Southern Vancouver Island Events

17 Mar -
22 Mar
Opening To the Eye of the Heart - An Exploration of the Gospel of Thomas with Matthew Wright Cowichan Lake Research Station, Mesachie Lake BC

Inspired by the success of the weekend retreat Matthew Wright led for The Contemplative Society in 2015, he is returning to share his heart-centred wisdom over the course of five days. Together, we will explore the Gospel of Thomas, the 2000-year-old non-canonical text that features short sayings of Jesus (similar to kōans) which are often used today in the practice of lectio divina. Matthew will lead us through the ways in which Thomas can help reorient Christianity for a global, inter-spiritual age. Want to get to know Matthew better? Check out his latest blog post or his audio teaching!


Cost: $675  CAD (shared) or $850 CAD (private – VERY limited availability). A limited number of partial scholarships will be made available. Register now!

Fees include overnight accommodations and buffet-style meals of vegetarian and some diet-restricted options, with two fish dishes during the week. All taxes included in fees. Opportunities to car-pool will be made available. Thanks to the generosity of our membership and supporting organisations, we also have a limited number of scholarships available


While this historic forestry camp facility offers simple, rustic charm in a lakeside, woodsy setting, it was specifically built for a team of men with few private rooms. Some shared accommodations are open-concept with no doors. Also, there are no private washrooms in the sleeping quarters and only about 10 shared washrooms and showers and, therefore, people may find they have to wait or be flexible in timing their use of these. Access to WiFi is limited (though available), but there is cell phone reception throughout the grounds (though we ask you to limit your use). As we held successful and rich Wisdom Schools on this site in 2014 and 2016, we are confident that participants will reap many rewards at this location, especially if they come with the intention of bringing an open attitude, a sense of humour, and goodwill. Whatever challenges present themselves, Cynthia Bourgeault often reminds us these are precisely the conditions for experiencing the full benefit of a retreat. Visit their website for more information.

Although silence and meditation are components of this retreat, it is not in full silence. The schedule will include teaching sessions, time for group sharing, question and answer sessions, as well as free unstructured time and possibly some conscious work (like washing windows or light weeding). Typically, silence will be practiced from the final sit in the evening through to the next morning session after breakfast. We may incorporate silence into more meals.

There are many travel routes to this destination, so we strongly encourage you to do your trip-planning research in advance of registering. Google Maps is a great place to start. Please note that BC’s Ministry of Transportation requires that appropriate winter tires be used on all vehicles traveling here during this time. We are offering to arrange ridesharing, though we cannot guarantee this option for anyone. For more information, please contact

Given all the above, we ask you to carefully consider if this event is suitable to you prior to registering. Ready? Register now! If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please do so immediately before or after your registration.

For enquiries or questions please contact or phone 250-381-9650.

23 Mar -
23 Mar
Opening to the Eye of the Heart: Christianity and Unitive Wisdom - An Evening with Matthew Wright St. George’s Anglican Church, Victoria BC

Sponsored by The Contemplative Society, join the Rev. Matthew Wright for an evening in the beautiful Sanctuary at St. George’s. We will explore the unitive and contemplative wisdom at the heart of the teachings of Jesus, and together we will look at the ways Christianity has lost sight of its own contemplative heritage and how it is being recovered today. Close attention will be given to the recovery of early Christian Wisdom literature, particularly the Gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene. Everyone is welcome!


Cost: By donation.

For more information, please contact The Contemplative Society at or 250-381-9650.

03 Apr -
08 Apr
Spirituality Beyond Borders: Education for Transformation Bethlehem Centre, Nanaimo BC

The Bethlehem Center, in partnership with The Contemplative Society, invites you to join them for an immersive, dynamic, and interactive educational opportunity. Combining gathered community, popular presenters, embodied spiritual practices, and contemplative space, this two-part retreat will help you make a difference in your daily life and your global community. See (and share!) the brochure for more details.

Part 1: The Conference (April 3 – April 6, 2017)
Facilitators include Andrew Twiddy, Pearl Gervais, Remi de Roo, Selinde Krayenoff, Joanne Sales, Mark Desvaux, and Ron Klusmeir.

Part 2: Trinity: The Soul of Creation webcast-in-community (April 6 – April 8, 2017)
All presentations and sessions of the Center for Action and Contemplation Annual Conference featuring Cynthia Bourgeault, Richard Rohr, and William Paul Young.


Cost: $170 to $1150 (early-bird rates!)

For full program details and to register, please visit or call 250-754-3254.

12 Jun -
17 Jun
Peer-led silent retreat Cowichan Lake Research Station Conference Centre, Mesachie Lake BC

The Contemplative Society joins the local Living Presence group in inviting you to take part in an entirely self-led silent retreat. While most of the retreat will be in silence, participants will decide the structure of sits, Lectio Divina, and supportive debriefing to help bolster each other’s practice.


Cost: $525 CAD (including $75 non-refundable deposit)
Pre-requisite: as there is no professional leader, a minimum meditation practice of two years is recommended

Registration will open to Members on March 6 at 10:00 am (an email will be sent out to Members). Space is limited! To become a member and increase your chance of attending, please visit our Support Us page. Questions can be directed to Ian Brown at 250-727-2480 or

27 Aug -
01 Sep
Celtic Spirituality with Fr. Michael Fish Bethlehem Centre, Nanaimo BC


West Coast Ecumenical Retreats is pleased to invite you to a retreat with Fr. Michael Fish, OSB, CAM, held at the Bethlehem Centre. Together, you will explore the relevance of Christian Celtic spirituality in today’s world, specifically its respect for nature, awareness of everyday mystery, and cosmic harmony seen through the sacredness of the seasons. Rest in the liminal spaces of the imaginal world through myth, prayer, poetry, and plenty of opportunities for silence.

Fr. Michael’s retreat continues a long tradition of silent retreats with speakers from the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, CA, most notably the late Fr. Bruno Barnhart.


Cost: $475 to $750 

For more information and to register, please visit Bethlehem Centre’s website.

Please check back as this event calendar is updated regularly