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:  


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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

Alignment with Resolve: A Kakizome Brush Workshop

Kakizome....So What?  We are ALL prone to wander off track on our spiritual journeys. Kakizome is a method, a re-minder to keep spiritually grounded even in the midst of the daily chaos. To strengthen our wisdom, intention and compassion."

Kakizome, is the Japanese word which translates as "first writing."

Traditionally it refers to the first calligraphy brush strokes (Shodo) of the New Year. 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 (seated meditation), clarifying what our centering wisdom will be for the coming year. 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 an auspicious kanji (Japanese calligraphy). 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.

$85 includes all supplies and a light vegetarian lunch

Payment plans available

Click here to register.

Please contact Manitou Center regarding any questions you may have:

*** All supplies are provided, however if you have a surface you wish to work with (wood, silk, stone, canvas, ceramic, and the like) feel free to bring it!

Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Location: Manitou Center, 686 W. 5th St., Winona, Minnesota 55987

Silence:  A Prayer of the Heart

So often in our spiritual journey we insist on finding answers.  There is a persistent looking elsewhere, and less practice in using our innate wisdom.  During this retreat we will learn the art of listening through the depth of silence that leads us to our true nature.  This is a silence that offers no answers, yet leads us to the great wisdom. As Rumi reminds us: "There is a language that does not use words, LISTEN!"

We will look at examples from several spiritual traditions that teach us the importance of returning to silence. You will be invited to examine your spirituality without distraction and without words, as we embrace the innate divine that is waiting to be given room to emerge.  You will have the opportunity to learn the wisdom of your own silence, to discover what that wisdom has been waiting to share with you!

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Location:  The Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI Click here to register.

A 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.

This retreat is currently not scheduled.  Watch for updates.

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

Meditation allows us to see how we have been conditioned to believe that we must protect ourselves from life and its experiences from a place of fear and aggression which hardens us and influence the way we relate to ourselves and our world, and ultimately creating suffering. Suffering doesn’t lie in what occurs, it lies in resisting or fighting what occurs. But what if the true nature of the flow of our experiences is actually quite different from what we perceive and are reacting to? What if we could learn to observe the flow of our experiences without judgment, preconception, or distraction? Ultimately living our life from a place of greater patience, openness and compassion?

This 5 hour experience will be a combination of conversation, instruction, and experiential learning. Simply put, it will be a wonderful opportunity to expand your understanding of meditation and how to use it as an addition to your growth and health.

Saturday, December 14th, 2019 from: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location:  Palm and Pine Yoga Studio, 500 N Holmen Drive, #519, Holmen, WI  Click here for more information and to register.  



Thrive Beyond Sixty-Five: Re-negotiating our purpose; the shift from quantity to quality. 

Let's clear a serious misconception up right away. The word retirement (typically 65 and beyond) 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 is 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 story line that honors this unique opportunity in our lives.

There will also be a panel of invited guests to share their experiences and to invite discussion.We have worked hard to get here. It is our turn now.  Let's do this!

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

Location:  Assisi Heights, , 1001 14th Street Northwest, Rochester, MN 55901  Registration information will be upcoming through Assisi Heights.  Click here.

Mindfulness in a Clinical Setting:  Mood Disorders, Pain, Trauma Based Dysregulation, Addictions 

Mindfulness is a growing evidence-based method to combat stress, improve mental health and bring awareness to the reactions of the body. This four class webinar will enhance your understanding of the applicability of mindfulness and meditation as well as to teach you powerful and useful mindfulness tools to help your clients reach health and wellness goals. Each class with address four specific conditions (Mood Disorders, Pain, Trauma Based Dysregulation and Addictions) that are frequently encountered in clinical practice that have been shown to respond well to the practices of mindfulness and meditation. We will examine both the relevant research as well as practical applications which apply each condition. This webinar will be interactive and will provide ample time to practice specific methods related to each condition.


Tuesday, January 14th, Tuesday, February 11th, Tuesday, March 10th and Tuesday, April 14th, 2020, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Location:  This is an online class for more info and to register click here

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.

Friday, January 31-Sunday, February 2, 2020

Location:  Sinsinawa Mound Center, 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, WI  53824-9701.  For more information, click here.  

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.

by R & T