I held my 2018 Karate Disciple Retreat in Center Harbor, NH from Thursday 11/01/18 through Sunday 11/04/18. This was the first retreat since 2006 that I've held this event somewhere other than at my home. I figured it was time to change the scenary and give everyone somewhere different to experience.
My disciple Wind Lynx Master Carl Parker arrived late Wednesday afternoon around 5:30 pm after flying into the Manchester airport from Albuquerque, NM. Sue had fixed a marvelous squash, black bean, and kale herbed soup that really hit the spot on a chilly late Fall night.
After devouring that we celebrated by watching the classic 1978 horror film Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis. I had even special ordered the anniversary edition of the Blue-ray version as not only was it Halloween, but neither Carl or Sue had seen it! Incredible! Truly a missed opportunity that I hope I rectified....
Because the theme of this year's retreat was the very complex If I Could Only Imagine, I had asked everyone if they'd mind adding an extra day onto the retreat. I wanted to be able to adequately cover the full scope of the 60+ hours of work I had put into developing the dozen or so presentations I had broken the topic into.
Thursday morning, Sue asked us if we'd like to go with her to hike up Pine Mountain with Beau. Master Parker was all for that, but I stayed behind to get packed and get out a few emails that were backed up. It was misting lightly when they left, but just before they got back, it started to really rain. Fortunately, they had just about gotten down before that happened and weren't too wet.
Master Parker and I headed off for the retreat site just before noon, stopping at the Alton Circle Store for some lunch and lottery tickets. The plan was to take Route 28 North through Wolfeboro and continue on 109 along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee through Moultonboro, take a quick left onto Route 25, and then a right to continue North on Route 109 through Sandwich and around the top of Squam Lake, and from there down Route 3 to a cut off road into Center Harbor.
Dense fog rolling over and down the mountains along 109 in Moultonboro.
It wasn't all foggy. You can see that the colors have peaked up here, and the leaves are beginning to fade into browns.
The iconic shot of the gas docks Henry Fonda and Catherine Hepburn pulled up to in the classic 1981 movie, On Golden Pond. I had Parker back the car up, and get out to walk over to it as he had never seen the movie. I told him that most people see the movie first, and then come to experience the real thing....
I took this picture for him so he could prove that he was actually here.
Even though it was really foggy with enough sprinkles to run the wipers for most of the trip, it was just beautiful, and we had a nice opportunity to chat and get caught up on what's going on in our personal lives. After getting to the site, and storing our gear, we stumbled onto an inscription the previous rental group had left scrawled onto a blackboard hanging in the kitchen:
Drink Up Bitches!!!
We just thought that was a complete scream, and everyone took a picture of it as they arrived and saw it. The home's owner, however, was mortified when I shared it with her. But I texted her back assuring her that it was just classic, and that "... anybody who'd take offense at that should be euthanized."
The house we rented was an old New England farmhouse set on a hill with peekaboo views of Lake Winnipesaukee in the distance. Though the weather was chilly and rainy through most of the retreat, we were all very comfortable inside. Because I had been told by the owner that the kitchen was so well equiped, rather than going out to dinner Saturday night, I cooked a big meal with everyone pitching in with prep work and clean up.
By 6:00 pm Thursday evening all had arrived except Master Nancarrow from Altamonte Springs, FL. He had a late flight getting into Pease, Sue picked him up, and the he drove my car up to meet us around 8:30 pm. We had gone and got some wonderful Chinese food for dinner, and he enjoyed a plate of that after he arrived and got settled in.
I had started some preliminary discussions around my main theme before dinner, and we continued another part of that until throwing a flag on the field to head to bed a little after midnight. When we got up in the morning, a heavy fog and misting rain encapsulated the hill we were on, though you could still make out the lake not far off in the distance.
We were greeted with a rainy, chilly Friday morning in Center Harbor, NH to start the retrat off with.
After getting a hot cup of coffee, we all settled into the living room, and I began my first formal lecture. The following 2 snap shots of the white board show the opening frame, and the closing frame from Sunday morning showing the thematic relationship that I was drawing between imagination, it's relevance to all of life's activities, and ultimately imagination's resolving into rules that result in real results if the work is done.
Imagination Cycle Organization as an Object Oriented Construct
Conclusions Resulting From Following The Imagination Cycle
It was a long day Friday, with not even really a stop for lunch as we just heated up the Chinese take out leftovers, and circled through the kitchen to pick up plates. Though we did stop and sit at the table for quite awhile over our group effort fixing of a spaghetti, meat balls, and garlic toast meal, I continued with my current presentation, and gave the ground work for the next one. We didn't close down until after midnight, and everyone was pretty exhausted. My sessions can be pretty intense, and everyone has to be on point. If they're not, they get called on it. Or worse, if I see their little eyelids flutter, the shoe has been known to fly....
Saturday morning was a very early call for everyone as it was full team breakfast preparation, fully proving that you really can have too many chefs in the kitchen. Master Parker had brought some wonderful Southwestern dry chipotle mix that really brought the flavor of the scrambled eggs right out.
The deep fog that had blanketed the area was still obscuring the view of the lake as I took time out to meet with individual disciples out on the front porch while the others cleaned up the breakfast dishes. It was chilly out there as well, and I had my fleece jacket zipped up.
My morning presentations went so long that we never got a break for lunch. Instead, we combined lunch and afternoon snacks of turkey kielbasa, sliced cheese, mild salsa, and chips and were fine. I'm sure everyone appreciated being cut loose from my last afternoon presentation when I had to start prep work for the dinner I was fixing everyone: Pork Chops With Tomatoes in White Wine Sauce, though because some of us were drinking a nice bottle of Stirling Merlot that Master House had brought, and we had other red wine, I used that instead of white. It came out mah-vou-loose. And with the apple crisp Sue had made for us for a late desert, it was a great meal.
It was a late night, though, as I didn't break things up until a around 1:30 am. I had material left in my last presentation that needed to be discussed to bring the rest of the day's work to a logical conclusion. I think we might have lost some presentation time by having just a little too much fun with all the dinner prep and meal. But that's okay. Everyone is pretty used to late nights and early mornings on retreat.
Sunday we were all on deck around 7:00 am for coffee and muffins that Master Nancarrow had gone down to the Hannaford's in Meredith to get for us all the day before. It's a good thing that I had asked the owner if we could have a little more time to check out as my closing presentation took longer than I had expected it to.
Fortunately, everyone had already packed up all there stuff, and we had made sure to clean up after ourselves as we went so there was only a few bags of trash to take out to the shed. And, the rain had stopped with the sun peaking through the clouds as I pulled the car out onto Route 25 and headed for home.
Though not very relaxing for me as I have to be totally on point all the time, it was, as it always is, a satisfying experience for me to get together with my disciples at retreat. And this was the first year that we had all started to gather on a Thursday afternoon. We usually don't begin the retreat until Friday morning, but I knew I had so much to cover in the 8 or so major presentations that I had crafted that extra time was really nice to have.
It's not that I held a presentation Thursday, but it did give us all a chance to come together and just relax into the process. Usually, it's more like a fire-hose rush getting started Friday mornings with just the briefest of a meet-and-greet before settling in for a long day's work. This was nice.
However, it does require a lot of extra commitment from everyone, particularly those who have to fly in from out of state. It takes just that much more time away from work, using up precious vacation time, and being with the family or just doing stuff around the house that needs to get done. We'll all have to discuss this, and decide whether the extra day is feasible or not.