Weekend Retreat

I have realized that I need to get away. I have not taken a vacation just for me in nearly four years, i.e., before the pandemic. I have had so much on my mind recently, and it has not been good for me. I am thinking of going to a gay men’s retreat for a weekend in June. Have any of you ever visited Easton Mountain Retreat in Greenwich, NY? If you have, let me know what you think. It is described as:

Easton Mountain is a community, retreat center, and sanctuary created by gay men as a gift to the world. Through workshops, programs, and events, we provide opportunities to celebrate, heal, transform, and integrate body, mind, and spirit. We offer our land, rich in beauty and wisdom, as a home to a community that extends beyond the land. We are a worldwide fellowship of people enriched by our connection to Easton Mountain. This fellowship is a force for positive change in the world. Read More

Their Summer Splash Weekend is billed as a weekend to “get out of your mind.” Here is an excerpt from the description: “This weekend, we invite you to come to Easton Mountain to get out of your mind, to stop using your brain’s logic, forget about social standards and stop using words to try to understand the beauty of being a human and explore the primal self.” Honestly, this sounds like something I desperately need right now.

Although I know myself well enough to realize I will be nervous going to something like this and knowing no one else there, maybe, that is exactly what I need. The whole thing sounds fun and liberating. I need to get out of my head. One of the workshops is “The Liberating Power of Pride,” a reflective discussion focusing on what pride means, what it means to liberate ourselves from heteronormativity, and discover who we are as gay men in the world today. As someone who took a long time to be comfortable in my own skin as a gay man, and something I still struggle with, maybe this will be a bit therapeutic.

I need to learn to be more confident as a gay man. I worry too much about what others think of me or if I am going to accidentally offend or annoy someone. I do not expect a weekend gay men’s retreat is going to give me the self-esteem I need or to make me comfortable in my own body and show the world my true self. All of that takes much longer than three days. I have been working on it all my life, and I don’t think we ever fully reach it since we will always be our own worst enemies.

Furthermore, where else am I going to get an all-inclusive weekend away for just a few hundred bucks. I’d love to go up to Montreal, but that gets expensive, as is any number of other possibilities around here. What I know, though, is that I need to do something for myself. I spend too much time worrying about things that are beyond my control, feeling guilty for things that I either did not do or couldn’t do anything about.

So, if anyone has ever been to one of the weekend retreats at Easton Mountain, please let me know what you thought.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Weekend Retreat

  • dejayw

    Finding yourself may seem more complicated than it actually is. There’s no need to go on a Peruvian pilgrimage or isolate oneself in an Asian monastery. You can find yourself in your own living room – and it’s infinitely less expensive. The best information I can share about finding your identity is not complex. We may fear what others think or have ourselves convinced we have deficiencies. Hey yeah, we all have those worries about not being enough in our own eyes – or others’ eyes. So one has to go deeper. Where that “deeper” led me to was, I was “fearing” because I lacked knowledge. It’s that easy. I was lacking information and my mind was going insane because it was adding all sorts of “stuff” into my thoughts and emotions to fill that empty void we call “knowledge”. There is nothing that will make one perfect – as I apparently can still annoy or get others’ goat. So. Ask yourself: What do I want to know? Why am I afraid to face it? What will do once I have it? Perhaps Why do I want it. The questions and answers are your own because you are finally in control. Not someone else – you are and always have been in control. So breathe.

  • J Craig

    So never have been to this site, but my somewhat experience leads me to offer the following. I had already gone to a nude yoga class for several weeks, and so the being naked with other guys was not a problem. What was resulted from either “tribal” or eastern philosophy becoming a big part of it. As one whose instincts naturally fall into the intellectual and reasoned paths, I found this very uncomfortable and decided not to continue. Can cost a substantial amount of money to withdraw. Your feelings may differ, but it is something to consider. Being naked and comfortable in your body may be easier than letting go of long-held intellectual viewpoints.

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

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