Water, Wind, Earth & Fire
A Companion Retreat to the Book
Registration Fee: $120 USD
Are you ready to take a retreat in everyday life through the heart of creation?
We live in a time when our relationship to the natural world has never been more important to the survival and flourishing of all beings. Transforming our engagement with creation emerges from a deeply rooted contemplative practice where we come to know what Teilhard de Chardin called the “breathing together of all things.” The four primal elements of water, wind, earth, and fire are woven throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and the wisdom of the great mystics, and they can enliven and incarnate prayer and faith. This 5-week online retreat invites you into a deeply contemplative spirituality which engages creation through ancient texts and prayer practices. With the support of Christine’s wise guidance and special guest teachers and artists, you will explore how the four elements invite you into a spiritual life infused with a reverence for the whole created world.
When we recognize ourselves as a part of the earth community, as the scriptures and mystics have encouraged us to do for centuries, then we begin to see the profound mystery at work in the depths of our souls is the same sacred mystery at work in the natural world. Contemplative presence to nature transforms our daily choices so we become conscious of how to live within the matrix of creation in life-giving ways.
This online class includes suggested reading from the book Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements, weekly reflections to orient you to the week’s focus with practices and creative exercises (in PDF format) and a guided meditation recording each week (MP3 file). Experience the elements through image and imagination as facilitator Kayce Stevens Hughlett guides you virtually through the creative process of SoulCollage®. Each week will include exercises to help you create your own collaged card and then interact with it to deepen your personal awareness of earth, wind, fire and water.
Also included are five beautiful songs from River's Voice and two dance/movement videos from Betsey Beckman including her StoryDance video of the Creation story and a video for the fifth week of integration through guided movement.
Awaken your passion for creation through prayerful encounters with the sacred elements as our guides. Fall in love again with the God who pulses through nature. Commit to a guided journey of encountering the holy in creation.
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?
- 5 weekly overviews with new material and suggestions for mini-retreat experiences by Christine
- 5 guided meditations led by Christine
- 5 guided SoulCollage® experiences led by Kayce Stevens Hughlett (introductory video + 5 entry meditations + pdf handout)
- 5 songs by Rivers Voice to deepen your experience of the elements
- 2 videos by Betsey Beckman including her dancing the Creation story and a guided movement experience for the final week
You will receive emails with a link to the day's content. 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 and can move through the retreat at your own pace.
This retreat includes suggested readings from the book Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements, to orient you to the week’s focus with practices and creative exercises.
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.
Kayce S. Hughlett, MA, LMHC
Betsey Beckman, MM
Trish & Richard Broxvoort Colligan
The River's Voice is comprised of Trish and Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, an acoustic duo married in music and life. Trish is a spiritual director for women, offering love through Spirations Interspiritual Formation. Richard is a liturgical theologian currently in the midst of a ten year musical study of the Psalms. Together, their musical presence is more than the sum of their parts. With over a dozen CDs of original music, they tour throughout the U.S. with reflective, heart-opening songs and stories. Visit The River's Voice to learn more about Trish and Richard.
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.