brown and green grasses by frosty path

Thank you to Karin Larsen for sharing this collection of poems as we look back on the past 25 years at GilChrist Retreat Center, and as we look forward to the future. Find more information about the celebration of the 25th anniversary of GilChrist here.


Like the Hanged Man
In the tarot deck -
We need to look anew
And lift the views of illusion.
See the Higher Truth.
Become the Bodhisattva.
Seeing the world
With a heart of compassion.
These are not easy times
But the light always



The moon rises
Above the treeline
And dances across the lake
As the waters mummer
Against the shoreline.
Cicadas bid goodbye to summer
As the bats flutter 
In the darkening violet skies.
All harmonies of the Earth’s



We are all experiencing
The chaos and confusion
Drain us
Wearing us down
We strive to 
Live authentically
With our hearts



Plants are conscious
They are aware
Among themselves
Issuing warnings
Of invasions -
Even the vibrations
Of a caterpillar’s 
Pausing for lunch
Triggers alarms.



Your suffering
Arises from fear
Of the future
Look around you
How does this moment
Escape you?
There is joy…
Here; Now



I realize that meditation
Leads to greater awareness
But my body refuses to be still.
Thoughts rain as night falls
Until in that border of sleep
One mouse alerts me to
A possible intruder -
Frozen and undivided
I am quiet -
Noting the only intruder
Are my own thoughts.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.