Womb of the Mother: Ways of Wisdom Retreat
Sundays, March 7th, 14th and 21st 2021.
at 1:00 pm EST/ 10:00 am PST
We meet the Mother in the hidden depths of our own heart. She emerges through our wounds, blesses our brokenness, makes of us a refuge for all things. She seeks the mad ones, the troublemakers, the discarded, the ones who do not fit the molds of empire, who cry out in the night, whose hearts are porous to the pain of the world, those who can't contain their longing for God, who won't wince at the holy darkness of Her love. No one can escape her adoration. The Mother is the womb of life, the soul of the world, the unfathomable Speech of the great Silence. The Mother is your root and my root, and if you follow the stem of your soul all the way down, you will find Her as the Ground of your own Being. She is the shimmering intelligence beneath reality, the void pregnant with ten thousand things. She is ever arising, ever available. She is the source of all Wisdom waiting for our floodgates to give way.
Offering insight in how to commune with the Mother, the mysterious text of the Tao Te Ching says,
"They who know the male, yet cleave to what is female
Become like a ravine, receiving all things under heaven
And being such a ravine they know all the time
a Power that they never call upon in vain."
This retreat is an invitation to rest into the womb of the heart. To gather with likeminded folks for three weeks before the spring equinox honoring the Mystery that unfolds our lives. We will be trekking the scent of the Mother through the revelations of mystics and the teachings of world’s great wisdom traditions as well as the direct transmissions of our own being. The ways of wisdom are dark but open to all and the Wisdom Mothers beckon us to dive fully into our own knowing, as deep calls to deep. We must learn to listen, to receive. To become like her, a vast ravine, a clift in the rock, a womb pulsing with irreverent aliveness. This retreat will be a space of devotion. Less course, more grove where we come together to pray and praise and bless. There is no way to teach the Mother. She can only be approached directly when all other paths disappear. And even then, you might gain nothing from the encounter. You might even begin to lose everything. Become a crack through which the pain of the world pours in, a radiant failure, a disaster at everything that isn’t you, a blessed loser of the Victorious One. That is the way of wisdom. Empty us out, strip us to the core. Boil our bones until hollow in Her, they sing.
Taoist master Loy Ching-Yuen reminds us,
“We can hold back neither the coming of the flowers, nor the downward rush of the stream.
Sooner or later everything comes to its own fruition.”
It is like that. The Mother is always already surrounding us. We are Her seed and nothing can stop the bloom from coming. She unfolds our spiritual lives and births us across thresholds. She is the empty tomb of our holy ordeals. Our only task is to rest and offer our being to its natural gestation. So this is a time for prayer, a time for dropping beneath the surface of things and waiting in the hollow.
The only thing to remember is that there is nothing for us to do here in the dark radiance of her Womb. We do not need to perform holiness for the Mother. No achievement can take us closer, no resistance can interrupt the flow of Her labor. She is the living fabric of our spiritual lives, our psychological lives, our very atoms. She is nearer than nearest. The memory of the Mother is imprinted deep in the soul of every being. She is the spark of primordial beginning and the current that carries all lives to fulfillment.
We might explore how the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu traditions venerate the Mother, say prayers to Her as the Black Madonna, invoke the Shekhina, read poetry dedicated to Ma Kali, learn with reverence about the Tibetan Protectresses Ekajati and Sri Devi. And we might have a few guests stop by, poets, musicians, fellow devotees living at the feet of the Mother. My hope is really just to share our hearts together in community.
If you feel called to this equinox cauldron, come. Rest into unknowing.
This offering has passed.