These retreats are designed to rest, renew, restore, and reconnect the body, mind and spirit.  They are extraordinary personal growth and learning opportunities, and cultivate societal transformation.

Contact Valerie to design and lead a retreat for your organization.

Register today; retreats fill quickly. Space is limited.

Nov
10
Fri
2017
Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage & Renewal® Retreat Series at Pendle Hill
Nov 10 2017 – Jun 17 2018 all-day

Journey Toward Wholeness:  A Courage & Renewal® Retreat Series at Pendle Hill (near Philadelphia) with John Baird

November 10-12, 2017- Seeds of the True Self

February 23-25, 2017- Dwelling in Darkness

April 27-29, 2018- Embracing the Power of Paradox

June 15-17, 2018- Living with Abundance & Gratitude

 

Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal®, this retreat combines both an opportunity within community to explore what matters most to you and to savor rest and renewal. 

Reflect on issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, direction, aging, relationships, and underlying life patterns, to live in alignment with your deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.

 

This retreat is designed for you:

  • Are you seeking rest and renewal, a time set-aside just for you from the busyness of daily stress to focus on what matters most to you?
  • Are you in transition and asking yourself: ‘What’s next?’ And, do you want the space to reflect and to listen to your own inner wisdom?
  • Are you seeking support to build ongoing practices and a community to help you integrate your deepest intentions into your life and work?
  • Have you been deeply moved by the writing of Parker J. Palmer and the Circle of Trust® and want to know more?

What people are saying….

  •  “…profoundly moved to a deeper level of “getting it””.
  • “It is an amazing spiritual journey where you can learn more about yourself and experience the capacity of love of humanity.  It’s life changing and uplifting.”
  • “The program helped me go beyond what I thought I was seeking and give clarity to my questions.”
  • “It was marvelous!  You must do this for yourself.”

Read more here.

Register here. Space is limited to 23 persons.

Feb
17
Sat
2018
‘How the Light Gets In’: Invoking Winter’s Beauty for Wholeness and Healing, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat @ Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Feb 17 all-day

‘How the Light Gets In’:  Invoking Winter’s Beauty for Wholeness and Healing, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat

February 17, 2018 

at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia, PA

Using the seasonal theme of winter’s depth and beauty, this day-long retreat explores healing difficult emotions to live with greater aliveness, creativity, and joy.  Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal®, this retreat offers a rare opportunity in a safe and sheltered space to reflect individually and in community on strong emotions, your deepest values, and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.

What You’ll Learn in this Retreat:

  • How to identify strong emotions and how to handle them
  • How to develop a ‘working vocabulary’ about strong emotions
  • Heart-Centered Practices to calm, soothe, and heal strong emotions

Our Venue…

Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center, an oasis of natural beauty, a ‘Sanctuary of Trees’, a place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’, is located in Philadelphia, and is easily accessible by mass transit.  Focused on promoting health and well being, Cranaleith serves nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste.

Cost

$225.00

Includes a light breakfast, gourmet lunch, refreshments, retreat materials, facilitation, and day use of Cranaleith Spiritual Center grounds.

Register Here

Click here for the flyer

Apr
12
Thu
2018
Center for Courage & Renewal’s Academy for Leaders @ Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Apr 12 @ 9:00 am – Apr 15 @ 4:00 pm

Authentic, Creative Leadership from the Inside-Out

Center for Courage & Renewal’s Academy for Leaders

with Valerie Brown and  Gayle Williams

Retreat 1: Apr. 12-15, 2018
Monthly Calls: May – Oct.
Retreat 2: Nov. 1-4, 2018

at Cranaleith Spiritual Center in Philadelphia, PA. 

Sustainable, courageous leadership hinges on your ability to know your own values and act on them. When you’re true to yourself, and true with others, that authenticity translates into trust. And trustworthy relationships translate into more effective, wholehearted leaders, teams and results.

The Academy for Leaders is a unique professional development program that will transform your leadership, helping you ignite your courage to lead from within.

Our Venue…

Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center, an oasis of natural beauty, a ‘Sanctuary of Trees’, a place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’, is located in Philadelphia, and is easily accessible by mass transit.  Focused on promoting health and well being, Cranaleith serves nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste.

Cost

Tuition: $2,000* plus
Lodging & Meals: $650-$1250

*Reflects the $400 Early Bird discount if registered by Feb. 1

Learn more.

Register here.

May
22
Tue
2018
Journey Toward Wholeness – A Courage & Renewal® Retreat @ Ghost Ranch
May 22 @ 9:00 am – May 26 @ 4:00 pm

Description: 

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.

Location:

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.

Retreat includes:

  • 4 nights in single/double occupancy

  • 4 dinners

  • 4 breakfasts

  • 4 lunches

  • Ghost Ranch conservation fee

Retreat does not include:

  • Airfare to Albuquerque/Santa Fe

  • Transfer to/from Ghost Ranch (SDI can help you coordinate a transfer from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch: call the office 425-455-1565 for more information)

  • Meals and drinks not specified

Retreat price:

  • Double room: USD$ 1,295/person
  • Single room: USD$1,495 /person

Click here for the schedule

Click here for more information

Click here to register

May
25
Fri
2018
A Mindful Society 2018: From Curiosity to Compassion
May 25 – May 27 all-day
Join me at the University of Toronto for A Mindful Society 2018:  From Curiosity to Compassion, May 25-27, 2018

A Mindful Society is an annual forum to explore the application of mindfulness in life.

A Mindful Society began in 2014 as a conference where academics and industry professionals shared ideas that cultivate compassion and community through contemplative practices.

Today, the conference is a knowledge-exchange hub – a premiere resource for mindfulness integration across the fields of education, healthcare, technology and more. A Mindful Society has grown to become the Canadian gateway into the national and international community fostering mindfulness in all sectors of society.

Jul
14
Sat
2018
The Soul Never Forgets: Leading from Your Deepest Values, Finding Sanctuary, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat @ Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Jul 14 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Soul Never Forgets: Leading from Your Deepest Values, Finding Sanctuary, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat, July 14, 2018 at Cranaleith Spiritual Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Come meet your soul in this day-long retreat to pause and reflect on what matters most.  Using the Courage & Renewal Approach, you’ll explore issues most deeply meaningful to you and the courage to take action.

What You Will Learn….

  • Identify and explore what matters most
  • Engage your deepest values and ignite the courage to act on them
  • Examine underlying patterns with honesty and compassion

What people are saying….

  •  “…profoundly moved to a deeper level of “getting it””.  
  • “It is an amazing spiritual journey where you can learn more about yourself and experience the capacity of love of humanity.  It’s life changing and uplifting.”
  • “The program helped me go beyond what I thought I was seeking and give clarity to my questions.”  
  • “It was marvelous!  You must do this for yourself.”

Our Venue…

 Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center, an oasis of natural beauty, a ‘Sanctuary of Trees’, a place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’, is located in Philadelphia, and is easily accessible by mass transit.  Focused on promoting health and well being, Cranaleith serves nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste.

Cost

$225.00

Includes a light breakfast, gourmet lunch, refreshments, retreat materials, facilitation, and day use of Cranaleith Spiritual Center grounds.

Register Here

Click Here for Flyer

Oct
8
Mon
2018
Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain, the North Coast Route (A Kinder Camino)
Oct 8 – Oct 20 all-day

Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain, the North Coast Route

A Kinder Camino

October 8-20, 2018

Valerie Brown, Pilgrimage Leader

Distance Difficulty

“…even before you sat down with them, broke bread and drank wine, wiped the wind-tears from your eyes: pilgrim they called you again. Pilgrim.”

—David Whyte, from Camino

El Camino: An Epic Journey Awaits

Have you dreamed of walking the Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, the Way of St. James? Are your facing questions of life transition, life purpose, direction, and meaning and wanting space to purposefully reflect in a beautiful setting, enjoy connectedness and community with like-minded people, and nurture body, mind, and spirit? Do you want your travel to align with your values? Are you curious about the Courage & Renewal® Approach to exploring your ‘inner life’?

The crown jewel of Spanish walking trails, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began as an act of faith as Europeans crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of Saint James. One thousand years later, the Camino continues to draw spiritual seekers worldwide looking to enjoy the beauty of the green rolling hills and small hamlets of northwestern Spain’s Galicia. Come be part of this magical trail as we explore a new route, the North Coast, that begins in San Sebastián and ends in Santiago.

This pilgrimage combines the stunning beauty of El Camino de Santiago, Spain with the Center for Courage & Renewal Approach to explore your inner capacity to lead a more authentic, meaningful, and resilient life. In this exclusive, small group pilgrimage, you are spoiled by breathtaking natural beauty of the sun-drenched north coast of Spain, magnificent accommodations, and exquisite food.

We begin our journey in Europe’s culinary capital, San Sebastián, a lovely seaside metropolis located in the Basque region of the northern Atlantic coast, boarding France, widely considered one of the best places to eat in the world, and home of some of the world’s best restaurants.

This Pilgrimage to Santiago takes you through beautiful forests, charming villages, and historic towns and cities such as Bilbao, Santillana del Mar, Comillas, Cangas de Onis, and Oviedo. Taking the Northern Route to Santiago de Compostela, this 164 kilometer/102 mile journey, is divided into eleven inspiring walking stages and includes a visit to the Caves of Altamira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our accommodations are in Spain’s magnificent Paradores, elegant hotels in unique settings, and in authentic Galician rural manor houses, offering superb hospitality and service.

Explore Courage & Renewal® reflective practices, including daily gathering for poetry, silence, and mutual discovery to deepen your experience. Enjoy quiet self-reflection, dialogue, and journaling, using the pilgrimage road as metaphor and open to the transformational power of this ancient trail and its culture.

 

Walking: Your Camino, Your Way

Walk at your own pace within a small group of no more than twelve pilgrims. The first six days are smaller stages, less walking, offering spacious time to enjoy this beautiful coastal trail. We hop ahead with our van to the next city and stage. The last five days are more rural and focused on walking the last 100 km.

In these last 100 km, we will walk each day where we left off the day before. Walking the last 100 km of El Camino qualifies the pilgrim to receive the famed Compostela, the Certificate of Completion of the Pilgrimage of El Camino!

 

Private Van Support & Guides

Our fully supported private van, loaded with fresh fruits, snacks, water, medicine, and first aid kits, sets this pilgrimage apart and makes it accessible to all.  A vehicle and guide for logistical support is available during the entire pilgrimage route to assist you, to transport luggage, and to address any other needs. This means you can enjoy the scenery and not worry about the unexpected!

We have meeting points along the way where our support vehicle is waiting with snacks, fruits, and water. We also offer assistance 
for any unexpected circumstance or simply to relieve muscular pain or cure blisters. If you do not want to keep walking for any reason, you can hop on the support vehicle at the next meeting point.

In this customized pilgrimage, our ground support has signals in places where some people take the wrong turn to ensure you’re on the right path. 
After the daily walk, and after you’ve had lunch we return to the hotel to shower, freshen up, enjoy well-deserved rest, savor a delicious-regionally sourced dinner, and to reflect on the day.

 

Luggage Support

Luggage is transferred from one hotel to the next using the support vehicle. For the pilgrimage walk you need only carry a small/medium backpack for a camera, water bottle, and personal belongings. You will receive a Pilgrim’s Kit, which contains Pilgrim’s shell, Pilgrim’s credential, a cap, a scarf, a notepad, a refillable water bottle, a bottle of foot/leg cream, informational program, route map, wet and dry tissues and snacks.

 

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones with a Spanish line will be handed out for the period of the pilgrimage for every two or three pilgrims. This will allow you to communicate with the driver or guides for any reason at all times. The number can also be given to family members back home to receive phone calls.

 

Regional-Delicious Cuisine

On this pilgrimage, you’ll savor regional delicious, local cuisine; and all breakfasts, all dinners, one lunch (except for San Sebastián and Bilbao) are included. In San Sebastián, you’ll enjoy a very special lunch, savoring a pintxos tour (Basque tapas) of the city!

 

Accommodations

 

Our accommodations include prestigious Paradores of Spain, elegant and exclusive hotels situated in important historical buildings and uniquely stunning locations. We will also enjoy small, charming rural manor houses of Galicia!

 

Preparation in Body, Mind, & Spirit

Preparation in body, mind, and spirit is key to the pilgrimage experience. We understand that taking a pilgrimage is different from a ‘hiking vacation’ and we assist you with the preparation and training you need to have an unforgettable experience. Resources include Pilgrim Newsletters, Pilgrim Training Schedule, maps, comprehensive Pilgrimage Resource Guide, and packing list with recommendations on what to bring, as well as three Camino Community Conference Calls to get to know fellow pilgrims.

 

About the Landscape

Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago follows the sea, the north coast of Spain, through the Basque region, Galicia, and Asturias, among others. We walk westward along an old cart tracks that wind through fields and hamlets, along beautiful, unspoiled beaches to small fishing villages, with the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped Picos de Europa in the distance. A highlight is a visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Caves of Altamira, boasting some of Spain’s most magnificent prehistoric cave art, dating back from 22,000-10,000 BC.

From the North Route, the pilgrimage joins the Camino Francés, the French Way for the last 100 km until we arrive at Santiago de Compostela, the final stop on this epic journey of a lifetime!

 

Map Route

Please visit the link below for a complete profile of route from San Sebastian to Santiago:

Click here

 

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Madrid and drive to San Sebastián. Night in San Sebastián.

Day 2: Stage 1: San Sebastián – Buztintxuri (8.5 km / 5.3 mi). Night in Bilbao.

Day 3: Stage 2: Otañes – Castro-Urdiales (9 km / 5.6 mi). Night in Santillana del Mar.
Day 4: Stage 3: Comillas – San Vicente de la Barquera (12.4 km / 7.7 mi). Night in the Parador in Cangas de Onis.

Day 5: Stage 4: La Isla – Priesca (13 km / 8 mi). Night in Oviedo.

Day 6: Stage 5: Soto del Barco – El Pito (10 km / 6.2 mi). Night in the Parador in Ribadeo.

Day 7: Stage 6: Pontevella – Vilalba (11.5 km / 7.1 mi). Night in the Parador in Vilalba.

Day 8: Stage 7: Baamonde – Altos de Mamoa (18 km / 11.2 mi). Night in the Parador in Vilalba.

Day 9: Stage 8: Altos de Mamoa – Sobrado dos Monxes (21 km / 13 mi). Night in Arzúa in a lovely rural manor house.

Day 10: Stage 9: Sobrado dos Monxes – Arzúa (21 km / 13 mi). Night in Arzúa in a beautiful rural manor house.

Day 11: Stage 10: Arzúa – Pedrouzo (20 km / 12.4 mi). Night in Lavacolla.

Day 12: Stage 11: Pedrouzo – Santiago (20 km / 12.4 mi). Night in Santiago.

Day 13: Guided visit of Santiago.

 

What People Are Saying

  • “The scenery is spectacular and the beautiful rhythm of walking the Camino is truly revelatory.”
  • “To walk the Camino my own way empowered and stretched me into new horizons, safely and in community….”
  • “Everyday was a feast for the senses….”
  • “I am venturing home with my heart burst wide open, full of hope and possibilities. I am deeply grateful.”

Pilgrimage as Spiritual Journey

“I’ve walked El Camino, the Way of Saint James many times, over many years, and was so moved by this experience and others that I wrote my first book, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (Quakerbridge Media, 2012). In those days, I walked solo, carrying a heavy backpack and sleeping rough in hostels. Being super tough and super strong meant everything to me! However, it’s said that the Camino transforms lives, and it did just that for me.  

I began to reflect on my life and my work, my values and beliefs.  After stops, starts, and stumbles, I shifted my career from a high-pressure lawyer-lobbyist to human scale work. I believe that the Camino contributed greatly to help me expand my perspective and values. My deepest aspiration is to support myself and others in this process of transformation. I believe that the Camino should be accessible to everyone, not only the physically fit. As a pilgrimage leader, I have escorted people of varied abilities along the Way of Saint James and this gives me deep joy and inspiration.”

— Valerie Brown, Director of Meaningful & Purposeful Life and Work, Lead Smart Coaching, LLC

Called to Pilgrimage

Embark on a pilgrimage to discover something new about yourself. It isn’t so much a choice you make, as a response to a call already whispered to you. In the experience of encounter with unfamiliarity, you question your assumptions, expectations, and preconceived ideas, as a new way of seeing yourself and the world emerges. Discover this magical place, a place the Celtics have aptly called, a ‘thin place’, where the material and the spiritual world meet, a place of endless beauty. Return home transformed!

Want to Know More

About Your Leader

Valerie Brown HeadshotValerie Brown is an international retreat leader, writer, leadership coach, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness in daily life (www.leadsmartcoaching.com).  She transformed her high-pressure career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections.

Valerie’s 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), named one of the ‘best books on courage’ in 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal.  

She has studied and practiced mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition since 1995 and was ordained in the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003. Valerie is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and a certified Kundalini yoga teacher.

 

Cost

  • $4599.00, per person, double occupancy. Single supplement: $1100.00. Maximum 12 persons. Spaces are limited!

Price includes:

  • Transfer from Madrid to San Sebastián
  • Courage & Renewal ® Approach to reflection and inquiry and expert facilitation
  • Private Van Support & Luggage transfer
  • Comprehensive pre-pilgrimage preparation, including customized training schedule
  • All breakfasts, drinks and snacks
  • Pintxos lunch tour
  • English-speaking guides
  • Mobile phones with a Spanish line
  • Informational program and route map
  • Pilgrim’s kit
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Farewell dinner and surprise
  • 5 nights in Spain’s beautiful Paradores (based on availability) and country manor houses
  • All Dinners
  • Guided visit in Santiago & Oviedo

Price does NOT include:

  • Round trip airfare
  • Ground transportation from Santiago at the end of the pilgrimage
  • All lunches
  • Tips & Gratuities

Deposit & Payment

  • $500.00 nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit secures your space; installment payment plan available; full payment due June 8, 2018

Cancellation Policy 

  • See registration form for details.

Questions? 

  • Contact Valerie Brown valeriebrown95@gmail.com

 

REGISTER HERE:

Dec
1
Sat
2018
Leap of Faith: Creating the Life You Want and the Work You Love, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat @ Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Dec 1 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Leap of Faith Creating the Life You Want and the Work You Love, A Courage & Renewal ® Retreat

About this retreat

Become the best version of you. Transform your thinking about life purpose and meaning, about your work. In this deep dive, you’ll explore how your values align with your work, your soul, and role.

What You’ll Learn in this Retreat….

  • Envision a self-sustaining career that resonates with your deepest levels of integrity, passion, and purpose
  • Imagine how your life would change if you honored your life’s calling rather than settling for yet another job?
  • Explore vocational transition through a lens of fullness and abundance

 

Our Venue

Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center, an oasis of natural beauty, a ‘Sanctuary of Trees’, a place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’, is located in Philadelphia, and is easily accessible by mass transit.  Focused on promoting health and well being, Cranaleith serves nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste.

Cost

$225.00

Includes a light breakfast, gourmet lunch, refreshments, retreat materials, facilitation, and day use of Cranaleith Spiritual Center grounds.

Register here

Click here for the flyer

Dec
28
Sat
2019
Open Heart, Peaceful Mind: A Courage & Renewal® Retreat for Rest & Reflection @ Pendle Hill
Dec 28 2019 @ 9:00 am – Jan 1 2020 @ 4:00 pm

Open Heart, Peaceful Mind:  A Courage & Renewal® Retreat for Rest & Reflection

at Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA (near Philadelphia)  December 28 to January 1, 2019 

Reflect on what matters most.  Using the Courage & Renewal Approach, you’ll explore issues most deeply meaningful to you and the courage to take action.

Exhale deeply.  Savor space and time to reflect on your life.   Rest and renew; make new connections.  Start the new year grounded in body, mind, and spirit.  This annual retreat includes a New Year’s Eve Celebration of the senses, delicious and inspired local and organic meals, a live concert, ice cream social, candlelight meeting for worship, and much more.

Our Venue

Pendle Hill is Quaker, retreat and educational conference center, and community, situated on 24-bucolic acres just outside Philadelphia.   Dedicated to fostering peace and social justice through transforming lives, Pendle Hill is well known for caring and professional staff, delicious, local and organic meals, beautiful grounds, and proximity to major transit hubs.

What People Are Saying….

  • “I loved the schedule, the way all the facets were integrated thoroughly and thoughtfully with spontaneous combustions of positivity.”
  • “Outstanding opportunity to grow in ways you cannot imagine.”
  • “I had no idea what to expect and I am leaving with more than I could ever imagine.  I have a toolbox filled with tools to live fully and to know joy.”

 Registration details available in Spring 2018.  Space is limited.

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.