Hunter's answer to the question: "what is a retreat? and also more information about Hunter.
“What is a retreat?” my friend Danny asked.
My jaw, quite simply, dropped.
In the last twelve years of leading retreats, I’ve answered many questions about them. “What will I get from this retreat?” was the most common, quickly followed by variations of “Will I be safe?” (Yes, and you have total freedom to take care of yourself), “Will I be comfortable? (As comfortable as you want to be), and “Will I be supported?” (Oh, yes!). What dropped my jaw wasn’t the question itself; it was the fact that in all these years, no one – including me – had ever asked it.
I could have tried to answer the question by talking about the ingredients of a good retreat. First, we need a beautiful setting, crafted with loving attention, offering a perfect balance of wide-open spaces for playing together, intimate communal spaces for gathering, and quiet nooks for private contemplation.
We also want an exciting menu of experiences, giving people the chance to explore every aspect of their lives, to develop joyful, authentic, loving connections, to set free their creative inner child and to rediscover their own most passionate and daring visions. Over the years, I have cultivated just such a menu, filled with the most powerful experiences culled from decades of experience: breathwork, trance dance, meditation, conscious erotic play, shamanic ceremonies, the inipi (sweatlodge), heart circles, yoga, authentic movement, and experiential group exercises. The best experiences, though, are the unplanned ones that crack us open in unexpected ways, like the time a very gentle, demure man accidentally dropped his pants during a Sufi ceremony, exploding the circle into helpless, unceremonious rolls of healing laughter.
Of course, it helps to have a skilled facilitator for a retreat: someone committed to creating a safe, supportive, playful space for discovery, someone willing to set aside his opinions and agendas in order to support others in living their own deepest truths. A good facilitator is not there to share his own gifts; he is there to create a space for others to gift each other. And how they do!
That is really the most important ingredient: a group of people daring enough to step outside the comfort zones of their lives, drop their stories and open their hearts to each other. People willing to ask for what they want, receive deeply, and gift each other joyfully. Really, this includes everyone; we all have the potential to live this way, and it is the magic of a retreat that brings this potential into reality.
I could also have tried to answer the question by talking about the extraordinary gifts I have seen people give themselves at retreats. No matter how satisfied we are in our lives, a retreat offers us the opportunity to step back from everything we think we know, and to experience ourselves, our world, and each other in a powerful new way – and the rewards are amazing.
I have seen people come alive before my eyes, breathing more freely, laughing more easily, playing with abandon, letting in the intimacy they craved and offering themselves to each other with astounding generosity. We often come away from retreats with lifelong friendships, a more compassionate understanding of our own lives, and the commitment to move our lives in the direction of our most compelling visions.
I have watched people cultivate these gifts in powerful ways in the days and months that follow the retreat. Sometimes, the changes are small: new spiritual practices, greater self-care, creative projects, more play, and more satisfying experiences in their relationships. Sometimes, they are extraordinary: people have moved, changed careers, taken journeys they had only fantasized about, dropped unsatisfying relationships, built new ones, and committed themselves wholeheartedly to their wildest dreams. However these changes play out, it is the inner ones that seem to matter most: we see differently, we understand more deeply, and we live more freely and more joyfully.
The most difficult thing about answering my friend’s question is that a good retreat is so much more that its parts; retreats have a magic all their own that defies any attempt to describe it. I could have simply said, like so many of my participants, “I have no words.” Yes, we are retreating from our lives, retreating into the most playful and joyful parts of our own being, and coming forth renewed. We have an amazing amount of fun! But words simply fall short.
I took a deep breath, enjoyed the cool air rushing down inside my lungs, and looked into my friend’s beautiful, sparkling eyes. I thought back to all the people that have moved me so deeply over the years
“A retreat,” I grinned, “Is everything we make of it … and more than we could imagine.”
Hunter Flournoy is a Freedom Coach, Shamanic Healer, Breathworker, and a teacher in the erotic wisdom traditions of the world. He has devoted his life to learning from elders, healers, and teachers in the indigenous traditions of Curranderismo, the Toltec tradition, the Mayan fire ceremony, and the Lakota Inipi, and the erotic wisdom traditions of Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and Eastern Christianity. Hunter has led workshops and ceremonies in awareness, creativity, erotic healing, passionate living and personal freedom for twenty years.
To learn more about Spirit Journeys and Hunter's work, go to: www.spiritjourneys.com
TERMS & Conditions
For Gay Retreat 2017
Article 1 Definitions
1. In these general conditions shall apply:
A. Retreat: The retreat is organized by GaySpiritFriends,
hereinafter referred to as Organizer.
B. Participant means a natural person, not acting as an entrepreneur, who has registered to participate in the retreat.
C. Main Booker: the Participant, not acting as an entrepreneur, who registered to participate in the retreat and introduces a Guest for the retreat.
D. Guest: by the Main Booker nominated person, not acting as an entrepreneur, who has registered to participate in the retreat.
E. Agreement: the agreement tending to Participant's participation in the retreat.
F. Organizer: GaySpiritFriends.
Article 2 Participation
1. Participation in the retreat is only possible for an individual who ,set by the Organizer, has at least the minimum age.
2. The Participant may only participate in the retreat when he will fill the application form fully, truthfully, if the fee is fully met at designated bank account and if the participant has agreed to these terms.
3. If the Participant is unable, for any reason whatsoever, to participate, then the rules and relevant cost of cancellation apply of Article 6.
4. The Organizer may in exceptional circumstances decide to cancel the retreat. If the retreat is canceled in time, the Organizer will refund the entry fee.
5. If the Participant appears too late for the start of the retreat, no (partial) refund of the fee is possible.
6. The Organizer may in exceptional circumstances decide to change the program of the retreat. In such case there is no refund of the entry fee.
7. A decision of the Organizer to cancel the retreat does not create liability for reimbursement of costs incurred by the Participant, including travel, accommodation and housing.
Article 3 Liability
1. Participation is at your own risk. The Organizor is not liable for any damage whatsoever which the Participant may suffer as a result of participation, unless this damage is the direct result of the Organizer’s attributable to intent or gross negligence. This disclaimer also applies to serious damage like all kinds of losses as a result of (permanent) injury or death.
2. If, notwithstanding the first paragraph of this article, liability of the
Organizer for damage by the Participant must be assumed, the obligation of the Organiser to pay compensation may not exceed the amount that the insurer of the Organiser in respect of that damage will release.
3. The Participant must be adequately insured against the risk of damage he or kin may suffer as a result of his death, injury or illness caused by his participation in the retreat.
4. The Participant shall indemnify the Organiser for any damage that third parties may suffer as result of the Participant's acts or omissions relating to the participation in the retreat. The Participant must be adequately insured against the risk of liability for such damage.
Article 4 Right of Portrait
1. Participant grants permission in advance to the Organizer for disclosure of taken pictures, videos and other materials in which the Participant is visible during or around the retreat.
2. If there are plausible objections to this portrait right, then the Participant can send a written objection or email an objection to the Organiser.
Article 5 Personal
1. The personal details provided by the Participant wil be filed by the Organizer.
2. The Participant, by entering into the Agreement, authorizes the Organizer to use the personal data for sending information to the Participant and authorizes the Organizer to send such data to third parties for sending information about their events to the Participant.
3. The Participant may at any time without charge object in writing or by e-mail to sending information by the Organizer or object against providing personal information to third parties. The Organizer will cease sending information once the objection has been received.
Article 6 Cancellation Policy
1. Cancellation of participation in the retreat is possible. The following costs are associated with cancellation:
- If canceled before 31st of May 2017, the organizer charges € 50, - to the Participant.
- If canceled in June or July 2017, the Organizer charges 50% of the booking to the Participant.
- If canceled in August 2017, the Organizer charges 75% of the booking to the Participant.
- If canceled in September 2017, the full amount paid for the retreat will be charged.
2. Participation in the retreat by the Participant is personal. However, the Participant can send a substitute Participant who is able to join, under the following conditions:
- The Participant shall no later than August 31st 2017, inform the Organizer.
- The substitute Participant shall send all necessary data to the Organizer.
- The Organizer cancels the booking and will pay back the money to the Participant as soon as the booking and the money of the substitute Participant has been received. To avoid misunderstandings, a written and signed cancellation must be sent to the Organizer. We recommend the Participant to get his own travel- and cancellation insurance for unforeseen circumstances!
Article 7 Discounts
1. The Main Booker can use the following discount options:
- Early Bird Discount: € 100, - discount for booking and paying before 31st of March 2017. Price for the retreat wil be € 795, -.
2. Payment in installments: € 300, - before March 31st / € 300, - before June 30th / € 295, - before September 30th.
Article 8 Disputes
1. These general conditions and any agreement entered into between the Participant and the Organizer is subject to Dutch law.
Heerlen, November 1st, 2015
Chamber of commerce no: 50098136