Yes to Life! The Improvisation and Spirituality Weekend

July 17, 2019

Spirituality rocks. Whatever the form or faith, it connects us to the greater mystery. More meaning. Deeper purpose. Stronger belonging.

Thing is, we sometimes limit spirituality to its inside game. We keep it private, harboring an internal stillness lit with candles and lined with tender insight. 

Or, even when we do try to express our spirituality in “the world,” sometimes we do so in constricting ways: playing out limiting images of what is proper behavior for “seekers like us.”

What if spirituality also included vibrant movement, unfolding interaction and laughter-filled connection? What if we could honor the interior AND enjoy the exterior?  What if we could express, explore and embrace more sides of who we are, and who each other is, together?

In this immersive weekend, we’ll dive into experiential games and activities drawn from the world of improvisational theater. We’ll find the wonder and joy that comes in shared presence and collaborative creation. And we’ll breathe new life into our spiritual unfolding.

No promises, but participants just might:

  • Build delightful connections with other seekers
  • Laugh a ton
  • Discover new/expanded ways of spiritual experiencing
  • Explore new corners of beliefs
  • Revisit crusted-over assumptions 
  • Leave with a new bounce in our steps

Principles for the weekend

  • Maintaining a strong intention for welcoming spirit, ourselves and each other; while remaining open to the many ways this can manifest

  • Plurality: recognizing that we each have some of the truth but not all of it

Who Are the Facilitators?

Together, we have more than three decades of experience in facilitating experiential learning events.

 Ted DesMaisons is the author of the        new book, Playful Mindfulness and the  founder of Anima Learning. He holds      an  MTS from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University. He's taught mindfulness with renown meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, taught and performed improvisation internationally, and studied acting and voice with Patsy Rodenburg.

Cindy Franklin is an Associate Director of the Diversity and Spirituality Network and an executive coach, consultant and facilitator based in the Bay Area.  In addition to facilitating leadership development through one on one Executive Coaching, she conducts strategic planning and visioning sessions with organizations' senior executive staff.  Her perspective is informed by her years spent living in various cultures overseas: and by her many years of meditation and contemplative practice.

    Angelo John Lewis is the Director of        the  Diversity and Spirituality Network    and a life and business coach and            consultant who has designed, developed and conducted group problem solving and community building interventions for non-profit, corporate and government clients. He is the originator of the Dialogue Circle Method™, and the author of Notes for a New Age.

Venue, Meals, Lodging and Fees

  • Yes to Life! will take place at Bishop's Ranch, a retreat and conference center in beautiful Sonoma County. Bishop’s ranch is a lovely retreat and conference center nestled in a spot amidst the lush valleys, redwood forests, organic farms and world-class vineyards of Sonoma County, about 85 miles north of San Francisco. 
  •  The ranch is near the town of Healdsburg, well-known for its beautiful square, gourmet restaurants, and outstanding wine tasting rooms.
  • Accommodations at Bishop’s Ranch are simple, but comfortable. The meals served at the retreat will be delicious and wholesome, featuring organic fare whenever possible.  In fact, in the best California farm-to-table tradition, some of the food served will be grown right on the ranch property itself! Breads and desserts are freshly made on site. We will dine buffet style in the large dining room that offers breathtaking views of Mt. St. Helena and the Russian River Valley.  Please let us know if you would like vegetarian food or have other dietary restrictions: these can be accommodated so long as we inform kitchen two weeks before our arrival.
  • Cost for the weekend, which includes lodging and meals,  is $875. A 15% Early Bird discount is available through January 15.

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