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, Oct 5th, 2019

This is a special evening event of Taize-style prayer, paired with the beautiful sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, choirs and hymns

Location:  Viterbo University Campus, San Damiano Chapel , La Crosse, WI from 6:00-7:30pm. The time includes fellowship afterward.  Click here for more information.

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Location:  The Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601  Click here for more informatin.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Location:  The Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601  Click here for more informatin.

Embodied Presence: Vipassana & Mindful Yoga Retreat
Unifying Body, Breath, and Mind

Embodied Presence is a dynamic, innovative, and interactive retreat that integrates Zen Vipassana meditation and therapeutic yoga (Sri T Krishnamacharya tradition)-tools from complimentary disciplines for those working in the counseling and helping professions. Retreat participants will increase their skill repertoire by learning effective strategies on how to apply these mindfulness techniques to help alleviate stress, anxiety, pain, depression and more.

Ongoing research points to exciting evidence-based developments on the convergence of brain science and the age old practices of meditation and therapeutic yoga.

We have learned that the regular practice of these disciplines positively enhances psycho-physiological functioning, thus increasing one's ability to deal with stress and improve emotions and behaviors, and overall health and well-being.

This retreat is well-suited for students of meditation, and or/yoga, as well as professionals in the healing professions (such as nurses, physicians, counselors/therapists, teachers, body workers, clergy) who seek ways to be more effective in achieving higher levels of well-being themselves, and in helping clients restore and maintain their mental and physical health.

One-on-one time with instructors will be available upon request for an extra fee.

In this special collaborative retreat we will explore the cultivation of energy, movement, self-inquiry, and breath awareness as a means of accessing internal layers of consciousness, vitality and deep inner peace. Retreat includes Vedic Chanting and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Arrive “as is” and expect to return home enlivened, grounded, replenished, and supported with tools for your practice.

September 19th - 22nd, 2019

Location:  96 Mandala Road, Des Moines NM 88418  Click here for more information.  

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.

Friday, August 16-Sunday, August 18th, 2019

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

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 26, 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.


Friday, January 31-Sunday, February 2, 2020

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

by R & T