What might happen at a contemplative retreat?

The chapel at Naramata Centre

The chapel at Naramata Centre

By Julie Elliot

Are you someone who likes to have things planned out? Or does that feel restrictive and you’d rather just “see what happens?” Recently, my dear friend and mentor Lois Huey-Heck and I led a retreat called “Everyday Sacred: Contemplative Practices” in the chapel at Naramata Centre. Lois is a “P” and I’m a “J” if you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types. To my delight, our different approaches worked together wonderfully in our shared leadership. I learned that it’s great to have a plan (and we even had notes and flip charts!) and when you’re gathered in a contemplative community, it’s even better to allow Spirit to move and shape the experience. The notes are abandoned and you realize something rare and precious is happening in the moment.

Are you curious about what happens at these Pacific Jubilee SoulWork and SoulCare events? Here’s what 3 participants have to say about their experience:

“Thank you so much Julie and Lois for an amazing week of immersion in contemplation practices. You worked beautifully together and it was a pleasure to watch the co-facilitation process unfold with just the right balance of preparation and flexibility. Through quiet and informed guided practice, I learned a great deal. Moving slowly, being attentive to my breath and my body (including chronic migraine pain), I was able to rest, respond and act with conscious intention. From these spaces of creativity and stillness, I was able to go deep spiritually. I loved it and it helped my overall health too!”
~ Kari (currently registered in Phase 1 at Ontario Jubilee).

“As I reflect on my time at Naramata in the Contemplative Practices program, I feel grateful for the spacious and gracious leadership of Julie and Lois. I felt gently “held” all week, as we shared and explored different ways of connecting with our deeper selves and the Divine. It was such a rich balance of inner reflection (through a variety of modalities) and deep sharing. The simple and oh-so-elegant journey group format provided us with such a safe container for speaking and listening. In listening deeply to others, I found resonance with my own experiences — and the process created both intimacy and deepened self-awareness. My spiritual direction session fostered nothing short of a breakthrough in my inner conversation! I am so grateful for this gift of time-out-of-time.”
~ Shirley (alum of the Pacific Jubilee SoulGuiding program ~ a two year practical learning program in spiritual growth, soul development and the art of spiritual direction)

C – connection
O – oneness
N – Naramata alive!
T – time for renewal
E – everyone mattered
M – multiple pathways
P – people in touch
L – leaders who cared
A – art for the spirit
T – time to be us
I – insights for living
V – vital conversation
E – excellent vibes
~ Heather (participant and long-time friend of Naramata Centre)


If you have any questions or comments about this blog please contact Julie Elliot, Communications for Pacific Jubilee. Want to know more about Pacific Jubilee programs? Contact Julie or Lois Huey-Heck, Applications & Program Development or click here to learn more: SoulGuiding, SoulWork, SoulCare