Stepping out of the retreat hut

close up photography of incenses

The ending of a committed time and space for spiritual practice is a beautiful opportunity to reflect on how – even in as little as three days – you have evolved as a human being. Ask yourself, what is your relationship to suffering, compared to three days ago? How do you understand and experience your personal resilience? Did you discover moments of clarity, balance, deeper peace? What are you grateful for?

One final teaching, worthy of reading and re-reading, writing, praying, singing, dancing and living, comes from one of the most influential and revolutionary philosophers, ecologists, and teachers of our time: Joanna Macy. In one of her famous lectures, she starts by directly addressing the idea that in the end, we tend to think about the beginning. In many ways we are coming full circle as a planet, as a species, culturally, and yes – as individuals. Use Joanna Macy’s words as a talisman to guide, comfort, and ground you as you step out of the retreat hut of our weekend together, and into the brand new world, your life courageously, fearlessly, deliciously made from scratch.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world – we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as if from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.” – Joanna Macy

Thank you for joining me, Arwen Ek, The Holistic Homestead, and 13 other dedicated individuals for Winter Retreat 2021: Making it from Scratch. I am bowing with heartfelt gratitude for each and every one of you who has chosen to pursue self-inquiry, and allowed yourself to let go of a few, small distractions to make room for these practices.


Any spiritual practice is complete when we have three elements: 1. setting a clear intention; 2. the practices themselves; and 3. a dedication. Here are some links to past dedications: Offerings & Dedication, Closing a retreat, dedicating the merit. You are invited to recite the dedications below, or write your own!

graffiti on brick wall on street
Photo by Brett Sayles on

May your lives be filled with incalculable wealth of wisdom, and as long as you seek it in earnest, know you are that.

Though we stumble from time to time, may we remember our faults, shortcomings, and honest mistakes as part of the path, this beautiful path that we are dancing called our life. May we be ever ready to forgive and apologize from our hearts, and to offer praise, encouragement and love.

May we drink from the wellspring of countless generations of wisdom wells, the intuition of our grandmothers, and our grandmothers-grandmothers, and our great-great-great grandmothers. Just by asking for it, may we feel the kindness, the guidance of our ancestors with confidence.

May we strive tirelessly to act for the welfare of all beings, and all generations. May we never hesitate to act from generosity, compassion, and kindness.

Any positive actions that I may have done, any good deeds that we have accomplished, and all the good works of my life, including my positive thoughts and peaceful presence, may we dedicate the merit thereof to the benefit of others.

May all beings have happines and the causes of happiness.

May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

Rejoicing in the success, happiness, peace, health and merit of others,

may all beings without exception abide in perfect equanimity, free from anger, desire and ignorance, and live as shining lamps of loving kindness, generosity, and compassion.

Blessings and health, Arwen

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