Presentations, classes, and retreats


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 for a recording of Tom with his Tibetan Singing Bowls at a recent retreat.  In order to appreciate the Sound of Bowls fully, they must be heard and felt in person.  Check out the following dates and times:  

Friday, December 8, 2017 6:00-8:00 pm

Location:   Pine and Palm Yoga Studio, 1008 19th St S, La Crosse, WI 54601  Click here for more information.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Location:  Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Road  P.O. Box 667  Wheaton, IL 60187   For more information contact The Tau Center.  Click here.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Location:  Assisi Heights Spirituality Center, 1001 14th Street Northwest, Rochester, MN 55901  Click here for more information.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Location: Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Road  P.O. Box 667  Wheaton, IL 60187   For more information contact The Tau Center.  Click Here


  Brush with Silence

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. What has evolved is a method of bringing greater peace, balance and harmony that opens up the depth of divine presence via patient brush strokes. In the Japanese tradition, this is referred to as Shodo or The Way of the Brush.

During this retreat, you will be inspired by the spiritual depth gained from this meditative practice. Through the dance of the brush, ink and paper, you will experience the subtle struggle between surrender and control, surface and depth, ego and divine. You will be invited to patiently embrace the process of letting go – giving in to the silence and flow of the divine through your hand, heart and spirit.

Along with deep meditation and spiritual breath work, you will be inspired to look honestly and deeply at your unhelpful, self-critical patterns, replacing them with a deeply rooted expression of calm, balance and silence. 

Please leave your artistic ego and related fears at the door. No artistic experience necessary. Only a willingness and curiosity to explore a unique addition to your spiritual practice!  

Saturday, January 13th, 2018, noon to 4pm

Location:  Manitou Center, 686 W. 5th St, Winona, Minnesota  For more information contact Manitou Center.  Click here.

Thursday Evenings-April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018 from 6-8 pm

Location:  Franciscan Spirituality Center 920 Market Street La Crosse, WI 54601  Watch for information on how to register on the Spirituality Center's website.  Click here.  


 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, September 28th-Saturday, September 29th, 2018 

Location: Tau Center, 26W171, Wheaton, IL 60187  Click here for the Tau Center's Website.

 


Softening the Hard Edges

The spiritual path has become crowded with numerous "methods" and practices. This retreat will be an opportunity to work deeply in a gentle and focused fashion restoring our innate connection to the divine. We will embrace the opportunity to quiet the noise and distractions to become reacquainted with the essence of clear and deep spiritual practice in. We will work with deep meditation, creative expression and re-uniting with the creation of which we are a part. 

We will be working off the first lines 7th century poem by Sosan:

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against. The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the great unrest of the mind.

Consider this:

You are the way and you are the goal;
There is no distance between you and the goal. 

You are the seeker and you are the sought;
there is no distance between the seeker and the sought. 

You are the worshiper and you are the worshiped. 
You are the disciple and you are the master. 

You are the means and you are the end; this is the great way.


 Friday, May 4th – Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Location: Prairiewoods 120 E Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233  Click here for more information. 

 

 


 

The Sound and the Silence: A Singing Bowls Retreat

Sound has been used as a tool for healing in various cultures for thousands of years. Whether through the use of mantras, singing bowls, drumming or chanting, these various techniques all have the same intention: to move us from a place of imbalance to a place of balance. Sound has the ability to positively affect our whole being. Our entire body acts as memory storage, much like a tree has rings that record its history. Sound vibrations can help soften blocked energy and even release it so our body-mind becomes more balanced, creative and fluid. This retreat will offer you that opportunity to explore how various tonal vibrations will help open your spiritual growth to deeper levels of integration, meaning and healing.  

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Location:  Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI  54601  Register by January 6thClick here for more information.

 


 

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.

Watch for upcoming dates for this retreat.


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.

Watch upcoming dates for this retreat.


 The Path of Simply Being

Our daily lives often become over-run with busyness, distractions and priorities that have become out of balance.

For our spiritual, emotional and physical health, it becomes necessary to find the time and place re-establish our path of simply being and to more clearly define our lives to reflect our true spiritual journey.

Embracing the path of simply being, invites us to work on clearing away the obstacles, the hindrances, the distractions that interfere with accessing and living fully from our true and authentic self. The self, which is connected to, and an expression of the Divine

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

Watch upcoming dates for this retreat. 


The Body Speaks: Are You Listening?

The Power of Integrative Approaches to Wellness and Healing

The research evolving from the fields of Psychoneuroimmunology, psychobiology, are deepening our understanding of how the body and mind work together to generate the healing response. This workshop presents the latest scientific findings and evidence-based treatment methods in the field of integrative approaches to health and healing. You will expand your understanding about how symptoms develop and eventually heal. You will learn that integrative approaches are based upon the understanding that our bodies are also a communication system; and how symptoms are the body’s attempt at communicating what is in distress and out of balance, as well as what is needed for effective healing. Participants will learn the theory and technique of integrative approaches to healing and how to work with the symptom. Evidence-based integrative treatment theory and methods will be defined, presented, and demonstrated. You will leave this workshop with tools to help you tap into the potential that integrative approaches offer that will provide the resources to further your personal and professional growth.

Watch for upcoming dates for this retreat.


Regaining Balance in the Midst of Chaos

The word chaos derives from a Greek word meaning chasm. Too often we create a chasm between what we carry around, hidden from the world, and the “face” we try to show others. The fact is, we all carry with us a store of life’s hurts, betrayals and traumas. How much do our scars define how we live and, ultimately, the quality of our lives? When we close the doors to our inner world of hurts, we can become stuck and miss powerful spiritual and healing opportunities. 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 needs healing. This retreat will provide a spacious and safe place to work on bringing mindful and compassionate acceptance to these difficulties, bringing about a depth of healing that is often overlooked. This wisdom healing is integral to deepening our spiritual path.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Location:  Franciscan Spirituality Center 920 Market Street La Crosse, WI 54601  Contact The

Spirituality Center for further information and to register.  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.

Watch for upcoming dates for this retreat.


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.

Friday, February 2 - Sunday, February 4, 2018

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

Friday, March 2 - Saturday March 3, 2018

Location: Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Road,Wheaton, IL  60187,  Click here for the Tau Center's Website.


When Life Throws a Curve: Turning Chaos into Competence

We all carry with us a store of life’s losses, hurts, betrayals, and traumas. The impacts of these experiences are carried with us throughout our lives, often leaving us feeling confused, stuck and at wits end.

Over time our resilience and overall emotional and physical health is worn down. We can often be left feeling that something is wrong with us. We seek out ways to make it right. Medicine,  doctor  visits, self-blame. Overall, developing an aversion to these life setbacks, a kind of wishing they would go away. It is common that we struggle with our faith during these times. Where do we turn, how do we get back on our feet?

Resilience, balance and renewal occur when we soften our self-aversion and begin to accept and relate wisely with deep compassion to the possibility inherent within the chaos.

This retreat will provide a spacious and safe place to work on bringing mindful and compassionate acceptance to allow us to move from chaos to competence. Through the exploration of Contemplative, Taoist, and Buddhist teachings and healing practices you will finally be able to reach a kind of healing that is integral to deepening the spiritual path.

Watch for upcoming dates for this retreat.

 


 

Mindfulness, It Is Not What You Think:  An Introduction to Practice

Beginning the path of mindfulness meditation is an ideal opportunity to live our lives with great patience, openness, and compassion. Living from a practice of mindfulness, offers useful ways of being more focused and alert to the flow of your life, feeling more grounded with a quiet mind and open heart.

This retreat will be a very dynamic and practical experience where we can peel back the layers of self-deception to see things clearly, as they truly are. The more we wake up, the more we can live our lives from an open compassionate heart, and a balanced calm mind; from a deep place of innate wisdom. This awakening reduces our fear-based reactions and cultivates our natural ability respond to life situations, others and ourselves with great patience, openness and compassion.

Drawing from the various insight and contemplative meditation traditions, we will learn the essential qualities of taking our meditation practice far beyond the cushion or chair, thus allowing us to remain fearless amidst the day-today flow of our lives; inviting our hearts and minds expand and radiate with compassion and intelligence. Ultimately experiencing the opening to our true nature.

The simple yet profound practice of mindful meditation, whether on a cushion or in a chair, or in a grocery line, or talking with another, keeps you in an open, balanced, and compassionate place that just makes this a better world.

This mindfulness meditation retreat will be a wonderful experience in developing a meaningful and beneficial meditation practice. You need not have any prior meditation experience. Or you may wish to attend to deepen or re-kindle your practice.

Watch for upcoming dates for this retreat.


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by R & T