Exploring Inner Marriage

Exploring Inner Marriage

at The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
Highlands, NC

April 22-24, 2016
two Nights Lodging & Meals: $237.15


The philosopher Carl Jung believed that the culmination of our Soul’s journey is the inner marriage of the opposites within the psyche: masculine/feminine; conscious/unconscious; divine/human. The goal: to move from Ego-centered consciousness to the Soul-centered consciousness of the Sacred Inner Marriage.

That’s a bit much to take on at a two day Retreat.

So, we’ll be exploring the role of our internal masculine/feminine energies and how they contribute to a deeper understanding of who we are now. And, what paths we may want to explore next on our journeys towards a Sacred Inner Marriage.

Our Keynoters will be members of the community sharing short stories of their journeys of on this path followed by brief conversations.

The rest of the retreat will use embodied experiences to explore Inner Marriage. While some of our journeys may have similarities, what you will discover will be uniquely yours. You may find words for your experiences, or you may find the kind of wisdom for which there are not yet adequate words. Spirit works in many ways.

There will be free time, time for pop-up workshops, and fun times. There will be experiences that are familiar to you and others that we’ve not seen at a GSV Gathering before.

More shall be revealed!


Romer (Oracle) Taylor and Gary (Pleasure) Kaupman are Co-Convener’s and Co-Creators of this retreat.


Register Now


(If you need help registering call The Mountain
at (828) 526-5838 x218)

2016 Winter Meditation: The Purpose of Our Lives is to be Happy

Dear Brothers,

If you are not already registered, please consider joining us for a heart-centered, energizing, and enlivening community experience. Renew, replenish, and restore yourself at the 2016 GSV Winter retreat.

Positive emotions play a key role in invigorating all human endeavors, and cultivating positive emotion is one strategy that generates benefits in every area of a person’s life.

Every single one of us is capable of a lot more happiness than we have experienced so far.

There is scientific evidence that happier people are kinder and more generous. They are healthier, live longer lives and they’re smarter and more creative. They have happier relationships and marriages, and have a wide range of friends. They are also more resilient, more productive at work, and enjoy greater financial comfort.GSV 2016 Winter Meditation

Happiness does not happen by chance, it happens by choice. It is a practice, like exercising, the more you practice, the better you get at it. That simple.

So come join us for fun, camaraderie, solidarity, and some interesting conversations of happiness, true happiness.


“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
–Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

“Be happy, for your only function here is happiness.”
–Course in Miracles, Lesson 102.

“Unconditional happiness is the highest technique there is…This is truly a spiritual path, and it is as direct and sure a path to Awakening as could possibly exist.”
–Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul

Tony James, Convener
Cami Delgado, Keynote Speaker & Co-Creator
Jim Stratton, Co-Creator

Register for the 2016 Winter Meditation/Planning Retreat >>


Visionary – Holidays, Spirit and Me: Spirit(s)

This is the fourth and final in our series of pieces on the theme of Holidays, Spirit and Me.

When Pleasure asked me to write about “spirit, the holidays, and me,” I didn’t know (and still don’t) that I would have anything much to say (without being completely cynical). Over the next few weeks, I meditated on my somewhat tumultuous relationship with spirit and ended up writing several short fragments, several of which, I collected into the poem, “Spirit(s)”. I hope you enjoy it! Love you, siblings!!



Sugar le Fae

Sugar le Fae

Sugar le Fae

Meaning “to breathe” in Latin,
cognates of spirāre include:

respire   to breathe again
inspire   to breathe into
expire    without breathing

and, of course, from spīritus,
spirit   breath.

He and I are reincarnated
spirits of little old ladies
who speak what they think
who dye their hair purple
who smoke and drink
and don’t give a shit
what other people think.
Who are we to argue fate?

Listen to “Spirit in the Dark”
by Aretha Franklin
and tell me that
“getting the spirit”
can’t mean in the same breath
“touching God”
and “in the mood.”

When one of my best friends
finally got approved for her
knee osteotomy, we kept
our spirits up over her winter
recovery by making silly
videos of us singing Christmas
carols in wigs and dresses.

Years later, no longer needing
a walker, she could finally
accompany me to the faerie
mountain, where in faerie
tradition, she named herself
Felda Spirit and was welcomed.

Just last week at a teddy bear party,
I played impromptu duets with Blue-
bird, who, topping my Heart
and Soul, turned every note blue.
Spirit can perhaps be conjured,
but tastes best when it’s not lured.

Sugar le Fae (aka Zach Matteson) is a poet, teacher, song writer, photographer, and Radical Faerie. Dozens of his poems have been published by journals in the States and Canada. He currently resides in Nashville, TN

Visionary – Holidays Spirit and Me: The Christmas Heart

This is the third in our series of four pieces on the theme of The Holidays, Spirit and Me.


Doug Emerson

Doug Emerson

The Christmas Heart

Doug Emerson

I believe I first really got in touch with Spirit on Christmas Eve 1982. My roommate, a handsome man with such unbelievable eyes that his nickname became Blue, or Your Royal Blueness, and I were trying to manage to make it through the season. Money was short and friends were dying from AIDS. It just looked dismal.

Blue came home Christmas Eve in the afternoon with an unexpected bonus from his part time job. That led to the development of an event that became legendary. It began simple enough, we went to see if we could score a Christmas tree cheap. While we walked we chatted about how we could somehow give all of our friends a memorable holiday.

The scheme was hatched. I was sent to get champagne and snacks. Blue started calling friends with an invite our “First Christmas” party. By that we meant guests showed up at midnight to a party that was the first one on Christmas.

About 4am, all of my beautiful brothers began to go home. Blue and I were ultimately left exhausted cuddling on the couch.

We didn’t think we could pull it together and when it was midnight had come with no visitors, we had resigned ourselves to drink until we were out of our minds with cheer. Then the door buzzer went off. The first of over 60 men entered our small apartment to share love, humor and memories of friends here and gone.

About 4 a.m. all of my beautiful brothers began to go home. Blue and I were ultimately left exhausted, cuddling on the couch. Holding each other in that wonderful embrace of love and companionship that touched the spirit and gave the room a wonderful special feel and light.

That was the night that I really understood the meaning of family and the spirit that touched each of us that blessed night.


Doug will be spending this Christmas in Atlanta, GA. He hopes to share time with GSV family and renew and expand the circle of love and service. And says, “I continue to be grateful to you all in allowing me to shine.”

Visionary – Holidays, Spirit and Me: Uh oh, It’s Majick

This is the second in or series of four articles on the theme of The Holidays, Spirit and Me


Uh oh, It’s Majick

Whispurring Pussy (Joe)

I remember when it was magic…

Joe Kiser

Joe Kiser

The time of year for which days were marked off the calendar. There were two of these times-of-year.  Summer break and Christmas. Now I’m not talking about the Twelve Days of Christmas countdown. This was different. As I sit here today, I can honestly say that I do not know what other little boys got excited about around Christmas. Perhaps watching football games with their dads.  Perhaps going hunting with their dads.  None of that for me. For me, the countdown was to the day my mom and I pulled out the boxes of Christmas decorations and began turning our mundane living room into a magic kingdom.

As time pushed me into the realm of puberty and eventually adulthood, I found a bitterness for the Holidays. Oh, the magic is gone. During this time, I often found myself depressed and feeling very alone. I now know it was, in part, bi-polar depression. I was also struggling with the self-acceptance of being a  gay man.  During this time, I dreaded the Holidays. I longed for a way to escape, a way remove myself from life for two months or so.  I hated seeing family during this time. I felt guilty for not feeling happy.   I began to resent the Holidays.

I began the process of coming out as a gay man in my thirties.  I experienced anger from family members for coming out. I was told I was selfish for coming out, that I was being influenced by the devil.  Holidays became even more difficult. There were times I refused to visit family during the Holidays.

And with this new-found self-appreciation, I have found, dare I say it, happiness. Happiness within myself.

Today, my bi-polar depression is well managed, thanks to those fine folks at Pfizer pharmaceuticals.  And with lots and lots of therapy, I am downright happy to be gay. I am gay in every sense of the word. I am 51 years old and have the highest sense of completeness that I have ever had. And with this new-found self-appreciation, I have found, dare I say it, happiness. Happiness within myself.

I no longer dread the Holidays. I find joy in celebrating the Holidays with my family of choice. I now spend time with my biological family without dread.  Though some of them continue to struggle with my being gay, I now know that struggle is theirs and not mine. I have begun to regain a sense of wonderment, a sense of hope.

If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.


In mid-December, Whispurring Pussy will be vacationing with Santa in Key West for some last minute naughtiness. Upon his return, Whispurr plans to spend the Holidays with family and friends lapping up vast quantities of Egg Nog while watching his favorite Holiday classics ‘Home for the Holidays’ and ‘Sordid Lives’.

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