November 5 & 6, 2016
The quest for meaning and a longing for freedom are fundamental questions of human existence. We long to be free of restraints and entanglements, yet we often seek freedom in the very things that enslave us.
Spiritual understanding seems to grow slowly within us, much like a spiral. We seek, we falter, we learn, we grow; and then we begin again, though it seems we never quite reach the wholeness we seek.
What does it mean to be free? Is it possible to be free of seeking? What is human existence for? We'll approach these questions from both Eastern and Western perspectives. Our guides in this inquiry will be H.P. Blavatsky, J. Krishnamurti, Christian mysticism, Ramana Maharshi, and verses from the Upanishads. Our intention will be to delve deeply into our own being.
Freedom & the Search for Meaning
October 31 - November 3
10 AM - Noon
Please call 805-646-1139 for registration and information.
$15 per session, or $50 for the series.
One Day Retreat
Saturday, November 7, 2015,
Letting Go & Coming Home
Our lives are largely conditioned by a mind that sees the world through the lens of the past, or that is preoccupied with what will happen in the future. We are rarely alive to the present moment and the wonder of creation. Without realizing it, we have become prisoners of what we call Time. But in moments of Stillness, the constraints of Time disappear and we are given a taste of inner freedom.
In our day together, we will invite a deeper sense of Stillness into our lives through the cultivation of silence, contemplation and active listening. Our starting point will be guided by the words of the great Sufi poet, Rumi, who wrote: “Come out of the circle of time, and into the circle of love." We'll also contemplate the parable of “The Prodigal Son” from the Gospel of Luke to bring its wisdom and compassion into our everyday lives.
November 3 - 6, 2015
Mary of Nazareth & The Divine Mother
Upcoming Programs & Retreats
2012 - 2016
The inner call to be in communion with a higher purpose in life is a recurring human story more poignant than any other. When we listen to that “still small voice” within, we are listening to the deepest part of our being. Yet, the call to a greater good can ignite an arduous inner struggle. This is the core teaching of those who have lived it.
Together we’ll explore the spiritual calling of three very different people – a poet, Dante Alighieri; a nun, Teresa of Avila; and a Tibetan yogi, Milarepa. We’ll look at how they searched for and eventually found inner peace. Each of them embodies our own spiritual yearnings and personal failings, as we learn how to live the spiritual life from within.
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
The Dalai Lama
We live in a world that has become ever more divided. Yet as human beings, we are more alike than different; we all have the same basic needs, and we share a mutual longing for happiness and fulfillment. So why can’t we be at peace and live harmoniously with each other and with nature?
Sages from every tradition tell us that peace has to be cultivated from within before it can flourish in our lives and in the world. With stillness, contemplation, deep listening and communion with nature, we will relax and explore the stability and comfort of inner peace.
Peace & Stillness Weekend Retreat
November 4 and 5. Saturday and Sunday.
Please call 805-646-1139 for reservations. $40 plus $12 optional lunch.
What does the sight of a soaring eagle, a pristine wilderness, or the fragrance of a rose add to the human experience? Are we an intimate part of nature, or separate from it? Is the earth something to exploit for profit, or is it a living organism to honor and sustain?
Join me for a discussion of the beauty and sacredness of the natural world. Our planet sustains humanity and all living creatures in an ecosystem that is in peril.
This presentation will explore how culture, mythology and religion shape our relationship to nature. The challenges we face with climate change, rising sea levels, pollution, and species extinction are directly linked to our collective world view.
Admission is free. 46 Krotona Street, Ojai, CA.
805-640-3761 or 805-646-2653
Her critics called her the “mad Russian” and “Pope” Blavatsky. Her many supporters saw her as a great teacher with a unified and transformative vision for humanity. She was bold, controversial and a spiritual trailblazer who brought ancient mystical teachings to the West. Madame Blavatsky's influence is far reaching and she has been called the "mother of modern spirituality."
The seminar will focus on bringing Madame Blavatsky to life as a human being. We will explore her incredibly adventurous life and the influence it had on her work and world view. We’ll look what made her human, fallible, controversial and deeply loved. Her message of religious tolerance, compassion and transformation is a call to the conscience of every spiritual seeker and to anyone who yearns for a better world.
October 19 -21, 2012
The Incredible Adventure of
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The search for a deeper understanding of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going are perennial questions at the center of human existence. They activate our spiritual inquiry and help us realize how much we don’t know.
Together we’ll explore the longing for answers and how it captivated the hearts of three remarkable women: Mary Magdalene, wrongly cast as a repentant harlot, but also as a saint and “the Apostle to the Apostles”; Sufi mystic and former slave, Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, who wrote ecstatic poetry 500 years before Rumi; and Yeshe Tsogyal, a revered Tibetan yogini who helped bring Buddhism to Tibet. Each of them asked the same questions we ask, and each faced challenges that seemed insurmountable. Yet they left a spiritual legacy which burns
like a fire that never goes out.
Beyond tradition, theological doctrine, dogma, and myth, who is Mary of Nazareth? She is known as Theotokos, or God-bearer, but what might she represent in our understanding of the inner journey which unites all spiritual traditions? What deeper dimensions can we find in the story of the Virgin Birth, the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel, and the Seven Sorrows of Mary’s heart? What relevance does Mary have in the modern world?
Other spiritual traditions regard Mary as a manifestation of the Divine Mother. In this context, Mary’s compassion and spiritual wisdom resonates with Isis, Shakti, Tara, and Kwan Yin, within the traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and ancient Egyptian mythology.
In this seminar, we will take a look at what I call the Nine Narrow Gates through which Mary traveled. Together, we’ll explore the mystery and spiritual significance of Mary of Nazareth using canonical and non-canonical texts to illuminate the fullness of her story. Her challenges can help us understand our own journey through life. We'll also examine the concept of a Cosmic Mother, the Feminine Principle at the root of creation.
October 28- 31, 2014. Ojai, CA
Hearts of Fire:
Women Who Blazed a
Warriors of Light:
Hildegard of Bingen & Julian of Norwich
November 1 - 4, 2016, Ojai, CA
Hildegard of Bingen and Julian of Norwich were mystics and visionaries who envisioned a world in harmonious balance despite the violence and religious intolerance of their day. They offered wisdom to a fragmented and chaotic world that was quite similar to our own.
Born during the turbulent upheaval of the Middle Ages, they spoke of a divine unity that connects us to one another and to all of creation. They offered a nourishing, holistic approach to the spiritual search and wrote about God as both Mother and Father, an indivisible union of female and male energies representing wholeness.
Hildegard and Julian were revolutionaries who transformed their personal struggles into spiritual energy, and set an example of selflessness, regardless of one’s spiritual tradition. Together we’ll explore what these two women can teach us, and how we can benefit from listening to them.
November 5 - 8, 2013
The Call from Within:
A Poet, a Nun and a Yogi
When Stillness Speaks
November 1 & 2,, 2014
The stress and turbulence of daily life can be overwhelming. We long for a place to retreat and feel refreshed by a sense of beauty and inner quiet. But how do we find the peace we long for? Where is that quiet space we need?
In our weekend retreat, we'll explore the practice of quietude, gratitude and inner harmony inspired by the wisdom of Teresa of Avila, Ramana Maharshi and The Voice of the Silence by H.P. Blavatsky.
We'll gather in a communion of Stillness and active listening with ample time for solitude and reflection as we move deeper into the sacred mystery within.
October 31 - November 3, 2017
Freedom and the Search for Meaning
One Day Retreat
Saturday, November 7, 2015
The Power of Gratitude
Weekend Retreat, November 5 & 6, 2016
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank-you,’ it will be enough.”
What might our lives be like if we lived every day as a “thank-you?” How different would our life experience be if we viewed each day as a gift? What happens inside our bodies when we look at the astonishing beauty of the natural world, and feel a rush of gratitude simply for being able to see its splendor?
Gratitude is a potent energy that has the power to transform our lives and make us whole. In our weekend together, we’ll discover how gratefulness opens us to an invigorated sense of joy and well-being. Through Stillness, contemplation, active listening, and encounters with nature, we’ll cultivate the exquisite art of gratitude and the inner peace it brings.
Hildegard of Bingen:
The Nun who loved the Earth
Monday, March 6, 2017 at 11 AM
One of Christianity's greatest mystic's, Hildegard of Bingen was a visionary with a distinct and remarkable voice. She celebrated the beauty of nature and creation in art and music as the expression of divine love. Join us for a one-hour presentation of Hildegard's views on the relationship between humanity and nature.
Roots & Wings Gallery, Montecito, CA 805-969-7978
November 1 & 2, 2014
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 7 PM
Peace & Stillness
Weekend Retreat, November 4 & 5, 2017