The Soul’s Slow Ripening
12 Celtic Practices for Seekers of the Sacred
Registration Fee: $160 USD
This 12-week self-study retreat is a companion to Christine’s book The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Journey together inviting you to 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.
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.
Six days each week you receive an email with a link to the day’s content. The 7th day is a time for rest and integration. The added materials (in addition to the book) are in audio and video format which you can listen to at any time. All audio recordings were created by Christine Valters Paintner. You have lifetime access to the materials in the course.
Monday: Guided audio meditation recording
Tuesday: Guided audio lectio divina recording
Wednesday: Photography Exploration (with extra audio guidance)
Thursday: Writing Exploration (with extra audio guidance)
Friday: Song and Movement Prayer with Betsey Beckman (with teaching and dance along videos)
Saturday: Closing Blessing (with audio reading of poem)
Sunday: Sabbath rest
- 12 audio recordings of a guided meditation led by Christine Valters Paintner
- 12 audio recordings of a guided lectio divina practice with the week’s scripture passage
- 12 audio recordings of guidance for the photography explorations
- 12 audio recordings of guidance for the writing explorations
- 12 teaching videos and 12 dance along videos with Betsey Beckman offering a gesture prayer
- 12 audio recordings of Christine reading her closing poem
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.
John Valters Paintner, MTS
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
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.
Praise for the Course
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!
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.