Alcyon is a piece of native ground for me. I come to embrace my clearest sense of the world and of myself and to accept there is much I do not know or understand.
The Alcyon center has become a kind of breath for me. The work we do there is a way that brings me into the depths of myself and helps me to see how those depths are related to the world. The grounds are filled with subtle beauty I am always seeing more and more. It is really a special, unique, and sacred place.
I found the Alcyon Center on the internet, while I was searching unsuccessfully for monasteries in Maine. I wanted to spend time in a community with a focus on prayer and meditation and, hopefully, with some Gregorian chant. At Alcyon, I didn't find the Gregorian chant, but I did find Nature and happy solitude, bordered by communal meditation in the morning and communal dinner in the evening.
I came to Alcyon weary of my own daily tasks and life. I left Alcyon with some new practices and and a desire to perform my own daily tasks with reverence. It has been a half year since my visit there, and I do indeed live my days with more reverence. I can still hear Joan or Kathryn saying at the table, "Blessings on the meal." And I keep my own Great Silence during the night.
Going to the 1st Friday Quiet Day gathering at the Alcyon Center is like coming home to sanity again, such a restful and restorative place. Kathryn & Joan's gracious hospitality helps restore a sense of balance and gratitude in me, every time.
The Alcyon Center is a rare sanctuary where one can settle into stillness and silence and go deep, whether in community or in solitude. On both group and individual retreats, I have found this to be a place of profound welcome. Kathryn's and Joan's hospitality, wisdom, compassion and care infuse everything from the conversation to the comfortable spaces, delicious and healthy dinners, amazing book collection, beautiful paths through the woods, gardens and labyrinth. Whether I'm sitting in silence in the morning or walking the path to the shore or engaged in conversation, this place reminds me that it is always possible to come Home to myself and the world. It's a matter of making the time, over and over, to stop. And listen.