with Christine Valters Paintner and guest teachers Betsey Beckmann, Jamie Marich, and Aisling Richmond

A self-study retreat (start any time, move at your own pace, lifetime access)

Would you be nourished by falling in love with your body rather than endlessly criticizing yourself and trying to get your body to fit into some preconceived mold? Would you cherish having a safe container 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 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.

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)

Course Themes

1. Viriditas: Claiming New Body Stories - (Guest teacher: Aisling)

2. Breath: The Gateway to the Body - (Guest teacher: Jamie)

3. Senses: Threshold and Sacrament of Experience - (Guest teacher: Betsey)

4. Feelings and Desire: The Ocean of Emotion - (Guest teacher: Aisling)

5. Thoughts: The Inner Witness - (Guest teacher: Jamie)

6. Exile and Lament: The Vulnerability of the Body - (Guest teacher: Jamie)

7. Holiness Made Flesh: The Incarnation and Embodied Life - (Guest teacher: Betsey)

8. Ecstasy and Reclaiming Joy: Expanding Threshold of Tolerance - (Guest teacher: Aisling)

9. Greening of the Body: The Earth as Matrix - (Guest teacher: Betsey)

10. Coming Home to Your Body: The Vocation of the Body

Course Details

What's 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 audio recordings (of webinar sessions from our community program) with Christine to introduce the materials for the week's exploration and guide you through the meditation practice for the week. These were offered live during the community version of the retreat.
  • 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 each Week

Six days each week you will receive an email with a link to the day's content. The 7th day is a time for rest and integration. Each day we will focus on a different section of each chapter. The added materials (in addition to the book) are in audio and video format which you can listen to at any time. You have forever access to the materials in the course.

  • Day 1: Audio session with Christine (exploring the theme and practice for the week and leading you in the guided meditation)
  • Day 2: Embracing our ally for the journey (women saints and mystics) - audio guide from Christine
  • Day 3: Creative exploration - audio guide from Christine
  • Day 4: Guest teacher video (with Betsey, Jamie, or Aisling)
  • Day 5: Movement exploration through yin yoga and dance - audio guide from Christine
  • Day 6: Reflection questions and closing blessing
  • Day 7: Sabbath rest and time to integrate the week



Pay in Full


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

  1. No refunds are provided for online program registrations. 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.
  2. You will have access to all the program materials for the lifetime of this website.
  3. The registration fee is per person; we ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.
  4. All materials presented in our online programs are copyright. Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program.
  5. Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of session that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.
  6. All fees include VAT where applicable.
  7. If you need a payment plan or a more of a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us. Small group discounts are also available.

Your Guides for the Journey

Primary Teacher

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Christine 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.

Guest Teachers

Betsey Beckmann, MM
Betsey Beckmann 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. Find out more about her work at her website: The Dancing Word.

Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT
Jamie 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, MA
Aisling 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 organizations 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>>