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Art as a Spiritual Practice

Wendi’s Arts Retreats focus around contemplative meditation using art to inspire deeper inner reflection and foster conversation about artworks in the practice of noticing what others have to say through art. Sessions alternate between facilitated discussion and silent or guided meditations. The Arts as a broader category include visual arts, music, poetry, and cinema; arts retreats combine several of these genres to lend variety and interest for diverse people groups. Every retreat is individually tailored for its participants; length is variable from half day to multi-day. Contact Wendi to schedule a retreat for your group.

Be Creative

  • No artistic skill is necessary; simply a readiness to try new things and openness of the soul.
  • Art Meditation is powerful for people of all faiths.
  • Come experience a unique process in community.

Silence

  • Retreats may include:
    • Collage
    • Mandala Drawing
    • Drum Circle
    • Watercolor
    • Discussion of diverse artworks in multiple genres
    • Painting
  • Meditations occur in silence.
  • All supplies provided.

Sample Schedule:

Saturday (9am-5pm)

Welcome and Introduction

Drum Circle

Art as a Spiritual Practice Part I

   —-  Lunch—

Conversation with Art I

Art as a Spiritual Practice Part II

Conversation with Art Part II

Sunday (9am-noon)

Art as a Spiritual Practice Part III

Drum Circle

Closing


About the Facilitator:

Rev Wendi Bernau is the Pastor of the Arts for the Missional Wisdom Foundation. She is an experienced spiritual director and retreat facilitator, performing artist, writer, and musician. Wendi is a United Methodist clergywoman but her programs are appropriate for all faiths.

"Sometimes I think we tend to view our spirituality as something external - we pray in hope that someone is listening to us - but we are the ones who need to be listening. This is challenging because it doesn’t seem productive. We might think sitting in silence is a waste of time, that art is a waste of resources; but this simply isn’t true. Humans need to expend time and energy creating and listening. How else can we possibly expect to get to know ourselves and what’s inside that wants to come out? How can we grow or learn if we are walking around unaware of our hearts and souls? Art helps us listen to our soul speak.

“People tell me they aren’t creative or they aren’t artists so they shouldn't do art, but in meditation the end product is never the focus. The important part is the process. How did you get to this point and what was going on in you when it surfaced? Most importantly, perhaps: now that you have this insight, what are you going to do with it? 

“Reflection is the key: without reflection, it isn’t meditation or prayer, it’s just art. And I love art, but for it to be profound, you have to let it speak to you. Intentional spiritual experiences in the Arts are very personal, and like most valuable experiences, when we can release the desire to control the outcome and expect to be surprised, amazing things can happen."