The House of Prayer offers retreats throughout the year, focused on our primary ministry of contemplative prayer and spiritual transformation. For this, our 25th anniversary year, director Ward Bauman has put together new offerings that will take you deeper into your spiritual practice. We are privileged to welcome Yuval Ron to teach our August Wisdom School, and welcome new teachers Dan Miller, Diane Millis, Gary Barrett, Tom Darnall, and frequent teacher at the House of Prayer in the City, Martin Lahn. Martin Laird will also return this spring.

morning prayer oratory 11-14

From a program attendee:
The magnificence of God’s spirit continues to humble me. I have been led to a tremendous amount of peace and joy, and all just for the asking. God’s grace is so good and also resides in this holy place.

To register and send a check, please contact us at To register and pay online for any of our programs, click here.
Note: Our secure payment page now allows you to pay by credit card or EFT.

A $100 deposit is required for all registrations. You can charge the deposit during registration or send a check to the Episcopal House of Prayer, PO Box 5888, Collegeville, MN 56321. When mailing a check to register, please send the name of the retreat, your name, mailing address information and e-mail address.


Wednesday Night Contemplative Christian Prayer

All are welcome to join us on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 for contemplative prayer. Free and open to the public, we sit together in the Oratory. The prayer begins with a simple chant, and we observe two 20-minute periods of silent prayer with a contemplative walk in between, concluding with a simple chant. If you are coming for the first time, we recommend you arrive ten minutes early so we can welcome you and introduce you to the practice and space.

For information on contemplative prayer at House of Prayer in the City, click here.


2015 Retreats

Note: All programs begin with dinner at 6 p.m. on the first day and end with lunch on the final day. Plan to arrive between 3-6 p.m. and leave on the final day, which is primarily a travel day. Ask about staying an extra night or more for individual retreat time attached to one of our programs. More general information about our retreats, including travel information, is available here.


Mystical Music of the Middle East with Yuval Ron   Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m. The Episcopal House of Prayer and Jay Philips Center for Interfaith Learning will cosponsor a concert by the Yuval Ron Ensemble at the University of St. Thomas. Free and open to the public. Attend and learn more about this master of world music who will join us for this year’s August Wisdom School. Click here for more information.


Monday, July 13 — Saturday, July 18

July Wisdom School
The Ultimate Quest: Finding Inner Authority

Led by Bussho Lahn, Diane Millis and Ward Bauman


In the early stages of spiritual work, it is important to seek out master teachers to lead and guide one. But ultimately to stay there, seeking truth outside of oneself, keeps one infantile. There comes a time when we are ready to take the steps to “be formed into Christ” and find our own “sovereignty” for, as the Gospel of Thomas says, “your sovereignty will be your rest” (#2). This is the preeminent human development. How we come into our own spiritual authority will be the august quest of this academy.

This wisdom school is considered advanced work, where the student, not the teacher, is the primary focus. Here the teachers act as guides to help each participant find his or her own inner authority. All teaching will be geared to this effort and time will be given each day to meet with a guide, as one takes steps to toward one’s own sovereignty and fullness.


Sunday, August 9 — Friday, August 14

August Wisdom School
Healing and Transformation of Consciousness through Sacred Sound, Meditation and Dance

Led by Yuval Ron and Ward Bauman


This Wisdom Academy will focus upon the experience of introspective and ecstatic practices of four ancient spiritual paths: Zen Buddhism, Kabbalistic Judaism, early Contemplative Christianity, and Sufi-Islam. This unique experiential school will journey deep into sacred music chanting, movement, and spiritual contemplative practices, drawing from the hidden wisdom traditions of the East. These practices have been shown to alter the structure and function of the human brain.

Each day the group will focus upon a different tradition, and sessions will demonstrate the deep commonality and love for life and humanity reflected in these spiritual practices. The activities are based on Yuval Ron’s work with master teachers of the East and neuroscientists of the West. This seminar is experiential, and will not be lecture-based. The focus is on providing a deep spiritual healing experience, including walking, sacred movement, ecstatic chanting, meditations, storytelling and poetry.

We are privileged to have Yuval Ron among our wisdom teachers this year. To learn more about him, visit his page here:

Sunday, October 4, 2015 25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Join us in Collegeville for this celebration of 25 years at the House of Prayer. Rooms are available if you’d like to come for the weekend!


Thursday, September 17—Sunday, September 20

The Embodied Spirit

Led by Gary Barrett, Tom Darnall and Ward Bauman


This weekend intensive will introduce practices designed to sensitize us to the body’s subtle movements and mechanics and to develop in us an awareness of the spiritual energy that is always moving and animating us. Our exploration will include the ancient practice of Chi-Kung (Qi-gong) as well as contemporary mindfulness practices which focus on integrating movement, breath and sound. The kinesthetic freeing of the restrictions and limitations that we all habitually impose on our psyche and our bodies opens us to the presence of the spirit within. The retreat is grounded in meditation practices and teachings on the spiritual context in which we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17).



Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, November 8

An Act of Love, Constantly Repeated

Led by Dan Miller


Thomas Merton stresses that the spiritual life is above all a life. The heart of this life is love, which is what joins the way of the mystic and the way of the prophet. Dorothy Day reminds us that cultivating this love-life involves a holy succession of kindnesses. In this retreat we will ponder what this love-life looks like, consider its fundamental commitments, and explore the everyday practices that support and guide us in living a spirituality with integrity. Using story, silence, chant, prayer, poetry, sacred dialogue, and holy listening, we will reflect on the experience of the wise ones who teach us that an integral spirituality necessarily weaves contemplative presence and compassionate action. This retreat offers sacred space for all genuine seekers, apprentices, and seasoned artisans of faith.

From a previous retreatant: “So meaningful, life-changing, freeing, and inspiring that I feel grateful and blessed. It was exactly what I needed–practical and holy, deep yet not heavy, Enlivening.” ~ Theresa A.


To register and pay online for any of our programs, click here.


About Our Presenters

Gary Barrett has practiced and taught Chi-Kung (Qi-gong) in central Minnesota for over 26 years. He refers to the ancient art of Chi-kung (Qi-gong) as an incarnational practice that integrates mind, body, and spirit with intention, movement, and breath. He currently teaches at Millstream Wellness Arts in St. Joseph, Minn. Gary is a member of the Contemplative Body.

Rev. Ward Bauman became the director of the House of Prayer in 2002. Prior to this he served as a parish priest in the San Francisco bay area of California. During that time he developed an organization for interfaith dialogue as well as a spiritual life center for prayer and renewal. His history took him to the Middle East where he lived, worked and traveled, living in Iran for four and a half years. Returning to the U.S., he spent seven years in California’s Napa Valley helping to run a retreat center. All of these things have brought him to this present work where he brings together his passion for working with people in pursuit of a more profound spiritual life. He is the author of Sacred Food for Soulful Living, a cookbook of recipes from the House of Prayer kitchen, and translator with Lynn Bauman and Cynthia Bourgeault of The Luminous Gospels.

Tom Darnall is Professor Emeritus of Theater at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. Teaching the Theater Arts in a Liberal Arts context allowed Tom to emphasize the spiritual roots of theater. He recognized that the extensive mindful somatic training required of the actor is a journey into what it means to become fully human. Throughout his career Tom has studied with master teachers of a wide range of somatic practices, including the work of Alexander, Rolf, Feldenkrais, Linklater and others. The integration of mindful movement, breath and sound establishes the premise that the quality of being determines the quality of any action. Tom has been involved with the House of Prayer since its inception and is a founding member of the Contemplative Body.

Fr. Martin Laird, OSA, has lectured and led retreats throughout the US, UK, and the Republic of Ireland. He is the author of Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation. He is preparing An Ocean of Light: Contemplation and the Ethics of Silence (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). He is professor of Early Christian Studies at Villanova University near Philadelphia.

Rev. Bussho Lahn is a certified spiritual director and an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist priest. He is a teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, Aslan Institute, and the Episcopal House of Prayer. Bussho is grounded in contemplative spirituality, interfaith experience, addiction recovery, and shadow integration. He is experienced in pilgrimage and retreat facilitation, and public speaking on a variety of spiritual subjects. His special interests include Zen ritual and ceremony, poetry, and interfaith dialogue. He also teaches meditation, mindfulness, and the basics of Zen Buddhist practice and philosophy, and is an experienced retreat and pilgrimage leader. He lives in Eden Prairie with his wonderful wife Karen and their cat, Hobbes.

Dan Miller, PhD, is a retreat leader, spiritual director, and teacher. Dan’s passion, commitment, and work involve helping persons to weave lives of spiritual depth by cultivating a more genuine self, intimacy with God, compassionate solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable, and a mutually enriching relationship with the earth community in all its life forms. Deeply informed by Thomas Merton, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, and Dorothy Day, Dan founded a spiritual formation community in 2003 called The Human & the Holy, committed to exploring and enacting the mystical and prophetic dimensions of faith. He holds MDiv and ThM degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Claremont School of Theology. Dan studied at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation where he completed the Spiritual Guidance Program.

Diane Millis, PhD, is a teacher of Christian spirituality, spiritual director and author of Conversation–the Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction and Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning and Joy. Diane brings twenty-five years teaching experience in the fields of Christian spirituality, communication studies, family studies and human development. Her deep gladness is witnessing hearts awaken through contemplative practices and group spiritual companioning.  Diane served as the founding director of the Companions on Journey initiative at the College of Saint Benedict and now facilitates retreats on the sacred art of conversation in corporate, health care, philanthropic, educational, and ministry settings throughout the country.

Yuval Ron is a world-renowned musician, composer, educator, peace activist and record producer. Among his many honors, he composed the music for the Oscar winning film West Bank Story, was invited to perform for the Dalai Lama, has collaborated with the Sufi leader Pir Zia Inayat Khan, master musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Zen Buddhist priest and visual artist Hirokazu Kosaka, choreographers Daniel Ezralow and Oguri and with neuroscientists Mark Robert Waldman and Andrew Newburg. He was awarded the Los Angeles Treasures Award and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Composers Forum, California Council for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a noted lecturer and has been invited to speak at numerous schools including: Yale, John Hopkins University, UCLA, MIT, Berklee College of Music, University of Chicago and many others. Yuval has been on the faculty of Esalen Institute, is an affiliated artist with the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, and a “Guiding Voice” for Seven Pillars – House of Wisdom.