Mercy Center


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The Gifts of Self-Compassion
with Francis Weller
May 11-13, 2018

Begins Friday May 11, 2018 at 3:30pm
Ends Sunday May 13, 2018 after lunch

Registration for this retreat is now closed.
Call 650-340-7474 to go on the waiting list.

"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."

At the heart of every spiritual tradition we find teachings of compassion. Through the gate of compassion, we enter the wider conversation with all life. Compassion binds us with all things through the shared encounter with suffering. But what of self-compassion? Too often our caring is reserved for those outside of ourselves, as though we haven't earned the right for kindness.

This weekend we will focus on slowing down and cultivating inner and outer practices that foster self-compassion. By working with the edges of our judgments and the rejected pieces of our interior life—the "outcast brothers and sisters"—we will recover the vitality that is ours when we touch our suffering with mercy and forgiveness. Utilizing the potent practices of community ritual, singing, poetry, writing, honest words, and silence, we will work the ground of self-compassion, opening the aperture of our hearts to engage the whole of our existence.



Francis Weller, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer and soul activist. Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief and The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation, (with Rashani Réa) he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people.

He founded and directs WisdomBridge, an organization that offers educational programs that seek to integrate the wisdom from indigenous cultures with the insights and knowledge gathered from western poetic, psychological and spiritual traditions.

He has taught at Sonoma State University and the Sophia Center in Oakland, and has been the featured teacher at the Minnesota Men's Conference.

He is currently completing his third book, A Trail on the Ground: A Timely Guide for Soul Activists.



This gathering will include:

  •  Writing practice to assist in opening our stories of suffering
  •  Working with the "Second Gate of Grief"
  •  Meditation practices to foster our capacity for self-compassion
  •  Awareness of obstacles to self-compassion such as shame and self-contempt
  •  A beautiful communal "Reclaiming Ritual"
  •  Small group work to deepen our process
  •  The poetic imagination to encourage our entry into the well of healing


Print Read and print Mercy Center orientation



Registration for this retreat is now closed. Call (650) 340-7474 to go on the waiting list.



Please read our cancellation and refund policy.