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St Mary of Egypt Refuge Hosts Breathlines Retreat

St Mary of Egypt Refuge Hosts Breathlines Retreat

"You'd better stop at Tim Horton's on the way. It's tradition."

This is the warning I received from the whole van of retreat-ers as we barreled down the Don Valley Parkway on our way to St. Mary of Egypt Refuge. They then discussed what action they would take, should I choose to ignore the warning. Five minutes later, all but one were asleep and softly snoring.

Traffic was quick and three hours later we found ourselves at the Refuge (with a satisfactory stop at Timmy's in Port Hope).

Our weekend was a good one. Laurie Edwards lead us in a day of Breathlines painting. Breathlines is a meditative art form during which the painter focuses on nothing other than his/her exhalation, blindly painting a line with each breath, then searching for a story or depiction in the lines created, and developing it further. Laurie has lead similar Breathlines sessions for the indigenous people of Northern Saskatchewan and many other places. Our painting sessions were complemented by hot drinks, quiet, contemplative prayer, hikes, Christmas carols, and a beautiful snowfall on our last day.

I can safely say that all 12 retreat participants strengthened existing friendships and built new ones, and had a peaceful and enjoyable weekend.