The Sacred Fool’s Journey

GSV Spring Retreat

April 21 – 23 2017
The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
Highlands, North Carolina

The Sacred Fool’s Journey

“Whoever travels without a guide, needs two hundred years
for a two-day journey.”

-Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Our life’s journey comprises innumerable smaller journeys which in turn create and append our larger life’s journey.  Think of it as spirit’s spiral dance.

It is really easy to make decisions that direct our journey on autopilot; a consciousness based on the experience and knowledge of others. Autopilot keeps us safe on planes, but does little to enrich our spiritual lives that thrive on inquiry and openness. Unlike autopilot, spiritual journeys call us to be courageous as we choose our journeys and navigate their paths.

The Sacred Fool’s job is to be our guide; to buoy our courage and lift our spirits.

This Fool we will explore at the Spring Retreat, is not witless, fatuous or shortsighted.

Quite the opposite. Our Sacred Fool encourages us to embark on new journeys with our eyes, minds, and, most especially our hearts, open.  This Fool is filled with curiosity and calls us to explore ever-greater aliveness, a greater consciousness and deeper union with spirit.

The Sacred Fool is the very definition of generosity of spirit, filled with cheer and skillfully using laughter in the service of morphing fear into trust. GSV’s Spring Retreat is traditionally the lightest and most ebullient of its three yearly gatherings. This retreat will be brimming with the pleasures and the rewards of connecting through play.

Come to explore your courage and ours. Courage acknowledges the presence of fear and willingly engages it, while bravery requires little thought or consciousness and thus knows nothing of fear.
This is the courage of the drag queens and sissies who ignited gay liberation in the ’60s. This is the courage of the communities that came together in the ‘80s to care for each other and demand that the political and medical establishments take action to halt the AIDS pandemic. This is the courage that is at the core of peaceful resistance and the guiding light of non-violence; the courage that it took for you to come out and to come to GSV. This is the courage that will allow us to challenge all who would silence spirit.

The schedule will similar to last spring allowing big blocks of free time and/or the option to participate in community-led workshops.

Register Today

We’ll have the option to stay at The Mountain from Sunday afternoon to noon on Monday. We’ll be the only group there, but there is another group that will be using the lodge arriving after lunch on Monday, so we will not be sleeping there on Sunday night. You may sign up for the extra day when you register for the Spring Retreat. The price for the extra day includes meals. If fewer than 20 people sign up, you will receive a $20 refund and we’ll buy some groceries and prepare our own meals.  This extra day is not sponsored or supported by GSV.

 


Finally, please don’t forget the Spring Silent Auction that benefits GSV’s Financial Assistance Program. It’s really simple: You bring items that you value but no longer need and buy the treasures that speak to your spirit that were brought by others. All of the proceeds allow those with limited financial resources to join us.

Gary (Pleasure) Kaupman

Andy (Ann Dee) Foskey

2017 GSV Winter Meditation: Cocooning & Transformation

GSV 2017 Winter Meditation

GSV 2017 Winter Meditation

Cocooning and Transformation

January 13 – 15, 2017
at The Mountain, Highlands NC

Cost is $ 226.47 – Double Occupancy
$301.20 Single Occupancy

Register for the 2017 Winter Meditation

Dear Brothers,

Come join with a loving community of your GSV brothers for a time of mindful
presence and gentle celebration. The long nights of January will offer us space
for quiet and inspiration–think of ancient farmers who honored the dark and
silence of a season long past harvest. We seek the wisdom of all creatures who
wrap themselves in a mantle of repose, awaiting a transformation into new life.
We’ll bundle our individual memories together and lay them on the altar. Guided
meditations will help us take stock of our present lives, and especially of patterns
that no longer serve us well. We’ll envision new directions for the coming year:
our intentions and our hopes, both as individuals and in community.
Come create strings of meditation flags to surround us in our gathering. Help
decorate a communal shawl to wrap ourselves in our visions for the days and
months ahead. In the season of cold and darkness, we’ll honor fire, warmth, and
light. Share in creating an evening of poems, songs, performance, costume, and
dance.

Registration for the GSV 2017 Winter Meditation is now open to all men who love men. Early registration will assure your place. Programming for the Winter Meditation will conclude on Sunday afternoon, but some of us will stay on to savor the winter beauty and spend more time with our brothers. For an additional charge, you can register to stay on at The Mountain until Monday afternoon.

As a spiritual director, Kurt Schreiber helps others heal discordant conditions, clarify goals, and respond to (or initiate) change. He approaches this and the rest of his life on a basis of fundamental spiritual principles and a related practice that draws mainly on Christian and Buddhist traditions. Often, he works with individuals, groups, and organizations on problems resulting from what he sees as broadly held misconceptions of cultural, religious, gender, or sexual identity. For about thirty years, Kurt worked more than full-time in the corporate world, where he was a senior officer and general counsel of large companies. While he no longer practices law or works in companies, his business background is sometimes useful, especially when he is asked to help inter-religious, charitable, and business organizations. Kurt’s home is in Nashville, where he’s now lived longer than anywhere else. There are many there whom he holds dear, including his two grown children.

David Townsend first made friends with the GSV community at the Fall Conference in 2004. He’s spent over thirty years as a teacher. Now he’s making more space for his calling as a spiritual companion, ritualist, and sacred intimate. Last August, he co-led a retreat in Maryland, under the auspices of the DC-based group Jonathan’s Circle. The program helped nineteen men create personal and shared-ritual to support the integration of their spiritual and erotic lives. David believes we’re all happiest when we live our lives with gratitude, and with a desire to give back. A slut who will pray with anybody, he’s fascinated by how ritual works across cultures and religious traditions. He keeps his blog on queer men’s spirituality at www.anchorholder.blogspot.com. David lives in Toronto and on the East End of Long Island with his partner Jonathan and their cat Bracket.

Kurt Schreiber, Co-Convener
David Townsend, Co-Convener

Register for the 2017 Winter Meditation

2017 GSV Winter Meditation: Cocooning and Transformation

GSV 2017 Winter Meditation

GSV 2017 Winter Meditation

Cocooning and Transformation

January 13 – 15, 2017
at The Mountain, Highlands NC

Cost is $ 226.47 – Double Occupancy
$301.20 Single Occupancy

Dear Brothers,

We invite you to join with a loving community of your GSV brothers for two days of stillness, peace, mindfulness, and gentle celebration. Our models include ancient farmers who honored the dark and quiet of winter long past the season of harvest. The wisdom we seek is that of all creatures who wrap themselves in a mantle of repose to await a transformation into new life.

We’ll seek through guided meditations to understand more clearly our 2016 lives, and especially the patterns that no longer serve us well. We’ll envision new directions for the coming year. We’ll explore our intentions and our hopes, both as individuals and in community. We’ll bundle our individual memories together and lay them on the altar.

We’ll create strings of meditation flags to surround us in our gathering. We’ll decorate a communal shawl to wrap ourselves in our aspirations for the days and months ahead. In the season of cold and darkness we’ll honor fire, warmth, and light. We’ll celebrate together with poems, songs, performance, costume, and dance.

An option to stay on an extra day after the Sunday close of the gathering is pending. We’ll have more information in a subsequent e-mail.

Kurt Schreiber, Co-Convener
David Townsend, Co-Convener

Register for the 2017 Winter Meditation(external link)

For online registration help or to register by phone, call:
The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
828-526-5838

2016 Fall Conference

Superheroes

Unlocking your secret superpowers
to live whole-heartedly and change the world.
super-hero

Greg Walloch, Keynote Speaker

September 22 – 25, 2016

At The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC

Three Nights: $398.90
Four Nights: $489.64

My Dear GSV Family,

The Gay Spirit Visions 2016 Fall Conference is less than 2 weeks away! If you haven’t registered yet, and you’re planning to come, there’s still time to register. Please don’t delay any further because spaces are filling up fast and we just have a few openings left.

And if you weren’t planning to come, but just needed a little push, this is it! We’re going to have a fantastic time at The Mountain this year and you don’t want to miss it! Please register today!

Our theme, Superheroes: Unlocking Your Secret Superpowers to Live Whole-Heartedly and Change the World, has created a lot buzz. In addition to our fabulous keynote speaker, Greg Walloch, our team leaders and workshop presenters are putting together a great weekend that will be fun and engaging. For those of you who are first-timers, you’ll learn why GSV gatherings are so special, and for those longtime attendees, we have a few surprises in store for you.

In the coming days there will be additional announcements, including a “what to bring” announcement, so keep watching the GSV website, our Facebook page, and your e-mail inbox.

Remember, check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22nd (on Wednesday the 21st if you are registered for early arrival). We’ll have a welcome reception at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:15 p.m. The conference will officially start with our opening ritual at 7:30 p.m. The conference will wrap-up by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25th.

I’m getting really excited to see all of you at The Mountain and I look forward to fellowship, heart-centered work, playtime, and of course heartfelt hugs.

With love and laughter,

Thunder
2016 Fall Conference Convener

Read More About the 2016 Fall Conference>>
Register for the 2016 Fall Conference>>

2016 Fall Conference

Superheroes

Unlocking your secret superpowers
to live whole-heartedly and change the world.

3 hearts

Greg Walloch, Keynote Speaker

September 22 – 25, 2016

At The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC

Three Nights: $398.90
Four Nights: $489.64

My Dear GSV Family,

It is with great excitement that I announce who our keynote speaker is for the Fall Conference.

Greg Walloch is an internationally renowned comedian, writer and storyteller whose live solo shows have toured in Moscow, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Poland, Scotland, Tel Aviv and in various festivals across the United States. As an openly gay artist with a disability, he uses humor to expose cultural and social fault lines. Greg is best known for his comedic autobiographical stories which deal with events from his own life in a style characterized by sharp wit, poignancy, and sexuality.

Greg is passionate about bringing together community through storytelling. He strongly believes that sharing our personal narrative has the power to change not only our own lives, but the lives of those around us. He regularly teaches concepts from his master class The Alchemy of Storytelling. Some of Walloch’s engagements have included the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, George Washington University, University of California at Berkeley, New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Loyola Marymount University, Newton High School of the Performing Arts in Sydney,Australia, Escuela Campo Alegre in Venezuela, and The Calhoun School in New York City, among others.

Greg hosts the popular monthly live meta-food storytelling show Eat Your Wordswhich can currently be seen every first Thursday of the month at The Standard, Hollywood, California. He currently resides and works in Los Angeles, California.

I’ve long followed Greg’s career and am so thrilled to have him joining us on The Mountain in September. I hope you all are as thrilled and excited as I am.

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so this week or next to ensure you have a spot. Additional details are forthcoming.

Much love to all of you,
Thunder (Mark),
Fall Conference Convener

Read More About the 2016 Fall Conference>>
Register for the 2016 Fall Conference>

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