Joyce admiring the roses in front of the Basilica of Saint Francis (San Francesco)
Dear Shared Heart Friends,
Ever since we saw the movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” in 1973, we have wanted to go to Assisi, Italy and visit the sacred places of St. Francis. We have never wanted to go as a tourist, but rather in a very special way. This past fall, our dream became a reality, and the retreat surpassed all our expectations. We will be leading a second retreat with our dear friend and musician, Charley Thweatt, for the week of October 18-24, 2011.
We are blessed to be able to stay at a truly unique place where tourists are not allowed, a beautiful and comfortable monastery right across the street from the Basilica of St. Francis. We found the energy in this place to be absolutely amazing in the purity of spiritual vibration. As a group, we all deepened our connection to the divine in all forms. We will again be visiting and tuning into the energy of the sacred sites of Assisi, including the Basilicas of Francesco and Chiara, the churches of San Damiano, San Stefano and San Rufino, and the places Saint Francis made sacred, like the Carceri (the monastery and caves on Mount Subasio), the Portiuncula, Rivo Torto (his earliest hermitage).
The powerful energy of all these places combined with the deep inner focus of the workshop, helped to facilitate profound inner growth in all of us who attended. We wish we could share this experience with each of you.
In this first year, we had a wonderful group of open hearted people who came from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, England, and the United States. If you have any interest in this life changing and empowering experience please call and talk to me (Joyce) personally at 831 684 2130, or email us at email@example.com. We are only allowed 26 participants in the beautiful monastery where we hold the retreat, so early registration is advisable. Some of the rooms have breathtaking views of the Umbrian Valley and the Basilica of St. Francis which is right across the street. Those who sign up first will have priority to these rooms.
With love to each of you,
Joyce and Barry
Barry in front of San Stefano. Saint Francis often preached here and the church remains in its original condition. Sunday evening our group got to be alone here, and Charley led us in sublime singing.
Living from the Heart in Assisi
a retreat for individuals and couples
with Joyce and Barry Vissell
music by Charley Thweatt
October 18-24, 2011
New! Online Registration for our workshops
Re-ignite your heart’s call in a city built of prayer. A Franciscan convent in the heart of Assisi, Italy, provides a sanctuary and place of reflection, including a private garden overlooking the Basilica di San Francesco. Beginning with our connection with Self and Source and extending to everyone in our lives, this retreat explores living from the heart and relationship. This retreat is an opportunity for growth whether attending as a single or couple.
We invite you to join us for a week in Assisi, Italy, home of St. Francis and universally celebrated as the City of Peace. A place of sacred remembering for people of all faiths and traditions, Assisi provides a welcoming sanctuary for reflection and self-inquiry. While residing with us in a Franciscan convent, enjoy the beauty of the Umbrian countryside and sites of Assisi. Learn universal spiritual practices, meet kindred spirits, practice powerful tools for opening your own heart, then re-enter your world with renewed appreciation and dedication.
Living from the Heart offers a balance of both inner and outer experiences. A typical retreat day includes contemplation and meditation, workshop activities, creative exploration and singing, along with time for reflection and relaxation. Included throughout the week are visits to key sites from the lives of Francis and Clare. Meetings are held in a convent overlooking the Basilica di Francesco and the hills of Perugia. Room accommodations are comfortable, each with their own bathroom. Private rooms upon request (as available). Delicious Italian food is lovingly prepared by the Sisters, who share their private meditation garden with us as well.
Charley Thweatt, shown here singing in one of Assisi's sacred places, will provide music for the group. He is a multitalented singer, songwriter, and recording artist who has opened thousands of hearts around the world with his musical gifts. His intuitively chosen songs accelerate soul-healing.
• Tuition: $995/person
• Double occupancy & meals; appx $400/person for 6 days/6 nights
• Private room & meals; appx $450 (as available)
• Lodging & meals paid on site in Euros
• Retreat begins with dinner on Tuesday, October 18
• Retreat ends with lunch on Monday, October 24
• $100 non-refundable deposit per person to hold a space in the retreat.
• Tuition balance due July 18
• $250 non-refundable per person after July 18
• Cancellation after September 18 without a substitute
registrant requires room charge
• Some scholarship reductions possible
• Air/ground transportation not included.
• Attendance limited; please respond ASAP
• Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mail deposit or full amount to:
Barry and Joyce Vissell
P. O. Box 2140
Aptos, CA 95001
or call in credit card info to:
1-(800) 766-0629; from outside the U.S. (831) 684-2299
Early in the morning, gathered around the fountain before entering the Basilica of Santa Chiara (Saint Clare.)
More Helpful Information
Before and After:
Travel arrangements are the responsibility of participants. Book your flight or train travel to Rome, Florence or another Italian city. We advise you to do this as soon as possible to ensure options.
When determining your arrival and departure time, allow approximately 2.5 hours for the train ride from Rome or Florence to Assisi; and, if you are coming from another time zone, allow at least one extra day for acclimating to the different time zone.
We have heard from several of you intending to spend an additional week or more, before or after, in Italy or other European countries. Whatever your itinerary is before or after, we trust your sense about creating a travel plan that is supportive for you.
Upon arrival at the Assisi train terminal, you will be in the town of S. Maria degli Angeli, Ask the taxi driver to take you to Monastero di Sant Andrea, across from the Basilica of San Francesco, in the old town of Assisi. (For those of you planning to rent and drive your own vehicle, ask directions to the monastery upon arriving in Assisi,
and after unpacking, they will tell you the best parking area).
The address is:
Monastero di Sant'Andrea
Vicolo Sant'Andrea, - 06081 Assisi, Italy
within Italy: 075-812-274
On the road from the train station you will have an awe-inspiring panorama of the old city, situated beneath the battlement of La Rocca, nestled into the forested hills. Sunlight sparkles off the steeples and domes of countless churches and chapels. On the far left, you will see the great walls of the Basilica, home of the Tomb of St. Francis.
We begin with dinner at 7 PM on Tuesday, October 5, and complete with lunch on Monday, October 11. Please arrive between 4 and 6 pm. If you wish to stay longer you may make arrangements with the monastery, or arrange accommodation in one of the many hotels in the vicinity.
Basilica of San Francesco (St. Francis) at night.
After our first dinner, we will gather for a brief orientation and introduction.
Our program schedule for the week will include both free and structured time. For those wishing to attend mass, there are morning services available; for those wishing a silent meditation time before breakfast, this will be possible as well.
Days will include time together at the monastery and walks to specific sites, some of which we will be able to sing in.
Sites include the Basilica of Santa Ciara, the church and garden of San Damiano, the church of San Stefano, the Basilica, the Carceri Monastery, etc. Assisi is rich with heritage and history, but also vibrating with a spirituality which is available to all who make the pilgrimage to this little Umbrian hill town.
The town is set on a hill, interwoven with numerous alleys, narrow streets, and walking paths. A fair amount of walking is involved in visiting the various sites. Taxi service is always available.
There is an abundance of vegetarian offerings, as well as meat for those who wish. If you enjoy Italian cooking, we trust you will be happy with the food!
Things to Bring:
Walking shoes; a journal.
Telephone and internet connection are possible in Assisi, but challenging. The number for the monastery can be given out as an emergency number (Tel. 011-34-75-812.274). There is a pay phone in the monastery, but it isn't suitable for international calls. The town has a few internet cafes and a few phone booths which take phone cards; even so, their use can be frustrating. We encourage participants to use this time for a real retreat from the ordinary, including communications back home- however, if necessary vital communications need to occur) the best solution is to obtain a cell phone which functions in Italy.
October in Assisi is generally cool to warm. A light rain jacket is advisable. Weather permitting, in evenings we may sit in the garden or on the verandah; bring a sweater or jacket for warmth. For churches, no shorts or bare shoulders are allowed; a shawl can come in handy.
We look forward to sharing this time together!
Barry & Joyce Vissell
ps If you have further questions, please email Mira Vissell at email@example.com
Our happy group in the monastery courtyard.
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