Writing course starts April 28, Sydney; May 9-11 Spiritual Retreat, NSW

Dear Universal Heart Network friends


Easter Retreat * The Writers’ Workshop, Sydney, from 28 April * NSW weekend Retreat 9-11 May * Audio talks * YouTubeLink * Kim Cunio at Pitt Street, Easter Sunday

I hope that you are well? Here in Sydney it is raining as I write and my autumn clothes are beginning to look much needed. It seems odd to be preparing for the Retreat at Easter (at Mana Retreat Centre, NZ) so late in the year! However, that’s absolutely centre stage for me now and I’m once more filled with gratitude at this opportunity to think deeply and freshly about the spiritual strengths that can best support us.

That Retreat is now full, I believe. (Please call Mana Retreat Centre if you want to be on a cancellation list or to check for any list-minute places. NZ 07 866 8972. You could also book for the Spring Retreat: 3 or 6 days starting 25 Sept.) Meanwhile, there are still places available for The Writers’ Workshop I’ll be teaching for the prestigious Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin’s offices in Sydney, and also for the May weekend retreat at the Centre for Spiritual Learning in Wilton, NSW.

image04      This photo precedes my own writing career: taken in pre-computer days when I still Managing Director at The Women’s Press in London!

Some of you have enquired rather tentatively about The Writers’ Workshop, starting 28 April, wondering if you are sufficiently experienced or accomplished to join or benefit. The short answer is YES! It’s essential that you are keen to explore what writing can offer you – and what you can give to your writing; that can be achieved at all levels of experience. We will be a small, highly supportive group. We also have the luxury of meeting for seven 3-hour Monday evening sessions plus one whole Saturday, which means there’s plenty of time to develop or regain confidence and the enthusiasm that comes with it. Course outline and how to register: via this LINK.  My article about teaching writing is available via this ARTICLE LINK. If you do register via this Newsletter, I’d love you to let me know that when the course begins.

The annual May weekend retreat at Wilton usually fills immediately. That it hasn’t done so this year is almost certainly because it ends on Sunday 11 May which happens to be Mother’s Day. As a mother myself, I mean no disrespect! So we are planning to finish a little earlier than usual (11am) and those who don’t need to leave at once are of course most welcome to stay on for lunch. In the time available to us, we will certainly achieve a great deal of lightness of heart and peacefulness of mind. If you can easily reach or live in New South Wales, do please take this opportunity for a short retreat in very lovely dedicated retreat surroundings.  Details follow. As do details of retreat talks, and video support.


9-11 May 2014, Spiritual Retreat: Wilton, NSW

From Friday evening until Sunday 11am, we will gather to deepen our awareness of inner peace and outer engagement. The retreat will be offered at the beautiful, peace-filled Brahma Kumaris Centre for Spiritual Learning, 150 Macarthur Drive, Wilton NSW 2571.  Address your enquiries to Phillippa Andrew. Tel: 02 4630 8124. For payment: cheque or money order to: Brahma Kumaris Centre for Spiritual Learning. Please include your name, address plus email details for acknowledgement, and state that it’s for the May 2014 interfaith retreat. For this retreat you cannot book on-line –  only by phone or mail. Please note that as the 11th May is Mother’s Day, we will finish at 11am. If you would anyway like to stay on for lunch, please advise Phillippa when you make your booking. You would be most welcome to do so.


Finally, we have just posted a link to all the retreat talks from the last Peace of Mind Retreat held at Mana in October 2013. For some time I’ve been listening to talks more and more frequently and enjoying this as much as reading. If you also enjoy talks, I hope you will give yourself time to listen. And do of course continue to chase up the video talks on InterfaithinSydney You Tube channel. New video talks include “Taking refuge” and also “Spiritual support in a secular age”. How fortunate we are to be able to use the media like this…and special thanks to Brad Harris of It’s All One Song who films and posts for us as part of his contribution to a more peaceful world.

Not least: a reminder that we will, as always, have our spiritually inclusive service on Sunday 20 April (Pitt Street Uniting Church, 3pm), though because I will be at the Easter Retreat the service will be led by my long-time colleague Dr Kim Cunio. He’s known to many of you as a brilliant musician; he’s also a deep spiritual teacher. (Kim has collaborated with me on many projects including our gorgeous newest CD, Heavenly.) Kim has been our music minister at InterfaithinSydney since 2006.

Finally, just a single sublime line from Hazrat Inayat Khan. I’ll be taking it with me in my coming days.

“By the opening of the eyes you can see things, so by the opening of the heart you can understand things.”
 Hazrat Inayat Khan                           Blessings of peace and love to you all, Stephanie Dowrick