In 2016 I completed a 40 day and 40 night solo spiritual journey in the Mojave Desert. The first person I spoke to when I exited the desert said to me:
"I could never stay in the desert for 40 days,
but would you teach me to pray for a week?"
Contemplative retreats are about deepening your spiritual connection to what is sacred. I have spent a great deal of time in the desert engaged in contemplative practice. In my experience the addition of the natural element enhances our ability to surrender to the divine. I customize retreats to be either non-denominational or Christian based. The focus is on contemplative practices, meditation and prayer. Retreats are either held entirely in the wilderness, tent camping; or at a retreat center surrounded by wilderness. A specific location can be requested to meet the specific needs of your group. Length of retreats are 2-7 days.
Vision Fast Retreat
I am a trained Wilderness Rites-of-Passage guide through the School of Lost Borders. I combine the traditional rites-of-passage ritual with added elements of non-denominational spiritual practice, meditation and lament. This vision fast is at the intersection of the wilderness Earth based practices and faith traditions. Whether your journey is about embracing the past for new meaning and empowerment, or connecting to a sacred vision for the next phase of your life, this twelve day retreat with a three day solo vision fast brings together sacred tools of past and present to guide you.
The prophets of the Hebrew Bible journeyed to the desert. Jesus prayed in the desert. Facing God in the desert is a long time Abrahamic faith tradition. I was asked to design a Christian based wilderness rite-of-passage that is rooted in the Christian traditions of prayer, ritual and sacrament. In response I have created a twelve day "vision quest" that is rooted in Luther's Theology of the Cross and the writings of Bishop Steven Charleston, Hildegard von Bingen, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr and others. The intent of the retreat is to take the lament residing deep in your heart and sit at the foot of the Cross. If you are going through a time of transition in your life, if you are looking to God for guidance, if you are ready to allow the divine to hold and transform past trauma in sacred embrace, then this is an opportunity to spend twelve days in guided Christian spiritual practice that includes a three day solo on the land, fasting optional. As Jesus died and was resurrected, are you ready let go and let die what needs to be transformed?
Sacred Energy Awareness
We are spiritual beings living a physical existence. What does this mean and how do we access awareness of our spiritual energetic body? This retreat draws on a multitude of practices inspired by Joanna Macy, Hazrat Inyat Khan, Earth based practices and more. This weekend retreat is an opportunity to disconnect from the energy of traffic lights, phones and computer screens, and relax into an exploration of the divine root energy that sustains you, and can increasingly sustain you as you expand your relationship with your sacred body.
Suffering and Lament in the Book of Job and Luther's Theology of the Cross
This retreat is for faith leaders, spiritual directors, chaplains, and those who work in counseling positions who would like a deeper understanding of suffering and lament in the Christian tradition. This retreat dives deeply into the Book of Job to look at its critique of retributive theology, as well as the significance of Job's lament to God and God's response. The second half of the retreat explores modern adaptations of Luther's Theology of the Cross and what they offer for those who are working with people facing suffering. We ask the questions "what is lament in a modern context?" There will be daily opportunity for solo spiritual time in the desert. Spoiler alert, Job was NOT patient.
If you have a group of friends or colleagues who are looking to deepen their spiritual lives or strengthen their community I can create special retreats to embrace your needs. I focus on a combination of spiritual practice, wilderness rite and ritual and creative awakening; calling on our connection to our sacred selves, our connection to the Earth community and our pathway to expression.
Join the mailing list for information on upcoming retreats, or contact me to create a retreat for your group.