- Online Retreat -
A Global Turning into the New Year
the 8. New Year's Meditation & Movement Retreat -- live, global, and online
from December 28, 2020 to January 2, 2021
We are moving into the last days of 2020–this year of the coronavirus, world-shaking elections, and increasing stress on our lives, our ways of living, and our beautiful planet. For many, it has been a time of solitude or even isolation. For others, it’s opened up new potentials of connection and collaboration–particularly through Zoom. But for all of us, this is an ideal time for reflection. In this time of social uncertainty, this annual transition can almost be a rite of passage, a conscious moving from one year into the next.
You are invited to join us for deep reflection inspired by legendary Loheland–the first women’s community in Germany, founded in the early 1900s. These pioneering women share with us the desire for a new consciousness and culture. For them, the focus was on embodiment and women’s freedom of movement, opportunity, and creativity. For us, our focus is the depth from which nonseparation and co-conscious creativity emerges. Despite the differences, the spirit of transcending limits and opening to potential is so similar. While we cannot be there, in Loheland, this year, we want to uphold its trailblazing spirit as we dive deep into retreat.
In our online retreat, we plan to begin with a tour of Loheland via Zoom videoconferencing. We will explore the unique houses and grounds–including the special graveyard where one of the founders lies in the middle of a circle of her students. You will also experience special sessions of Loheland gymnastics-free, flowing movement to keep the body awake and sensitive during the retreat. And, of course, you will join us in daily meditations and our Global New Year Turning to welcome in the New Year, 2021.
The online retreat is free–and we encourage donations. Your donations make it possible for us to present this program. We make you the gift of this retreat, and ask that you complete the circle by making us a gift in return. If you cannot manage a donation, then give fully of your time, intention, and attention in participating wholeheartedly in the retreat.
The Global New Year Turning
Beginning on the 31st of December, we will take a special 24-hour meditation journey that begins in the East with New Zealand and continues as the planet turns until 2021 finally arrives in the far West. We will have special readings or music at each region of the planet to hear the sacred call of Spirit from across the Earth. All participants are invited to meditate into the birth of the New Year at your location. And some retreatants will meditate from dawn on the 31st to dawn on the 1st, making a full global turning into the New Year.
The Loheland Movement Revolution
Loheland gymnastics is not simply about physical exercise. In fact, the founders, Louise Langgaard and Hedwig von Rohden, understood movement as a path to emancipation. As the article “What does the new woman need?” explains, the ethos was holistic: How do I shape my life in harmony with animals, plants and with the Earth as a whole? As the authors write: “The point of the exercises was not, for example, to bend your legs, but was far more focused on the consciously acting person. More important was the question of whether the person doing the exercises was consciously aware of the bending. Strength and grace were secondary matters.” Gymnastics was not about positioning the body but about one’s position in life.
For online retreat participants, we are delighted to have “Lohelanderin” Uta Jahns joining us to offer this unique form of movement for this New Year’s meditation retreat.
Loving the joy of movement since childhood, Uta was fortunate to study Loheland dance and movement therapy as a young woman, becoming certified to teach in 1985. She brings a passion for the Loheland approach and enthusiasm about using Zoom as a way to teach and offer movement instruction. She will lead four sessions during the retreat.
The times shown should be your own timezone.
You choose how much you participate. The meditation schedule is set up so that persons from around the world can find up to six hours per day where they can join the retreat broadcast from Germany. We are also planning to keep the meditation room “open” on Zoom for 24 hours so that you can come and meditate anytime. You are also invited to our Global New Year Turning, as we experience the change of year as Earth turns.
The meditation practice that we encourage in the retreat is a radical openness–letting go into open awareness. This helps to build a tangible field of presence together. We work with short, carefully selected works from the spiritual traditions of the world and various mystics, poets and even musicians such as Sri Aurobindo, Dag Hammarskjold, Vimala Thakar, Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, or Beethoven who support us each in their own special way to engage with the unknowable. The texts are selected as the retreat is happening so that they are responsive, and co-created, by the energy and needs of the retreat.
Loheland Movement Practice. Each day you will be able to join “Lohelanderin” Uta Jahns for movement exercies designed to keep your body fresh and flexible so that you can experience your own physical presence in an increasingly subtle way. This movement and stretching of the body supports alertness and openness so that you can perceive and feel your physical and spiritual presence at increasingly subtle levels. The practice also supports the intensive sitting practice in meditation.
We encourage online participants to take a walk in nature or in a quiet area each day. We may also walk together, in silence, wherever we are. We will share the places we are globally–the mountains and hills, rivers and streams, lakes and oceans that we each call home.
We will also touch into emergent dialogue at the end of the retreat to bring the power and wholeness of silence into language. This will provide a transition from the depths of retreat into our lives in this new year.
How to Prepare for an Online Retreat
To get the most benefit from this online retreat, it’s helpful to prepare in advance:
- Will you do the retreat on your own or with friends? We will provide you with enough structure and companionship to do the retreat alone. And, it’s also great to gather a few close friends and meditate together.
- Where will you do your retreat? Of course, you can do an online retreat at home–or anywhere. But a retreat is an opportunity to go deep and to start fresh afterwards. Having a special place–or creating one in your home–or finding a lovely spot in nature can enhance the retreat experience.
- How will you prepare your food? We will have significant breaks between each 3-hour meditation session so that you can easily cook and eat at a relaxed pace. If you are with friends, share in the dance of cooking together in silence. Shop in advance, as much as possible, and use the cooking time to stay in a meditative space.
- How should you create a schedule? Setting a schedule is more a matter of intention than convenience. Certainly, start by seeing which of the meditation sessions can work for you practically. But then think deeply about your intention for the retreat: do you want to have a light meditation support for a week of vacation or time off? Or do you want to go deep into Being and encounter the depths of your self? Create a schedule that you are confident that you can keep to–and then see if the currents of meditation bring you further so that you meditate more.