January 7-March 31, 2019 with Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
This 12-week retreat is a companion to Christine's book The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Journey together in community as we explore the gifts of Celtic Christian spirituality, practices unique to this ancient tradition, inspiring stories of Irish saints, scripture reflections, plus creative invitations into writing and photography.
What does God desire for your life?
Christine Valters Paintner uses reflections, stories, guided activities, prayer experiences, and a variety of creative arts to help you patiently and attentively listen to God’s invitation.
Everyone wants to understand God’s call in their lives. Christine shares one of the most ancient paths to understanding from her study of monasticism and immersion into Celtic spirituality while living in Ireland. The Celtic way, which Paintner distills into twelve practices, offers discernment that focuses on the intuition and embodiment rather than the intellectual focus present in other forms of discernment. It allows for what Christine calls the “soul’s slow ripening,” coming into the fullness of our own sweetness before we pluck the fruit.
Each chapter begins with a story of a particular Irish saint—some well-known like Patrick or Brigid, others less so, such as Ita and Ciaran—and then introduces a helpful practice for discernment that the saint’s life illustrates. Paintner explores the call of dreams, the importance of thresholds, the practice of peregrination (wandering for the love of God), walking the rounds, learning by heart, soul friends, blessing each moment, and the wisdom of the landscape and the seasons. Participants are invited to explore these concepts through photography and writing. She invites us to contemplative walks with specific themes along with poetic writing prompts for expression.
As you explore an alternate way of discerning a spiritual path—one which honors the moment-by-moment invitations and the soul’s seasonal rhythms—you will discover that this book and retreat experience will help you become more aligned with creativity and wholeness.
We will gather together in a private teaching platform for an experience of community sharing and conversation lovingly facilitated by trained guides, a place to share our questions and insights, and audio guidance from Christine Valters Paintner to deepen into the materials.
Also included are 12 vibrant songs commissioned for each saint and practice along with gesture prayers taught by liturgical dancer and movement therapist Betsey Beckman, MM to bring the whole body into our prayer in an open and accessible way.
Week 1: The Practice of Thresholds
Week 2: The Practice of Dreaming
Week 3: The Practice of Peregrinatio and Seeking Your Place of Resurrection
Week 4: The Practice of Blessing Each Moment
Week 5: The Practice of Soul Friendship
Week 6: The Practice of Encircling
Week 7: The Practice of Walking the Rounds
Week 8: The Practice of Learning By Heart
Week 9: The Practice of Solitude and Silence
Week 10: The Practice of Seasonal Cycles
Week 11: The Practice of Landscape as Theophany
Week 12: The Practice of Three Essential Things
Monday: Overview of the week
Tuesday: Scripture reflection from John Valters Paintner
Wednesday: Photography Exploration (with audio)
Thursday: Writing Exploration (with audio)
Friday: Song and Movement Prayer with Betsey Beckman (with audio and video)
Saturday: Closing Blessing (with audio)
Sunday: Sabbath rest
ONLINE COURSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
There are no refunds for online purchases.
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.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is a writer, spiritual director, teacher, and retreat & pilgrimage guide. She is the author of eleven books on contemplative practice and creative expression including her forthcoming book this fall 2018, The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seekers of the Sacred. Christine lives in Galway, Ireland with her husband John where together they steward Abbey of the Arts, a global monastery, and lead pilgrimages to the wild edges.
John Valters Paintner, MTS is the online prior for Abbey of the Arts, where he assists his wife Christine in ministering to global community both online and through in-person programs. John was a youth minister and pastoral associate for four years before becoming a high school religion teacher for twelve years. He has a Masters of Theological Studies from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. His love for the Bible, particularly the Hebrew Scriptures, emerged when he taught the “Old Testament” at an all-boys high school. John is also a lover of the art of story-telling and has written dozens of short stories, one-act plays, and short films in a variety of genres.
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. Betsey’s publications include books, recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer. You can find out more about Betsey at her website.
Forum Facilitators and 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. You can visit Melissa's website here>>