October 20-21, 2022

Lake Lawn Resort

2400 E Geneva Street, Delavan, WI 53115

TEL: 1-800-338-5253

(Cut off for Refiners’ room rate — September 20, 2022)



How does the Mystery work?

“A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgement to a place of expectancy. If anyone has in them the dimension of the unknown, possibility is present at all times. The Mystery in anyone can speak to them and heal them in the grocery store. Mystery requires that we relinquish an endless search for answers and willing to not understand.

(My Grandfather’s Blessings, by Rachel Naomi Remen)

Every spiritual tradition speaks of the importance of learning how to witness our lives even as we are living them. To separate ourselves, even a little, from the pain and challenges that so easily ensnare us. Yet witnessing our lives has become very challenging in the face of relentless violence, deception, loss and disruption so close to us. Whether we are recovering from devastating loss, feeling stuck during a troubling transition, struggling to make sense out of incomprehensible circumstances or praying to find solid footing when everything around us is unstable, all of us at some point reach the end of understanding. That door is shut.

Frederick Buechner (1926 - August 15, 2022), an American Theologian once wrote: “Welcome to the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen here. Do not be afraid.” This one sentence sums up the experience many of us have had to date! Most of us have not had much training in how best to respond to terrible things. School, university, coaching schools often leave untouched the deeper, sacred work of knowing ourselves and discovering the doorways to wisdom that lie beyond where understanding stops. 

When pressed by life’s challenges it is easy to lapse into judgement of self,  others…and the Sacred. Asking “Why” only adds to the suffering. Judging self and others harshly makes everything worse. It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies. We forget we carry the Incomprehensible Mystery within us. We came into life with it; it is our birthright. 

In the October’s Refiners’ Playground we want to explore what we know or are learning about this Inner Mystery. How does it show up? What seem to be the triggering conditions where we are most aware of its presence? What role, if any, does it serve in our journey to our Essential Nature?

We return to the Lake House at Lake Lawn Resort for the first time in 21/2 years! Please be sure to register and book your room before the September 20 cutoff. Space is limited. We are eager to be with you again in person! 

** Dates for a one-day virtual followup will be announced soon.

Mark your calendars:

Winter gathering: January 19-20, 2023

Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan, WI

Love to all!

Jim and Dan


October 20-21, 2022 Delavan, WI



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