Happiness & Inner Peace
Meditation and Yoga
- March 22-25, 2018; 4 Day Retreat (Thur-Sun)
St. Crispin's Oklahoma
- May 15-19, 2018; 5 day Retreat (Wed-Sun)
- September, 2018; 5 day Retreat (Wed-Sun)
Blue Ridge Mountains
Retreat Details Soon
- November 1-4 2018; 4 Day Retreat (Thur-Sun)
St. Crispin's Oklahoma
Meditation and Yoga Retreat Intensive
St. Crispin's Retreat Center
March 22 - 25, 2018 Four Day-Three Night Retreat
Fee includes; Lodging, meals and tuition.
Must register by March 7, 2018
Early Registration, received before February 5
Per Person Double Occupancy, $405.
Per Person Private Room, $465.
Late Registration, received after February 5
Per Person Double Occupancy, $435.
Per Person Private Room, $495.
Research shows that you are happiest when you are aware of the present moment! You are generally happier when you focus on what you are doing rather than when you are absorbed in thoughts, even pleasant ones.
There is life “as it is” in the present moment and life manufactured by thoughts. Construct your reality with daydreaming and reverie and you miss out on the present moment. Such thoughts create a reality quite disconnected from what is going on. Plus, focusing on the past or future distracts you from the present and alters your experience of it. After all, memory can be distorted and the future has’t happened yet.
Thoughts diminish your awareness of here and now and cause you to feel separate from it. Your breath lets you know that you are inseparable from the present moment. It also quiets your mind allowing you to experience the peace and contentment that are always available.
In our daily lives we inevitably get caught up in the business of routine tasks. We don’t take the time to develop the capacities most central to our happiness and wellbeing. For this reason it is truly invaluable to set aside time for retreat.
This meditation retreat is a rich experience of studying and practicing present moment awareness. We will follow a balanced schedule of meditation, inner reflection, gentle yoga movement and deep rest. We will journal our responses to inquiry sessions, express ourselves through art, have thoughtful discussions and make friends with inner stillness. This combination of activities gently and safely uncovers our peaceful core. To ensure deep peaceful rest there is plenty of free time for walking, contemplation and resting. Throughout the retreat, outside of guided group discussions, we maintain silence to facilitate deep transformation.
- The joy of being fully present to the moment.
- Being unencumbered by thoughts that cause you to drift away.
- The extraordinary peace of a quiet mind.
- Feeling connected with yourself and life.
- Feeling at home in yourself.
meditation, gentle yoga, art therapy
mindfulness practice, spiritual inquiry
We have combined the most transformative spiritual practices to create a powerful spiritual and psychological container for connecting into the inner wellspring of true happiness and peace.
Join us in retreat and welcome the power of silence as we become aware of who we truly are.
The retreats are non-denominational in presentation and open to all that are interested. Our past retreats have been attended by people from many faiths i.e. Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Atheist, etc.
Silence at Retreat
A retreat is a much needed break from daily responsibility and routine. It is a time to center and tend to the inner life. Other than two group meetings daily, the retreat is held in silence, with the exception of visiting time after lunch each day. Silence is a profound spiritual practice that allows us to move into our inner core and discover its inherent peace and tranquility. We learn to connect to stillness and experience the wisdom, clarity and joy that arises from its depths.
Silence is richly nurturing, yet some are initially uncomfortable with it, fearing that unwelcome memories and thoughts will arise. In retreat we discover that thoughts are just events in the mind and not reality. We learn to witness these inner events and not identify with them which transforms our life.
Together, the group creates a safe container for silence. In the stillness we discover the deep connectedness to one another and to life. We realize that we are not as separate as we think. The peaceful warmth of silence strengthens us and supports our relaxation into inner stillness.
There are only two things we can become aware of, that which is true in our life and what is false. Habits, old stories, memories, and anticipations are false in that they stem from thoughts about the past or the future. Events in the mind, they seem real because they live in the body/mind and are experienced as repeated patterns, motivations and uncomfortable emotions. They recur because we are unaware of them. Once we become conscious, they lose their life energy and their grip on us.
In retreat we engage practices to help us become conscious of old stories, ideas and habits that recycle over and over. Nothing is forced or pressured. We simply invite that which is ready to come into awareness to do so. We can see and feel what comes into consciousness, because we are being held in the embrace of present moment awareness. Remaining here and now, we can see into what is false without being re-traumatized.
Through journal writing and directed conversations, we inquire into old stories and ideas. We also inquire into what is real and wants to be lived now. Inner guidance is encouraged as it too has opportunity to express itself in words.
Through guided body movement we release trapped energy that unconsciously has perpetuated old stories and emotional energies. We also make space for movement to express love, wisdom and other forms of the sacred. This enables us to feel the presence of our own inherent goodness in our bodies.
By listening to beautiful, evocative music our souls are touched. Depth responds to depth and our essence arises and is felt throughout the body/mind as it responds to the beauty of sacred music.
Mindfulness practices take us into the direct experience of the present moment in two ways. The first way is by becoming aware of our inner body. Doing so connects us to our inner selves so that we are not lost in thinking. We become embodied, in-the-body.
The easiest way to become aware of our inner body is by paying attention to the movement of breath. When our attention is focused on the flow of breath moving in and out, thoughts subside. Our mind becomes engrossed with breathing and becomes quiet. We orient to the inner world.
We practice taking our awareness inside the body in other ways; by noticing physical sensations within the body, the beating of the heart and the feeling of energy moving through the body, whatever feels most soothing. We learn to take refuge in the comfort of being at home in the body.
The second way of coming into present moment awareness is by focusing on what we perceive through the sensory capacities of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. Paying attention to sensory perception connects us to the immediate world around us. Rather than feeling disconnected from our experience, we feel interconnected to life as it arises in the here and now.
During retreat we practice mindfulness and awareness using sound, taste, body sensation, walking meditation, and movement awareness.
Like breathing, sensory perception is familiar and easy to overlook. Thoughts demand our attention. However, when we are lost in thoughts we disconnect from our experience of the outer life. By paying full attention to our subjective experience of the outer world we realize that we are deeply connected to it. In reconnecting we feel alive and know that we belong, just because we are.
The retreat center lodge overlooks a tranquil lake surrounded by native oak-covered hills. The facility is a modern conference center with hotel style rooms. Each room has two twin beds and a private bathroom. Other than service animals, pets are not allowed.
We offer a limited number of partial work scholarships to retreats for those who need financial assistance.
For individuals canceling their attendance for an upcoming retreat the fees are as follows: 31 days or more prior to retreat, $30 cancellation fee. 14-30 days prior to the retreat, $60 fee. Less than 14 days prior to the retreat, no refund.
Our retreats at St Crispin's’s are limited to a total of 32 people and we turn away applicants when the rooms are sold out. Fourteen days before the retreat we give our final participant counts to the staff at St Crispin’s and they order food for the entire retreat.
It is in your best interest to be certain of your intention before registering for a retreat.
The schedule for the retreat program:
- Thursday, 3:30 pm to 9 pm.
- Friday & Saturday, 7 am to 9 pm.
- Sunday, 7 am to 1 pm.
Because the schedule is a vital part of the retreat container, we ask that all attendees arrive on time and plan to stay through the end of the retreat.
Mary NurrieStearns, is a psychotherapist and yoga teacher who travels nationally teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation. She was editor of Personal Transformation magazine and co-author of "Soulful Living," "Yoga for Anxiety," "Yoga for Emotional Trauma," and "Yoga Mind Peaceful Mind." She credits the healing practices of yoga with profound inner healing and lives quietly with Rick in their house in the woods.