First and foremost, I just want to wish all the mothers out there a very happy Mother’s Day! You deserve the very best!
I’ve always loved the peace and serenity that the wild dolphins exude. I don’t think anyone can stay angry at life while looking into their eyes and being in their presence. Ladies I hope you’ll join me in Bimini to be with these amazing sentient beings!
I’m very excited about giving back though service. On both our Kenya, Bali and Bhutan trips we’ll be giving to people in need and that’s an incredible experience! There’s so much suffering in the world – here and abroad and it’s great to be able to travel and make a difference at the same time. You’ll be seeing a lot more of these trips in the future.
BTW: This month’s article is: Cutting the World Into Pieces. DO POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW (they won’t show up right away until they are approved) and please Tweet us to others!
As for news, Catherine’s Photography retreat to Oregon is SOLD-OUT, but she has a new trip to the Monterey Peninsula Sept 29th! If you’re planning to join our spiritual journey to Swim with the Dolphins, – let me know ASAP! REGISTRATION IS NOW!
Also, please take time to read Ales Struna’s article below. He always has good ideas for rejuvenating weekends or weeks! You can find him here: Custom Travel Division! Whatever it is, he is here to assist YOU!
REGISTRATION AT THIS TIME IS A MUST!
NORTH DAKOTA: Vision Quest into the Badlands – NEW TRIP!!
June 26 – July 7th, 2010
This spiritual retreat with facilitator Samvedam Randles takes us to the Badlands of North Dakota where views are expansive and bison and coyote walk freely. Daily practices of meditation, breathwork, shamanic journeying and group sharing will prepare us for a powerful vision quest. Rituals such as sweat lodge and fire ceremony will help us purify and prepare ourselves for time alone in the powerful presence of this land. Participants may choose to quest alone for three days and three nights in the badlands or participate in an alternative guided three day retreat at base camp.
You are invited to step out of your daily routines and broaden your sense of Self beyond the horizon of what is currently visible in order to realign with the original intention of your soul. Trip cost: $1680.00 USD dormitory style occ. Details for Badlands Vision Quest here!
REGISTRATION AT THIS TIME IS A MUST!
SWIM WITH THE WILD DOLPHINS: A Women’s Retreat of the Heart!
July 18-23rd, 2010 – PLEASE NOTE THESE DATES HAVE CHANGED!!
Ladies, come join us for a truly magical adventure of heart and spirit to the Caribbean Island of Bimini for an intimate and touching experience with the wild spotted dolphins. Connecting with their wondrous spirits can be a profoundly moving, deeply healing and life altering experience.
This week we will spend time looking at our communication skills, self-judgments and the limiting thought patterns which are preventing us from becoming the true manifestation of Spirit that we really are! The 2010 trip cost is: $1965.00 USD pp double occ or $2235.00 single occ in our 2 bedroom-2 bath condo suite (includes a full kitchen and shared living room). Single occ in a private studio condo unit is: $2375.00 USD. Details for Swimming with the Dolphins here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
Join me for a discussion on May 18th Tuesday evening at 8:30pm Eastern and 5:30pm Pacific time (Topic to be announced soon!). Sign-up here! If you missed any of the previous teleclasses you can listen them on the library page of my website.
A NEW OPPORTUNITY for 2010
Join me in 2010 for a personal intensive! These intensives will take place in my home in the mountains of north Georgia. It’s a very quiet place to take time to reflect upon your life and the local hiking is amazing. You’ll stay here during your intensive and have full access to your own kitchen and space. Figure we’ll spend around 3 hours together in the morning and then you’ll do your assignments in the afternoon. Then we’ll catch back up for 1-2 hours in the evening to re-cap. Details here.
CUTTING THE WORLD INTO PIECES
On our spiritual path we’re so used to hearing certain aphorism’s – we teach ’em and we preach ’em: We create our reality, We become what we think, Thoughts become things, We’re all one, and so on. Sometimes I get bored hearing them come out of my own mouth!
It’s so important to go beyond simply agreeing with these pithy spiritual sayings and put them into practice so we can move beyond our unhealthy habitual mental behaviors. I know for myself, that my spiritual path has been a process of moving past my mind’s addiction to judgment (whether it is positive or negative). As humans we are so attached to perceiving and categorizing everything we see and experience – it can be a challenge to break that habit.
But when we come to realize that all we are doing is dividing and cutting up the world into a billion pieces simply for the security of putting everything into boxes so we can feel safe – it behooves us to take action!
All judgment does is divide, sub-divide and further divide our experience of life – duality to the 1000th degree. We can preach all day about the oneness of all life and meditate on “good” thoughts and affirmations. But if we do not have awareness of our mental addiction to judgment we’ll never find peace or experience the oneness that is ever-present. Everytime we say that something is good, or not good – right or wrong, we create them and us, here and there, a hierarchy of life that is not truth and we suffer that judgment. Doing so makes it possible for us to create enemies, people to blame things on, and be afraid of.
Let’s say you decide that your divorce is bad and then 5 years in the future realize it was the best thing that ever happened to you. How can something that is bad become good? The truth is that it was never good or bad – it was always life, the process of ever-expanding-consciousness expressing through you. Choosing to judge the divorce as horrible can only make you feel emotionally down, just like choosing to judge it as good can only bring false happiness.
We crave certainty so fiercely that we are willing to place a label on everything unfolding in our lives, even if that label is not necessarily truth. Why not acknowledge our addiction to judgment, safety and separation – and choose to simply say instead: “It is what it is?” If we believe in the “what is,” we’ll never feel emotionally bad or falsely happy – we’ll feel peace which is the result of perceiving without judgment.
Ask yourself: Are you ready to move beyond the desire to divide your experience of life into millions of pieces? Do you have the heart to create peace in your own mind and then project that peace into the greater reality? Are you willing to make the choice to trade safety for uncertainty and freedom? Is it your time to put all those pithy statements to the test? When will it become worth it to you to let go of judgment and how much pain and suffering will you endure until you do so? Are you ready to transcend your own thinking and rigid points of view?
I can’t answer these questions for you. Only you can decide whether it’s worth it for you. But for me – I can say absolutely YES IT IS! I encourage you to take this challenge – stop cutting the world up into pieces even for one day and see what happens. Maybe, you too will experience that oneness that is ever present beyond the illusion of duality.
With all my love, Sheri
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
It’s hard to believe that this book by Julia Cameron has been around for a decade and celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. Well, it’s been around that long for a reason – it’s a classic for any artist, writer, or creative type that finds themselves stuck in self-sabotaging behaviors that are limiting their creative expression.
With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity. Updated and expanded, this anniversary edition reframes The Artist’s Way for a new century. Pick up a copy today: The Artist’s Way
SPIRITUAL CINEMA CIRCLE
If You Love Movies, You Are About to Be Inspired AND Entertained!
When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle you will be making an important contribution to your world. You are encouraging talented, visionary filmmakers to continue in their efforts to add life and meaning to our movies and to raise the consciousness of the world by supporting and experiencing truly nourishing entertainment.
This month’s full feature film is Visions of a Universal Humanity: Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, together with some of the finest minds of our time, including world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, biologist Bruce Lipton, scholar Jean Houston and others, presents cutting-edge perspectives on humankind’s potential to create a positive future for the Earth. The second film in a series (Humanity Ascending; Vol. 2, 2009), Visions of a Universal Humanity takes us beyond now, beyond 2012, into a future of infinite possibilities.
Great news from our friends at Spiritual Cinema Circle – you can receive this full feature film plus 3 great short films for FREE when you sign up for a trial membership at no charge. (Just pay a small shipping fee). This is the only DVD service dedicated to films about love, compassion and inspiration: one of the many reasons we wanted you to know about them. Cancel your membership at any time. Join the Circle today!
NEW TRIP – REGISTER EARLY!
BALI INDONESIA: Women’s Goddess Retreat to Paradise – July 20-30th, 2010
Join Lore Raymond and 15 women very special “spiritual sojourners” for this VisionQuest to Bali. Our intent for this blessed spiritual retreat is to open hearts and inspire action as we “journey within” and discover the real Bali and ourselves. Through intimate experiences with the native people, special cultural interactions, and volunteerism – you will notice a change within that will forever change your life. Bali has a way of creeping into your heart and merging with your soul.
On this journey of the heart, VisionQuest women will be lovingly asked to bring 50 pounds of donated goods to gift local Balinese non-profits. And to honor Lore’s great-grandmother – 7% of all VisionQuests’ net proceeds will be donated to the international humanitarian work of Nurses with a Mission. The 2010 trip cost is: $2695.00 USD per person double occupancy (cash pricing). Details for Bali Goddesses here!
HAVASUPAI FALLS GRAND CANYON: Living Fearlessly
September 8-13th, 2010
On this adventure you descend into one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, into the heart of the Grand Canyon at Havasu Canyon, where we will hike and explore this incredible landscape, swimming in travertine pools of turquoise blue, enjoying the evenings at our comfortable permanent camp searching for stars, having great meals and sharing our experiences during our adventure.
This journey will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe and a true appreciation and love of the grandest places on earth. 2010 trip cost is: $2095.00 USD pp double occ, most meals included. Details for Havasupai Falls here!
SEDONA SPIRITUAL RETREAT: Embracing At-one-ment
September 16-21st, 2010
Join us for a magical and introspective spiritual retreat to the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. On the autumn equinox, day and night are of equal length reminding us that we too must honor the light and darkness within. It’s time for forgiving ourselves and bringing our regrets, sorrows, and resentments (our darkness) into the light so we can live our lives from a place of wholeness and love.
Healthy breakfasts at Briar Path Inn can be enjoyed by the fireside in the lodge, or on a tray at your cottage, or best of all, creekside! As part of this retreat we will engage in a fire ceremony, multiple ceremonies in beautiful locations, and a therapeutic healing massage. Shanti Gilbert is co-teaching with me on this journey. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details! Details for Sedona here!
THE MONTEREY PENINSULA: A Photography Workshop
Sept 29-Oct 3rd, 2010
Escape our technical world and re-focus your attention on your most authentic and creative self! Allow your senses to ignite from the breathtaking beauty of the Monterey Peninsula coastline. Invite the peace, quietude and meditative environment of Asilimar into your soul to help guide you back to your true authentic voice. We invite you to join award-winning photographer Catherine Just on this travel photography workshop and spiritual retreat.
For 4 nights and 3 full days we combine spiritual practice with photography for more mindful image-making through a deeper understanding of ourselves. Through meditation, journaling, discussion, comradery, photography exercises and connection with nature, we find our way back to the essence of who we are with clarity and lack of judgment. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details! Details for Monterey here!
KENYA, AFRICA: Into the Heart of the Motherland
October 4-15th, 2010
Connecting with the energy and wildlife of the motherland of all humanity is the focus of this amazing spiritual journey to Kenya, Africa. Here we will have the opportunity to witness some of the most powerful animals on our planet, befriend members of the Masai warrior tribe, and give deeply of ourselves at the Kids Alive Children’s Home and the Kamatongu Primary School.
Traditionally, the Maasai rarely hunt and living alongside wildlife in harmony is an important part of their beliefs. From July to October, 1.3 million Wildebeest pour across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon. Truly, this will be a powerful journey for us. 2010 trip cost is: $5695.00 USD pp double occ 6-12 participants OR $52855.00 USD pp double occ >12 participants – most meals included. Details for Kenya, Africa here!
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico – A Powerful Celebration of Life!
October 30th-November 7th, 2010
Mexicans love Day of the Dead, it’s a revered and festive holiday where folk celebrate their beloveds’ who have passed. Families create altars filled with pictures, food and items that belonged to the deceased. Together we’ll learn to enjoy life as it is – as true “Artists of the Spirit.”
We’ll be visiting the graveyard, and creating our own altars – whether they are to our own loved ones who have passed, or to a relationship that we want to let go of, or even an aspect of ourselves we’re ready to let go of. We’ll also go to the local market, visit the sacred ruins of Monte Alban & Mitla, and so much more. By the end of this journey you’ll have the tools to re-create your reality and to face your greatest fear – expressing your life with integrity, honesty, fearlessness and joy. Join HeatherAsh & Sheri on this spiritual journey of the heart. 2010 trip cost is: $2465.00 USD pp double occ, some meals included. Details for Day of the Dead here!
PALENQUE, MEXICO: 2012 Mayan Prophecies – Bringing in the Light
Dec 17-22, 2010
Here we’ll travel back in time from the remains of the Olmecs at La Venta to the incredible structures of the Maya at Palenque and Tonina. During our week together we’ll be preparing for the 2012 Mayan prophecies by using these sacred underworld sites to birth a dream of world peace into the light. In addition, we’ll have the opportunity to meet with a Mayan elder to talk more about what the 2012 prophecies mean for them.
We’ll immerse ourselves in the mythology of the underworld exploring the aspects of ourselves long abandoned or forgotten , leading to the rebirth of our integrity and oneness for ourselves and for the world. 2010 cost: coming soon. Details for Palenque here!
BHUTAN: Blessings of the Heart, Meditation & Service
December 9-21st, 2010
Not many people have actually heard about Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon. These proud people are Tantric Buddhists who also have a Shamanistic background called Bon – and a fantastic history filled with legends and mythology.
We’ll have the opportunity to spend a day at one of the annual religious dance festivals, participate in a special prayer and blessing ceremony and hike up to Tiger’s Nest temple where Guru Rinpoche flew to on the back of a flaming tigress! We’ll also be giving of ourselves and helping the nuns by being in service. Through meditation, chanting, prayer and ceremony – we will expand our consciousness and cultivate the compassion of Buddha within us. 2010 trip cost is: $5195.00 USD pp double occ, all meals and roundtrip airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan included. Details for Bhutan here!
PATAGONIA ARGENTINA: Reconnecting with Nature & Transcendence
Patagonia: truly one of the most remote, pristine and untouched territories on our planet. On this heart-opening spiritual retreat, we will immerse ourselves deeply and profoundly into our sacred connection with the natural world. We invite you to join us on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, nurtured by the intense energy of amazing glacial lakes, pure creeks, astonishing waterfalls, beautiful forests and breathtaking mountains.
Our daily road-map will guide us to different territories, not just in a geographical sense, but experientially too. The four essential elements (air, fire, water and earth), will be our temporal destinations – visiting stunning natural settings to complement each element and its manifestations, establishing a sacred communion between us and nature. From our home base at Estancia Peuma Hue, a spiritually centered 500 acre eco-boutique ranch, we will discover true integration with these vital essences.
Our time together will include a variety of activities such as: forest hikes, waterfalls, lakes and amazing viewpoints, meditation, mind-body relaxation and stress management techniques (Qigong and/or TaiChi), group ritual, celebrations and games, traditional self-healing knowledge, guided horseback rides, conscious observation, enriching group reflections and much more! 2011 trip cost is: To be announced! Details for Patagonia here!
Need a Break? – I Have the Answer!
I don’t know about you – but there are times when I feel like if I can’t get away RIGHT NOW – I may not make it through the week. Well, I know of two places that you can escape to that will have you relaxed and at peace in no time.
My first suggestion is Red Mountain Resort & Spa. Located in St George, Utah, this spa getaway is more than just a place to get your back rubbed. They have a 5 day/4 night/3 meals-a-day Emotional Fitness retreat package run by facilitator Andrea Hanson that will have you coming home with a new perspective on life. Finally break and end patterns of negative thoughts emotions or behaviors that keep you stuck or in turmoil. Learn, understand and become empowered to create and fully enjoy the life you desire and sustain your new found personal power and emotional peace – while enjoying these amazing surroundings.
If you’re not in the mood for a structured program, consider going for long beautiful hikes in one of the world’s natural wonders, Zion National Park, famous for it’s deep canyons, sandstone cliffs and scenic vistas? Walking through the canyons, surrounded by lush forestland and towering mountain peaks, you will experience your mind quieting and feeling at peace.
My second suggestion is just as awe inspiring: the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. I’ve been there myself and it’s amazing to hike in the nearby Pacific Rim National Park with its temperate rain forest, one of the few in the world! You can go for long walks on one of the many breathtaking beaches, or just sit in your room with your balcony door open listening to the waves crashing onto the shore, taking you into deep meditation. FYI: Clayoquot Sound was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – all 864,734 acres including Tofino and its beaches.
One of their most popular spa therapies is called “Hishuk Ish Tsawalk” which is a Nuu chah nulth phrase of wisdom meaning “Everything is one – all is interconnected.” This is the feeling they want you to experience at their facility. You can take yoga classes, eat locally harvested gourmet food, take a run, or simply picnic on the beach.
These two spas are a great alternative if you’re not able to join us on one of our amazing journeys we offer throughout the year. Interested? Please feel free to contact me and let me know what I can do for you.
Ales Struna – Director of Custom Travel Services
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video!
Here’s a simply lovely relaxing video to calm your nerves and allow you to take a deep breath and center yourself! Enjoy!
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“When people speak badly of you, you should respond in this way: Keep a steady heart and don’t reply with harsh words. Practice letting go of resentment and accepting that the other’s hostility is the spur to your understanding. Be kind, adopt a generous standpoint, treat your enemy as a friend, and suffuse all your world with affectionate thoughts, far-reaching and widespread, limitless and free from hate. In this state you should try to remain.”