How can the challenges and opportunities of our daily life serve to deepen our faith in the wisdom of our own soul? Through poetry, personal reflection and writing exercises we shall explore this question in four daily sessions in the shadow of the glorious Cathedral of Chartres in France. The purpose of our time together is to affirm the value of our own inner authority.
The two and a half hour daily sessions with Roger are a seminal part of a four day retreat in Chartres which also includes an introduction and walking of the ancient labyrinth with Lauren Artress, who is responsible for re-introducing the labyrinth back into Western culture as a means of spiritual awakening and contemplation. The retreat includes a private ritual after Cathedral hours in which we progress first through the crypt, which will be marked by thousands of candles, and where you will encounter the revered Black Madonna. We then continue on into the main body of the cathedral, where we walk the labyrinth together. The retreat includes small group discussions, the morning seminars with Roger, an opening reception and a closing dinner.
We will explore some of these themes during our time together:
Trust the Knowing:
How can we recognize and also listen to the still small voice in us?
Trust the Mystery:
do we ever really know what a single moment, event, or experience is? The wisdom of not knowing.
Trust the Dark
: Dante speaks for most of us when he says that in the middle of his life he realized he was in a dark wood, "the right way truly lost." How can we offer these dark periods their rightful place in our life's journey?
Trust the Changes:
Pour yourself like a fountain, Rilke urges us. How can we let go of the way we want things to be and welcome the way things are, whatever they are?
Trust the Imperfections:
How we can embrace ourselves and others as we are.
Trust the Joy:
Joy lives in our blood by the very fact of being human. How do we acknowledge it and bring it more forward into our lives?
Keep Faith With The Human Spirit:
It began in mystery and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
~ Diane Ackerman
Can we keep faith with life, with human life, despite all the tragedies we see on the 24 hour news cycle?
Roger Housden is the author of twenty books on poetry, art and travel. His first book to be published in the United States was Sacred Journeys in a Modern World
(Simon and Schuster, 1998.) His other books include the best-selling Ten Poems
series which began in 2001 with Ten Poems to Change Your Life
and ended in 2011 with Ten Poems to Say Goodbye; Travels Through Sacred India
, and Seven Sins For a Life Worth Living
. All his books, whatever the subject, share a common aim: to inspire us to explore how we may live our most authentic life. His upcoming book, Keeping the Faith Without a Religion
, will be published by Sounds True in March 2014. Roger is from the UK and now lives in the Bay Area. He runs classes in Writing as Soul-Making locally, and works with individuals on skype. For more information see www.rogerhousden.com
Accommodation at the Maison St. Yves is now available:
The Reading List for Caring for the Soul in a Changing World:
These books are suggestions for you to deepen your experience. Enjoy!
Ten Poems to Change Your Life
, by Roger Housden from Harmony Books
Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again
by Roger Housden by Harmony Press
Chasing Love and Revelation
, by Roger Housden (novella) E-Book
Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living
, by Roger Housden, Harmony Press
Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
by Lauren Artress
The Universe of Stone
by Phillip Ball