Presence, Prayer and Writing from the Heart

with Anne A. Simpkinson
Thursday, August 19, 2021 to Saturday, August 21, 2021
Single room with ensuite bath, including all meals from Thursday dinner through Saturday breakfast

“The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them.
If stories come to you, care for them.
And learn to give them away where they are needed.
Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”
- Barry Lopez in Crow and Weasel

All of us have myriad stories to tell. Some involve our family history, spiritual journey, experiences in Nature or a life-changing situation. Stories can take many forms -- memoir, essay, poem, series of blog posts, or journal entries -- but the most compelling are the ones written from the heart, those that touch and move us and sometimes even transform both the writer and reader. Writing from the heart demands attentiveness, honesty, courage and a commitment to engage with a creative process that pulls us into the unknown where we are often surprised at what surfaces. It’s a journey of discovery. And what can help are presence and prayer.

This writing retreat is structured for those currently working on a project, those who want to start one, or simply desire to spend time in beautiful surroundings playing with words. In addition to Centering Prayer sessions, Silence can be a portal to the Source of creativity and truth-telling. There will be ample opportunities to write, walk, think and just be.

Anne A. Simpkinson is an award-winning journalist, editor and writing coach. She and her former husband Chuck founded Common Boundary, a nonprofit organization that explored the relationship among psychotherapy, spirituality and creativity. While living in New York City, she rode the media transformation from websites to digital communications in her positions with, Prevention magazine, and Guideposts. She also served as Communications Director for Mercy by the Sea for several years. Anne has been practicing Centering Prayer (CP) since 1996. An Introductory CP Workshop facilitator, she leads retreats, workshops and Quiet Days in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Along with Claire Rusowicz, she co-facilitates two weekly Centering Prayer Zoom groups as well as day and weekend retreats.

Presence, Prayer and Writing from the Heart Schedule 

Thursday, August 19


6:30 p.m. Welcome, orientation, brief talk about the retreat theme
7:30 p.m. Writing time

Friday, August 20


9:00 a.m. The Story in Your Heart
9:30 a.m. Centering Prayer Guidelines
9:50 a.m. Centering Prayer (silent meditation)
10:15 a.m. Writing Prompt and Sharing


1:30–2:00 p.m. Shaping Your Story - aka revise, rewrite, rework
2:00–2:45 p.m. Writing Prompt and Sharing (optional)
3:00 p.m. Personal (Writing) Time
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00–8:30 p.m. Story Sharing

Saturday, August 21


10:00 a.m. Check out of Sleeping Rooms by 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m. Centering Prayer (silent meditation)
10:20 a.m. Short Writing Prompt
11:00 a.m. Conversation and Closing
12:00 p.m. Departure

Sessions:  1
Dates:  8/19/2021 to 8/21/2021
Instructor:  Anne Simpkinson
$350.00   (Class Fee)
Note: Online registration has ended