We human beings can be so hard on ourselves. And if we are hard on ourselves, what are we doing to the people around us?

Dominican Center’s contemplative learning programs are designed to help focus head and heart, and lift the spirit.

Programs and events promote spiritual growth, relationship building, healing, and prayerful reflection. Then there are the programs that nudge us to look more closely into subjects that worry or confuse us. Above all, our programs invite kindness to self and to others.

Earlier this month, 65 people took part in the Be Still in Sacred Spaces half day retreat. They did so hungry for quieting their internal selves and a desire to get away, just for a little while, from their physical environments that challenge them, make demands of them, but loves them. This retreat required only one thing from the participants: to be open to stillness, stillness in our minds and in our hearts and to be open to what unfolds and surprises them.

So, with this openness, participants entered spaces and experiences that helped them journey into stillness. Each sacred space offered guidance, encouragement, and compassion which helped move participants into stillness; often moving through grief, noise, and yuck in order to get to the other side to stillness.

As the morning closed, participants left their reflections:

  • “It was the time to just be with my own prayers and recognizing that I need to trust God.”
  • “Overall I feel much more centered and hopeful than when I arrived at 8am. I have been blessed with tools and insights that I can use and ponder. Thank you.”
  • “Allowed me to process the recent death of my father and share in a supportive environment: I needed this.”
  • “I feel a strong deep serenity. Thank you! Would take again.”

Photos below capture some of the wonderful presenters and experiences our guests enjoyed during this morning retreat.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Dominican Center is hosting Loving Kindness Meditation, an opportunity to explore the concept of unconditional friendliness and loving kindness. Treat yourself to this blessing/meditation practice that encourages opening our hearts to ourselves and others in profound ways. Explore more programs at dominicancenter.com.