Presentations, classes, and retreats

Due to Covid 19 many retreats and events have been canceled.  As we navigate through these difficult times, please continue to watch this page for future updates.  We also invite you to join Tom live on his online mini retreats on the Zen Times Facebook Page. Click here.

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 Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. (News coverage by TV 19, WXOW)


Mindfulness Exercises Put Into Practice

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help your clients work through a variety of conditions. After exploring four important mindfulness topics, it is time to put your knowledge into practice.  Instructor Tom Roberts will teach you evidence-based mindfulness exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and lead these exercises, allowing you to gain the hands-on experience you can apply in your professional practice.

Take the next step by applying your skills in this Mindfulness Practicum.

Learning Objectives:

Learn various evidence-based mindfulness practices

Observe others lead exercises and provide feedback

Lead a fellow participant through a mindfulness exercise

This course is a convenient and affordable way to earn continuing education contact hours to fulfill your license and certification requirements from a location of your choice.

Location: This will be offered via Zoom by UW Eau Claire, Community Education.

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Click here to register

Embracing the Chaos: Learning to love the difficult


How often do we feel at the mercy of the events of our lives? Does it seem like the chaos is what is running the show! So much of our emotional, physical and, especially spiritual energies are spent trying to limit and control chaos. This is a process I call “insistence and resistance.” That is, we insist that our life goes as we want/expect, and then resist when it doesn’t. The result is a chronic feeling that our life is constantly derailed by the conditions of our lives. In this retreat, we will explore how what we refer to as chaos is really the “stuff” of our spiritual growth. We will approach this chaos with a great depth of patience, openness and compassion. In the process we will see how we can relate to chaos more skillfully and ultimately further the depth of our spiritual progress. 

Location:  This will be offered via Zoom by Sinsinawa Mound Center,

Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Registration deadline is Thursday, February 4 at 4 p.m.  Click here to register.


The Art of Becoming:  Embrace Your Being 

This will be a time to explore and deepen our continual becoming. We are learning that we do not have to wait for a retreat to keep our deep work vital!

We become so stuck in the rigid labels, roles, expectations, and the like, that we ultimately identify solely with them at the expense of our essential nature.

Each session will offer us the chance to connect, discuss and contemplate specific topics from the great wisdom traditions that re-mind us of our essential spiritual becoming.

Between sessions there will be areas of exploration that we will all consider and implement into our daily lives, and to bring our experiences to each session.

This event is currently not scheduled.

THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: When outer gods became inner wisdom

This will be an exploration into the origins of consciousness and how it ushered in a dramatic shift of our spiritual awareness.

We will trace the early (Bicameral) awareness that shaped primordial concepts of our relationship to our environment and the gods that were believed to control us. Then we will explore the amazing shift in this understanding that occurred between 4-6,000 years ago. Along with many other indicators, there emerged individuals that were expressing experiences and awareness that were heretofore foreign.

Beginning with the ancient writings of the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita to Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Talmud, The Desert Mothers and Fathers up to our deepening consciousness as to our elemental place in all creation, the understanding that we are, at the same time, completely insignificant and a wondrous appearance!

It has been this steady maturity of consciousness that underlies our continuing interest, curiosity and desire to reach towards the fundamental nature of our being.

This event is currently not scheduled.

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 event is currently not scheduled

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.

This event is currently not scheduled.

Zen and the Art of Coming Home

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.” Alan Watts

This retreat will provide us with the opportunity to cultivate the innate sense of returning to our spiritual home. We often feel that fundamental plea from within, inviting us to take stock of how far we might have wandered from our deeper wisdom, our deeper sensing true self; thus, creating a life that is chaotic and out of balance.

Zen and The Art of Coming Home will invite us to calm the frenetic looking and searching, born out our fear that we somehow are deficient and not good enough, and to return to our longed-for spiritual home. To re-mind ourselves that in order to be spiritually “at home” we must remember to secure our place in the world, to be at ease with ourselves.

We will explore the elegant Zen methods of re-minding ourselves of “coming home.” These methods will help us with re-aligning and to live from that place of spiritual depth and wisdom--embracing each moment with great patience, openness and compassion. The beauty of Zen methods is in the fact that Zen is a method, a method that can be easily integrated into any spiritual tradition.  

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

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.  

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.

by R & T