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Advent Breath Prayer Retreat: A Companion Retreat to Christine’s Book

Facilitated by Dr. Christine Valters Paintner, John Valters Paintner, Dr. Amanda Dillon, and Dr. Jamie Marich

Weekly live sessions on Mondays (November 29, December 6, 13, 20)

7-8 am Pacific

10-11 am Eastern

3-4 pm Ireland/UK time

Find your time zone here >>>

Program Description

For centuries the practice of breath prayer has helped center people from a variety of faith traditions on the sacred in everyday life. Through brief words of prayer or petition said silently to the rhythm of one’s breath, this simple, meditative act combines praise for the divine with focused intention, creating a profound spiritual connection in the quiet, and even mundane, moments of the day.

In her book Breath Prayer, Christine Valters Paintner, online abbess of Abbey of the Arts, introduces us to this spiritual practice and offers forty beautiful poem-prayers for walking, working, dressing, cleaning, sitting in silence, doing the dishes, living in community–breathing the divine into our daily lives. Over time these recitations become as natural as breathing. We don’t so much recite the prayers as the prayers recite us, guide us, and open our hearts to the everyday sacred.

With each of these prayers, Paintner includes reflections on life’s ordinary beauty and heartfelt advice for discovering the sacred all around. Breath Prayer concludes with guidance for creating your own breath prayers to deepen your practice.

This online companion retreat immerses you in this practice with extra wisdom from Christine in weekly live Zoom sessions, weekly scripture reflections from John, reflections on biblical art from Amanda, and invitations into contemplative movement through breath with Jamie.

The live sessions will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

What's Included

4 weekly live zoom sessions with Christine (will be recorded in audio and video formats, also includes written transcripts)

4 scripture reflections with John (written format)

4 Dancing Mindfulness videos with Jamie

4 videos on biblical art relating to breath with Amanda

Monday: Live webinar session via Zoom with Christine Valters Paintner

Tuesday: Scripture reflection from John Valters Paintner

Wednesday: Visual Art Exploration with Amanda Dillon

Thursday: Dancing Mindfulness Practice with Jamie Marich

Friday: Reflection questions

Saturday: Closing blessing

Sunday: Sabbath day of rest and integration

Weekly Themes

Week 1

The Original Breath

Week 1

An introduction to breath prayer. We explore the second Creation story where God breathes life into the human being. We are animated and sustained moment by moment in this holy breath.

Week 2

Deepening Your Breath Prayer Practice

Week 2

We explore the story of Ezekiel's dry bones and the way the gift of breath re-animates our arid places with renewed vitality.

Week 3

Embracing Your Mortality

Week 3

We explore the moment when Jesus breathes his last breath. This invites us into a consideration of memento mori and how our mortality can teach us about living more fully.

Week 4

Creating Your Own Breath Prayers

Week 4

An introduction to creating your own breath prayers. We explore the story of Pentecost when Jesus breathes on the disciples and the Holy Spirit comes like a rushing wind to send them forth into the world.

Your Guides for the Journey

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine is the founder and director of, a virtual monastery and global community integrating contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, expressive arts educator, poet, and author of 17 books on spirituality and the arts. Christine lives out her commitment as a Benedictine oblate and monk in the world on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John and dog Sourney. Visit the “About Christine” page for more information.

John Valters Paintner, MTS

John studied education and earned a teaching certificate in his home state of California.  John later went on to earn a Masters in Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.  After working in parish ministry for several years, John returned to the classroom, teaching high school religion for twelve years. He now works as Prior of the Abbey of the Arts alongside his wife of twenty years, Abbess Christine. Visit the “About John” page for more information.

Amanda Dillon, PhD

Amanda’s research specialisation is Biblical Reception History with a particular focus on the New Testament. Her research interests include: Biblical Reception, Visual Exegesis, Multimodal Analysis, Hermeneutics, Theology and the Visual Arts. Female characters in the New Testament and their afterlives are another significant dimension of her current research and teaching. Amanda has published on the reception of the Bible in: 21st century lectionaries; contemporary Graphic Design; the art of Marc Chagall; Manga Bibles; Urban and Street Art.

Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RYT-500

Dr. Jamie Marich (she/they) describes herself as a facilitator of transformative experiences. A clinical trauma specialist, expressive artist, writer, yogini, performer, short filmmaker, Reiki master, TEDx speaker, and recovery advocate, she unites all of these elements in her mission to inspire healing in others. She began her career as a humanitarian aid worker in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 2000-2003, primarily teaching English and music while freelancing with other projects. Jamie travels internationally teaching on topics related to trauma, EMDR therapy, expressive arts, mindfulness, and yoga, while maintaining a private practice and online education operations in her home base of Warren, OH. Jamie is the author of numerous books on trauma recovery and healing, with many more projects in the works. Marich is the founder of The Institute for Creative Mindfulness.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
All prices displayed in USD.


REduced Fee


Regular fee


3 monthly payments of $50


Sponsorship fee

If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Purchase the Companion Book

The book is not included in the registration fee. You may purchase the book at the links below or at your local book seller. Thank you for your support!

The Breath Prayer book is currently available for purchase in the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately we are being told that it won’t reach international distributors until early to mid-December. You can order a copy from a U.S. online bookstore and pay the shipping charges or you can order a copy directly from Christine for €16 plus €9 shipping (€7 if in Ireland or UK). Please email us to request an invoice – limited quantities available and only for those ordering from outside North America.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.