January 8-March 18, 2018
with Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE and guest teachers Betsey Beckman, Jamie Marich, and Aisling Richmond, plus our wonderful facilitators and holders of sacred space Melissa Layer and Amber Andreasen.
Would you cherish having a safe community of kindred souls to journey through the sacred work of tending to our bodies in the most reverential ways?
What if you were supported in embracing the Incarnation as a profound truth about you? That the divine is deeply infused into your very physical being?
Imagine journeying through a season together in a caravan of souls committed to exploration, curiosity, tenderness, and delight. Imagine breathing deeply and feeling intimacy with an old and wise friend. Imagine, as Buddhist writer Reginald Ray says, to discover the last unexplored wilderness, which is the body.
Each week breaks open a different theme to help us make the descent into our body's experience and receive its wisdom. Reflections are grounded in monastic wisdom and an invitation to allow contemplative practice to be a doorway of discovery. Through meditation, reflection, writing, visual art, and movement participants are given space to discover their own pathways within. Christine Valters Paintner, our guest teachers, and our facilitators all help to hold a strong container as the place for your own unfolding.
Each week is like a mini-retreat leading you into new ways of being in relationship to your body, ways that are more kind, loving, and abundantly compassionate to lead us toward a deep sense of peace and self-celebration. Each week lays out a banquet of possibilities for you to explore. You can choose which ones speak to you.
Whether your body is already an old friend and companion with whom you want to grow more intimate, or whether the whole idea of embodiment feels distant and foreign, or somewhere in between you are most welcome here. You are invited to bring your joys and sorrows, your delight and your grief.
This online retreat is open to all women (anyone who identifies in this way – femme, female, woman, etc)
What is Included
- Ongoing access to the materials our private and easy-to-navigate retreat platform on Ruzuku. (You will be able to access the course long after the scheduled time is completed).
- 10 weekly live webinars with Christine to introduce the materials for the week's exploration (webinars are all recorded in audio and video formats). These are scheduled for Mondays at 4:00 p.m. Ireland/UK time.
- A private discussion forum lovingly facilitated by our wonderful guides Melissa Layer and Amber Andreasen.
- 9 videos from our fabulous guest teachers to offer bonus insights and practices beyond the book, from perspectives of other teachers whose wisdom Christine cherishes.
- Please note that you will need to purchase your own copy of The Wisdom of the Body in addition to the registration for this retreat. The book is not included but easily purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ordered through your local bookseller.
How It Works
- Monday: Live webinar with Christine (exploring the theme and practice for the week and leading you in the guided meditation)
- Tuesday: Embracing our ally for the journey (women saints and mystics)
- Wednesday: Creative exploration
- Thursday: Guest teacher video (with Betsey, Jamie, or Aisling)
- Friday: Movement exploration through yin yoga and dance
- Saturday: Reflection questions and closing blessing
- Sunday: Sabbath rest and time to integrate the week
Each day we will focus on a different section of each chapter. There will be added audio and video guidance to support you, as well as the discussion forum where you are welcome to share your experiences, creative expressions, and ask questions. We hold a loving, sacred, and confidential space together.
(Jan 8) 1 – Viriditas: Claiming New Body Stories (Guest teacher: Aisling)
(Jan 15) 2 – Breath: The Gateway to the Body (Guest teacher: Jamie)
(Jan 22) 3 – Senses: Threshold and Sacrament of Experience (Guest teacher: Betsey)
(Jan 29) 4 – Feelings and Desire: The Ocean of Emotion (Guest teacher: Aisling)
(Feb 5) 5 – Thoughts: The Inner Witness (Guest teacher: Jamie)
(Feb 12) 6 – Exile and Lament: The Vulnerability of the Body (Guest teacher: Jamie)
(Feb 19) 7 – Holiness Made Flesh: The Incarnation and Embodied Life (Guest teacher: Betsey)
(Feb 26) 8 – Ecstasy and Reclaiming Joy: Expanding Threshold of Tolerance (Guest teacher: Aisling)
(March 5) 9 – Greening of the Body: The Earth as Matrix (Guest teacher: Betsey)
(March 12) 10 – Coming Home to Your Body: The Vocation of the Body
Program Fee: $
225 Early registration discount $200 or three monthly payments of $70* (expires December 8th)
- To register and pay the full amount of $200 click here>>
- To register and pay in three monthly installments of $70* each click here>>
There are no refunds for online purchases.
*Please note that if you choose the monthly payment option you are committing to completing all three payments and paying in full for the program. If for any reason you do not complete payment, your registration in the retreat will be cancelled and you will not have access to previous materials.
Previous participants: This program was offered twice in an earlier version called Coming Home to Your Body. If you were registered for one of these sessions, you will be sent a discount code for 50% off the program fee. If you did not receive it check your spam folder first and then contact us. (The coupon can only be used for the full price registration and not the payment plan.)
Discounts are available for small groups wanting to move through the material together: 20% off when 3 people register together, 30% off for 5, 40% off for 7 and above. Please contact Christine by email to request an invoice. We require that one person take responsibility for full payment for the group.
Limited partial scholarships are available for those for whom participation in the retreat would otherwise be a hardship. Please contact us with your reasons for wanting to take the course and a prayerful consideration of what you can afford to pay. We do our best to honor as many requests as we can, but due to limited funds we may not always be able to fulfill your full request.
Primary Teacher and Author of Wisdom of the Body
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online abbess of Abbey of the Arts, a global community serving thousands of monks, artists, and mystics who are hungry to integrate contemplative practice and creative expression. Christine is also the author of ten nonfiction books on monastic spirituality and creativity, as well as a poet who has been published in several journals. She wrote The Wisdom of the Body because she feels that the journey to come home to the body is the most important work we do to reclaim our inner wholeness and our birthright of joy and sensual delight. You can find out more about Christine here or see more of the books she has written here.
Betsey Beckman, MM is nationally acclaimed as a spirited dancer, storyteller, teacher of SpiritPlay and dancing Spiritual Director. With her extensive repertory of sacred storydances, she is regularly featured as artist/presenter at national conventions as well as local churches. She earned her Masters in Ministry degree from Seattle University, her certificate in Movement Therapy from the Institute for Transformational Movement, and is a certified InterPlay leader. As dancer, choreographer, author, mother, wife, teacher and spiritual director, she is passionate about living life fully and fostering creativity in all those with whom she shares life and ministry. Betsey’s publications include books (she is co-author of Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Expressive Arts to Spiritual Direction), recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer. She offers the gift of playful improvisation whenever possible. Visit Betsey's website here>>
Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT travels internationally speaking on topics related to EMDR, trauma, addiction, expressive arts, LGBTQ issues, spirituality and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. Jamie is also the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts practice. Jamie is the author of EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client (2011), Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide for Recovery Enhancement (2012), and Trauma Made Simple: Competencies in Assessment, Treatment, and Working with Survivors. Her newest book, Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation released in the Fall of 2015 (with foreword by Christine Valters Paintner). She is currently working on her latest book (in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Dansiger) EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (due out with Springer Publishing in 2017). Visit Jamie's website here>>
Aisling Richmond, M.A is a teacher, therapist and soul guide living in the West of Ireland. She loves to share with others a juicy, embodied, and creative approach to life. Aisling holds three teaching qualifications in Yoga, Conscious Dance, and Somatics, and is a fully accredited Somatic therapist. In 2011 she earned her Masters degree in Movement Research, which focused on dance as a spiritual practice and healing art. Aisling teaches weekly Yoga classes, runs Somatic Wisdom courses, and works as a therapist to help people to overcome life challenges through Somatics or body-mind wisdom. She runs retreats set in the beauty spots of Ireland, inviting people into a deeper connection with nature. Having worked collaboratively with many organisations including Amnesty International, Aisling has also been a guest lecturer with both Galway and Limerick Universities. Her passion is to support each person's soul growth, and invite a home-coming to the wisdom and wonder of our sacred bodies. Visit Aisling's website here>>
Forum Facilitators and Soul Guides
Amber Andreasen, MA is a contemplative, ever desiring to deepen into and dance the rhythms of monk and artist. She has trained as a spiritual director, receiving her Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from The Institute of Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology. Wherever she finds herself, she desires to nurture a compassionate space where others can be listened and loved into fuller being by the Beloved. She is continually awed by the body as sacred storyholder and storyteller, and her heart beats loudly for the weaving together of creativity and spirituality in the discovering of what it means to live an embodied, fully human life in all its mystery and wonder.
Melissa Layer, MA honors our unfolding journeys through life’s challenges and transitions as compelling invitations for creative, integrative meaning-making in BodyMindSpirit. Her sacred calling and training as a psychospiritual therapist, hospice grief counselor and interfaith spiritual director have taught her about the potency of the “thin places” in thresholds and dark nights of the soul. Often utilizing expressive arts for curious exploration of the Great Mystery, Melissa offers her compassionate presence and deep listening to individuals and groups. Like the honeybee for which she is named, she claims her role as “a bee of the invisible… passionately plundering the honey of the visible in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible” (Rilke). The evergreen forests of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest are her sacred sanctuary. Melissa is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, email and also in-person for those living near Olympia, WA.