When adults arrive at Camp Grounded, the first thing they do is turn in their phones. During the four-day retreat, campers assume pseudonyms, do not mention work or the word "J-O-B," and interact with one another like kids. It's a way of stepping off the grid and reconnecting, face to face.
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It was a few days before the beginning of Lent when I spotted the tree, a valley oak standing at the trailhead. I was on retreat at the Bishop's Ranch, a bucolic spot deep in California wine country and I had intended to take a brisk solo hike in the woods. But the old valley oak, its deadness, stopped me in my tracks.
Most of us are not even aware of that voice that lives inside us, viciously so. Unfortunately, I have been in a long-term abusive relationship with my Inner Critter for years. My Inner Critter poses as an Ivy League tweed-clad professor, and I tend to assign immediate power to anyone boasting to have a "smart" bespectacled academic Joycean opinion, especially about writing.
It is exciting to live in a globalized society, even as it is demanding. We have at our fingertips access to much of the knowledge that has ever been available on these subjects, both in distant past and immediate present. Yoga and psychology are tremendous complements to each other.