Carve out time for YOU—Zen Meditation Retreat at Grailville

The 24th annual Zen Meditation Retreat with Fr. AMA Samy, S.J. is coming to Grailville on September 19-28 with 3 options to meet your needs:

  • Intro to Zen Meditation Weekend: 9/19-9/21
  • Six Day Intensive: 9/23-9/28
  • Ten Day Extended: 9/19-9/28

Whether you are interested in deepening your current practice of Zen Meditation or would like to experience it for the first time, you are welcome to experience this uniquely Grailville retreat.

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Past participants tell us:

“A beautiful retreat in the wonderful environment that Grailville provides!  Those of varied religious persuasions are made to feel perfectly at home.  AMA Samy is an inspirational and peaceful presence whose gentle, accepting guidance makes the retreat an annual joy.”               ~ Jo Ann Recker, SND de N.

“The silent retreat has become an annual homecoming for me.  I cherish the time to slow down, reflect and learn Zen teachings from Ama Samy.  Sharing the experience of silence with the other meditators and the deep respect shown to one another during the retreat impacts my daily life throughout the year.”        

 ~ Ginny Deters

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This mostly-silent retreat blends a perspective from both Christianity and Zen, creating an ideal entrée into meditation with a multi-denominational perspective. The pace of modern life dictates conscious effort to carve out time for spiritual development.  This experience will provide tools to embrace the practice of Zen.

Not sure if you are ready to commit to a full retreat?  Join Grail member, Nicky Westrick as she leads a weekly Zen meditation group every Sunday at 7:00 pm in the House of Joy. The group will be led in silent sitting and walking meditation followed by tea and conversation.

For more info on the weekly Sunday Sitting, click here.

For more information on Zen Meditation Retreat with Fr. AMA Samy, S.J. click here.

To purchase books by Fr. AMA Samy click here.

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South Trail COMES ALIVE with Art!

Thanks to artist Amy Tuttle, M.A. Transformative Arts and a host of volunteers, the Living Sculpture is DONE!

Living sculpture is created with living, growing, or recently harvested plants. While not a new concept, its recent rediscovery by artists, gardeners, and young people has given it an innovative popularity. Its appealing blend of art and science made it a perfect next step for Grailville’s Trails.

Volunteers constructed the sculpture using a mix of clay, hay, topsoil, curlex and mulch.  The plants are perennials including sage, thyme, yarrow, daisy, iris, phlox, catmint, mountain mint, soapwart, tansy, sorrel, bachelor button, naked ladies and cranesbill geranium…and an interesting silverleaf that is lacking a proper identification!

Right now it looks a little like a giant ant hill…but those with green thumbs assure us that the plants will spread into a lush and fragrant space!

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Adding Soil

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Plants were donated in partnerships with:

 

White Water Shaker Village, a part of Great Parks of Hamilton County.  Great Parks acquired the White Water Shaker Village over 25 years ago in an effort to preserve the 22 existing Shaker buildings, which are known as the largest collection of original Shaker structures in Ohio.

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Granny’s Garden School which develops, promotes and supports hands-on learning experiences through school-based, garden and nature focused programs to help children experience nature, to feel the satisfaction of growing their own food and to appreciate the simple pleasure of picking a flower.

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Project support provided by ArtsWave.

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Volunteer Day + Snakes Alive!

The weather forecast says 87° and sunny—a perfect day to be outdoors at Grailville. First up—Grailville Volunteer Day from 9am-12pm. As Stewards of 315 acres, Grailville relies on a community of volunteers to help us maintain a beautiful, accessible and mindful space. This weekend we will divide into teams to complete the Living Sculpture on the south trail, to mulch the flower beds in the hub, and to finish an art project for one of our buildings. We will meet at the Gazebo ready to go—bring your water bottle, work gloves and a smile! Let us know you’re coming by emailing Tpuckett@grailville.org.

Recycled materials + textures + wild lines + bright colors = Snakes Alive! Visionaries & Voices artist Kevin White will lead this hands-on art workshop that takes information about snakes (movement, color and texture) and transforms recycled yard signs into a temporary art installation for our south trail. Following the Volunteer Day from 1pm-2pm, this workshop is $10 per person; space is limited. Click here to register.

Are you coming to volunteer and staying for the workshop? Pack a lunch for a picnic in the gazebo!

Grailville is pleased to host ArtsWave Presents… Snakes Alive! With Kevin White of Visionaries & Voices, sponsored by The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth third bank, Trustee.

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Grailville got LOCAL during Local Fest!

On Saturday, May 24th, Grailville had our 2nd Annual Local Fest: A Celebration of Local Food, Local Art & Local Music. With over 70 local food and local artist vendors, we welcomed over 1,300 people (that is more than double of last year’s event) to Grailville to enjoy our beautiful grounds, learn more about our mission and become a part of our community.

With wonderful bluegrass music from the Comet Bluegrass Allstars and locally brewed beer from Mad Tree Brewing, everyone had a wonderful time getting to know more about the wonderful things that are right in our own backyards.

We were also very proud to have Whistle Stop Clayworks to bring Empty Bowls to Local Fest this year. Empty Bowls is a local initiative that aims to bring awareness to the many families with empty bowls on their tables and raise money for the organizations that support those families. This was a great way to bring  support from the community to aid local food pantries, specifically the L. I. F. E. Food Pantry.

BIG thank yous to all of the volunteers that helped out and staff members, especially Morgan Lyn and Joy France, and  to our sponsors for the event:

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Take a look at all the fun we had! If you would like to see even more pictures, please check out the Grailville Facebook page by clicking here.

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Grailville says Goodbye to one of its Founding Members

In Memory of Janet Kalven
by Marian April Goering
Please click here for a pdf version of this memorial.

Janet Kalven said she never planned to live to be one hundred years old-she just woke up one morning and it had happened.   She passed away peacefully a few weeks before her 101st birthday after a short illness.  Janet herself was a short woman, but with her death, a tall tree has fallen.

Janet as a young woman

Born to Rose Nathan and Harry Kalven, Sr., in Chicago, Janet grew up in a Jewish family of German and Russian heritage.  Naturally curious and energetic, Janet learned knitting from her beloved grandmother Fannie, followed major league baseball with her younger brother Harry, and excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of her class.

After high school, she enrolled in the University of Chicago, becoming one of the students in the first “Great Books” curriculum pioneered by philosopher Mortimer Adler and university president Robert Hutchins. Each week, students read and discussed the major works of Western philosophy and literature from Homer, Plato, and Aristotle, to Freud, Marx, and Maritain.  The stimulating atmosphere honed Janet’s abilities for critical thinking and intellectual integrity. After graduating during the Depression, Janet worked as a reporter and transcriptionist, eventually landing a wonderful job as a teaching assistant in the Great Books program and working directly with Adler and Hutchins.

Searching for direction and challenge in her life, Janet found little meaning in the secular Judaism of her upbringing. Reading the Great Books, engaging in intellectual exchange, and meeting people of faith both challenged and drew her.  Several Jewish students in her intellectual circle at the University had converted to Catholicism, and in 1937, Janet also became a Catholic.  Her mother was upset, but her father was more tolerant, and Janet simply forged ahead choosing to follow the truths she saw in the Catholic faith. She was drawn to the humble and holy people she met.

Early Grailville
Janet (right) holding a goat.

 In 1941, when Janet was 27, she met Lydwine van Kersbergen and Joan Overboss, two Dutch Grail members who had come to the Chicago area from Holland to start the Grail in the US. Janet was immediately drawn to the Grail message that women are important, that together women can change the world.  When Janet left the University of Chicago in 1942 and joined the Grail community in Libertyville, Illinois, she was a mature young woman with skills as a lecturer/teacher, writer, and editor. In 1944, she became one of the founding members of Grailville, the Grail’s education and retreat center in Loveland, Ohio.  From the beginning, she developed programs and trained young women in Christian values and leadership.   She served on the staff of the Year School at Grailville that prepared young women for the lay apostolate.  From 1964 to 1967, she coordinated international Grail meetings for the Grail International Secretariat in Paris.

Through the 1940s and 50s, traditional Catholic teachings and cultural stereotypes informed her perspective on women, so Janet taught that women are the heart of the home, making their contributions through service to others.  In the mid and late 1960s, she began to question this view and soon came to the conviction that women must look to their own life experiences, individually and collectively, to find their passions and develop their talents.  From the late 1960s and through the 1970s, Janet served on the staff of Semester at Grailville, an experiential education program for college women. Janet encouraged students to pursue their own learning goals or questions and to stretch themselves in new directions.

US Grail Leaders
(L-R) Barbar Wald, Janet, Eileen Schaeffler, Lydwine Van Kersbergen

(As a young woman student with a non-Catholic background and public school education, coming to Grailville in 1969 was the first time I had ever lived or studied in an all-female community.  Before women’s liberation and feminism were in the news, I asked the question, what does it mean to be a woman?  At the time, no other student shared this interest, but Janet took me aside saying, “That’s an important question, you should pursue it. I’d be glad to work with you.”  Her affirmation fueled my life-long interest in women’s potential – and reflected Janet’s passionate commitment to women.)

In 1971, Janet earned a master’s degree in adult education from Boston University. She continued to work at Grailville on the Women’s Task Force and sponsoring programs on women’s leadership and spirituality. She invited noted women theologians – among them, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Judith Plaskow, Nelle Morton, Anne McGrew Bennett, and Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza – from around the county to meet, dialogue, teach, worship, and invigorate one another. These gatherings for women in religion served as a major catalyst for feminist theology reflection.  The Seminary Quarter at Grailville gave a whole generation of women concerned with theology and religious life a feminist start, and the Women’s Spirit Bonding Conference in 1982 shaped discourse in the field for decades. From 1972 to 1986, Janet also served as Associate Director of the Self-Directed Learning Program at the University of Dayton.

Janet’s brother Harry, a law professor at the University of Chicago, died suddenly when he was only 60, a loss she felt deeply.  She kept in touch with her three nephews and one niece.  Janet knitted booties, blankets, and sweaters for great nephews and nieces-as her grandmother had for her-and delighted in their accomplishments as they grew.

Throughout her life, Janet read prodigiously and widely, with bookshelves in every room and stacks of reading material by the couch, the bed, and on virtually any flat surface.  She wrote regularly, co-authoring and co-editing several books that include:  Value-Based Teaching SkillsYour Daughters Shall Prophesy: Feminist Alternatives in Theological EducationWomen’s Spirit Bonding; and With Both Eyes Open: Seeing Beyond Gender.  Well into her 70s, Janet decided to write her history of the US Grail, saying that for this book, she should probably use a computer.  So she bought one and learned how.  As a participant in Women Writing for (a) Change, a Cincinnati organization for writers of all experience levels, she shared her writing, including chapters of the new book, with other women.  Women Breaking Boundaries, A Grail Journey, 1940-1995, was published in 1999.  In it, Janet explores the development of the US Grail from a pioneering proto-feminist movement that promoted women’s development and leadership to a community that nurtured the development of feminist theology.

Janet concentrating at the computer

In 1990, Janet was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame for her contributions to the empowerment of women.  In 2003, she received one of the firstEnduring Spirit Awards from Muse, the Cincinnati women’s choir, to recognize her work for women, social justice, and the greater Cincinnati community.Throughout her life, Janet read prodigiously and widely, with bookshelves in every room and stacks of reading material by the couch, the bed, and on virtually any flat surface.  She wrote regularly, co-authoring and co-editing several books that include:  Value-Based Teaching SkillsYour Daughters Shall Prophesy: Feminist Alternatives in Theological EducationWomen’s Spirit Bonding; and With Both Eyes Open: Seeing Beyond Gender.  Well into her 70s, Janet decided to write her history of the US Grail, saying that for this book, she should probably use a computer.  So she bought one and learned how.  As a participant in Women Writing for (a) Change, a Cincinnati organization for writers of all experience levels, she shared her writing, including chapters of the new book, with other women.  Women Breaking Boundaries, A Grail Journey, 1940-1995, was published in 1999.  In it, Janet explores the development of the US Grail from a pioneering proto-feminist movement that promoted women’s development and leadership to a community that nurtured the development of feminist theology.

Janet (right) with friends
Lenie Schaareman & Meg Bruck

Hardly slowing down as she aged, Janet survived two cancer surgeries. She supported community efforts to help women, serving on the boards of Sheltering Ourselves: A Women’s Learning Journey and Women’s Research and Development Center that bought and rehabbed two run-down Cincinnati school buildings to become affordable housing communities for women.  When she herself needed more accessible housing, she moved into one of the condos, a converted sixth grade classroom, where she made friends with her neighbors and received frequent visitors.  Janet enjoyed travel, went for occasional cruises, and visited friends around the country, often to attend a conference, support a cause, or participate in a march.  Although she had stopped driving in her early 90s, Janet lived independently until she was 98 years old.  As her frailty and forgetfulness increased, she accepted the advice of Grail friends to move into an assisted living facility and made the transition with grace.

Janet blowing out her 100th birthday candles

By unplanned happenstance, Janet’s 100th birthday fell within the time of a 2013 gathering of dozens of older Grail women from around the world. This sisterhood of women, friends from decades of shared concern and work, celebrated Janet’s long productive life on her very special day.

Her poem, Respectable Outlaw, expresses well Janet’s commitment to personal and intellectual integrity and her courage to explore new ideas and terrains:

You have set sail on another ocean
without star or compass
going where the argument leads
shattering the certainties of centuries.

In June, Janet’s ashes will be interred at Grailville on the acres she loved.  Rest in peace, dear teacher, mentor, friend, inspiring woman among women.  We will hold not only your memory, but also your integrity, courage, and commitment in our hearts.

Please click here for a pdf version of this memorial.

For More Information about Janet Kalven
There have been several tributes written regarding Janet Kalven’s life and work, as well as other dedications to her life’s work. You can find some at the following links:

 

“In Memory of Her – Janet Kalven” on WATER’s website:

http://www.waterwomensalliance.org/2014/04/in-memory-of-her-janet-kalven/

 

“Janet Kalven Remembered Fondly” for the Feminist Studies in Religion blog:

 

Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame induction of Janet Kalven in 1990 for Religion and Community Services

http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/women/halloffame/bio.asp?ID=153

 

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Grailville to partner with Blue Oven Bakery to grow 10,000 year old seed!

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Grailville is a place that cultivates community and collaboration. For over 70 years we have provided a place that brings together those who work towards the preservation of our Earth through sustainable practices. From organizations such as Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA), the Sierra Club of Southwest Ohio, and the US EPA, to name a few, we have been the fertile ground for many things to grow and continue on to create sustainable paths that impact and influence our communities and hopefully the World.

Grailville’s tradition of collaboration can be seen in our new partnership with Blue Oven Bakery, a local bakery that offers farm fresh foods ranging from naturally fermented, tradition breads and much more that is sourced from their own farm that is their family’s life work.

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Grailville’s Farm Manager, Mary Lu Lageman, handles the Einkorn seed with lot of love and affection.

Blue Oven Bakery is partnering with Grailville to utilize our organic kitchen garden to grow the 10,000 year old Einkorn seed. This seed is an ancient grain and has a very low gluten ratio which makes it much healthier for you. It is also packed with nutrition and powerful antioxidants that modern wheat seeds lack.

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EarthShares CSA Farmer, Steve Edwards, and Blue Oven Bakery owner, Mark Frommeyer, talk sustainable agriculture. Mark even gets to pick up some Kale from the Milk & Honey Farm Stand here at Grailville.

The seed will be grown during this growing season and hopefully within the next few seasons will produce enough wheat to be made into flour and baked in the wonderful breads at Blue Oven Bakery.

We look forward to continue our part in providing a place for sustainable practices and partnerships that benefit the growth of organic and locally grown food sources.

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Empty Bowls to join Grailville’s Local Fest: A Celebration of Local Food, Local Art & Local Music

Empty Bowls is a local initiative that aims to bring awareness to the many families withEmpty Bowls empty bowls on their tables and raise money for the organizations that support those families. Whistle Stop ClayWorks, a local Loveland business, is bringing Empty Bowls to Grailville’s Local Fest as a way to bring  support from the community to aid local food pantries, specifically the L. I. F. E. Food Pantry.

“It’s really great to be helping out with such a good cause,” says Kay Bolin O’Grady, co-owner of Whistle Stop ClayWorks. “We are excited to be involved in this new venture for ClayWorks.”

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Tim O’Grady, co-owner Whistle Stop ClayWorks says: ”the event would not be possible without the support of our community and the local clay artists. We anticipate hundreds to turn out to attend Empty Bowls during Grailville’s ‘Local Fest’, local artists as well as our students helped make bowls for this event. It’s gratifying to see that kind of teamwork.”

100 % of all proceeds made from the Empty Bowls initiative will go directly to the LIFE Food Pantry.

O’Grady says “We are happy to partner with the Empty Bowls event this year and are looking forward to seeing the extra support from the community. To use a quote from the FOE, Fraternal Order of Eagles, ‘People helping people’ is what it is all about”.

Grailville’s Local Fest: A Celebration of Local Food, Local Art & Local Music
When: 12 – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 24th
Where: Grailville Retreat & Program Center, Loveland, OH
Cost: Event is free.
Bowls are $12 each – 100% of proceeds go to Loveland Inter-faith Efforts (L.I.F.E.) a food pantry to feed the hungry.

For more information about Whistle Stop Clayworks, the L.I.F.E. Food Pantry or Empty Bowls, please see the information below.
 
Whistle Stop ClayWorks 119 Harrison, Loveland, OH 45140
513-683-CLAY (2529) www.whistlestopclayworks.com
 
L.I.F.E. Food Pantry: http://www.lovelandinterfaith.org
 
Empty Bowls: http://www.emptybowls.net
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Grailville to host the Creating Sustainable Communities: A EarthSpirit Rising Conference

Grailville is so excited to be a part of a very unique and inspiring conference called Creating Sustainable Communities: An EarthSpirit Rising Conference. Grailville knows that a sustainable community is a healthy community—one that is resilient, socially and economically, as well as responsible, ecologically and culturally. When we look around at our urban and suburban neighborhoods today, we see the potential to create healthy, sustainable places to live, but what is often missing is that sense of community needed to make the possible a reality. Find out more about this wonderful experience below.

CREATING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
An EarthSpirit Rising Conference
July 25-27, 2014
at Grailville Retreat Center, Loveland, Ohio

The 8th EarthSpirit Rising conference sponsored by Imago is an invitation to you to help create a sustainable world, community by community. Speakers and workshop sessions will look at the many ways we can approach constructing sustainable communities, both purpose-built and retrofitted, as a way to change the culture. The focus of the conference will be on adapting urban and suburban neighborhoods, using existing buildings, to create places for people to live that place Earth and ecology first by limiting human impact and by honoring the diversity of life and cultures within a community for the benefit of future generations.

The conference promotes intentional communities, and you will have the chance to experience the creation process as speaker Peter Block leads us in establishing a conference community. Many kinds of sustainable communities will be featured in presentations and discussions during the conference, which is also a call for action. You will come away with a sense of urgency and hope, ready to act to achieve sustainable, intentional communities in our neighborhoods, cities, and towns.

Keynote Speakers:

Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together and Finding Community

Peter Block, author of The Abundant Community and The Structure of Belonging

Jim Schenk, co-founder of Enright Ridge Urban Eco-village

Sr. Marya Grathwohl, OSF, ecology and spirituality teacher and founder of Earth Hope

To find out more about the conference or for registration information, visit www.imagoearth.org or call 513-921-5124.

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The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio bring an exclusive Badge to Grailville!

girl scoutsGrailville is happy to offer the exclusive “Science of Happiness” badge to  the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.  This is a new Girl Scouts badge and we are very happy to be partnering with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to offer the badge to the region.  This meaningful badge encourages scouts to examine the roots of true happiness and to establish practices that help them to cultivate joy in their lives.  Through a combination of art, music, group webwork, dance, and yoga, scouts will explore all elements of this 5 step badge.  This experience is very fitting for us here at Grailville!  We love to explore transformation through the arts.  So, this badge is a great mission fit for us!

This is a 3 hour badge located at Grailville.  The fee is $15/scout or call to bring your whole troop.

 Dates:

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Saturday, June, 21st, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Saturday, September 20th, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Saturday, November 8th, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

For more information or to sign up your Girl Scout or troop, please click here.

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Get your Hands Dirty in Grailville’s Organic Kitchen Garden!

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Join Grailville & the Transition Food Group as we help to care for  Grailville’s  organic kitchen garden. The kitchen garden provides produce for meals in the dining hall with surplus sold at the Loveland Farmers’ market each Tuesday. Activities follow the natural cycle of each plant and will include soil preparation, planting, continue care and harvest. This is a great opportunity to learn more about organic growing and to bring some great gardening tips to your own gardens. Please bring: gloves, sun hat, and water bottle. This activity is free and open to the public.

Transition 111Starting April 7th, please join us every Monday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Grailville’s Gazebo. If Mondays are not convenient will we also  be in the garden on the following Saturdays below. Please note that every Saturday gathering will have a Potluck Lunch at 12 pm, so plan to bring your favorite dish to share.

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Saturdays:

March 15th 10:00 am-2:00 pm  April 26th 10:00 am-2:00 pm
May 17th 10:00 am-2:00 pm
June 28th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
July 19th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
August 17th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
September 20th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
October 18th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
November 15th 10:00 am-2:00 pm

To find out more about the Transition Food Group or to register to attend these Garden Volunteer Days, please contact Caroline Deters at maramine@yahoo.com.

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