The Buried Moon Virtual Spiritual Retreat

Week Two, Day One
      Welcome to week two of The Buried Moon Retreat!  As the world outside becomes more restrictive and dire, we hope you are discovering worlds inside yourself that are full to the brim of creative expression, ideas worth exploring, and spiritual revelations.  
      In this second section of The Buried Moon we are introduced to a new character who reminds us that the good Mother Moon and the Shadowy Things are a part of the real world; they exist inside the context of a local village and it's villagers. Both compassion and woe fill our days and this storytelling technique encourages us to call forth the magic of our own ordinary lives; exploring our lived experiences as sacred personal narratives and mysterious inner-myths. This week as we dive even deeper into the myth of The Buried Moon we will also plunge ourselves into the depths of our own stories, the yarns we tell ourselves again and again, and the unspoken tales that live within our spirits. 
Lecto Divina

Again this week, we will be using Lectio Divina, or "divine reading" as a simple practice for experiencing and contemplating a text. There are three steps that will invite you into reflection and contemplation of the myth of The Buried Moon.

Begin by lighting your candle to set your intention to listen to what comes and to mark the space as sacred or as an intersection of the present with deeper meaning. 

First, listen to the audio recording of the story and pause it after the first reading. You may also follow along with the text of the reading below. As you hear the story, listen for a word or a phrase that stands out to you. Take a minute or two to reflect on this word or phrase. How do you experience it? Does it evoke senses like sight or touch? How is it resonating in you?

Second, continue the recording and as you listen again, contemplate how the story is speaking within you. Rather than a cognitive exercise, this is a mode of receptivity to what is stirring within you. Pause the recording again for a few minutes of contemplation. 

Third, resume the recording to listen to the last reading of the story. This time reflect on how the story is connecting with you. What are the points of consonance? Has it created any openings? What responses are emerging within you?  Spend a few minutes reflecting on the story through journaling. 

Finally, spend a few moments in silence to conclude your encounter with the story. Blow out your candle, take a stretch, and turn your attention to the rhythms of daily life.

Special thanks to Matt Suslovic '21 for giving a third reading worthy of an audiobook.

Play the audio recording
Myth of the Buried Moon
Week 2
And as she [the moon] stilled herself for a moment, wondering what she might do now, she heard a voice in the distance, calling out in a crusty old voice; and then she heard steps floundering along, squishing in the mud and slipping on the tufts; and finally through the darkness she made out a big white face with bright, frightened eyes. It was a man, and he had strayed off the path and become lost. Spotting the light that flickered out from her cloak as the Moon tried to free herself, he struggled on towards the pool, thinking that the light might mean help and safety. 

And when the Moon saw that he was coming closer and closer to the deep hole, she fought and fought to free herself, fearing that he too would fall and become trapped in the pool, and maybe even drown. So hard she fought that the black hood fell off her shining white hair, and the beautiful light that spilled out drove away the darkness and the terrors of the night. Oh, the man cried with joy to see the light again, and to see the dark, shadowy Things fleeing back into the dark crevices of the bog, for they couldn’t abide the light. And now finally he could see where he was, and where he needed to be, and so off he ran, back across to the boreen again, finding his way home. He was in such a hurry to get away that he hardly thought to wonder at the source of the light, or to look down at the brave mother Moon, who was so glad to see him safely back on his path that she forgot to call out to him for help. 

And so again she struggled, thinking how fine it would be to be out of the bog again, pulling and fighting as if she were mad – but still the bramble held tight, and all that she succeeded in doing was spilling the black hood over her face again, so that the light went out and the darkness came back to the bog, and out again crawled the dark Things. With screeches and howls they crowded around the pool, mocking the Moon and snatching and beating at her, shrieking with rage and spite, swearing and snarling. 

They knew her for their old enemy: the one who drove them away into the dark corners,  and kept them from working their wills. And so miserable was the Moon that she crouched down further into the dark pool, cold and shivering and lost. The dark Things fought and squabbled about what they should do with her, till a pale light began to rise in the east, and dawn began to think about breaking. The dark Things saw that they were running out of time, and so all at once they caught hold of the Moon and shoved her even deeper into the pool, and two giant bogles went and found a huge heavy rock and rolled it on top of the pool, to keep her from rising again. And there lay the Moon, buried in the bog, with no hope of help. 
(By Sharon Blackie from If Women Rose Rooted)
'The Buried Moon' lithograph by John D. Batten

Weekly Outline

Mondays: Listening Deeply with Lectio Divina
Tuesday: Spiritual Art Practice
Wednesday: Civic Reflection Journaling
Thursday: Sacred Aesthetic Experience
Friday: Creative Writing Prompt *optional Zoom gathering @ 1 pm EST
Sat/Sun: Time for rest, catching up, and integration

Previous Emails

If you would like to look back on previous emails of the retreat, they can all be found here.

Creating Space

An essential part of 'retreating' while at home is to create intentional space that feels sacred, designated, and distinct from your ordinary routine. This can be a small corner of your desk, a part of your shelf, a nightstand by your bed, etc. Objects you cherish can help create a special space.
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Bates Multifaith Chaplaincy · 163 Wood St · Lewiston, ME 04240-7687 · USA

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