Contemplative School of the Heart
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St Theresa 


A Contemplative School of the Heart emerged out of a preparatory period of nearly seven years of the Contemplative Spirituality Network programme of talks, quiet days, art courses and retreats. The unique character of this school within the current wider movement of contemplative Christianity alive in this age lies in the way it embraces, at depth, the living teaching, and golden thread, of the Christian mystical tradition from the Spanish renaissance through the writings, and lineage, of Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. This embraces the possibility of opening the inner ‘eye’ and ‘ear’ of our heart to receive, more fully, the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching to be transformed, in love, within the body of Christ.

The life of a spiritual school is nurtured by establishing a rhythm of regular meetings where, in an atmosphere of spiritual friendship, a deep schooling or education of the heart is possible. A school of the heart is understood as threefold movement around experience of spiritual community, contemplative practice and receiving the transmission of Christian contemplative wisdom.

Throughout 2015, regular monthly Saturday retreat days are being offered, which follow a pattern of spiritual practices working together for spiritual formation: spiritual conversation, prayer and listening together with sacred texts. They will usually take place on the 1st or 2nd Saturday of each month at the Rose Window Hermitage in North London. Please bring lunch to share, and donations for the day, and the school, are welcome.

Other retreats and workshops during the year include –

• the annual Holy Island retreat
from August 6th to 13th, 2015.

• The ‘Caverns of the Heart’ retreat
from 5th to 8th March, and

• ‘The Wisdom of Spiritual Recollection in the Spanish Mystical Tradition’ workshops at the House of Prayer, East Molesey.

• Regular Christian Mindfulness retreat weekends, and

Focusing for Contemplatives workshops during 2015 at the Hermitage.

Creativity flows freely from contemplation and artistic expression is woven into every aspect of the work of the school of the heart. There are ongoing ‘Imagination and Creative Vision’ painting courses being offered each term. A small community of contemplative artists also meets regularly to discern, learn and find support for this way of life where art is integral to spiritual transformation. If you are interested in joining one of our painting courses, or the artist’s discernment group, please contact

If you are interested in spending a quiet day on your own in the peace and silence of the Hermitage, please contact us. Do let us know if you require spiritual direction during your quiet day. Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee provided.

   Contemplative School of the Heart Printable leaflet


Diary 2015

Jan 16

Drawing & Painting

Jan 17

Retreat Day

Jan 27


Feb 6

Drawing & Painting

Feb 7

Retreat Day


Art Exhibition

Feb 21

Wisdom Workshop

Feb 24


Feb 27

Drawing & Painting

Mar 5-8

Caverns of the Heart Retreat

Mar 24


Mar 27

Drawing & Painting

Apr 24

Drawing & Painting

May 2-3

Mindfulness Retreat

May 9

Retreat Day

May 15

Drawing & Painting

Jun 5

Drawing & Painting

Jun 6

Retreat Day

Jun 10

Sufi Workshop

Jun 12

Sufi Workshop

Jun 13

Sufi Workshop

Jun 30


Jul 3

Drawing & Painting

Jul 4

Retreat Day

Jul 18

Wisdom Workshop

Jul 28


Aug 6-13

Holy Isle Retreat

Aug 25


Sep 12

Retreat Day

Sep 26

Wisdom Workshop

Sep 28/29


Oct 3

Retreat Day

Oct 10-11

Mindfulness Retreat

Nov 7

Retreat Day

Nov 21

Wisdom Workshop

Nov 24


Dec 5

Retreat Day



Rose Window

Saturday Retreats at the Hermitage in 2015

Saturday January 17th, Febuary 7th,
May 9th, June 6th, July 4th,
September 12th, October 3rd,
November 7th, December 5th

from 10.30am to 4pm at
The Rose Window Hermitage,
North London

Please book at




St John of the Cross

Caverns of the Heart Retreat
With the poetry of St John of the Cross
Thursday March 5th - Sun March 8th


The Wisdom of Spiritual Recollection in the Spanish Mystical Tradition Workshops

Saturday February 21st, June 13th, July 18th,
September 26th, November 21st, 2015

at the House of Prayer, 35 Seymour Road
East Molesey, Surrey KT8 0PB

Viv Stacey, Julienne McLean, Judy Barber



Holy Island

Abiding in the Diamond Heart
Seven Day Retreat

This seven day retreat is being offered in response to the quickening of desire in many people who feel drawn to live as contemplatives in the world and long for a deeper understanding of Christian contemplative wisdom to support this call. On this ancient, beautiful and sacred island, the daily rhythm will include silent prayer/meditation, liturgy, study/reflection on Christian mystical texts, chanting and conscious work in the garden.

At the Centre for World Peace and Health
Holy Island, Scotland

August 6th – 13th, 2015

Julienne McLean, Viv Stacey, Judy Barber, and
Revd Michael Gartland

   Printable leaflet

Please book at




St John of the Cross
Icon by Ann Chapin

Christian Mindfulness (Insight/Vipassana) Meditation Retreats

Weekend Workshops in 2015

Sat/Sun May 2nd/3rd and October 10th/11th

During these two day retreats, there will be teaching on the practice of Christian Insight Meditation, known as Mindfulness. This form of meditation comes from the Theravada Buddhist tradition and the teaching is set within the framework of Christian contemplative prayer found in Carmelite spirituality, especially in the life and writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila.

Book at




Imagination and Creative Vision
Drawing and Painting courses

Three courses (four day workshops each course)
from 10.30am – 4.30pm

Friday Jan 16th, Feb 6th, Feb 27th, Mar 27th

Friday Apr 24th, May 15th, June 5th, July 3rd

(September dates to be confirmed)

Clare Barton-Harvey, Julienne McLean, Judy Barber

   Printable leaflet

Prior Booking for painting courses is required at


Art Exhibition
at the Rose Window Hermitage
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd February 2015

   Printable leaflet




Exploring the Sufi Mystical Tradition in the Contemporary World

Three Day Workshops from 10.30am to 4pm
(25 per workshop) With Sara Sviri

Wednesday 10th June 2015
Polarity and Oneness:
How to Live the Mysterium Coniunctionis?

Friday 12th June 2015
At the Edge of Knowledge:
The Meeting of the Two Seas.

Both workshops at the Rose Window Hermitage.
For Information and Booking, contact

Saturday 13th June 2015
In Pursuit of the Shadow:
Reading Sufi Texts with Jung in Mind.

This workshop at the Association of Jungian Analysts, 7 Eton Avenue, NW3 3EL.
For Information and Booking, phone Sandy on 0207 7948711 or email

   Printable leaflet




Holy Island

Focusing for Contemplatives
workshops at the Hermitage in 2015

In focusing, we learn the art of inner knowing in practical, experiential and supportive ways. We are focusing when we bring both compassion and detachment to inner experience – and learn to tune into the wisdom of intuitive body knowing.

Tuesday January 27th, February 24th
March 24th, June 30th, July 28th,
August 25th, Sept 28th/29th
November 24th

For Information and Booking, contact
Viv at