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Center for Action and Contemplation
James Finley hosts a Virtual Retreat presented by the Center for Action and Contemplation 

Turning to the Mystics Virtual Retreat

Explore live contemplative teachings and practices with James Finley in this 4-day immersive virtual retreat, Dec. 8-11, 2022.

In an age of instant responses, we can all benefit from learning to consciously integrate depth and dimension into our lives. How different would your life be if you moved through each moment with deeper awareness?  

In that spirit, we invite you to the Turning to the Mystics Virtual Retreat, a new interactive journey into contemplative wisdom with James Finley, Ph.D., CAC faculty member and host of Turning to the Mystics podcast. Over the course of four days, journey with spiritual seekers online and discover ways to integrate mystical wisdom and contemplative practices into your daily life. Live sessions will be recorded so event participants can access replay videos

Turning to the Mystics Virtual Retreat
Thursday, Dec. 8 – Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022
Featuring James Finley
Presented by the Center for Action and Contemplation

Registration is closed.

“The monastery without walls is a gathering place for people searching for something more—a place to receive trustworthy guidance in this search for fulfillment.”

— James Finley 

Event Information

Building on the themes of the Turning to the Mystics podcast, James Finley leans into his journey as a Trappist monk, clinical psychologist, and retreat leader to help participants: 

  • Personalize key contemplative teachings to suit the rhythm of their own lives.  
  • Create a sacred experience in the comfort of their own homes. 
  • Feel more confident integrating mystical wisdom and contemplative practices into their daily routines and rituals. 
  • Co-create a contemplative community—a monastery without walls—with fellow seekers, wounded healers, and everyday mystics.  

Whether you have an established contemplative practice or beginning your journey, the virtual retreat will help deepen awareness and connection through discourse, reflection, and moments of shared silence. 

Retreat Schedule

Day 1: Thursday December 8, 2:30pm – 5pm PST (5:30pm – 8pm EST, 10:30pm – 1am GMT) 
Day 2: Friday December 9, 9am – 5pm PST (12pm – 8pm EST, 5pm – 1am GMT) 
Day 3: Saturday December 10, 9am – 5pm (12pm – 8pm EST, 5pm – 1am GMT) 
Day 4: Sunday December 11, 9am – 12pm (12pm – 3pm EST, 5pm – 8pm GMT) 

Participants will receive a detailed agenda and online access info closer to the start of the retreat.  

Session Details

Each day will include opportunities to deepen your contemplative way of being through sessions and activities intentionally designed to deepen your contemplative way of being.

Teachings from James Finley

Experience the wisdom of an elder and teacher who studied directly under Thomas Merton. Wisdom is caught as much as taught when we are open, and Jim will help us deepen our understanding and experience of what life looks like through awakened eyes.

Contemplative Practices

Be “drawn into more interior, meditative ways of experiencing God’s presence.” Experience the love, compassion, and generosity of yourself in God—and offer that to the world—through detailed prompts and guidance.

Reflection and Journaling

Throughout the retreat you will be invited to explore prompts for reflection and journaling. At the end of the retreat, you will have time to reflect on what was learned and discern what to intentionally carry forward.

Question and Response

James Finley will participate in question and response sessions after each talk. We encourage participants to offer questions that benefit the group and Jim will answer as many as time allows.

Breakout Groups

Join a growing community of people walking the contemplative path together, with the mystics as guides. There will be an opportunity at the beginning and end of the retreat to connect with others and experience community.

Options for Practicing Silence

You will be encouraged to practice patterns of silence throughout the retreat, according to your own circumstances. This is a way of deepening our interior silence—the place the mystics teach union with God occurs.


The cost for the retreat is $497. While this price accurately reflects the costs of producing and hosting the retreat, we believe that finances should not be a barrier to participation. That is why we have made two additional price levels available at $378 and $289.  

These additional levels have been subsidized with scholarship money donated by generous members of our community who believe in making the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative tradition available to more people. We encourage you to select the price you are most able to afford. 

Join us on a journey to co-create a monastery without walls—a place where the healing of our own hearts can activate the healing of the world. If you have any questions, click here to contact our Community Engagement team.