Presentations, classes, and retreats


The Sound of Bowls

The sound of bowls

Traditional historic singing bowls produce sounds that invoke deep states of relaxation; naturally assisting one in entering expanded states of consciousness and meditation. The sound of the bowls creates a deep level of communication with our inner world that opens us to the divine.  The sounds and vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls opens blockage to help us experience an inner calm and deep relaxation to invigorate our natural energy thus allowing our body-mind-spirit to quiet and find balance. Come and join Thomas Roberts for an evening of captivating renewal in the presence of ageless bell sounds. You are invited to wear comfortable clothes, as you will be able to sit or lay on the floor as is comfortable.

Click here to see Tom being interviewed about his Tibetan Singing Bowls by TV 19, WXOW. 

Click here to see a segment of The Sound of Bowls at the Sprituality Center in La Crosse, WI. (News coverage by TV 19, WXOW)

In order to appreciate the Sound of Bowls fully, they must be experienced in person.  Check out the following dates and times:  

 

 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Location: Austin Congregational Church, 1910 3rd Ave NW, Austin MN 55912  Watch for   upcoming information on the Austin Congregational website.    Click here. 

 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 -  Bowls at Sunset  7:00- 9:00 pm  (Rain Date: Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019)

Location:  The Villa-Hwy 33, St. Joseph’s Ridge.  Contact the Franciscan Spirituality Center to Register.  Click here. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019 (Bowls at sunset)

Location:  Assisi Heights Spirituality Center , 1001 14th Street Northwest, Rochester, MN  Contact Assisi Heights for more information.  Click here.

 


  Sacred Spring: Lenten Prayer With Singing Bowls

 This special event will be presented by the FSC staff, Viterbo University Campus Ministry and Tom Roberts

Lent is a time for prayer, reflection, and transformation. It is a ver sacrum, a "sacred spring" where we await the promises of new life and resurrection. Join the Franciscan Spirituality Center, Viterbo University Campus Ministry and Tom Roberts for an evening of Taize-style prayer, paired with the beautiful sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, choirs and hymns. This is a unique opportunity to reflect on your spiritual journey in a gathered community that shares varied faith traditions.

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Location:  San Damiano Chapel, Viterbo University Campus, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI  Free to attend, but registration required.  Please Click Here to register.

***All faith traditions welcome. 


Mindfulness in a Clinical Setting

This workshop is designed to enhance your understanding of mindfulness so you can apply it in your practice. Throughout the day, we will explore some of the most relevant research and outcomes related to mindfulness. You will then learn the application of the core “attitudinal qualities”, and how to practice a few impactful mindfulness techniques in a clinical setting.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Location:  UW-Eau Claire Campus, 105 Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701,  Click here for more infomation and to register.

 


 

Alignment with Resolve: A Kakizome Brush Workshop

Kakizome, is the Japanese word which translates as "first writing." Traditionally it refers to the first calligraphy brush strokes (Shodo) of the New Year. Over time Kakizome has also come to embrace the emerging springtime. thus welcoming the awakening of all life into a renewed time of ease and simplicity. Kakizome is a form of Zen Brush calligraphy (Shodo) that invites us to express our confidence and aspirations for the coming year.

Our beginning time together will be in both sitting and moving Zazen, clarifying what our centering wisdom will be. To clear and calm out inner turmoil and make way for the emergence of what our unique and necessary “first writing” (Kakizome) will be.

In our following work, we will continue the Kakizome tradition with the writing of the auspicious kanji (Japanese calligraphy) that arrived during our morning work. This will typically be a word or words signifying the wisdom we wish to carry with us into the arriving renewal of spring.

This is a truly unique experience which is rarely offered in part of the country. Please come and offer this experience for yourself, and as always bring a friend!

No experience in artwork is necessary. Do not fear… you will have ample opportunity to practice your auspicious kanji before your final work.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 9 am - 4 pm

Location:  Manitou Center, 686 W. 5th St, Winona, Minnesota   For more information call:  (507) 450-7339  or Email: info@manitouwellness.org  or click here to visit their website.


A Brush With Silence: Bringing Brush Meditation Alive

The path to achieving deep and lasting peace, harmony and balance is manifested in many ways and through many practices. The use of brushes, ink and paper as a method of deepening the spiritual journey has been employed throughout the centuries and by numerous traditions. In the Japanese tradition, this method is referred to as Shodo or The Way of the Brush.

These monthly sessions explore a variety of styles, approaches and techniques related to Shodo. You will be invited to patiently embrace the process of letting go into the silence and flow of the divine through your hand, spirit and heart.

Please note: This is NOT an art class; no artistic experience is necessary, just openness and curiosity about this creative and expressive practice.

Offered monthly:  Wednesday, February 20th, Wednesday March 20th, Wednesday April 17th and Wednesday, May 15th, 2019.

Location:  Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI  Click here for more information.


Embrace the Change...A retreat on navigating life’s wavering terrain

“The thing that screws us up the most is the picture in our minds of how it is supposed to be.”

You see, it comes down to this: Everything changes, it is all unfolding as it should, so, relax, pay attention and be creative.

Typically, we react to change with resistance and insistence; resisting the way our lives are unfolding and insisting that it should be otherwise, according to our plan.

Transitions are potentials. They bring forth necessary questions and interruptions. Where am I? What am I doing? Who am I? What is important? It has been described as trying to drive through fog! Feeling an urgency to hurry up and get to where we think we have to get somewhere but not really being able to see clearly ahead.

This retreat will be an opportunity for you to explore our how transitions and change are beckoning you to clean things up in your life.   We will look at how change helps you evaluate the essential life shift from quantity to quality; from doing to being, from an expected life to a more genuine and authentic life.

Leaving this retreat, you will proceed into your life with a richer, and more fulfilled sense of how to embrace yourselves and your life from a place of grace and skill, with more patience, openness and compassion.

Friday, February 1, 2019 7:30 pm - Sunday, February 3, 2019 1:00 pm       

Location:  Sinsinawa Mound Center, 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, WI 53824  Click here for futher information. 


 Beginner’s Eye:  A Visual Way Towards Wholeness of Being.

This retreat is a delightful blend of mindfulness/contemplation/meditation, photography, and Haiku. All joined together to enhance our connection with our true selves and the world around us; ultimately emphasizing our “being serene in the oneness of things.”

The beauty of Beginner’s Eye is for us to discover the fascination and beauty inherent the small and deceptively trivial patterns, colors, and textures that exist in the world that constantly surrounds us.

Beginner’s Eye is based on the Zen notion of “beginner’s mind.” That open and spacious place when we are completely receptive, fearless, totally present and connected to the wonder of each moment. A pure clear seeing awareness where everything is fresh and new.

This retreat will help remind us that everything that comes into our awareness we are experiencing for the first time!

By the end of your Beginner’s Eye experience, you will have a greater appreciation of the world around you and your wondrous place in it!

No photographic experience is necessary, nor is fancy camera equipment….cell phone cameras are completely acceptable! Really! This is not a competition but a way of using the photographic medium as a method of opening our senses to the way we relate to the world. It is not about what we see, rather how we see.

Friday, February 8th -Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Location:  Christine Center, W8303 Mann Road, Willard, WI  54493   Contact the Christine Center to register.  Click here for more information. 

Friday, August 2nd-Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Location:  Christine Center, W8303 Mann Road, Willard, WI  54493   Contact the Christine Center to register.  Click here for more information.


Moving from Trance-formation to Transformation.   

 

Do you know that things are as they should be?

Will you include yourself?

Transformation or Trance-formation? The wisdom teachers throughout the ages have implored us to wake up! To arise out of our half-conscious state of pervasive mindlessness, to transform to fully embrace the core of our divine reality.

In this retreat we will continue our work of expanding the imposed (self and other) limitations which too often restrict our personal and spiritual progress. We will look closely, with care and compassion, at our limitations (those hard edges), transforming them into expansive permissions of authenticity and spiritual enrichment that will be absorbed into more and more areas of our lives.

 

To Be Wise Enough To Know Yourself

Loving Enough to Be Your True Self

Wild Enough to To Grow Yourself

While Staying Altogether True

 

Friday, March 15th- Sunday, March 17th,  2019.

Location:  Prairiewoods, 120 Boyson Road Hiawatha IA 52233  Contact Prairiewoods for further information and registration. Click here.


Depth Consciousness: The skillful return to presence.  

All too often we become entrenched in the achievement of specific spiritual goals to the exclusion of the spiritual experience; the embracing of our essential nature of being. The depth of spiritual experience arises from the calming and clearing the insistent inner noise coupled with a receptive and curious listening.

During this retreat, we will explore the depth teachings of the Zen tradition (specifically the Hsin Hsin Ming) along with Hesychasm, Kenosis and Apatheia practices of the early Christians, as valuable methods in achieving a renewed depth of spiritual consciousness. 

In addition to contemplative time, study and discussion, we will immerse ourselves in a meditation method leading us towards a direct experience of the depth of our spiritual essence. As the Zen teachers implore: "cultivating a method of no method!" 

This time together will afford us a unique experience to forge a meaningful and useful confidence that will enrich our day-to-day living from a place of patience, openness and compassion.

Friday, March 22nd – Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Location:  Christine Center, W8303 Mann Road, Willard, WI 54493

For more information contact The Christine Center.  Click here.  


Mindful Presence: Bringing greater depth to your life, your relationships, to your spiritual journey.

 

Living mindfully with an alert mind and open heart require that we work on clearing away the obstacles, the hindrance and the distractions that interfere with accessing and living fully from our true and authentic self which is connected to and an expression of the Divine

By bringing to bear the mindful process of seeing clearly, we can exercise greater discernment in seeing the Divine’s role in our lives.  This gives a profound insight into the role that compassion plays in our spiritual journey.

These experiences will enhance one’s spiritual exploration with very useful practices that can be incorporated into our daily lives (personal, relationship and professional) and will bring great patience, openness and compassion into all aspects of our relationships.

By drawing on the teachings and practices from various traditions, this retreat offers participants the opportunity to enhance one’s journey as one that is deeply connected to the ongoing unfolding and flow that is inherent in all life. Embracing the life flow allows us to relate with great love and compassion to all that God, life, the Tao, the universe continually offers us on our journey.

Saturday, May 17th – Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Location:  St. Anthony Spirituality Center, 300 E. Fourth St. Marathon, WI  54448  Contact St. Anthony Spirituality Center for registration.  Click here for more information.


When Retirement Comes: Re-negotiating our purpose; the shift from quantity to quality. A retreat for men

Let's clear a serious misconception up right away. The word retirement implies a withdrawing or retreat, as from worldly matters or the company of others. This is what frightens us the most. To be out of contact, out of the flow, to be relegated to the sidelines, to become irrelevant; as the rest of the world continues with their purposeful endeavors. Non-sense! This in NOT the time to pack it in!

You see, this is the all-important time to shift our priorities and energies from a life of quantity (accumulating education, careers, family, jobs, money, things, a life of doing, etc.) to a life of quality (depth, meaning, wisdom, a life based more on being, etc.)

This is the last significant developmental stage in our lives. It requires that we navigate it with the wisdom we have reaped throughout our lives.

We will explore some of the reservations regarding retirement and begin to re-write a new script, a new storyline that honors this unique opportunity in our lives.

We have worked hard to get here. It is our turn now.  Let's do this!

Saturday, June 15, 2019 9:00am-12:00 pm

Location:  Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI  Watch the Spirituality Center's Calendar of Events for more information and to register.  Click here.


Mindfulness...It's Not What You Think!!

This workshop is designed to enhance the participants understanding of ‘mindfulness’.  Some of the most relevant research and outcomes that might be most germane to those attending will be explored. Given the immense popularity of mindfulness, common misconceptions will be cleared up so clinicians will develop an appropriate understanding and application of the core ‘attitudinal qualities’.  Participants will have to opportunity to practice and apply a few simple, yet significant, ‘mindfulness’ practices that can be carried into the clinical setting.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to: 

  • Understand the concept and practice of mindfulness
  • Recognize conditions when the application of mindfulness practice in a healthcare setting is appropriate, also when it would be contraindicated
  • Learn how neuroscience research supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based approaches and share some key related research findings.
  • Experience and learn a basic meditation practice
  • Demonstrate the capacity to lead a ‘client’ through a brief “mindfulness” meditation practice.
  • Identify relevant resources on mindfulness practice for yourself and your clients  
Monday, August 26th, 2019
Location:  Gundersen Lutheran Health Systems-Rasmus Center, La Crosse, WI  Information on how to register will be upcoming.  Click here for Gundersen Lutheran Health System Events Page. 

Compassionate Acceptance: A Mindful Path to Healing Life's Wounds

We all carry with us a store of life’s hurts, betrayals, and traumas. Much of the impact of these experiences resides deeply in our nerves and cells of our bodies, to be relived repeatedly throughout our lives. Too often, we develop a type of aversion to these hurts; a kind of wishing they would go away. Deep healing occurs only when we soften our self-aversion and begin to accept and relate wisely with deep compassion to that part of ourselves that need healing.

This will be a dynamic and refreshing opportunity for you to explore how the practice of mindfulness meditations will deepen your understanding of how your body and mind work together to generate lasting healing and well-being.

This retreat will provide a spacious and safe place to work on bringing mindful and compassionate acceptance to these difficulties. Through the exploration of Christian Contemplative, Taoist, and Buddhist teachings and healing practices you will finally be able to reach a kind of healing based on acceptance and compassion that is often overlooked. This depth of healing is integral to deepening the spiritual path.

You will leave this retreat with a lasting foundation to help you tap into the healing wisdom of your body.

This retreat is currently not scheduled.  Watch for upcoming dates.


Perfectly Imperfect:  Re-Writing Our Stories With Compassion

Progress in our spiritual journey is not about achieving perfection. Rather it invites us to inquire openly and with compassion about finding how the divine expresses in our everyday lives. We often miss opportunities to deepen our spiritual growth by ignoring how our imperfections are actually the grist for the mill. Our imperfections are actually what we need to embrace in order to become free from old fears, doubts and self-doubts. Spiritual progress occurs only when we soften our self-aversion and begin to accept and relate wisely with deep compassion to what we judge to be imperfect.

During this retreat we will explore the stories we have developed that keep us from relating to our imperfections with patience and compassion. We will seek to discover divine strength in the dark and difficult places through a creative process of re-writing our stories to more accurately reflect our true and divine selves.

This retreat will provide a spacious and safe place to work on bringing compassionate acceptance to the parts of ourselves we have judged the most unforgivingly. Through the exploration of time-honored contemplative spiritual / healing practices, you will finally be able to reach a kind of healing based on acceptance and compassion that is often overlooked. This depth of healing is integral to deepening the spiritual path.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:00 am-3:00 pm

Location:  Austin Congregational UCC,  1910 3rd Ave NW, Austin MN 55912

For more information or to register contact Austin Congregational.  Click here.

 


 

When I Let Go, What Is There to Hold Onto?Finding Your Way in the Spiritual Landscape

You are not alone. There are many who are expanding their spiritual journey. Often this involves your examining the institutions, teachings and imperatives that have come with a prescribed religious path.

What if you are yearning for something heartfelt and more complete? Where do you look? What makes sense?

How do you craft your own spiritual path that doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, yet at the same time discovering how to make your journey more personal to you in your life?

When you quiet all the noise of shoulds, expectations, and fears, you come to listen to, embrace and trust your true nature and the abiding wisdom that has been waiting to emerge in your life!

This retreat is an opportunity to explore and discern ways to deeply enhance your spiritual path. Through the utilization of various wisdom, contemplative and meditation teachings, you will come to embrace the wisdom that emerges from the depths of silent listening, thus reaching a kind of practical and useful spiritual insight that is often overlooked.

Come with your questions, confusions, fears and struggles along with openness to learn on a level that you may not have previously explored.

This retreat is not currently scheduled.  Watch for upcoming dates.


Mid-Life as a Spiritual Journey:  What do I do?  Where do I go?

Much is written about the Mid-life time in our lives, yet we remain confused and perhaps a bit fearful about what this time means for us. Where am I? Who am I? What is important?  Roles are changing; children are leaving, health questions and concerns, financial uncertainties.  It has been described as trying to drive through fog! Feeling an urgency to hurry up and get to where you think you have to go but not really being able to see clearly ahead.

This retreat will be an opportunity for you to explore your mid-life qualms, uncertainties and indecisions as being an integral part of your spiritual journey. We will look at the natural life shift from quantity to quality; from doing to being, from an expected life to a more genuine and authentic life.

It is your turn now. What have you put off? What didn’t you have time for? What will give your life a greater sense of depth and meaning? How do we live a life from a deeper place of spiritual awareness and wisdom?

You will proceed into your life with a richer, and more fulfilled sense of how to embrace yourself and your life with more patience, openness and compassion.

This retreat is not currently scheduled.  Watch for upcoming dates.



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by R & T