Let Your Heart Decide Retreat
Buckhorn Springs, Oregon June 10 – 15, 2024
A retreat for anyone looking to quiet their minds and awaken
the original intelligence of their hearts in order to discover and honor their deepest calling.
This retreat begins with the premise that we humans process our lives in two places simultaneously: in our minds and in our hearts. We know that the heart has intelligence, for it is made up of neurons. Some researchers even suggest that the heart is the primary decision maker of our internal consciousness, but we have been sorely miseducated in the ability to listen to our heart’s voice. Instead, we live in a world of mind-over-matter, of mental-logical-rational dominance over the intricate and mysterious wisdom of the heart.
We have all heard someone say, “Listen to your heart,” but how? How does one listen to the heart? Most of us were never taught, and worse, most believed that it was nonsense to begin with. This retreat is all about reclaiming the ability to listen to the heart, and in doing so, explore the deepest desires of our inner nature as answers to the most sacred questions of our lives.
Before you arrive at this retreat, you’ll be asked to identify one such question: something you are wrestling with, something that wakes you up in the night and you can’t seem to sort out why. Over the course of our time together, you’ll be exploring that question with the support of the group and the presence and wisdom of the More than Human World. We’ll explore these questions through the use of many modalities including forest bathing, drum circle, sound bathing, breathwork, ecstatic dance, contemplative journaling, story weaving, witnessing and mirroring. Here’s what you can expect:
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This retreat might be right for you if
You’re struggling to make a big decision.
You’re feeling stuck in your life.
You’re having trouble honoring the voice of your heart or can’t hear it at all.
You’re finding yourself overwhelmed with constant thinking.
You’re feeling like you can’t slow down and there’s no time to relax.
About the Venue
Buckhorn Springs is an enchanting place where you will feel connected to the land in the same way as people who have gathered on this land for peace and healing for centuries.
Buckhorn Springs provides a unique environment nestled in its own small valley with old oaks, magnificent ponderosa pines and tall aromatic cedars. A healing mineral spring-fed creek runs through the property and is easily accessible for a refreshing dip, as well as an open protected meadow that provides a safe environment for wild turkeys and deer. At night, the absence of artificial light makes the meadow the perfect place for stargazing.
Our first day is simply about arriving and preparing ourselves for the journey ahead. We’ll have an introduction circle and eat dinner together. This will allow you to settle in and get to know each other.
Origin of the Question
Our second day asks us to identify and investigate a question living within our hearts. In community with each other and the More Than Human World, we ask where does this question come from and why am I carrying it? Through this process, we come into deeper relationship with our intention, individually and collectively.
We will start our day with a slow and gentle Forest Bathing walk, allowing us the opportunity to connect deeply with ourselves and the wisdom of the land.
Afterward, we will gather for lunch and take time to ourselves in preparation for the remainder of the day. To close, we will engage in contemplative journaling and bringing our stories together through the practice of deep listening and speaking from the heart.
Asking the Question
Our third day is dedicated to asking our question, in many different ways and in many different spaces. This is a day of listening, where we will make space to receive what we ourselves could never hear on our own.
On this day, we will have time to sit with the land and witness our reflections in the mirror of nature. In doing so, we seek answers to our questions that live within the heart of the Earth.
We will have lunch together on the beautiful terrace of the lodge under the shade of giant oak trees and overlooking and listening to the creek.
In the afternoon, you will be invited to perform a private ceremony that invites the wisdom of those you carry with you in your heart, teachers, family members, and heroes who have inspired you. This will be followed by a relaxing Sound Healing Session, perfect for incorporating and ending a very insightful day.
Living the Question
Our fourth day invites you into a solo journey on the land, where you will be invited to live your question through the creation of a self-designed ritual. By enacting this ritual, your question comes to life within you and you within it.
The day starts with a gathering where we will prepare you for your 3-hour Solo Wander on this amazing land. Let your body and your heart guide you through the forest, the meadow, the creek or up to the Grandmother Tree. There is no right or wrong way.
You will find your personal ritual or way to start your solo wander and also to end it. After that, there will be time to share our stories and seek the wisdom that lies at the center of our circle.
The afternoon of this day will be free. Take a refreshing dip in the healing creek or admire the breathtaking star-filled sky later in the night.
Answering the Question
Our last full day invites an expression that answers the question living in our hearts. Such an answer may not be what you expected, and such an answer may not come in perfect clarity, yet nevertheless, we will make space for it to exist in its own sense of belongingness.
Our day will start with breath awareness practices designed to support embodiment, presence and a revealing of our heart´s inner wisdom, followed by time to witness and incorporate the stories that emerge from the morning. We will then return to the practice of journaling to harvest and articulate an answer to our heart´s question.
After lunch, we will release our energy in a drum circle, celebrating the awakening and arising of those answers that have revealed themselves. Drumming is all about tapping into your inner unique rhythm, and letting yourself go into that flow.
To conclude the day, we will celebrate our community and the work we have done together. We will sing, dance, and eat together as a way of honoring the gifts we have received during these days.
Deciding what to do with the Question
Our final day asks us what to do with the question- how shall we apply the healing, learning, and perspective that we have cultivated into our lives back home? This day is about identifying the medicine of our journey and making a commitment to honor the heart´s wisdom beyond the container of our time together.
To begin, we will return to the land, and after our insights and new perspectives have settled into our bodies a little bit, it will be time to share our final stories and weave them together as a group into what can only be described as a story of us. It is within this story that we co-create the wisdom, magic, commitment, and transformation that we will carry forth.
The Schedule Is Subject To Change: Ben and Manuela work spontaneously and we will adjust the program depending on what we feel serves the group.
It is inspired in the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, that started at the beginning of the 80´s in Japan, due to a health crisis. There was a shift in the economy and people were moving from rural areas into big cities and that lifestyle change caused a lot of stress and therefore an increas of autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Forest Bathing has proven to lower our stress hormones, inrease our Immune system function, increase focus and creativity and give us a sense of general wellbeing. Something we hear very often from participants after a forest bathing walk is that sensation of belonging to nature, to feel at home.
“If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” -Alan Watts
“Whenever people gather to play the drum, the world is a better place” – Babtunde Olatunji
“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood” – Pablo Neruda
“We are the weavers, we are the woven ones. We are the dreamers, we are the dream.” – Lorna Kohler
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the heartbeat of the Universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell
Way of Council
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” – Maya Angelou
“Beauty lies in nature and reveals, once the artist has perceived it, its own expressive power” – Gustave Courbet
“Nature often holds up a mirror, so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal and transformation in our lives” – Mary Ann Brussart
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart” – William Wordsworth
Breathwork brings together the Mind, Body and Heart. Remembering how to breathe has powerful effects on our overall wellbeing.
It nourishes our physical body by oxygenating our cells, promoting healing, and boosting our immune system. Simultaneously, it calms our minds, quieting the incessant chatter and allowing us to tap into a state of deep relaxation and peace.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky, conscious breathing is my anchor. ” – Thich Nhat Hanh
The sound vibrations penetrate deep into the tissue. This improves blood circulation and metabolism, regulates muscle tension and deeply stimulates the tissue. Moreover, regeneration and repair mechanisms are stimulated. Sound healing is both activating and relaxing – so it also has a refreshing effect.
Some of the benefits of Sound Healing include less chronic pain, better sleep patterns, reduced anger and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as an overall sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
“Everything in Life is Vibration” – Albert Einstein
Tier 1 – US $2090 per person
Private room with bathroom in house
5 nights, all meals included
Tier 2 – US $1995 per person
Private room with bathroom
in a separate shared bathhouse
5 nights, all meals included
Tier 3 – US $1790 per person
Shared room with bathroom
in a separate shared bathhouse
5 nights, all meals included
What is included?
5 nights accommodation, all meals, starting with dinner on June 10th and ending with lunch on June 16th. Special dietary restrictions will be accommodated.
All the described activities in the program
What is not included?
Transportation to/from the lodge, food or beverages outside the mealtime, insurance.
We understand that sometimes life happens and we want to be as flexible as we can be.
Cancellation up to 90 days before the event start: 100% refund
Cancellation between 89 and 60 days before the event starts: 50% Cancellation between 59 and 30 days before the event starts: 25% Cancellation 29 days or less before the event: No refund
Register before January 31, 2024 and receive an early-bird discount of 10%.
Use promotional code – EarlyBirdOR
Can I pay in installments?
What should I pack?
Notebook, situpon, any medications and or prescriptions you are taking, anything else you need to be comfortable. We will share any updates prior to the retreat.
How big will the group be?
Do I need any prior experience?
No, not at all. All you need is to come with an open heart and an open mind. All life experiences are welcome and will enrich the journey for everyone.
What is included and what not?
Will you be able to assist with airport transfers?
What is the weather like?
Oregon: usually June is a nice month, pleasant weather, ocasional rain and/or thunderstorms. Please check weather updates prior to the retreat.
Will I share my room? Are there any single accommodations available?
Some of the rooms are private single rooms, others are shared. Please reach out to us and we will work with you to get you the most suitable accommodation type for you.
The private (single) accommodations are limited and are on a first come – first serve basis.
I have special dietary restrictions. Are you able to accommodate them?
Can I travel with my partner if they don't take part of the retreat?
Is there wi-fi?
Yes, there is free wi-fi available in least the common areas of the venue.
Can I extend my stay after the retreat?
It depends on the retreats availability. Please contact us.
The Energy between Manuela and Ben is contagious– They hold a space for their participants that is open, Heartfelt, fluid, and harmonious. As seasoned Guides, they have finely honed their abilities to invite participants into the present moment, and into interconnection with all of the Life that surrounds us. It is Truly a relief to share a forest journey with Manuela and Ben; as they guide participants via the somatic and the sensory, in cooperation with the thriving World we live in.