Creative Flourishing with St. Hildegard of Bingen
A Self-Study Online Retreat
Registration Fee: $150 USD
St. Hildegard of Bingen, who in 2012 was canonized and made a Doctor of the Church, was a visionary leader of extraordinary creative power. Benedictine Abbess, healer, artist, musician, preacher, spiritual director, prophet, poet, the list goes on and on. She has left us with a tremendous legacy.
One of her great gifts was insight into viriditas, or the greening power of God, the life force at work in all of creation. This central creative principle was key for Hildegard in sustaining her soul and her work.
We often experience our life as a kind of wandering through the desert, experiencing the spareness of the landscape. But there is another side to the desert. The prophet Isaiah writes that “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.” (35:1-2)
This abundant blossoming is the provenance of viriditas. Together we will wander through the desert tending to the juicy gifts of viriditas, the creative life-giving force at the heart of everything alive. We will contemplate Hildegard’s wisdom for living a life that is fruitful and green and overflowing with verdancy. We will look for fecundity in barren places.
*This retreat was originally offered for Lent 2013 and in the two guided meditations there is a brief reference to Lent at the start, but all other references to Lent have been edited out of the materials.
Do you long for ways to enter more mindfully into this holy time of year? Are there stories you would like to remember and honor?
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. The materials are in written, audio and video formats which you can read, listen to and watch at any time. You have forever access to the materials in the course.
- Day 1 arrives to launch the week’s theme and offer you some wisdom and reflection from Christine into Hildegard’s writings. This will be a longer email.
- Days 2-6 will offer a daily quote and suggested mandala practice to carry the theme through the week.
- Each week also includes a printable pdf file for easy access to the week’s written materials.
- Each week also includes links to various YouTube videos with Hildegard of Bingen's music selected for the week's theme and a song inspired by Hildegard, a movement prayer, and a vocal exploration by Betsey Beckman as well as a movement prayer from Jamie Marich to enrich your experience aurally and visually.
As a part of this retreat you will be invited to make a commitment to a daily contemplative and creative practice. I will suggest a text from Hildegard of Bingen for each day to pray lectio divina with, to listen for the wisdom that stretches out to us across 800 years. This kind of daily deep listening can open up new reservoirs of inspiration and creative outpouring.
In response to your lectio practice, you also will be invited to a practice of creative expression, daily mandala drawings (Hildegard saw the circle as a sacred form echoing the cosmos) and journaling. Suggestions and guidance will be offered for both.
Of course, you can decide how much or how little of the suggested practices to engage. This retreat is for your enrichment and deepening.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Christine is the director of AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of nine books on spirituality and the arts. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery–a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the "About Christine" page for more information.
Betsey Beckman, MM
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.
Praise for the Course
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
Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of sessions 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.
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.