Cultural Pilgrimages in Europe Once- in -a -lifetime journeys through the sacred sites of Europe that have been cherished by seekers of wisdom. Each trip is unique, with a particular focus on the region's art, history, music and literary tradition. We offer three kinds of trips:
In the Footsteps: Pilgrimages that focus on spirituality and the saints Fairytales in France: Depth Psychology Seminars in a Chateaux Generation Journeys
These pilgrimages are designed to both guide us to places that echo with history and to help us go inwards into our own depths as we build a sense of contemplative community. Pilgrims from all traditions are welcome, but please be advised that an essential part of each day's offering will be the experience of contemplative music, poetry and meditation. A practice of meditation or centering prayer is strongly recommended and a comfort with periods of silence is essential. Many of the trips will include moderately strenuous hiking and optional daily yoga practice
In the Footsteps of Mary Magdalene Next Pilgrimage in May, 2019 Our home will be a former Cistercian monastery, adapted by celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse to become a renowned and luxurious Relais and Chateaux with a Michelin-starred restaurant. We will be the only guests in this sanctuary of beauty, allowing us the rare opportunity to recreate the rhythms of monastic life on a site of historical significance.
Our days will begin in a 12th century chapel with morning services of Celtic prayers, Gregorian chant and Medieval pilgrim songs. After a luxurious breakfast in the cloistered garden, we will travel to sacred sites to learn about the rich spiritual tradition in France: the Cistercian Abbey of Thoronet, the pilgrim town of Cotignac, the French Orthodox monastery of St. Michel du Var, the Forest of Artemis and the Grotto of Mary Magdalene at La Baume.
Afternoons will allow time to do yoga, swim in the pool, create a Soul Collage, spend time journaling or reading in the garden or indulging in a luxurious massage. Our evenings will pair evening meditation with chanting. After savoring a four-course dinner, we will sing Compline by candlelight in the chapel before drifting off to a gentle slumber in this oasis of tranquility.
The Dordogne Valley is one of the most stunningly beautiful areas of the world. We offer two journeys in the region known as the cradle of artistic civilization In the Footsteps of the Feminine is a pilgrimage to create a sense of connection to the deep past. Designed as a way to bring generations closer together, this is a journey for mothers and daughters, grandmothers and grand-daughters or sisters. Our inner work will include identifying the core stories of our families, remembering the ancestors who have passed through rituals and celebrating the legacy of our family bonds. This is a perfect journey to mark a threshold (graduation, marriage or the passing of a parent) with the intention to come to a deeper sense of self-knowledge and connection.
Fairytales in France is a Jungian oriented pilgrimage, held in castles, where we discover the resonance of a timeless tale of transformation with our own inner development. After yoga and breakfast each morning, we will explore a classical fairytale from a depth psychology perspective, offering time through small groups and Jungian techniques of art, movement and journaling to dive deeply into how the myth is a mirror for our won development. In the afternoons, we explore the rich vein of history of the the local area, with free time to rest, nap, swim and more before a sumptuous dinner. Evenings include musical performances, films and discussions.
In the Footsteps of the Troubadours Mountains, Mysteries and Monasteries in The Pyrenees We trace the glories and tragedies of the Middle Ages in this area of stunning natural beauty. Our focus will be Troubadour culture, with its emphasis on music, poetry and the pursuit of courtly love and the Cathars, tragic victims of the Albigensian Crusade. We reside in a former Benedictine Abbey, now a charming bed and breakfast run by a delightful British family. Our mornings will include yoga and meditation, followed by breakfasts in the garden. In the afternoons, we hike to the breathtaking vistas of Montsegur and Roquefixade, then return for a swim in the pool and quiet time journaling or creating soul collage.
Dinner in the evenings will be held in the cloister gardens as we are serenaded by Medieval music.
In the Footsteps of Saint Francis: A Pilgrimage to Italy
September 2019 A one-week pilgrimage on the life of Italy's favorite saint. After a comfortable coach ride from Rome, we will arrive at a retreat center on the outskirts of Assisi. Each day begins with music and meditation in the 13th century chapel, followed by breakfast in the garden and daily seminars on the life of St. Francis, as we trace his footsteps throughout Assisi:
The Bernardone Home, birthplace of Francis San Rufino, the cathedral of his baptism and home to a magnificent collection of eleven centuries of art Santa Maria delle Angeli, the jewel box of a church Francis rebuilt with his own hands Basilica di Santa Chiara, where we will learn the story of Francis's spiritual sister, Saint Claire San Damiano, the convent created for Saint Claire where we will sing Vespers Eremo delle Carceri, the spectacular mountaintop retreat where Francis withdrew for prayer and contemplation Basilica of San Francesco, where we will marvel at the stunning images of Francis's life by Cimabue and Giotto