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A full life is made up of both big and small initiating experiences that honor the life that has been lived, mark significant thresholds, and open us to new growth. Retreats, ceremonies, and rites of passage are rich opportunities to deeply immerse ourselves in community-supported healing, grieving, reflection, visioning, celebration, growth, and empowerment. Through meaningful ceremony, contemplative silence and dialogue, sustained meditative experiences, and nature-based ritual, participants can restore balance to their personal lives and reaffirm their connection to all of Life. Guided by the work and teachings of Joanna Macy, Thomas Berry, Joseph Cornell, the Ojai Foundation, Malidoma & Sobonfu Some, Steven Foster & Meredith Little, David Abrams, Stephen Jenkinson and Bill Plotkin, I have facilitated ceremonies, nature-based rituals, rites of passage, and contemplative retreats for groups and for individuals of all ages for the past 15 years. Creating the right conditions for authenticity and deeper connection to ourselves, each other, nature, and soul is my greatest passion.

Booking: Contact Jenne


Each of the many retreats I have experienced with Jenne Sluder has opened a path into sacred time and creative space. What gifts make her an incendiary leader? Irrepressible passion for integrative learning, poetic clarity of speech, sensitivity to individual needs, adventurous and grounded connections to nature and the human spirit, commitment to authentic communication, attentiveness to whatever ignites the creative flame in the human soul, an easiness with young people, elders, and every stage in between.
– Beth Keiser, Professor, Guilford College



    ~~~ A Sampling of Past Retreats ~~~

Radical Self-Acceptance Series Hendersonville & Asheville, NC

Day of Mindfulness
Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting & Healing Arts Cottage
Black Mountain, NC & Hendersonville, NC    

MLK Hendo Handbill proto-page-0

True Love: Practices in Compassion for Self & World
Passionist Earth & Spirit Center
Louisville, KY   
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself…
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
-Walt Whitman

The one person who will always be with you for as long as you live is yourself. Who better understands how to be in the world in a way that protects you, nourishes you, opens you and is true for you than yourself? Do you have your own allegiance?

My inner struggles are often as challenging and disheartening as the struggles I witness in the world. There is trauma inflicted by the world around me—some of it I have endorsed, ignored, exploited, and coauthored. It leads me continually to the question—Am I holding my one vessel for experiencing the world Beloved?

Compassion toward oneself generates a loving heart that is authentic and joyful rather than weary and torn by judgment. Restorative practices renew the quality of our presence to the world around us. We become more alive and more available to life.

Saturday, September 10th offers a day of consciously tending to our relationship with ourselves—the foundation of all our relationships. Our mirror for the day will take many forms—the still pond of our minds after restful silence, the raw honesty of our hearts when we look deeply, the supportive presence of one another through gentle witnessing and the soul-stirring reflections of the natural world.

Stillness, Darkness, Formlessness: 
A Contemplative Cave Experience 
Frankford, WV      
If you are not living on the edge you may be taking up too much space. Nothing to do with thrill-seeking, it’s about making the most of every moment, about stretching your boundaries, about being willing to learn constantly, and putting yourself in situations where learning is possible. Jim Whittaker said that in his memoir about climbing Mount Everest. The edge I am inviting you toward takes place in a cave rather than the summit of the world’s highest mountain. It isn’t a scary edge, it isn’t a dangerous edge and it isn’t a physically strenuous edge. It is a creative edge, a nurturing edge, and a soul-stirring edge.

You have been summoned by a cave. The cave ~ located near the town of Frankford, WV ~ welcomes you easily with a wide entrance through which you can walk from the filtered light of the forest into a serene embrace of still darkness. The entrance leads to a gorgeous and long stream passage, a wide passage that varies from 4 feet to 15 feet in height, and is 10 to 20 feet wide. With relatively dry clay banks at its bends, the cave also presents unique rock formations. The cave could easily be a character in a Dickens’ novel, as it calls itself: Higginbothams.

The Holy Dark: A Contemplative Gathering
Common Light Meeting Place
Black Mountain, NC      


Truth Mandala: Grief Ritual
Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting
Black Mountain, NC     
We all experience pain and loss in life – conflict, illness, disappointed dreams, broken relationships, loved ones who die or suffer, even inherited or ancestral pain. It is important to have healthful ways to release that pain and to regularly cleanse ourselves. Otherwise, old pain begins to smother our creativity, our joy, and our ability to connect with others. It begins to impact our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

This is a transformational and soul-invigorating ceremony designed to break through our cultural barriers of grief. There is a need to periodically feel and express grief in order to purge the soul from hurts and pains. The suppression and denial of emotion in general, and grief in particular, has been linked to spiritual drought, emotional confusion and certain illnesses we experience in our lives. To begin to regain a serious and lasting sense of connectedness with ourselves and with spirit, we need to find a proper place to release our grief.