The Embodied Spirit

Offered by Tom Darnall and Gary Barrett
Thursday, March 19 – Sunday, March 22 (intermediate)
$425 (Scholarships available) Student rate: $200

Words from our teachers…
Since earliest times many cultures have understood that there is a universal energy that animates both mind and body. They have given it many names such as Chi, Ki, Ruach, Dynamis, Prana, and in the Christian tradition, Holy or Divine Spirit. This weekend will introduce practices designed to sensitize us to our bodies through subtle natural movements in order to develop an awareness of that spiritual energy. Our explorations will consist of alternating sessions between the ancient practice of Chi-Kung (Qi-gong) and gentle, whole body explorations which focus on integrating movement, breath and sound. The focused attention to the integration of movement, breath and sound establishes the premise that the quality of being determines the quality of any action. By freeing the restrictions that we habitually
impose on our psyches and our bodies we open to the energetic presence of the spirit within. This retreat is grounded on the spiritual context in which we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17).

Tom Darnall is a retired Professor Emeritus of Theater from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University and has studied with master teachers of a wide range of somatic practices, including the work of Alexander, Rolf, Feldenkrais, and Linklater. Tom has been involved with the Episcopal House of Prayer since its inception and is a founding member of the Contemplative Body at EHoP.

Gary Barrett has practiced and taught Classical Chinese Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan in central Minnesota since1988. For twenty years he has been a facilitator and primary presenter at The Way in The Woods, an annual Tai Chi retreat. He currently teaches Tai Chi at Shanti Yoga Center in St. Cloud. Gary offers a unique synthesis of an early Eastern energy practice, The Ten Ways Chi Kung, and Christian focused spiritual embodiment work. Gary is a piano technician by trade and lives with his wife Brenda in St. Joseph, MN.