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Deep inside you all yearn to recognize love, experience love and develop the capacity to love. Fortunately, you can fulfill this desire by practicing the six elements of love. With practice these capacities gradually grow strong and heal. Then you realize you are not alone and that human life is precious. You learn to be a true friend to yourselves and to others. The compassion becomes a steady force and you discover that joy and happiness are readily available, which motivates you to practice accessing them. Developing the capacities of the hearts doesnt spontaneously happen, it occurs gradually, through ongoing practice. You do experience noticeable changes as you progress. Other changes are subtle and show up over time. You learn to enjoy present moment living, to cultivate inner happiness, to treat the suffering with understanding, to trust in the goodness of life, to let go, let be and move on.
Each room contains two twin-size beds, a private bathroom, two desks, and an air-conditioning and heating unit. Linens and towels are provided, but you are asked to make your own bed. The Living Room is a comfortable common area open to any guest at any time. Relax to the sounds of the crackling fireplace, or play a board game around the table.
St. Crispins has ten bunkhouse cabins that will accommodate up to 120 people. Unfurnished bunk beds, a short walk to the bathhouse, and air conditioner and heater units - a great choice for those looking for the true camp experience. The cabins generally are open for use from March to mid-May and August to mid-November.
Oakerhater lodges architecture is its distinctive feature. Guests often request the warm, cozy, and pastoral setting evoked by the buildings wooden beams, lofty ceiling, and sandstone fireplace. Two hallways containing 16 hotel-style rooms flank the common area, providing sleeping accommodations for up to 32 guests. Each room has its own bathroom as well as access to the front or back porches.
In the daily lives you inevitably get caught up in the business of routine tasks. You dont take the time to strengthen the capacities most central to the happiness and wellbeing. For this reason it is truly invaluable to set aside time for retreat. One of the great values of spiritual retreats is that it builds your capacity to witness your thoughts. In doing so, your mind quiets and you enter into an extraordinary world of stillness and acceptance of what is. Resting in this quiet is wonderful by itself. It also gives you a center within, where you can see yourself through the eyes of your heart.
Throughout the retreat, outside of guided group discussions, you will maintain silence to facilitate deep transformation. The most transformative spiritual practices have been combined to create a powerful spiritual and psychological container for connecting into the inner wellspring of true happiness and peace.
Mindfulness practices take you into the direct experience of the present moment in two ways. The first way is by becoming aware of your inner body. Doing so connects you to your inner selves so that you are not lost in thinking. You become embodied, in-the-body.
The easiest way to become aware of your inner body is by paying attention to the movement of breath. When your attention is focused on the flow of breath moving in and out, thoughts subside. Your mind becomes engrossed with breathing and becomes quiet. You orient to the inner world.
The second way of coming into present moment awareness is by focusing on what you perceive through the sensory capacities of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. Paying attention to sensory perception connects you to the immediate world around you.
A retreat is a much needed break from daily responsibility and routine. It is a time to center and tend to the inner life. Other than two group meetings daily, the retreat is held in silence. Silence is a profound spiritual practice that allows you to move into your inner core and discover its inherent peace and tranquility.
You learn to connect to stillness and experience the wisdom, clarity and joy that arises from its depths. Silence is richly nurturing, yet some are initially uncomfortable with it, fearing that unwelcome memories and thoughts will arise.
In retreat you will discover that thoughts are just events in the mind and not reality. You learn to witness these inner events and not identify with them which transforms life. Together, the group creates a safe container for silence.
There are only two things you can become aware of, that which is true in your life and what is false. Habits, old stories, memories, and anticipations are false in that they stem from thoughts about the past or the future.
Events in the mind, they seem real because they live in the body and mind and are experienced as repeated patterns, motivations and uncomfortable emotions. They recur because you are unaware of them. Once you become conscious, they lose their life energy and their grip on you.
In retreat you engage practices to help you become conscious of old stories, ideas, and habits that recycle over and over. Nothing is forced or pressured. You simply invite that which is ready to come into awareness to do so.
St. Crispin's Retreat Center is located on 400 acres in the rolling, oak-covered hills of Seminole County within easy driving distance of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. There are quiet hiking trails and two lakes that convey a felt sense of peacefulness, stillness, and serenity.
The retreat center lodge overlooks a tranquil lake surrounded by native oak-covered hills. The facility is a modern conference center with hotel style rooms. Each room has two twin beds and a private bathroom.
St. Crispins proudly serves delicious, well-balanced meals in the dining hall that holds up to 200 people. From homemade blueberry bake for breakfast to lasagna for dinner, guests never leave the dining hall hungry. Dont pass up the fully stocked salad bar that includes yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast, and mixed green salads for dinner (often with fresh vegetables from the garden). Vegetarian, gluten-free, or other dietary needs can be accommodated on request.
Listen to beautiful, evocative music
Participate in directed conversations
Play a board game around the table
Practice mindfulness meditation
Relax to the sounds of the crackling fireplace
Treat yourself with yoga classes
East on I-40 to Exit 200 (Highway 99, Seminole)
South on Highway 99 to stoplight (approximately 10 miles - Braum's on right)
East on Highway 9 for seven and a half miles, St. Crispin's on right.