Sharing the best of our group travels…
Adventures with Mandy in Mayaland
During the fall of 1997 I felt a ‘call’ to travel once again to Mexico to visit ancient Mayan sites. I ‘needed’ to witness the descent of the plumed serpent at Chichen Itza during the March equinox, so I invited everyone on my newsletter list. Amazingly, five hearty adventurers dared to travel with me to Mayaland in hopes of catching sight of the elusive Mandy on one of her many adventures.
Armed with copies of Within the Veil ~ An Adventure in Time and led by a guide who escorted the top anthropologists from Yale University, we set out each day unsure of where we would settle in that night. Please refer to the Reader’s Guide of Writing in Spirit ~ Jeanne’s Story for a full description of one of our adventures.
This remains my favorite group ‘tour’ because all were up for adventure and kept up the pace without too much concern about where we were headed. They were travelers, not tourists. It was a great spiritual adventure that eventually led to many others.
~ Ruth Lee
Traveling in Peru
In Search of ‘The Maya’
In the winter of 2004 I felt the call to travel to Peru, to celebrate the Festival of the Sun (Inti Rayme) in Cuzco and spend two weeks in The Sacred Valley. I also ‘needed’ to see the sun rise and strike the sundial at Machu Pichu on the solstice. Thus began an odyssey of immense depth that was more about people traveling together in harmony than about the spiritual rituals I participated in along the way.
Having found someone who knew all the areas of Peru I wished to see, I set about sketching in the complete itinerary. One way or another we visited many different places during that month beside the Andean tribes. We spent time in the largest cities, flew over the Nazca lines, dugout canoed the Amazon, learned to use blow guns, trekked the ancient Inca trail, and visited many ancient sites.
Obviously, this itinerary was not for the average person! Once again, I invited everyone on my list, but only a few signed up. It turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime, and I doubt anyone has forgotten it. When I met up with our National Geographic guide on Facebook, I asked if he remembered our tour of The Sacred Valley…He said: “How could I forget you and your friends?” How indeed???
Touring Guatemala & Honduras
In Search of ‘The Maya’
March 30 – April 9, 2007
In February 2007, classes on The Maya living and past who dwell in Guatemala and Honduras were initiated to awaken interest in the plight of modern day Maya, as well as explore the world the ancients left behind. The class attracted a diverse group who wished to travel safely, cheaply, and with few surprises. Thus I selected a Caravan Tour that filled the bill—and everyone enjoyed it!
Oh, yes, why did we go the last week of Lent? At the ancient capital of Guatemala, Antiqua, the streets are covered with carpets of flowers and there are daily parades celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a way totally foreign to all traveling with me.
PILGRIMAGE TO THE SHRINES OF FRANCE
Including Lourdes & Ste. Therese’s Home
September 28 – October 9, 2010
This was a very personal journey I felt compelled to make in order to confirm my miraculous healing from deadly Ovarian Cancer treated with aggressive chemotherapy the previous year. I invited only those who had traveled with me in the past and/or attended one of the Spiritual Retreats. Thus the group of women who responded remains very special to me.
We spent four days in Paris, first time for most on the trip, and took in Versailles as well as all the other tourist spots. This trip was arranged by Globus Travel and lived up to its billing. We recommend such a pilgrimage to you as well. There is no way to express the deep emotions that overtook each of us at different times and places, but perhaps a few photos may give you a better idea of our group experience.
Tour of Mexico’s Ancient and Colonial Cities
Early in 2011 I got a ‘call’ to return to Mayaland—and to take along with me seekers after The Truth. Intriguing? Using a pre-packaged trip with our old friends from Caravan Tours, I never took an easier and more relaxing trip to Mexico—and I have been there many times. Although the basic tour did promote the idea that all were seekers after the wisdom of The Maya, everyone had a great time!
Sharing the best of our many retreats…
Early in 2005 I received a call that baffled me at first, but I followed through and began making plans for a weekend retreat at the beach. All was easy until I got to the logistics. I struggled mightily until given a name ~ Sharon Wilson of Coaching From Spirit.com, a long-time client and friend. Without hesitation Sharon joined me and took care of details I could not easily complete. We went on to collaborate on other spiritual retreats as well, but none was as challenging to us as the first one since neither of us had ever hosted such an event.
Catch The Wave 1
Pink Shell Resort, Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, USA
Feedback from the first Catch the Wave retreat…
“My heart, head, and soul is still filled with the beauty of this past weekend spent with all of our friends during the Catch the Wave Retreat. It was a most powerful experience—one that has changed my life and given me renewed energy, as well as insight into how to live well with others. Thank you all for being there and sharing in this exceptional joining of Spirit….Thank you.” ~ Cher
“Just got back from watching the sunrise and it’s after 7:00, where is our wonderful waiter with my breakfast? Oh that’s right I’m on my own now…loved this pampering weekend and am really compelled to write. Thank you for a wonderful weekend. I have no doubt it has changed my life. Until we meet again!” ~ Carol
“Experienced yet another miracle! …I’m hopeful, since I too feel I had a cellular change, that the miracles will continue every day. May you and everyone else from the retreat continue to experience daily miracles! It was great getting to know you better, as well as many others. I continue to think about everyone. Have an awesome day!!!!” ~ Penny
“I’m back from the retreat, and let me tell you, I am a new person!. Not just feeling refreshed and pampered, but feeling different. The experiences I had, the things I learned, the people I met, the power I felt… has shaken something loose. Unbelievable!!” ~ Kathleen
Catch The Wave 2 and 3
(Spiritual Explorer and Spiritual Adventurer Retreats)
Rio Caliente Hot Springs and Nature Resort
Why Rio Caliente? Why not? Check out the rave reviews:
“One quickly discovers at Rio Caliente that the soul and spirit are nurtured along with the physical self.” – Jan Goodwin, NEW AGE JOURNAL
“Rio Caliente is like no other spa I’ve ever seen. The 50-room ranch is actually more like a retreat than a spa, a loose funky place to relax and recharge.” – NEW YORK TIMES
Rio Caliente has since closed but when we ‘lived’ there it was a natural hot springs spa and spiritual retreat center situated about 45 minutes from the Guadalajara, Mexico International Airport. Nestled among the slopes of an ancient, extinct volcano and surrounded by pristine forests, it was the ideal setting for anyone wishing to leave their everyday lives far behind to unwind and relax!
Explore and Expand the Limits of Your Spiritual Life
June 11 – 18, 2006
The Goal of THE SPIRITUAL EXPLORER RETREAT was to build strong, enduring meditative skills that enabled participants to use all their natural intuitive abilities effectively. It was a mind-changing, body-enhancing event that enabled many to live happier and more spiritual lives thereafter.
No other Spiritual retreat awakened such deep emotions and memories of its depth and the fun and knowledge all took home later. You can ask any of the event’s alumna what happened and each would tell you of the amazing personal transformations they witnessed and personally experienced.
Indeed, THE SPIRITUAL EXPLORER RETREAT was the perfect time and place to link up with kindred spirits and build friendships that have endured.
Individualized Spiritual Development
June 18 – 26, 2006
Each participant was assigned an agenda that included daily meetings with other participants but was centered around personal explorations on your own without others around—other than The Scribe. This retreat was not about what you could accomplish as a Spiritual Adventurer, rather how you would dare to live when faced with the life you created in other places and with other people.
Participants were sequestered 5-6 hours each day during the Spiritual Adventurer Retreat, dedicated to private, individual work that coordinated the in-depth spiritual work with what was offered by Rio Caliente’s Spa and Resort.
Catch The Wave 4
The Greystone Inn
November 9 – 11, 2007
Catch the Wave 4 was designed to renew dreams and refresh our spirits. It was a blissful time away from everyday lives—allowing each person time and opportunity to restore balance to their personal and professional lives. Couples and individuals from across America and Europe explored new worlds and escaped their everyday lives. It was a relaxing weekend filled with stimulating activities deep in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
“The Greystone” was the perfect spot for reflection, fun, and stimulating classes. This elegant country inn is nestled on the largest private lake in the mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville. Packed into this luxurious weekend retreat were full country breakfasts, afternoon teas on the sun porch, hors d’oeuvres in the mansion’s library followed by seven-course gourmet dinners..
In addition to the seminars and workshops provided in the executive conference room, The Inn provided a state-of-the-art health fitness center, Sothys Signature Spa, Tom Fazio designed golf center, and a champagne lake cruise aboard “Miss Lucy,” a vintage mahogany motor launch. During one break we hiked high into the mountains.
Catch The Wave 5
Spiritual Immersion Adventure
June 15 – 23, 2008
Catch the Wave 5 turned out to be our last official Catch the Wave retreat and it was a beauty! Not easy in retrospect to take you with us as we experienced life in a developing country that since our visit in 2008 has exploded into one of the world’s most highly recommended places to retire. It was not like that when we arrived in Cotacachi to celebrate the winter/summer solstice. Inti Rayme celebrations among Ecuador’s Andean tribes is subdued compared to what we witnessed in Peru a few years earlier.
The easiest way to return to that retreat is via our itinerary…even though many exciting experiences are not mentioned…They just appeared when the moment was right.
Monday, June 16
Enjoy breakfast at Hotel Quito before touring Quito, Ecuador’s Capitol. Quito is rich in history and culture, but adventure beckons us to move on! After lunch we leave Quito to view the Equator at the Intinan Equator Museum complex, then continue our drive on the Pan American Highway to our final destination, Cotacachi. This will be our home base for the next six days. (B,L,D included)
Tuesday, June 17
After breakfast we join Ruth for a workshop. Lunch is at a local restaurant before we visit Calderon, a town where everything imaginable is made from bread dough—a truly magical art form. You have the option of taking off this afternoon to do your own thing, but you may wish to join our humanitarian efforts to support a local school and its children, please bring with you things that young children love or supplies they can use in the school we visit as a group. After dinner, continue to unwind and relax as Ruth demonstrates visualizing a very different life once you return to your reality. (B,L,D included)
Wednesday, June 18
Today we visit La Mirage Garden Hotel and 5-Star Spa. Surrounded by beautiful flower gardens, humming birds, and peacocks, enjoy a spa treatment on us. Here are some of your choices: Touch of Eternal Youth, Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Body Treatment, Shamanic Purification Treatment, Algae Detoxification Treatment, or Lavender Luxury. All treatments include relaxing in a sunken tub covered with rose petals or special oils—depending upon the massage you choose. After your treatment, rest in a beautiful relaxation room, then use their pool, Eucalyptus steam room, sauna, and rose petal covered Jacuzzi. This delicious experience includes a sumptuous lunch served by indigenous women in local dress. Appetizers are served in individual music boxes! A splendid day you will long remember. After dinner you will meet again with Ruth Lee and discuss the day’s events and share your dreams—and what they mean. (B,L,D, spa treatment included)
Thursday, June 19
This morning we visit the beautiful, picturesque area of Chachimbiro. Bring your bathing suit and relax in healing, thermal waters. There are several pools ranging from very cold to quite hot. After a picnic lunch, we will visit San Antonio de Ibarra, the wood-carving village. We get to watch craftsman work—chiseling and designing their art in wood. Dinner followed by a healing session with Ruth Lee. (B,L,D)
Friday, June 20 (Solstice)
After breakfast we visit Cuicocha Crater Lake, formed by a massive volcanic explosion estimated to have happened 3,000 years ago. As we glide over the lake on our guided boat tour, volcanic gasses bubble to the surface. This lake is held sacred by the indigenous people, thus shamans hold ceremonies on the island in the middle of the lake throughout the year and especially at Solstice. We will lunch at Crater Lake before visiting the village of Peguche. This is the home of the best-known weavers’ workshops in the region, where we will watch them weave. Before returning to our hotel for dinner, we visit the Peguche Waterfalls where cleansing ceremonies are held. (B,L,D)
Saturday, June 21
After breakfast we visit the largest indigenous market in South America, Otavala Market, which is over 400 years old! Enjoy shopping and bargaining for souvenirs with the friendly, smiling locals, followed by lunch in Cotacachi where you have time to explore and shop in the leather village. Visit folks in their little shops as they create beautiful purses, capes, wallets, shoes—all at very reasonable prices. Tonight is our gala farewell party! A lovely evening is planned that wraps up our adventures with fun and surprises. There will be time to pack for departure to Quito tomorrow, so don’t miss the party! (B,L,D)
Sunday, June 22
Depart for Quito right after breakfast for an overnight stay at the Hotel Quito. Traveling a different route, we will stop in Cayambe—famous for bisoches (cookies) and caramel dip. Just outside Quito, we will visit the valley town of Sangolqui, where there is enough time to visit silversmiths and admire/buy Ecuadorian hand-made silver jewelry of high-quality and interesting design, plus a stop at the locally-renowned ice cream parlor on the town square. Their ice cream is made from exotic fruits. Yum! Our friendly driver and delightful translator, Mercedes, will help you check into Hotel Quito and join us for dinner at Hunters, a restaurant near our hotel. (B,L,D)
Monday, June 23
Bon Voyage! We all fly home happy, content, relaxed, and rejuvenated!
Dream Quest 2009
Westward Look Resort and Spa
November 9 – 15, 2007
A hardy group of women joined Ruth Lee, Dream Weaver, for a week of personal development and exploration in a territory and terrain made for dreaming. It was a shamanic adventure created specifically to enhance and develop the ability to dream and recreate our lives. We worked to improve on whatever we had and how to easily escape to serenity. To accomplish this we needed a desert oasis where we could relax, meditate, and enter a state of being we called Dream Quest 2009.
When the 2009 Dream Quest took place, we were coddled and cared for by one of the world’s great resort staffs. Be at peace surrounded by mountains and acres of beautiful grounds.
Each participant had a private suite with its own private outside entrance so you could enter your portal and sleep as deep as you needed to dream and awaken to greet the dawn on your balcony or walk the grounds alone or with friends. We loved our dream caves—at Westward Look Resort in Tucson, Arizona—secluded enough that our individual spiritual journeys were not interrupted by others—until we gathered daily to attend powerful seminars and workshops led by the Dream Weaver.
There were abundant opportunities to mingle with others of like-mind during outside expeditions to the surrounding Sonora Desert and areas surrounding Tucson. This bonding between strangers who became friends enhanced everyone’s personal spiritual adventures and ability to dream.