YOUR INVITATION TO REFINER'S PLAYGROUND
January 18-19, 2024
LAKE LAWN RESORT
2400 E GENEVA STREET, DELAVAN, WI 53115
(Cut off for Refiners’ room rate — December 18, 2023)
NOWHERE TO RUN
“There is really nowhere to go and nothing to run after, all happiness, contentment and love is within. Once this is realized, all our experiences, everything we do, every spiritual practice, is just to silence the mind.
There is no longer a desire to change our human experience, we know that where we are right now is where we need to be, and whatever is happening is the exact thing that needs to be happening for healing, purification, and self realization, even when the experience may not be the most pleasant one. We just accept it (there is no longer any other choice ... acceptance happens naturally with expanded awareness and long enough self observation that we can see that resistance is not useful in any way and only delays the whole 'process' of awakening ... ) and work ourselves through all the popping up emotions, heavy energy fields and perhaps for some even physical uneases.
And when there is a need for the experience to change, it will simply start changing, on its own, without us having to pre-think, plan, desire or force something. Life simply moves us to where we need to be, and it doesn't really matter what we think about it - our thinking doesn't change a thing other than makes it all quite difficult ...
… When the mind is silent the truly peaceful and beautiful starts to reveal itself.”
Poet Anne Lamont writes, ‘I see my mind as a dangerous neighborhood; I never go there alone’! As amusing as this line is, it can be tough remembering the vastness of who and what we are when we become entangled in ropes and attempt to awkwardly walk through life as humans. Our tendency as humans is to constrict when under stress. To resist. Our minds tell a story that feels so compelling and real. Something about us that is not done, imperfect, flawed. Relentless chatter. The story is not true and never has been. Constricting only makes matters worse. If we make space for the difficulty and allow it in without resisting or fighting something else can happen. We don’t know what and it doesn’t matter. We give up the need for things to change. Who knows, we might become the Indiana Jones character who, against all of his conditioning, walks over a deep canyon on a bridge that only appears as he walks across it.
You know the mind that has been talking with you so long — the mind that can can explain everything? Don’t listen.
You were once a citizen of a country called ‘I Don’t Know.’
Remember the burning boat that brought you there? Climb in.
( From What the Silence Said, Marie Howe, 2021)
Only as we learn to drop into — or sink open to — a place of acceptance and openness can new possibilities emerge that we could not have seen from shore. The move to drop into our actual experience is only possible as we drop our beliefs, conclusions, and judgements about the experience. It is an active stance of opening to what is and paying attention. Sometimes this is enough; other times there may be a call for immediate action originating in the vastness of who we actually are, and not from a reactive place of resistance. The river of the infinite in us is endlessly resourceful and actively calls for us to drop into itself. How will we respond?
In the Winter gathering of the Refiners Playground we want to share what we are learning or attempting to learn about letting go of the ground we stand on and cling to. The ground of “I Know”. How exactly do we currently ‘make space for’ what we might otherwise constrict from? What do we experience in those moments when we take the perspective of the vastness, quiet our mind and simply ‘Be’? We expect this to be a rich, intimate and liberating dialogue among friends. Join us. Register early to reserve your spot. We are eager to be with you.
Winter in Wisconsin! What could be better? Bring sunscreen, beach umbrellas, shorts and marshmallows… if only to watch the looks you get.
❤️ Jim, Dan & Lisa
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