When:
November 10, 2019 @ 3:00 pm – November 15, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
2019-11-10T15:00:00-05:00
2019-11-15T13:00:00-05:00
Where:
Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
280 Private Drive 1708
Abiquiu
NM 87510

Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage and Renewal® Retreat
at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
November 10-15, 2019

I wish you could see what I see out the window—the earth pink and yellow cliffs to the north—the full pale moon about to go down in an early morning lavender sky . . . pink and purple hills in front and the scrubby fine dull green cedars—and a feeling of much space—It is a very beautiful world.”
~ Georgia O’Keeffe

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.

Two off-ranch trips are planned at a modest additional fee:  Exhale deeply, relax, and renew at the sacred healing waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. 

Located on the banks of the breathtaking wilderness of the Chama River, savor an early evening of Gregorian chant at the famed Benedictine monastery, Christ in the Desert.

Praise for Journey Toward Wholeness: 

“Ghost Ranch is an amazingly beautiful setting for a journey into one’s Divine Spark and Inner Teacher.” 

“This retreat has given me a deeper sense of what it means to deeply listen. I have definitely grown as an individual, spiritually and as a spiritual director.” 

“A true union of nature and spirit!” 

“The experience was more than I anticipated. I felt welcomed, accepted, and held.” 

“An exquisite blending of spiritual direction and Parker Palmer’s Courage & Renewal practices. A deeply spirited opportunity to be in community with other soul teachers.” 

“A well-conceived, well-planned, and well-executed retreat. A nice balance of head and heart, rest and renewal. Well done!”   

Meet Your Facilitator

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.

Carol Kortsch was born and raised in Africa, educated in Canada, and worked internationally for 20 years establishing live-in rehabilitation, counseling, and training communities before moving to Boulder, CO where she lives, works, and writes. She is a facilitator trained by the Center for Courage & Renewal and offers retreats from her wilderness soul as a life adventurer and Earth listener. Carol is also a writer and a crazy gardener.

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  https://www.ghostranch.org

View the Retreat Flyer

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

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.