Philosophy

Dinner at Hollyhock Retreat Centre, Cortes Island, Canada

Dinner at Hollyhock Retreat Centre, Cortes Island, Canada

View at Mahana Lodge, New Zealand

View at Mahana Lodge, New Zealand

I present many retreats, lectures, and workshops throughout the year at various locations in the United States.  My topics include World Religions, Contemplative Practices, Mystical Theology, Sacred Wisdom, Environmental Connection, Religious Figures, Sacred Gardening, Seasonal Reflection, and Poetry/Creative Writing.

Any overnight or multi-day retreat that I facilitate, regardless of its exact title, will engage the following concepts and practices in varying degrees: contemplation, artistic expression, nature walks, wholesome meals, ambient music, seasonal reflection, and locational alchemy.  I feel that each of these ingredients are crucial to creating a holistic atmosphere of physical and spiritual nourishment.

When I work with individuals or groups at retreats, one of the most important ideas that I try to instill in them is that a retreat should not be an escape or vacation from our “real life,” but all-embracing work that either introduces us to or deepens our journey into the essential nature of our existence.  I cannot tell you how many times I have overheard participants at various retreat centers across the world exclaim somberly when their time at the place was over, “Well, I guess it is back to the daily routine now.”   In wakefulness, there is no daily routine, merely life and the vital work that beckons us to engage with it at every moment.

The retreats that I lead are grounded in the blue-collar work ethic that I apply in my own life.  This is because our familial, societal, political and religious conditioning are deep-rooted, and in order to open up to the wonder of the present, we may have to participate in challenging inner labor to shed light on them.  It is our willingness to work beyond our comfort zones that allows us to stretch towards new altitudes of understanding.

Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, St. Augustine, Florida

Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, St. Augustine, Florida

Another crucial component to the retreats I craft is deep contemplative listening to our natural environment.  The unique locale and specific season in which we come together adds an ecological dimension that embraces the group and supports our time together. 

Finally, meditative nature walks, artistic projects, and wholesome meals round out our full experience of deep intentional community occurring within the power of place.