Any of our workshop offerings can be converted into a retreat. Retreats generally last one day, one weekend, or one week; they include blocks of time for integration and profound deepening with the material presented. Periods of silence, directed exercises, and work with nature are often included (as appropriate for each group’s specific needs), as are open periods for rest. The retreats listed below can be modified for any size and type of group. In addition, we can create a retreat based on any of our workshop and support seminar topics. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to begin creating your retreat.
Death as A Compass: The Gifts of Dying on the Spiritual Path
Ideal for: clergy members, spiritual directors/companions, ministry staff, spiritual seekers, and all folks desiring to integrate the wisdom of dying into their spiritual life
This workshop reclaims the gifts that death and dying offer to those of us on a spiritual path. People throughout time have utilized the wisdom of surrender as a compass on their spiritual journeys. However, in contemporary Western culture, death is being erased from our collective lexicon, its offerings nearly forgotten. Together, we begin to explore this indispensable wisdom by employing death as our compass. By examining the orientations we already have toward death and dying, we will increase our awareness of the role surrender may or may not play both in our personal spiritual journeys and the ways we accompany the people we companion. Next, we discover the role contemplative practice plays in dying consciously, both at the end of life and throughout each of the "little deaths" offered during our lifetimes, introducing four simple practices to our unique spiritual processes. Using the dying as our teachers, we remember how to die before we die.
Exploring Loss: Moving from Lineage to Legacy
Ideal for: those desiring to include all of life’s losses in their spiritual path, anyone in any type of ministry, clergy members, spiritual groups, or anyone experiencing loss in any form
From the moment we take our first breath, we begin to have a relationship with loss. Indeed, life can be seen as a series of “little deaths”. Yet in contemporary Western culture, we often ignore loss altogether; we are taught to stuff our grief, to medicate it, to distract from it. The results can be painful, even dangerous. This workshop explores our relationship to loss and redefines it. We use interactive exercises to examine our lineage of loss, weaving together our personal experiences with what we have been taught and modeled about grief from our families, our traditions, our communities, and our cultures. Then we begin to create our legacy of loss, the ways we would like to integrate loss into our personal narrative and share that with others.
From Caregiver to Care-Partner: Creating Embodied, Enlighted, Empathic Relationships
Ideal for: medical professionals; professional caregivers; family members and loved ones of folks experiencing illness, loss, or transition; clergy members; ministry staff; spiritual companions; parents
A significant danger of healthcare and wellness care is a tendency to position some persons as subjects and others as objects. The language we use to describe these roles itself indicates that they are often transactional; they involve someone giving something to someone else, someone caring for another person. Fulfilling such roles in the manner of give-and-take can cause caregiver burnout and resentment as well as feelings of guiltand invisibility on the part of the care-receiver. Such roles can never encompass the fullness that is possible in each human interaction. This workshop introduces an embodied approach to companionship that moves us beyond the realm of transactional, objectifying relationships and into a world where we partner in mutually transformational ways. Four topics are addressed: Sharing CARE (Creative, Attentive, Responsive, Embodied support); Compassionate Companioning; Loss and Grief in Care Relationships; Lineages of Care (Some Teachers, Mentors, and Guides).
The Gift of Ritual
Ideal for: anyone desiring to integrate or expand ritual into their life
People throughout time and across the globe have engaged in rituals to honor transitions large and small, to mark events as extradordinary, and to animate their worlds. This workshop explores the significance of rituals in our individual and collective lives. We begin by defining ritual and the vital role it plays in creating meaning and in connecting us with ourselves, one another, the natural world, and the divine. We examine our personal relationships to ritual, past and present, and identify how we may or many not already be utilizing rituals. Different components of ritual are presented, and a multitude of diverse examples of different rituals are shared. The workshop concludes with participants each creating two rituals: one individual and one collective.
Writing as Mourning/Rite-ing as Mourning
Ideal for: anyone grieving any loss
Mourning is our external expression of grief and sorrow. Creating opportunities for such expressions -- individually and collectively, in a wide variety of forms -- can provide healing, movement, comfort, and support during the most challenging of times. This highly experiential workshop weaves together two of the most potent tools for mourning: writing and ritual. Participants will be introduced to Wild Mind Writing, a technique developed to aid in the expression of grief, particularly layers of grief that may be unacknowledged. We will also explore the role of ritual in mourning and examine the ways we can create rituals that aid in our grief work. Participants will build on the gifts that present themselves through our writing exercises to create a unique Rite of Passage that honors their grief and sorrow.
Writing Your Way/Rite-ing Your Way
Ideal for: anyone on a spiritual path, spiritual companions, ministry staff, clergy members
This workshop utilizes two potent tools (Wild Mind Writing and Rite of Passage Rituals) to aid participants in asking and answering their big questions, connecting to the divine, exploring a challenge in their lives, and/or creating intent for whatever phase of their spiritual journey they are experiencing. Wild Mind Writing throws open the doors to some of our unexplored and unexpressed thoughts, feelings, and memories, presenting to us connections we may not otherwise see. And Rites of Passage rituals mark transitions in our lives, whether large (like birth and death) or small (such as the changing of a season); their power has been harnessed by people throughout the globe for millennia. After a brief introduction to the writing practice, we will delve into its use in a multitude of exercises. Next, we will learn about the power of ritual creating. Building on what presents itself through their writings, participants will each create their own Rite of Passage ritual.
Walking the Stations of the Cross as The Way of Dying
Ideal for anyone wishing to integrate the gifts of dying in their spiritual path, those with chronic or terminal illness, clergy groups, spiritual groups, anyone experiencing loss in any form
This workshop presents the Stations of the Cross, a religious ritual created during the late Middle Ages and still widely used by Christians throughout the world, as a teaching, a model, and an energetic transmission event through which we can prepare ourselves to die consciously, both as we approach the end of this life’s journey and during the multitude of other deaths that life offers us. What unifies the work of conscious death and dying with the Christian way of life is kenosis, a continual act of self-emptying whereby we become fully receptive to God’s will. We will utilize the structure of Jesus’ death walk and its rituals as a gateway to explore more fully the terrain of conscious death and dying in a holistic manner that honors every part of our being. Through this act of reclaiming the Stations of the Cross as a ritual of conscious dying, we open to the wealth of gifts the process of surrender offers our spiritual path.