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Bearing Witness to Joy

It may seem strange to dedicate time to joy. Who doesn’t naturally gravitate in that direction? Well, research and  personal experience tells us that not as many people
invite in, sit with, or know how to recognize joy in their lives as we might think. As we look toward spring and the natural transition toward more light(ness), it seems right
timing to invite you all to join us at Laughing River for the latest series on bearing witness… this time bearing witness to joy!



What is joy?

What is our genuine heart and what role does joy play in it?

What is the intimate relationship between joy and the wheel of other emotions?

Why do some wisdom traditions name the awakened heart as being one of sad/joy?

For many of us, the concept of joy has been formed around attributes that are impossible to achieve. No one is always happy. No one can maintain elevated states of
energy all of the time. This is not the kind of joy we are exploring. Ours is a mature joy, rooted in spiritual practice and deep reflection. One that contains wisdom and compassion. One that invites the wholeness of who we are to be celebrated, honored, and gently nourished.


When we begin to investigate the concept of joy and our personal experience(s) of it, we realize there is an unconditional joy that is an inherent part of who we are. It is spacious and forgiving. At times, it is intimately connected to sadness and grief. In this three-part retreat we will explore the practice of joy in three parts:


Cultivating a mind of Not Knowing

Bearing Witness

Healing & Compassionate Action


Through mindfulness practice, guided dialogue, and story sharing, we will give space for wisdom and compassion to emerge, allowing restorative ways of being and healing. In week one and two, we will focus specifically on joy, the awakened heart, and attunement to self and others as they correlate with the principles of Not Knowing and
Bearing Witness. Our third session will invite healing and compassion as we explore joyful action in our lives.


You are invited to participate in the Kripalu Yoga Class prior to retreat sessions, as a way to take the inward turn, preparing to step into the container and bear witness to our individual, as well as collective experiences. Attending the yoga class prior is NOT a requirement; it is simply an invitation. The only requirement we ask is that if you register for the retreat, you commit to all three sessions as they are intimately connected.



Please share this invitation with those you feel are in deep resonance. Your host for the retreat is Kim Nolan.

April 3, 10, & 17

Sliding Scale: $30/$55/$75

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