This 8-day retreat offers an opportunity to live from your spiritual center in a community of loving, conscious women on sacred Hawaiian land. As we fall back into natural rhythms, we will shed the stresses of everyday life, relax into the welcoming silence that awaits us, cultivate true rest, and allow life in all its richness to flow unimpeded through us. We can then discover that each one of us is a flowing expression of a divine love and intelligence that hums through our very cells.
Our retreat site of Hawaiian design sits on the hillside above Kealakekua Bay with stunning views of the bay and coastline. The property exudes tranquility, peace and beauty.
This sacred land, warm ocean, and loving community of women create a safe and supportive womb for the unfolding of truth within each of us. We will be nurtured and challenged to dive deeply into ourselves and uncover fresh inspiration for our lives.
For more information, contact Alexandra.
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of being.
St Francis is inexhaustible, he turns his back on no one; to each he shows something of himself and enriches all who approach him.
—Nesta De Robeck
Join us for a one week pilgrimage to Assisi and explore the life of St. Francis, the mystic. Assisi is one of Italy's loveliest towns, imbued with the spirit of St. Francis and preserved much as it was in his time. We will stay at a peaceful 12th century convent/guest house in the middle of Assisi from which we will explore the town, walk in the countryside, meet local artists, and visit churches. Exquisite frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco depict important stories in Francis' life, stories that will come alive for us as we visit such places as the church of San Damiano where Francis heard the voice of the crucifix that changed his life, composed the Canticle of the Creatures, and to which he brought Clare and her followers. We will also visit the forest hermitage on Mount Subasio where he preached to the birds and retired to caves for contemplation and the ancient Porziuncola chapel which he restored and then used as a center for his order of friars. It was here that the Pope brought all the leaders of the world religions in 1986.
We will be in Assisi during the Festa di Calendimaggio, a medieval event, staged to mark the official arrival of spring-- lots of costumed parades, flag-wavers, dancing and theatrical shows, amongst other events. Other excursions are to Spello (Assisi's little sister), with possible excursions to Deruta (where ceramics are made), and Madonna di Bagni (where ceramic votive plaques from 1600 to the present show miracles attributed to the Madonna; also a Black Madonna in the chapel).
As we explore Francis' spiritual development and the mystical landscape that inspired him, we will investigate how each of us connects to the divine. We will devote time each day for silence and contemplation, dream-work, guided imagery, and discussions about the spirit of nature and the nature of spirit. How will your own life be touched by this joyous saint and how will the land infused with his passionate and peaceful spirit enrich and renew you as you seek your own connection to the divine?
Preparation for this pilgrimage will include a slide show/presentation of Assisi and Giotto's exquisite frescoes that depict the significant events of Francis' life, two movies about Saint Francis (Francesco and Brother Sun, Sister Moon). For those of you who would like to extend your stay in Italy, you will be provided with suggestions of cities and sites to visit (Orvieto, Florence, Siena, Rome—all accessible by train), along with hotel recommendations.
This retreat is limited to 8 women (including Alexandra).
For more information, contact Alexandra.
St. Francis is inexhaustible; he turns his back on no one; to each he shows something of himself and enriches all who approach him.
—Nesta D. Robeck
Let's explore together the life of St. Francis, the 12th century rebel mystic who for hundreds of years has inspired and deeply touched people of all religions. Looking at slides of Giotto's exquisite frescoes will inform us of the significant events of St. Francis' life and give us insight into his spiritual development. The peaceful hill town of Assisi which is imbued with his spirit and preserved much as it was in his time will come alive for us through slides, taken on a recent tour led by Alexandra Kennedy. The presentation includes the church where both Francis and Clare (his childhood friend and founder of the Poor Clare's Order of Nuns) were baptized, the streets he wandered as a young troubadour, the church where he heard the voice from the crucifix and composed the "Canticle of the Creatures," the forest hermitage where he retreated to pray, and the Porziuncola chapel which he used as a center for his friars. Reading St. Francis' poetry will illuminate for us his vision of the divine. We will also look at St. Francis through the eyes of writers and film directors, such as Celano (his first biographer), Kazantzakis, Zefferelli and Cavani. Finally, we will discuss how our own lives might be touched by this joyous saint and how his passionate spirit can enrich and renew us as we seek our own connection with the divine.
Presented at University of California Santa Cruz Extension and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment.