October 16, 2016 – October 22, 2016 all-day
Ghost Ranch
New Mexico

Journey Toward Wholeness:  A Courage & Renewal Retreat at Ghost Ranch

Date:  April 25-May 1, 2016 and October 16-22, 2016Christ in the Desert

Location:  Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico


Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, this retreat explores issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, direction, aging, relationships, and underlying life patterns, to live in alignment with one’s deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity. In a safe, quiet, nurturing, and confidential environment, this retreat promotes reflection, clarity and insight. Guided by core principles and practices, which include the belief that everyone has an inner teacher, an inner source of truth, we will engage in contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation.  Using poetry, prose, music, videos, and Kundalini yoga to support deeper exploration while savoring the stunning beauty of the high desert.

Ghost Ranch Sky

Enjoy periods of quiet time, journaling and self-reflection, as well as large and small group discussions. Clearness Committees, a Quaker communal process for individual discernment, is the capstone of the retreat. Off-ranch trips are planned:  Exhale deeply and relax at a nearby mineral springs (at an extra fee), enjoy an afternoon of Gregorian chant at Christ in the Desert Monastery and visit the weavers of Medanales to explore local culture. Limited to 15 participants.

Note: The Ghost Ranch printed catalog description is incorrect, but corrected here.

Cordelia Coronado, 7th Generation Master Weaver & Living Treasure of New Mexico

Praise for Journey Toward Wholeness at Ghost Ranch…

Ghost Ranch group

·      “Thank you Valerie, Courage & Renewal, and Ghost Ranch! My life has been greatly enriched by these two Courage & Renewal retreats at Ghost Ranch. Valerie’s leadership is excellent and the process really works! I will always cherish my time at Ghost Ranch with this Courage & Renewal Retreat and Valerie. All three came into my life at the right time.” — ID

·      “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.” — ROR

More information:  Ghost Ranch

Register at: www.ghostranch.orgGhost Ranch Rare Mariposa


Retreats & Facilitation Services

Coaching & Consulting Services

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services

Named one of the best courageous books of 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal, this book is for educational leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, and offers explicit practices to help readers avoid burnout and become the mindful, poised, effective leaders they were meant to be. Loaded with real-time encouragement with portraits of educational leaders who are incorporating mindfulness practices, like attentive breathing, mindful walking about the school building, or calming pauses in the office throughout the school day, this book is a must-have guide.

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson. Corwin, December 2014. 344 pages.

The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel.

Not your average travel guidebook, this book explores some of the world’s great pilgrimages, destinations, and the author’s reflections on the lessons she learned from them. Read this book to discover how travel can be transformational, how to be more mindful while traveling and every day, the adventures of traveling alone, the delights of encountering new people and places, ancient pilgrimage journeys and sacred travel worldwide.

Valerie Brown. QuakerBridge Media, 2012, 152 pages. Also available from QuakerBooks.

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond Valerie

Valerie Brown guides readers toward renewal of mind, heart, and spirit by encouraging them to take time away from the busyness of their lives through retreat. Drawing on her experience as a retreatant and retreat leader, she introduces readers to opportunities for personal restoration within a variety of focused retreats. She wonders how Friends experience of expectant waiting influences the retreat process and how retreats influence expectant waiting. She encourages the “big questions”—What has meaning and purpose in my life? What am I avoiding? What brings me most alive?—and offers specific practices for retreatants to cultivate in everyday life.

Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #421.

Quakers are advised to begin worship by “centering down.” This is the first step in a Friend’s intention to wait in “holy expectancy,” to be drawn by the Light into communion with God. Centering prayer is also a practice used by Christian mystics to prepare for contemplation, and “centering” describes the meditation of a Buddhist in pursuit of that deep awareness called “mindfulness.” Valerie Brown is an explorer and teacher of centering practices, a Buddhist, and an active Friend. Drawing upon her own experiences and wide studies, she describes for Friends how these various traditions can offer us a better understanding and preparedness for our precious, elusive, mysterious, and simple practice of centering into worship. Discussion questions included.

Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #407. 2014.