Why attend a Contemplative Retreat?
“This is what the Lord says— ‘Stand at the Crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls’.” Jer. 6:16 Here in the western world we often live with cluttered and distracted minds and hearts that have forgotten how to “be still and know that He is God”. Inside ourselves we’re running all the time, forever ambushed by the tyranny of the urgent, by our busy-ness and schedules. We are seldom awakened to the fact that every moment and every minute can be lived in the presence of God, alive and aware of His love. Robert Benson tells the story of a four year-old girl who was overheard whispering into her newborn baby brother’s ear, “Baby”, she said, “tell me what God sounds like—I am starting to forget”. In this purified state of heart we are able to experience our own personal homecoming to God. “Live in Me, make your home in Me as I do in you.” (John 15:4) “Until we hear Jesus in the stillness of our own hearts, we will never be able to hear Him say, “I thirst” in the heart of the poor.” – Mother Teresa If you are interested in attending one of these retreats then contact Rog.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I feel like I was born again, again.” – Nancy Roberts
“Going to this last retreat was like waking up from a nap, a nap that was much too long, and that I didn’t even know I was taking.” – Michael Cotton – Columbia University student/Writer
“We invited Jeff Pratt to lead our annual World Relief HQ Staff retreat on February 25th. It was an incredibly refreshing time as he led us through a day’s journey of encountering Christ and as a result learning/knowing our missional purpose. While the time was short (a day), Jeff engaged us through several mediums – silence, video, music, visuals, stories, writings/meditations from Scripture and Christians, and fellowship in small groups. While we were encouraged to identify the false indentures that hinder us from God and people, setting them aside, we were encouraged to listen to the voice of Jesus calling us by our true names and to our true identity. Jeff is a master story-teller and drew us in with gentle words that are likely spoken because he hears the voice of his Beloved, Jesus.” – Sammy Mah – President/CEO, World Relief
“I attended a Silent Retreat in May 2009. What an amazing, intimate, beautiful and incredible experience! What God did in my life during the retreat was absolutely amazing and I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to attend. It is evident to me, that God has placed an incredible call on the lives of those at Axiom!” – Sandy Begerstrom
“Hey Axiom, just wanted to let you know what a huge influence your “thin places” meditative retreat has been for my wife and I. We consider our experience at your silent retreat a time which God spoke to our hearts about who He has created us to be in life and in which the seed of our specific mission was planted.” – Tobey Aubert – Church Planter/ Lead Pastor
“My life is pretty crazy. I have 6 kids, ranging from 15 to 3. I am in senior leadership at a Youth With A Mission campus in Ensenada, Mexico. As I have said my life is pretty crazy. Last year I attended a Silent Retreat up with Axiom in Connecticut. For me it was like learning how to breath again. You know when you’re in a swimming pool and you stay under the water a bit too long. When you come up, first you gasp, then you slow down and you are so relaxed and thankful to be alive. The retreat was like taking a refreshing breath after being under the water in the craziness of life for a long time. It also gave me thirst, a longing to regularly find that silent place in our fast moving world.” – Tym Kemp – YWAM Training Director, Ensenada, Mexico
Axiom’s Homecoming Contemplative Retreats
Do you hunger to come away for a weekend to give your full attention to developing a deeper intimacy with God? Using the mediums of storytelling, movie illustrations, Biblical teaching, and personal prayers times, a climate is set within our heart’s for Spiritual Renewal; a life-altering encounter with God that will lead to a better understanding of His dreams and purposes for our lives.
Here is what the weekend looks like:
Friday Evening Session – “A Place Called Home” Using John 15 we will discover how to find “The Abiding Place” or “The Place called Home” where the Trinity lives within our hearts. This is a place of great power and security, anchored in His undying love. However in our busy culture we’re often too busy to live “at Home” and thus we’re Prodigal sons and daughters who are need of a Homecoming.
Saturday Morning Session – “Prayer and Contemplation” We will explore how Prayer and Contemplation pave for us a pathway Home to the heart of our God where we can be free from our False Self, and the fractures in our hearts. . .free to have a life changing encounter with Christ that will affect the world
A time of practical application where each attendee will prepare one’s heart for A Homecoming with God through a time of Guided Silence, Solitude and Prayer.
Saturday night; Sharing and Affirmation time and fun together!
Sunday Morning Session – “God’s Dreams and Missional Purposes for Our Lives” Using Ephesians 2:10, and some poetry, and an act from a famous Broadway production, we will explore a series of questions that will help us understand God’s unique personal purposes for our lives so we can better understand our destinies. (Time will be given to approach God with these questions in prayer.) Goals for the Attendees: To be led in a Homecoming journey of personal transformation, where we are able to leave the negative affects of our pasts behind, as well as the busyness of our present lives, and more clearly hear the Voice that calls us “The Beloved.” Our desire is to facilitate a weekend where we expect nothing less than a Spiritual Awakening, a revitalized passion for God and for His missional purposes for our lives!
Homecoming II: “The Integrated Mind”
Many of you have joined us for our initial Homecoming Retreat in various parts of the world. This year we’ve added a follow-up retreat called, “An Integrated mind,” that researches new scientific and contemplative findings regarding how our minds, souls and bodies are to work together in facilitating a deeper union with our God. The premise is – with the help of our minds we can change the way we experience the story of our lives and God’s emotions for us. This understanding will help us better create our futures with Him.
Axiom Homecoming Retreat Locations
Spring, Summer Retreats
Axiom Spring Retreat – Homecoming 1
Location: Hvar Island, Croatia
Come and experience the simple beauty and lavender smells of spring, on what is listed as one of the top 10 most beautiful islands of the world, Hvar. This ancient still place — already inhabited in prehistoric times—is in the Adriatic sea, across from Italy, and has some of the clearest and cleanest harbors in the world.
Local Croatians have anticipated a contemplative retreat for years and have yearned to come away and be sifted into stillness and hear the inner music of their belovedness to God. I can’t think of a better location to experience a Homecoming 1 retreat.
Axiom Summer Retreat – Homecoming 1
Location: Long Island, NY (Our Lady of Grace Center)
Dates: July 5-7
Join us in the summer of 2019 at Our Lady of Grace Center as we gather for a life-altering encounter with God that will lead you to a better understanding of His dreams and purposes for your life. The beauty of the surroundings and the charm of the estate provide a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere that encourages spiritual renewal.
Rocky Mountain Contemplative Retreats
Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Retreats
October 14 – 18, Rewilding the Heart (Wilderness Spirituality) Retreat (for those who have attended previous Axiom Retreats or read Jeff’s book “The Homeward Call). Cost: $395.00 (single), $375.00 (couple’s price per person)
Winter 2020 (January or February) – we will have another “Rewilding the Heart” opportunity in the WILD winter landscape of Montana. If silence, solitude and snowshoes sound appealing, watch for more information coming soon.
Location: All Rewilding retreats will be held in the beautiful Swan Valley of NW Montana. Glacier National Park is just a short drive from the site. The nearest airport is Glacier Park International Airport (FCA).
Rewilding the Heart – Wilderness Spirituality Retreat
“Hurry always empties a soul.” —From One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Our lives are increasingly being lived at high velocity and with greater amounts of clutter. But if we can somehow slow down and strip away that clutter, we can focus on what really matters. That, in part, is what a wilderness retreat can do.
The discipline of wilderness is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, so wilderness hones crucial spiritual skills for us: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, exercising wonder, and slowing down.
Through these practices, the wilderness itself becomes another way of knowing God in ever deeper ways. As Aslan urged at the end of the Narnia tales, “Farther up and further in.”
We will explore the convictions of the early Desert Christians such as:
- There are no easy routes to self-realization; it begins, ironically, with self-abandonment.
- The spiritual life thrives on the margins of society, in a solitude framed by community.
- Desire and relinquishment are a recurring pattern in wilderness experience.
- Failure and making mistakes don’t hinder spiritual growth; they occasion it.
- The body, when disciplined, becomes an important teacher of spiritual insight.
- Wilderness breeds a lifestyle of resistance, cultural critique, and cantankerous honesty.
An Axiom Wilderness Spirituality Retreat will take you deep into the Bob Marshall or Mission Mountain Wilderness of western Montana. Together we’ll explore the land known as “The last best place” and “the valley of the hush” while enjoying the comforts of a cozy cabin.
Axiom Pilgrimage Tours
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” – Psalms 84:5
What is an Axiom Pilgrimage Tour?
The purpose of our Axiom Pilgrimage Tours is to travel to a meaningful place in the world where we can contemplate the wonders of Jesus, and those who have followed hard after Him over the centuries, allowing their wisdom to influence our daily lives. While enjoying history, food, and culture we briefly study the life of a God-Chaser who has influenced the world, pointing us to Jesus. Assisi, Italy has been our first international destination. The theme of our pilgrimage was “Contemplation and Simplicity.” With that theme we first reflected on the lives of Jesus and St. Francis, leading us to examine our own personal lives. We had wonderful moments of personal prayer, discussion times, and met many new friends, fellow pilgrims, both monks and tourists on similar spiritual journeys. There’s nothing quite like discussing various world-views around warm plates of pasta! All we met shared a similar thirst for a life free of anxiety, and stress, and the trappings of self; a life of true peace. Our Axiom version of “Eat,Pray,Love”.
Celtic Contemplative Pilgrimage in Ireland
Dates: Coming again in 2020
Come join us near the village of Cong, Ireland, which is nestled between two loughs and the entry of the Connemara. Film location of John Wayne’s ‘Quiet Man’, home to thirteenth century Ashford Castle hotel, and the ruined medieval Royal Abbey, which was the home for over 3000 cenobites at it’s height and was where the last High King of Ireland lived out his days.
The Celtic Tradition perceives God’s presence in and through creations, the mundane and domestic details of life. We will explore together how this tradition can enrich our current journey’s with God through learning sessions, the contemplative practices and exploring the wonder of creation around us.
Recommendations for the Celtic Contemplative Pilgrimage
“There is something significant in making a journey. Granted, all the things we encountered on the retreat are things that may be found in other places. But when combined with the journey of a pilgrimage, they take on a defined brightness and are able to penetrate deeper into the soul. First of all I can say that in our time in Ireland, God was encountered more tangibly than at any other time of the year. That alone is precious. And second, we came home changed. I know this because the un-named effects of the journey are still evident to those around us, even half a year later.” – Josanna Justine
Assisi, Italy Pilgrimage
Dates: July 15 to 20 (filling fast so plan now to attend!)
Our pilgrimage this year will take us to Francis’s home of Assisi including Mt Subasio where Francis and his friends went often to pray.
“St. Francis found his Beloved everywhere, making of all things a ladder in which he would climb up and embrace Him who is utterly desirable.” Bonaventure
Thoughts from our Assisi Pilgrimage Journey
“Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eyes of our hearts, whereby God may be seen.” – Augustine
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” – Jesus
A favorite time of our pilgrimage was when we climbed the slopes of Mt. Subasio, above Assisi, where we could look down upon the quilted countryside of Umbria, peppered with cypress trees and ancient bell towers. It was there that we individually examined the state of our cluttered minds and distracted hearts. It was there we were challenged to practice the discipline of detachment . . . of letting go. (What is attachment? A emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing, identity, or person we cannot be fulfilled. We can also unconsciously cling to things like security, respectability, hurts and regrets.)
St. Francis encountered a similar journey of the heart on the same mountainside over 500 years ago. His encounter with Christ caused him to turn worldly values upside down. Where others saw security, he saw only captivity; what for others represented success was for him a source of strife, an “obstacle to the love of God and others.” Moreover, for Francis, letting go did not end with wealth or poverty. He had to let go of his reputation and status in society, his anger, his pride, and his ambitions – everything, in short, that hindered his ability to love.
In the end he was not left barren, but left simple. Rather the space in his heart previously occupied by all these things was now filled with a joy greater than anything the world could provide. His gratefulness exceeded his power of description. Addressing our God he wrote:
“You are love. You are charity. You are beauty. You are security. You are inner peace and true simplicity. You are our joy and hope . . .our Great Wonderful God!”
When we descended the slopes of Mt. Subasio we were exclaiming the same words. Some of us descended forever changed with a new awareness of the worth of Jesus and a challenge to bring our lives into alignment with His values. Others returned in a new state of inner poverty, understanding what is meant by “being poor in spirit,” to live with an ache that is only meant to be filled by God, or to be left empty till He chooses to come. What is the state of your heart?
Contact: Jeff Pratt at email@example.com
Retreats ApplicationAssisi ScheduleAssisi Pilgrimage 2019
“My Axiom Pilgrimage Tour to Assisi, Italy was both a life-changing and culturally invigorating experience. To be away from everything familiar for a weekend, and to be in such a beautiful part of the world that has such a rich spiritual heritage, helped me find God anew. I’m now in the process of finding “The Simple” life – thank you for putting so much of your heart into our time together.” – Birte Rolhieser , Germany
“I’m now determining to not be a product of our crazy busy world, but to slow down and “Consider the lilies of the field. . . “Consider the wonders of Jesus. . .” How he loved and how He lived. I now see it is within my grasp.” – Rick and Jan Smith, Billings, MT
“My retreat in Assisi helped me realize which attachments in my life were healthy and which needed to be surrendered to create a greater place for Jesus. Now I feel empty of needless clutter, more simple, and extremely alive.” – Mark Thompson, England
India and Nepal James 1:27 Pilgrimage
“Pure and undefiled religion is this: to care for widows and orphans in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Approx. Dates: Not yet determined
Join us in caring for the orphaned of Pune, India and the earthquake victims of Nepal, while we are part of training leaders and pastors in how to “remain unpolluted by the world,” through exploring a Bible-based contemplative activism. You can help transform spiritual leaders of both nations, while the same is happening to you!
Voice in the Land Pilgrimage
Dates: Not yet determined
Has the Indigenous church of North America emerged yet? Could it be that God’s original intention for the North American Church is about to find its authentic voice?
There is a stirring in the land, calling to contemplatives, activists and truth seekers. A voice in the land is softly singing of Creation and in a language of peace and learning. It is a song of our ancient origins in God, inspired to breathe new hope in a shared vision for our common humanity and God’s beloved Creation. Can we come alongside the Indigenous Peoples and like Jeremiah, “Stand at the crossroads and ask for the ancient path, ask where the good way lies and then walk in it?”
You are invited to join us at Hamaatsa to explore these questions and stirrings. Hamaatsa is an indigenous continuum center and offers an outdoor sanctuary on 320-acres of pristine, environmentally protected lands, once homelands of the Pueblo Indian people of the Southwest. We will stay in a simple Native-style encampment under star filled nights and bright sky days. While breaking bread together at the willow kitchen arbor, we’ll nurture our time of spiritual fellowship with meals lovingly prepared from organic and traditional local foods.
During the four and half day retreat, we will have mentoring time with Pueblo elder, Larry Littlebird, plus alone time on the land for prayer and meditation. We will gather daily in the sacred space of the Council Lodge Tipi for group sharing time for contemplative action. One of the days, we will have the honor of four guest Native elders joining our circle. The authenticity of the Native Voice carries a true accent for the American Church and our time at Hamaatsa will allow us to discover the possibilities of a shared future of equality.
Contact: Roger firstname.lastname@example.org