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The Wisdom of the Body

A 10-Week Online Companion Retreat to the Book

Registration Fee: $175 USD

Program Description

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)

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?

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 video and 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.

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: Video and 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

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

Your Guides for the Journey

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine is the director of, 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 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.

Read the blog and watch Christine’s interview with Betsey on The Wisdom of the Body.


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.

Read the blog and watch Christine’s interview with Jamie on The Wisdom of the Body.


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>>

Read the blog and watch Christine’s interview with Aisling on The Wisdom of the Body.

Praise for the Course

It's Easter Monday and I am sad to see the end of this Creative Flourishing retreat, but oh so grateful for the multi-layered experience. I made the decision to take this journey at the last minute, but with great conviction it would deepen my Christian life. I had no idea what it would be like. It was like nothing I have experienced before. Thank you to Christine for originating the idea and doing such a thoughtful and tender job of guiding us through this journey. My deepest joy was to reconnect with the artist within me. The art literally flowed from me. Like living water. A well-spring fed by Christ himself.
Laurie Wagner
I'll be stepping into the season of Easter and spring with more ease, joy and awake from having prayed with, reflected on, moved with and daily witnessing of the mandalas during the past five and one half weeks. Thank you Christine for your vision, knowledge, design and guidance throughout this Lenten season; Hildegard of Bingen is now a living Saint for me. Betsey, i've become more embodied, through participating in your interpretations of Hildegard in dance and chant. This spiritual community has filled my heart with divine blessings. I will pass these blessings on.
Beatrice Randall
I'm so grateful for this retreat. It has been the most amazing experience of learning and growth, spiritually, artistically, and emotionally. Most of which I was not expecting when I signed up. Christine, I want to thank you again for this amazing Lent retreat. It was a joy, honor and privilege to attend. This has been an experience I won't soon forget. I've learned so much about myself and this process of healing through artistic expression. I look forward to doing more with you
Tamara Mapp
Thank you, Christine, for the best retreat I've ever experienced. I'm hooked on Hildegard! She will ever be part of my spirituality as she has added both depth and richness to my faith.
Evelyn Jackson
Sincere and grateful thanks for this marvelous retreat. Your guidance and song will live in my heart. Hildegard's presence has been a source of light and love. Your ministry is much appreciated. We are greener!
Mary Mason
This has been a very rich retreat. I have loved creating, singing, breathing, moving, reading and praying with you. Thank you.
Judith Bryan
My heart is so full. This has been the best retreat in my life.
Louise Thigpen


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

All prices displayed in USD.


Registration Fee

If you need a different payment plan or a 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!

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.