September 2018
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Honoring our founding values
As we’re crafting a new future, it’s easy to get caught up in the joy of creativity and thrill of possibility. I think we’re wise, though, to reflect on that which formed our core and informed our mission: the Franciscan values of contemplation, hospitality, compassion, simplicity, transformation, and care for the earth.
St. Francis resonates well with the spirit of the Christine Center, not because he was a member of a particular faith tradition, but because he rose above that tradition and prayerfully and lovingly embraced people in other traditions and found common ground in humanity’s common seeking. We find in his life both a voice for the Christine Center’s shared values and a model for how we live and work here. 
Today, we remember Francis as a peacemaker with a spirituality grounded in deep humility, service to others, and love of all creation, but there’s more. During the Fifth Crusade, the Christian Francis--despite his own previous trauma as a prisoner of war—befriended the Muslim leader of the so-called "enemies" of Christendom. Heeding a gospel call to love, and defying his church’s call to war, Francis reached out to his enemy to talk person-to-person. Neither spoke the other’s language, but they found a way of being together in an attitude of mutual respect and understanding. When the Sultan was in danger, Francis wrote a brief prayer for his protection.
And  that  is the enduring heart of the Christine Center, regardless of how else we may change:  radical acceptance, service, and love.  How you seek is how we serve: we may speak different faith languages, but we can be together in mutual support. In this woodland sanctuary, we can defy the various cultural wars and personal prisons that traumatize our daily lives and find a peace that allows us to connect on the common ground of common seeking.
Consider the Christine Center as a tree: No matter how tall we may grow, what color or shape our crown may take, or what fruit we may produce, our roots remain in the rich, fertile soil of Franciscan values. For that, I bow my head in gratitude.

Russell King, executive director
Hilde-Fest News!
Spaces still available! September 21-23, 2018
Beth Swanberg, musician-educator with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choir/Musical Theater of the Highland Park Middle School is joining S. Gabriele Uhlein for this year’s Hilde-fest. In lively conversation we’ll explore Hildegard’s harmony: in her world-view and her music. On Saturday afternoon there is a special opportunity to sample Hildegard’s own healing spice blends and experience her use of semi-precious stones. Saturday evening will also feature Annie Lea, our Director of Spiritual Deepening Services, with her collection of crystal singing bowls. Come join us as we lift our hearts, free our voices and celebrate all things Hilde-good!
October Programs

Visit our  retreat calendar web page  for more program offerings and descriptions. Visit the  reservation  page for information or call 715.267.7507. 
Inquire into spiritual realization...
Midwest Diamond Approach Weekend
The Lataif: Gateways to Essence
October 5 – 7 (Friday-Sunday)
With Kara Vangen, MSW, and Kathleen Graham, RN, MS
All-inclusive cost: $315.00 (includes tuition, 2 nights lodging & 4 meals)

The Diamond Approach is a path of spiritual realization characterized by sincere inquiry into one’s own experience and fueled by love of truth. This retreat is the first of a series on the various lataif, which are centers of subtle physiology.

Activation of the Red lataifa or Essential Strength allows an inner aliveness which connects us to our love of life. It carries the sacred impulse of “I can” which increases our capacity to expand with courage and strength in life and on our spiritual journey.

This weekend includes meditation, teachings, inquiry and experiential exercises.
For more information and to register: Johanna Seubert, FSPA, at
Promote powerful healing...
Myofascial Release Weekend with Laramee Paradise, CMT
October 5 – 7 (Friday-Sunday)

Discover steps toward your potential as a MFR therapist. You must have taken at least one seminar by John F. Barnes, PT. Contact Laramee at 612.232.4669 before registering through the Christine Center.  Register here.
Embrace the fullness of life...
The Path to the Transition of Dying and Death
October 5 – 7 (Friday-Sunday)
With Susan Mickel, M.D., Ph.D.

Mindfulness of impermanence and death are a core practices for all branches of Buddhism. Ordinarily, although we know cognitively that our bodies, minds, and the universe are constantly changing, we plan and enact our lives as though long lives and health were assured. When serious illness or death appears within our lives, we are surprised. By neglecting such awareness, we cut ourselves off from the tenderness associated with knowing our vulnerability and the vulnerability of others. We forget our collective need to connect deeply in each moment with the fullness of life. In the Buddhist tradition, rather than death being the end, it is a transition that leads from one embodiment of our consciousness/awareness to another.  Learn More

Cultivate simplicity, peace and power...
Opening to Pure Awareness: a Foundational Retreat
October 7 – 14 (Sunday-Sunday)
With Susan Mickel, M.D., Ph.D.

The simplicity, peace, and power of our true nature are often clouded over by habitual patterns of thought, emotion, and perception. Recognition of this nature, and cultivation of dwelling in it, is the heart of meditation in the essence traditions of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. As clouds obscure the openness of the sky and the radiance of the sun, our habits of identifying with our personal experience cloud over the pure awareness that is our true nature.

The Buddhist path for cultivating the conditions for recognition and stabilization of this awareness is a science of the mind. The Theravada teachings of the mindfulness meditation tradition will provide a basis for the teachings in this retreat, while the heart of the retreat will draw primarily on the Indo-Tibetan essence traditions that point directly to the mind’s nature. By emphasizing concentration early in the retreat, we can use the stability of the mind to explore how the mind constructs inner and outer experience.

This retreat will include guided meditations, group discussion of meditation experience, and individualized instruction within the group setting. The group discussion allows participants to learn from each other. Learn More
Restore creative zest...
Intuitive Painting: Rediscover Joy
October 11 – 14 (Thursday-Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm daily)
With Gabriele Uhlein
Tuition: $60 a day / $30 for half days (all materials included, meals and lodging are additional)

Commuters welcome! Bring a bag lunch or purchase a delicious vegetarian meal for $16.   

Brush, paper! GO!
Large sheets of vellum paper and 24 open paint pots of gorgeous colors await!

Experience a fun and supportive community of happy painters. Come with a friend! No previous art skill is required; bring a sense of play, adventure, and openness.

Each day includes two studio sessions with S. Gabe and an evening optional conversation circle. If you have ever felt blocked and uninspired, these days are the perfect remedy!

Painting from intuition brings freedom and restores creative zest. Dare to enter a marvelous “judgement-free zone” for discovering possibilities and breaking through limiting blocks old patterns that can invigorate all aspects of life. Just wait till you see the studio walls! Register Here
Nurture deep natural rest...
Yoga Nidra 24
October 23-24 (Tuesday-Wednesday)
Note:  Starts at 2 PM on Tuesday and ends at 2 PM on Wednesday
With Patricia Wack
Tuition $95 (housing and meals are additional)

Enjoy 24 hours of Restoration and Rejuvenation through the easiest yoga practice of all – simple, deep, natural rest! The Christine Center welcomes you to a monthly day designated for health, well-being, and ease. Each month, one of our featured instructors will offer a mid-week Yoga Nidra based program designed to help you experience quiet clarity and calm from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Join us as we take a 24 hour “time out” from our busy lives to unwind one serene breath at a time. You may even choose to extend your stay and create your own customized personal retreat. Our woodland sanctuary awaits you! Learn more Register here .

Give voice to your spiritual story...
Writing Your Spiritual Journey with Joanne Nelson
October 26 – 28 (Friday-Sunday)
Tuition: $175 (meals and lodging are additional)

We all approach our spirituality—that link between the sacred and ourselves—in unique ways. Join in community to honor and explore your connection to the sacred and to the self through writing. Engage in guided written exercises developed by Joanne and other authors designed to help you explore your spiritual path, inspire your creative journey, and generate successful narratives and poetry. Give a written voice to your own spiritual story and leave with specific tools and strategies developed to make deepening your spirituality through writing easy to continue after our program. Register here.
Dare to dive into contemplative depth of soul...
Celebrating St. Clare of Assisi
October 26 – 28 (Friday evening to Sunday mid-day)
With S. Gabriele Uhlein, OSF, PhD
Tuition: EARLY BIRD RATE! $175 until September 30 th  or $200 after that date (meals and lodging are additional)

Commuters are welcome!

Using two of the Christine Center’s treasured Franciscan icons, The Tavola of St. Clare and the San Damiano Crucifix, S. Gabriele will share how the 13 th  century Saint Clare can inspire in us a contemplative depth of soul so needed in our world today.

Defying both social prohibitions and no less than 4 popes, St. Clare dared to write her own way of life (the first ever!). She invited women into a sisterhood of equals to love God, to serve God, and to deeply care for one another’s souls.

We will explore the world of St. Francis and St Clare, pray together as the early Franciscans did, and take time to reflect and journal on the stunning reality of God’s beauty and unconditional love.

If you love Italy, luminous souls and amazing spiritual journeys, this weekend is for you! Register here. 
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The Christine Center W8303 Mann Road Willard, WI 54493
Thank you for your support!