Things We Don't Talk AboutThings We Don’t Talk About
(Women’s Stories from the Red Tent)

featuring Special Guest:
Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost

October 9-11, 2015
DeKoven Center, Racine Wisconsin

The Red Tent: Women as Voices of Wisdom and Compassion

At the request of our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Isadora Liedenfrost, we had written down without signing our names, but with complete honesty, a deep fear or life issue we were dealing with. In our afternoon workshop we gathered together in the Red Tent and sat silently as we passed a paper bag around. In turn each of us stood up, drew out a slip of paper, and read of a concern or fear one of us was facing.

 The strip of paper each of us picked became a deeply felt responsibility. Our task was to give advice to a woman among us, who had written of her pain or fear. We all watched and listened as each of us struggled to truly give wise and compassionate guidance. We learned that giving meaningful advice is not easy, and what we had experienced was a gift. Each of us had been a listening presence, listening to another woman's concern in silence, without speaking or judgment, and then listening to advice given with thoughtful wisdom and compassion.

We all experienced the gift of listening, and of hearing our concerns listened to with compassion. This Red Tent workshop made me value, even more, what we experience every time we come together in a Women's Connection Retreat.

~ by Juli Cicarelli

Gong Song Meditation, Reflection and Workshop

Entering the Red Tent for this workshop, I could only hope that the mystery and wonder would continue. As I was one of the last participants to enter the Red Tent space had become limited, but I found a relaxing open area on the floor for me to lie down. With a little introduction, Heather Poyner began with soft, resonating sounds of a gong. She introduced different techniques, rhythms and levels of intensity to grab my attention and immediately help me to focus on the “now.”

Bringing her 14 didgeridoos, Joy Wolf interlaced the melodies of the gongs (Heather had brought two), with the many dimensions of her own instruments. They were made of different substances and were different lengths. At times, it sounded as though the vibrations were near, then far away. This is because they, in fact, were. Both Heather and Joy took painstaking effort to move among us with their instruments, sometimes with just one of them using their instrument, and other times, both combining the magic.

To say that I felt bathed in timelessness and space would be an understatement. I wished it could have gone on so much longer, but was grateful for the gift of the sharing that both Heather and Joy gave. Afterward, both discussed their instruments in depth and I can personally say that it was very much appreciated. I actually have both instruments, although I don’t use them very often because I had felt intimidated by my lack of experience. They both showed me to just “do it” and enjoy whatever the outcome would be, because it would all be good.

~ by Deb Czarnopys-White

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What We Did at the Retreat:
Rise and Shine Saturday and Sunday mornings, and join us for Yoga and Tai Chi!

Kathy Salzano and Janet Adams will each lead an early morning class.

Fall Retreat Workshops

GongSong Meditation, Reflection and Workshop — Heather Poyner

Journey within during an amazing journey of deep meditation through the transcendent harmonics of sound. Rhythm facilitator Heather Poyner will be your tour guide as she plays a 26” inch symphonic gong. Following an hour of music (give or take — we’ll be on village time!), participants can journal — write draw, doodle — their experiences to share with the group should they choose. There will also be time for discussion of the gong as an instrument for spiritual journeying as well as a sharing of its playing techniques.

Workshop attendees should bring yoga mats, blankets, pillows and a journal. Other supplies will be provided.

Zentangles — Nicole Nichols

Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific Method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. Zentangles are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create.

The process of creating a Zentangle is a form of “artistic meditation” as one becomes completely engrossed in making each pattern, deliberately focusing on “one stroke at a time”®. The creativity options and pattern combinations are boundless. And anyone can do it!

“You can Zentangle in a very meditative state, or you can do it more distractedly while also doing something else, from watching TV to sitting in a meeting. I find that Zentangling chalices, even when I do it in a more distracted mode, is a valuable spiritual practice for me. The chalices connect me back to Unitarian Universalism with every doodle.” — Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum — quote from her recent article in UU World

Bellydancing — Mikhaila Scoville Durante

Connect with your “inner Goddess”. No matter your age, experience or body type you will have fun with this experience. Mikhaila will discuss the history of belly dance and then teach the individual movements of the dance followed up with learning a short 'mini' combination so everyone feels they have learned a dance.

Women’s Resource Center of Racine

The Connection Council has chosen to support the Women’s Resource Center of Racine during our Fall Retreat. The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) was founded in September of 1977. Over the past 35 years WRC have grown to provide a continuum of safety services, emergency shelter and a small permanent housing project in rural Racine County. The Center serves individuals and families of all backgrounds, cultures, ages and sexual orientations. All of the services are aimed at creating safety and self-sufficiency for a lifetime for victims fleeing abuse.

Staff from the Women’s Resource Center will discuss efforts to provide crisis intervention, advocacy, education and prevention services for a diverse population of victims or individuals at risk of domestic abuse and/or sexual assault.