2019 Courses

Radiant Essence Retreat

A day of renewal with Qigong and Writing

With Qigong/Tai Chi teacher Purna-Ma

Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

***Early Registration (payment by May 8): $115

(includes vegetarian lunch)***

Registration after May 8: $125

Place:  Salt Spring Island

At this auspicious time of burgeoning growth and blossoming, we’ll allow our unfolding and flowering, tapping the radiance within for deeper joy, well-being, wisdom, and creativity. Qigong practices will help us relax our bodies, still our minds, and open our hearts. Writing practices will help us reflect on our lives and express ourselves deeply. Our time together will open new reservoirs of vitality, ignite inspiration, enhance creativity, and nourish us with heart-felt connection during this exuberant season.

The Language of the Heart:

Writing Poetry of the Sacred

Saturday, July 27

Salt Spring Island

When we rest deeply in the present moment centred in the heart, we sense our connectedness with all things, the sacredness we are a part of. In this retreat we will deepen our connection to this sacredness and express it through the language of poetry. Meditative practices will relax our bodies, still our minds, open our hearts, and allow a flow of writing on the page. We’ll have an opportunity to engage in free-form verse and experiment with some easy-to-write forms, such as haiku, with an excursion outside if the weather permits.  Our day will open awareness, creativity, and new avenues of joyful expression in a heart-centred community of poets at all levels of experience.

Cost: $30 at the door. St. Mary’s, 2600 Fulford Ganges Road. Register at  staroftheseassi@gmail.com.


Writing Immersion Retreat

August 24, 25

(details to come)


Open Poetry Online

(dates by agreement)

This eight-week program will help you open fully to your truest voice and express it on the page with vividness, precision, truth, and beauty. Discussions will introduce you to the essential elements of the craft and practices will help you to apply them to your own writing. Feedback on twenty pages of poetry will further assist your process, as will two one-on-one consultations by phone or in person. The program will open a deeper poetic awareness and understanding of the genre’s forms while you write and complete a small collection of poems. $597; can pay in three installments of $215.


Writing From the Inner Garden

(dates by agreement)

The aim of this online program is to cultivate a deeper connection to the creative source so you can write in an easy, joyful way attuned to your own rhythms and inclinations. We will also strengthen the channels from creative expression to completed form and the sharing of creative work with your immediate milieu or a larger community. The program will enlarge your creative capacities on many levels and help you initiate and complete the writing you’re most called to at this time. Cost: $597 or three installments of $215.


Open Truths:

Writing from Your Deepest Experience

(dates by agreement)

This month-long course will offer a strong foundation for deep and sustained writing in any genre. We’ll start with practices that open the gateway to a flow of expression on the page. This will be followed by further practices that will allow you to explore unchartered terrain, perhaps buried images, feelings, and memories that have been hidden for many years. You’ll be guided in how to work with this “raw writing” and bring it to form. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your pieces with other writers for feedback and encouragement. The program will open gateways for you to write with greater truth, compassion, awareness, and depth in your own voice with support to complete your stories, poems, and other writing. Cost: $397; includes a one-hour consultation, weekly practices, email support, and feedback on ten pages of double-spaced writing.


Three-Month Writing Program

(dates by agreement)

This program is designed to support new writing as well as ongoing projects that could benefit from editorial suggestions and other creative advice. The program starts with a one-hour consultation to discern what would help your writing process. We then create a plan to propel your writing through various means (practices, exercises, reading suggestions, creative approaches). Feedback on writing includes detailed comments on aspects such as cohesiveness and clarity, in addition to fine-tuning suggestions. Two more consultations follow, one per month. Participants can send in 15 double-spaced pages of prose (or 20 pages of poetry) for review with the option of buying more editing time, as needed, at a special rate.  The program will offer the support you need to take your writing to the next level. Cost: $597 (can pay in three installments of $215).