Mandala: Creating from the Center

The mandala is a symmetrical design that has historically appeared in art forms, architecture and ceremonies around the world. During the retreat individual mandalas are created as a form of self-expression and personal insight. Full attention is placed on the creative experience, in the present moment. A completed mandala can be a source for meditation and reflection.

  • Friday night 
  • Introductions
  • Into to mandala with images: Eastern/Western traditions, architecture, and nature
  • Demonstration: materials and techniques for design of mandala – all art supplies provided
  • Saturday morning
  • Centering meditation
  • Begin mandalas
  • Saturday afternoon
  • Centering meditation
  • Continue mandalas
  • Saturday evening – optional
  • Sharing and reflection /continue work on mandalas
  • Sunday morning
  • Finish mandalas/Sharing and reflection  

Date & Time: Friday, July 12, 2019 @ 5pm – Sunday, July 14, 2019 @ 1pm

Fee: $275


About the Presenter 

Peg Considine is a licensed educator and artist, she holds a BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Master of Education from Elms College. She taught visual art for twenty years, emphasizing the creative process as an expression of self. Peg has found the mandala to be an accessible and transformative art form. She currently leads mandala retreats throughout New England.

Beyond Belief: Becoming the Mystics and Prophets We Are Born to Be

Healing the world begins with healing ourselves. As Ramana Maharshi reminds us: “The greatest service we can render the world is our own self-realization.” This means that we become the greatest light in the world when we master our own ordeals and connect our creative potential with our spiritual power.  

Becoming a prophetic person starts with a spiritual practice. It moves from silence to thought to word and action. When our words and actions are rooted in our spiritual commitments, we become a light in the world and a force for good. This workshop is an entry point into our own  wisdom. Using creative exercises, poetry, storytelling and video, we learn the secrets of mysticism and non-duality. We learn how to let go of the fears that have kept us silent and create a life that is full of purpose, spirit and prophetic power.


  • explore your life from a different perspective and find wisdom in your cells you never knew you had
  • learn how to tune in to the broadcasts of Mind-at-Large
  • erase the boundaries between your self and the Sacred
  • give up seeking and become a Finder

“Stop learning, start knowing.” Rumi

Date & Time: Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 5pm through Friday, June 21, 2019 at 10am

Fee: $550 (includes all meals and accommodations)


About the Presenter: Jan Phillips is a writer, photographer and activist who connects the dots between evolutionary creativity, spiritual intelligence and social action. She is the author of ten award-winning books on creativity, spirituality and thought leadership. She has three CDs of original music and a YouTube channel of videos she has produced. She is founder and director of the Loving-kindness Foundation and is responsible for the construction of the Loving-kindness Learning Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria. Jan has performed with Pete Seeger, taught with Jane Goodall, worked for Mother Teresa, and sung to Gladys Knight. Her presentations incorporate science, humor, research and the arts, keeping the brain and heart connected and engaged.



Healing the Healer: A Mindfulness And Dialogue For Life (DfL) Workshop

How can we deal with all the stress and negativity that we encounter these days and not let it overwhelm or depress us? How can we meet the inevitable struggles that are part of every life, at home and at work, and allow these struggles to be our teachers? Research has shown that we can indeed learn to work with the challenging aspects of life by training our minds to expand, through the practice of Mindfulness and Dialogue. Only a mind that is expanded will know how to live creatively in the face of life’s challenges, and relate with others in ways that promote justice and compassion.

There is one reality which we call by many names that is the source of all life. Each of us (and every thing) is a manifestation of this reality, though we tend to identify with a much smaller self, that is, our individual ego. This identification with a smaller, isolated – ultimately untrue – self is the cause of anxiety, suffering, competition and violence in all its forms and structures. The peace, happiness, compassion and justice we all desire will come, therefore, only when we realize our true nature. This then is the real challenge of today: learning how to realize our true nature and re-make our world accordingly.

Some of our leaders today are speaking of a civic spiritual evolution that goes beyond the present situation of simply tolerating each other to seeing ourselves and all others as manifestations of the one reality, and beyond fixing problems to transforming how we experience and relate with each other. We can promote this evolution by fostering awareness through Mindfulness-Dialogue.

Mindfulness is the practice of present moment awareness without judgment. Dialogue is the practice of heartfelt, open and creative interaction. Mindfulness-Dialogue (M-D) brings together the practices of Mindfulness and Dialogue in a way that enriches both and creates a powerful method for accessing richer connections and deeper meaning in our own personal lives and in all our interactions.

The Retreat

Join us for a 1.5-day retreat on Mindfulness and Dialogue for Life – Healing the Healer – that is designed for healers, including but not limited to therapists, counselors, nurses, social workers, teachers, physicians, clergy, and social service staff. Diane and Danny will introduce you to the practices of Mindfulness and Dialogue for Life (DfL) that will enable you to use brief meditation practices and dialogue skills to enhance your ability to befriend yourself and improve your interactions with clients, patients, and co-workers. Gentle yoga movements will complement this comprehensive approach.

With Mindfulness, you will learn to increase your ability to deal with stress by being more present, to more fully understand patterns of thought, and to allow appropriate space for emotions as they arise. With DfL you will learn to bring this expanded awareness to your interactions with others in order to enrich the exchanges and generate creative outcomes. Through dyadic and small group experiences and trainings you will learn how to integrate these skills into your life. The workshop will conclude with participants developing a plan for implementing a Mindfulness-Dialogue way of living.

The entire retreat will consist of an afternoon and evening session on Day One and a morning and afternoon session on Day Two. It will also include an individual coaching phone call follow up within three weeks of the training.

Learning goals:

  1. Develop Stress Management

Stress is understandable and therefore manageable. Using neuroscience examples – cortisol vs. adrenalin, limbic vs administrative, ANS and vagal nerve response, etc. – we will explore the benefits of mindfulness and DFL to reduce stress.

  1. Develop Mindfulness Practices:
  • Formal (sitting, journaling), integrated (walking, yoga/qigong/tai chi, breathing), informal (paying attention when washing dishes, or brushing your teeth, etc.)
  • Recognizing that mindfulness is familiar to us, something we do naturally
  1. Develop Dialogue Practices:
  • Introduction to the Dialogue method + skills for each part of the method
  1. Develop a Mindfulness-Dialogue practice
  • Form what we are calling a Heart Core within your system (organization, community, family) that will serve as both a support structure and a source of inspiration and creativity.

Dates & Time: June 14-15, 2019 from Friday @ 3pm to Saturday @ 3pm

Fee: $335 (includes overnight accommodations and meals)

A Mindfulness And Dialogue for Life Workshops are Quarterly Events, meeting; June 14-15, Sept 20-21 and December 6-7, 2019 (price is per weekend)


About the Presenters:

Danny Martin, STL, PhD is the creator of Dialogue for Life and has more that 30 years of experience bringing DFL to public health departments, hospitals, substance use treatment centers, therapists, educators…more about Danny visit

Diane J. Abatemarco, PhD, MSW is a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher, Facilitator and Researcher. Her work in mindfulness and parenting is nationally recognized and she has published several papers on the effects of mindfulness. Diane is a Professor of Obstetrics, Genecology, and Pediatrics and the Director of Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education and Research Division (MATER) at Thomas Jefferson University. Her primary areas of expertise in research are with underserved populations and include health behavior change, implementation science, primary care practice change, evaluation and outcomes, behavioral epidemiology and drug dependence treatment.


The Alchemy of Memoir

When you write your memoir, you turn pain into healing, confusion into insight, life into art. You witness the corner of the world that fate entrusted to you.

Come learn to shape your story and make it sing on the page at this two-day retreat. Envision the difference your book can make. Bring paper and pen or a laptop. Perfect for new or  struggling memoirists.

Date & Time: Sat., Oct. 6, at 10am to Mon., Oct. 8 at 1pm
Presenter: Lorraine Ash
Fee: $250


About the Presenter:

Lorraine Ash, MA, is a book editor, author, coach, and editorial director of Cape House Books. She has penned two memoirs: Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing and Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life. Lorraine studied at Fordham University.

A Retreat: Writing Our Relationship with Trees: What This Can Teach Us About Ourselves

A Retreat for Writing Our Relationship with Trees: What This Can Teach Us About Ourselves and Living Within the Sacred

In this weekend retreat, we will explore and strengthen our relationship with trees. We will slow down to listen to what these sacred beings can teach us.

To make this journey, we will use poetry and poem-making as a way to express and describe this relationship with ourselves, one another, and within the larger context of living as stewards of this planet, express it as part of the fabric of the cosmos.

Please bring a story (or poem) about a single tree or a forest, or an orchard, or a grove of trees, whatever is significant to you, that has made a difference to you in your life, somehow changed how you see yourself and the world around you, including the cosmos. This poem can be yours or be written by someone else. You are invited to bring a photograph of a tree.

The weekend retreat is limited to 22 registrations. Please register early to reserve your spot.

This weekend retreat begins Friday evening at 5pm with dinner at 6pm. The Friday evening event,  A Public Talk, Conversation and Mini-Workshop, starts at 7pm.

A Public Talk, Conversation and Mini-Workshop: Open to all, Friday, August 31, from 7pm-9:30pm: Fee: $25 (Friday workshop only)

A Retreat For Writing Our Relationship With Trees: Friday, August 31, at 5pm to Sunday, September 2, at 1pm: Fee: $250 (whole weekend); includes all meals and overnight accommodations.


About the Presenter: John Fox, Certified Poetry Therapist, is a poet and author of Finding What You Didn’t Lose:  Expressing Your Truth and Creativity through Poem-Making and Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making. He teaches regularly at the collegiate and post graduate level as an adjunct faculty member of the California Institute of Integral Studies, Sofia University (formerly The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,) and Holy Names University, Oakland.  He taught for twenty years as adjunct at John F. Kennedy University – first through the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and then since 1997 in the Arts & Consciousness Department. For more about John Fox, visit his website

Writing Retreat with Paula D’Arcy: The Heart and Soul of the Writer

The Mariandale Center is pleased to welcome back author and inspiration Paula D’Arcy.

Come together with others who love to write, whether you are skilled or a beginner. Contemplate your life through writing until the silenced voices begin to speak and you feel the power of words and the sound of your own voice. Writing practice will fill our days, and film will also be used.

Required reading:  Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.

Date & Time: Wed., June 27 at 5 pm to Sun., July 1 at 11am (all meals included)

Presenter: Paula D’Arcy, MEd

Fee: $550

Please register and pay in full by June 13




About the Presenter

Paula D’Arcy is a well known author of 13 books, and has also toured for ten years performing in an original play.  In addition to her writing, she is an internationally recognized speaker and retreat facilitator. In 2001 she founded Red Bird Foundation, which supports those in need of healing.

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