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Journey Toward Wholeness at Ghost Ranch

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center - Abiquiu, NM

May 22-26, 2018
Tuesday 3pm to Saturday 12pm

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
Abiquiu, New Mexico

Double room: USD $1,295/person
Single room: USD $1,495/person

Click to register now

“By choosing integrity, I become more whole, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means becoming more real by acknowledging the whole of who I am.” 
― Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life

Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, this retreat designed for spiritual directors, explores issues of transition, vocation, relationship, life passion, purpose, and the unfolding stirrings of Spirit. Through reflection and connection, we examine some of our underlying patterns, the ways we live in alignment with our deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.

We welcome people from diverse faith traditions, racial and ethnic identities, genders, ages, abilities and spiritual practices to join us for this retreat. In a safe, nurturing, and confidential environment, we share periods of quiet self-reflection and group discussion, as well as laughter, lightness, and renewal.  Guided by core principles and practices, including the belief that everyone has an inner teacher, an inner source of truth, we engage in contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation.

Savoring the stunning spring beauty of the high desert, we explore poetry, prose, music, gentle guided movement, journaling, stories from various wisdom traditions, and mindfulness meditation practices.  Clearness committee, a Quaker process of spiritual discernment, is the capstone of the retreat.

What people are saying….

“The process of participating in this Courage & Renewal Retreat is life giving.  It opened me to the concept that we all have within us what we need to guide our lives in soulful and soul filled ways.  It offered a way to be authentic and have meaningful, loving, courageous, and life-changing conversations in a safe context.  It has changed my life, assisted me in being a healing presence in my context.”  MB 

“This Courage & Renewal Retreat has been one of the most difficult and heart felt times in my life, but it has helped open my heart and heal my soul like nothing else I have ever done.  Valerie, you are an excellent facilitator:  encouraging, acknowledging and appreciating each of us for who we are.”  RORghostranch4

“The Circle of Trust helped me to clarify my intentions and enabled me to listen to and follow my heart.  The Clearness Committee is an amazing process that opens to the Holy.  Valerie is a skilled, flexible, and compassionate facilitator, responsive to the individual and groups’ needs, and artful in balancing both.” TB 

“Ghost Ranch is a ‘thin place’ where the spiritual is within reach.  The landscape is itself  a vibrant part of spiritual renewal.  This Journey Toward Wholeness Retreat allowed us to be intimate with the land, our souls, and each other.  I leave here with hope that I can live soulfully in this world.” 

“This retreat fulfilled my expectations, and then some.  I’m leaving with new access to my inner wisdom and a clear sense of pathways that will support my journey toward the contributions I want to offer my community.”

Meet Your Facilitators

Valerie Brown, JD, MA, PCC is Courage & Renewal® Facilitator, trained by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal.  She is an international retreat leader, spiritual director, writer, accredited leadership coach, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership.

She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections.  Her books include, The Road that Teaches:  Lessons in Transformation through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012) and The Mindful School Leader:  Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014), and several Pendle Hill pamphlets, including Coming to Light:  Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee.

Valerie is a Quaker and an ordained member of the Tiep Hien Order by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003.  As certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she helps leaders discover the wisdom of the body.  She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred place.

Karen Lee Erlichman, D.Min, LCSW provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction, supervision and mentoring in San Francisco.  Karen is a senior consultant for Ethics of Care and Resource Development with The Dinner Party and the People’s Supper, as well as a faculty member in the Jewish Spirituality D.Min program at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She completed Facilitator Preparation Training with the Center for Courage & Renewal under the leadership of Parker Palmer.

About Our Venue

Located 65 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ghost Ranch is a place of magnificent scenic beauty, comprised of canyons, cliffs, plains, grasslands, and streams.  This 21,000-acre wilderness ranch is made famous by iconic American painter, Georgia O’Keeffe. Ghost Ranch, an interfaith education and retreat center of the Presbyterian Church (USA), welcomes people worldwide and seeks to enrich lives so that all may experience God through discovery and transformation.

Ghost Ranch is at 6,500 feet requiring some time to adjust to the altitude. Those with significant health problems should consult with their personal physicians as to the safety of being at this altitude in this remote location.

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center, 1708 Highway 84, Abiquiu, NM 87510

Details & Registration

Cost: Double room: USD $1,295/person
Single room: USD $1,495/person

Discount: Limited scholarships are available based on need.

Registration: Please register online. Participation is  limited to 30 people. Early registration is encouraged.

Click here to view the schedule.

Questions about this retreat?

Please contact Maud Naveau, Events and Journeys Manager:, (425) 455-1565

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