Performance, collaborative research, and teaching for health, justice, and community-building.

Retreats

Retreats, support circles, and ceremonies/events help develop practical meditation skills, cultivate creative rejuvenation practices, and mark important passages in our lives. Info and examples below about processes and events that connect us more strongly to our own bodies and to multiple forms of spiritual sustenance amidst transitions. 

Welcoming, skillful leadership invites participants to fully inhabit travels across life's most joyful, painful, and potentially clarifying boundaries of birth, marriage, dying, illness, and pursuits of healthwellness, and quality of life throughout them all. 

Timing

  • Retreats are day-long, half-day, or over the course of a weekend

  • Hosted ceremonies are for several hours at a time

Leadership

  • Solo leadership and design, or partnership between Marie and existing groups' leadership or clergy is always welcome!

Locations

  • Events can be held at sites regionally, nationally, or globally, as chosen by host organizations.

  • Marie also has periodic access to a day or night-use site (labyrinth, walking trails, indoor use but no overnights) in a woodland retreat in Hillsborough, NC, or an overnight retreat (4 bedrooms, 4 double beds, 6 single beds, 1 crib, for up to 14 individuals) in Linville, NC, near Linville Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains.

Background

  • Retreat events and leadership emerged out of Marie's participation in a Cancer Centers' "Chronic Stress Management Group" and a will to respond to the needs and requests of colleagues, mentors, and her own family and friends for time and space devoted to quiet and embodied rejuvenation while facing life or health challenges.

  • Hosted ceremonies emerged out of friends' and colleagues' requests to design and lead events unique to their life transitions and communities of care. Marie has hosted:

  • 2 birthing circles for couples and individuals who are parents-to-be

  • 3 weddings across traditions

  • 4 cancer support group retreats

  • 8 rituals to promote quality of life in the death/dying process (family, individual, and community-specific for persons facing advanced cancers; many with Rev. Stacy Grove, a chaplain, experienced sound healing musician, and longtime collaborator)


Examples

Retreat for Cancer Patients, Health Providers, Caregivers

Day and weekend long retreats are offered for current and former patients, caregivers, and health providers who face cancer personally and professionally, as well as for people who have lost loved ones. Retreat incorporates resources for:

  • mindfulness meditation and body-centering through breath, visualization and simple movement

  • tea rituals, a devotional library hour (art, meditation, interfaith or inspirational texts), and labyrinth walking

  • writing in nature and accessible nature hikes for persons experiencing fatigue, physical pain, and with mobility differences

  • photography, multimedia visual art, and collage as meditation practice

  • dance and movement indoors or outdoors to embody individual and collective prayer

Past retreats have been held for groups including participants from Cancer Centers of NC, Rex and UNC Hospital systems, and the Well of Mercy Monastery (Western NC). Commissioned by Well of Mercy: Wellness and Wisdom Body Wednesday: A Day-long InterPlay Retreat for Women's Spiritual Discernment (June 2016). As created with co-facilitator Harding Birkhead, RN, BSN, M.Div, Space, Peace, Breath (January 2014), and Filling the Well: Compassion for Self and Others (June 2014) and Cultivating Clarity: Self-care and Restoration (July 2015).

 

Events, Ceremonies, and Support Circles

Circle events and ceremonies are held for women's and other community groups experiencing significant transitions--such as birth, marriage, death--or seeking in-depth education and dialogue on a particular subject. These include evening events, day-long and weekend retreats on specific themes.

 

Cancer Support and Meditation Group Programming

Please inquire if interested in joining an ongoing meditation and cancer support group for current and former patients, family members and caregivers. The group is focused on chronic stress reduction for persons undergoing or recovering from treatments, managing caregiving, or going through grief. It meets in Raleigh/Cary, NC area. All are welcome.