ID: 834 8312 9965
9-11 am and 1-3 pm each day
FALLING INTO THE EMBRACE
This Place Where You Are Right Now
This place where you are right now
The divine circled on a map for you.
Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
against the earth and the sky,
Life has bowed there –
knowing you were coming.
I could tell you a priceless secret about
your real worth, dear
But any unkindness to yourself
any confusion about others,
Will keep you from accepting
the grace, the love
The sublime freedom
divine knowledge always offers to you.
This is a wondrous truth of the world.
(From Hafiz, trans Daniel Ladinsky)
The earth is a host that kills all of its guests. Many of us have had or are having experiences that feel this blunt and final. It is easy to see the truth in this line when all of us, in our physical form, will die. Yet before our bodies go, many undergo thousands of smaller deaths as we cling to, get entangled in and mistake our identities for various jobs, status, roles, ways of being, partners, physical and financial states. A trapped place of grief can wrap itself in our own small voice, slowly making it hard to breathe. The familiarity makes it hard to resist; it sounds, feels and passes itself off as the truth about us and our circumstances.
It is not.
It would seem that surrendering painful times would be easier than holding onto them. There is often something terrifying in letting go, however, that makes holding on seem safer than turning to directly face the vast and solitary uncertainty. Our premise in the Refiners’ Playground is that each small death strips away more of the dross, revealing more of our essential beauty and grace. We can resist, but life always has its way. When we allow life its way with us, we begin to slowly see that we are not surrendering into uncertainty but, more deeply, we are allowing ourselves to fall into the embrace of the Sacred itself. This may be the only embrace that has no end (and no beginning).
Hafiz wants us to know that, contrary to our felt sense, it is impossible to actually be alone and to face experiences alone. The Sacred (our Spirit, Grace, God, Life Force, The Universe, etc.) has already been there and awaits us now. This place goes by one name —The Place Where You Are Now — not other self-condemning names we give it. It wants to reveal a priceless secret about our real worth.
Our only required movement —
STOP BEING UNKIND TO OURSELVES
— And dare being consistently kind to ourselves —
This Winter gathering of the Refiner’s Playground marks the end of ten years of coming together. We seek to tell our stories about both resisting and opening to the Embrace. We expect this to be a rich and liberating conversations among friends. Please register and plan to attend as many sessions as you can.
WHAT IS THE REFINER'S PLAYGROUND?
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.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A TYPICAL GATHERING?
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.
WHAT WE CURRENTLY KNOW
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
Jim and Dan bring a half-century of experience wading around the inner landscape of human experience in ways that result in greater light, buoyancy, presence and power. We each have our unique spiritual path. We come in not as experts or even as facilitators who speak from the front of the room but as guides who walk alongside. We're aware of the terrain but cannot predict what will happen. Hence, the focus on playful experimentation.
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