Heart and Soul

A Contemplative Writing Retreat

With Anne Simpkinson

September 20-23

Single - $530 | Double - $490
(Includes an ensuite bathroom and all meals from Friday dinner through Monday breakfast.)


The Mercy For All Scholarship provides support for those experiencing financial challenges.
Learn more and apply here.


About this Offering

All of us have myriad stories to tell. And when we write our stories –about love, loss, painful mistakes, joys, and failures – we can not only touch the why of our existence but open to the very ground of our being. Life is extremely busy and our culture offers a multitude of distractions. What we need is time and space to be quiet for a while and deeply listen to our heart and soul. Thomas Merton, monk and best-selling author, echoed this idea when he wrote that “our being is silent, but our existence is noisy. Yet when our noisy actions stop, a ground of silence is always there.” Immersing ourselves in that ground of silence can help us find our voice and the words to tell our stories. To this end, this retreat will afford the opportunity and quiet environment to work on a current writing project, begin stories long thought about, or immerse oneself in silence to find what needs to be voiced. It will braid personal writing time, periods of Centering Prayer, writing prompts, and story sharing. There will also be time for personal reflection, walking the grounds, reading, or simply gazing at the waters of Long Island Sound.

By writing our stories we ultimately realize how precious they are and how we are part of the web of life that holds us all. May stories be cherished and shared.

About the Presenter

Anne A. Simpkinson is an award-winning journalist, story midwife, and writing coach. She and her former husband founded Common Boundary, a nonprofit organization that explored the relationship between psychotherapy, spirituality, and creativity. She and Chuck co-edited two anthologies, Sacred Stories and Nourishing the Soul (Harper San Francisco), and authored Soul Work: A Field Guide for Spiritual Seekers (Harper Collins). While living in New York City, she rode the media’s transformative wave from print to websites and digital communications in her positions with Beliefnet.com, Prevention magazine, WeightWatchers.com, and Guideposts. She also served as Communications Director for Mercy by the Sea for several years. Anne has been practicing Centering Prayer since 1996. An Introductory CP Workshop facilitator, she leads contemplative writing retreats. Along with Claire Rusowicz, she co-facilitates contemplative prayer retreats in Massachusetts and Connecticut.