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* The Breathing Life of All: Chants, Movement, & Meditations with the Aramaic Jesus

2/21/2023 Update:  We are so very sorry to inform you that The Breathing Life of All retreat with Neil Douglas-Klotz April 14 – 17 in Des Moines, IA has been cancelled. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Eventbrite will provide full refunds for those registered. Please let us know if there is any problem with that process.  Read more details here.  


This retreat will offer an experience of chanting, moving and meditating with the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus (the "Lord's Prayer").  

This is a wonderful doorway into Jesus’ native spirituality and way of meditation, whether or not you have joined in an Aramaic Jesus retreats previously.

This meditative art combines simple chanting with contemplative, body-based awareness, either sitting in silence and/or with gentle circle dance movement in the form of "Dances of Universal Peace." 

It can also be used in an individual retreat process of spiritual renewal, when various words or sayings are combined in particular ways. The leader will also offer some guidance in this area.  Neil will also share insights from his new book Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus.

There are two retreat parts.

  1. The first part is open to all. Begins on Friday night and concludes on Sunday morning. Generous breaks throughout. See detailed schedule below.
  2. The second retreat portion is optional and focused on support for leading the Aramaic as a spiritual practice. Read more below. Scheduled for Monday morning and afternoon. Folks attending Monday should attend the full weekend retreat.

Retreat Schedule

Friday evening, April 14, 2023

  • 7-9 p.m. - Session

Saturday, April 15, 2023

  • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Session with 30 minute tea break in the middle
  • 12:30-3 p.m. - Lunch & Break
  • 3-6 p.m. - Session with 30 minute tea break in the middle
  • 6-7:30 p.m. - Dinner Break
  • 7:30-9 p.m. - Session

Sunday, April 16, 2023

  • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Session with mid-morning tea break. Dancing the whole Aramaic Prayer will happen Sunday morning.
  • 12:30-2 p.m. - End of retreat. Lunch provided
  • Afternoon & evening is free time for those staying for Monday

Monday, April 17, 2023 

  • similar to Saturday's schedule from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Monday Leadership Workshop on the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus

One need not be a Musician or Dance Leader to attend. This day is appropriate for:  

  • Those who want to deepen into the Aramaic Prayer and Teachings as a personal practice
  • Those who want to deepen in the teachings and practices with a small intimate group such as a prayer/meditation/study group
  • Those who want to host a small group with Neil’s Sounds True recordings of The Aramaic Prayer and/or The Beatitudes, or his other books and recordings
  • Those who want to lead an Abwoon Circle through the Prayer with chant and body prayers
  • Those who want to learn to lead the Prayer Dance Cycle

Retreat leader: Since the publication of Neil Douglas-Klotz’s Prayers of the Cosmos in 1990, which Dr. Matthew Fox called the “seeds of a revolution,” chanting and meditating with the words of Jesus in his native Aramaic language has become one of the main contemplative prayer methods in various spiritual communities around the world. 

Using Aramaic (either aloud or silently) offers one a direct connection through vibration, sound and breath to the spirituality of person who used the words, as well as to the indigenous Christianity of the Middle East, which predates the Western creeds and theologies based in “original sin.” In the same way that some Eastern mantra can, it bypasses the overly-busy, conceptual mind and allows prayer to enter deeply into one’s feeling and body.

Registration Information:

This retreat will be in-person. Registration will be limited to 75 people. 

We are using a tiered schedule to prioritize registration for those attending the retreat plus Monday.
  • A link to the Eventbrite registration page will be available on Tuesday, December 27, 2022.  Those interested in attending the Retreat Plus Monday can start to register then.
  • On January 20, 2023, registration will open to all attending just the weekend. 

The registration deadline for dietary restrictions is Tuesday, March 28, 2023.

Scholarships are available. Please email Morgan @ healingpartners.biz for consideration.

Meal Information:  

For the main retreat, two lunches (Saturday & Sunday) and one dinner (Saturday) is provided in registration. 

On Monday, lunch is also provided.

Your information about dietary restrictions, i.e., vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc., will be collected during registration. We will accommodate your needs as best we can.

Lodging Information:

This will not a residential retreat. Lodging is on your own.

A block of rooms is reserved at a nearby hotel and other lodging information is available here.  Please make arrangements at your earliest convenience.

If you would like to be matched for a homestay, please contact Tammy at guildtammy @ gmail.com

Covid Protocols:

For the health and well-being of everyone coming to sing, dance, and pray together, we ask each of us to participate in these group agreements:
  • Practice limited large group experiences the week before the retreat
  • Take a home test before leaving for the retreat and each day of the retreat, attending only when you have a negative result.
  • Don't come if you are not feeling well.
  • We hope most are vaccinated and boosted and request unvaccinated folks to mask. You are encouraged to tend to your personal risk tolerance and sense of safety to the level of your comfort.
  • The retreat space will have windows that can be opened and HVAC filters are changed regularly.
  • Refunds (minus the Eventbrite fees) are available on request.

Volunteer Needs:

As we'll be dancing, listening, and eating in the same space, we need many hands to make light work of the many tasks, large and small.  The registration form will ask if you are willing to provide some volunteer service during the weekend. Here's a short and incomplete list of possibilities: 
  • Moving tables & chairs
  • Cleaning floors & tables
  • Tending the beverage hospitality table
  • Hosting homestays
  • General tasks like end of day tidying and other duties as assigned...
If you have questions for the volunteer coordinator, please contact carmen.lampezeitler @ gmail.com.

Tinyurl:  https://plm.tiny.us/AramaicRetreat2023

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