One Participant's Experience at Self Contact Retreat

By Philip Roberts
Published April 22, 2024

The following summary of a participant's experience at our recent March 2024 Self Contact Retreat was shared with us to share with anyone who might be interested in participanting in a future retreat. We publish this here with his permission and a lot of gratitude to him for sharing these reflections with us and anyone else who may benefit. His published name is a pseudonym to protect his confidentiality.

Aloha, I’m back home now from the Earthlings Institute Self Contact Retreat, on an island near Vancouver, held in March 2024. I felt compelled to write about my experience. For any of you considering such a journey – I’ll describe my experience and the retreat’s synergistic elements to help you determine if it may be right you.

Preparation – I was asked to write down detailed thoughts and expectations ahead of the retreat. This forced me to become introspective up about myself and where I’m truly at in life. The preparation meetings held with Sagen and Helena were very informative and I felt comfortable with them immediately. A good “fit” and acceptance criterion was important for them as hosts as well as myself, forcing me to take the utmost care and seriousness into this decision.

Retreat location & environment - Taking my flight to BC, then ferry to the island, forced me to realize I’m truly “getting away from it all”. The property was warm and inviting, serene, ocean front and beautiful. A large estate style home and grounds to explore, be by myself when needed, take a sauna, hot tub or swim in the ocean, just steps to the beach… Wonderful art, lounge areas, ocean views, musical instruments, comfortable rooms, and accommodations. I truly hated to leave…

First evening – Just 5 of us patients or “journeyers” and 4 facilitators all met up and shared openly our intensions with the group. This was challenging for me as I rarely look within, and rarer still - share my innermost challenges. This however was necessary, to explain openly to the group “where” we all were at and “why” we were there. This itself turned out to be quite releasing for me, and brought up many emotions.

Day of medicine sessions – Three sessions, each individually catered to your comfort level with the medicine. I was a bit apprehensive, given my lack of experience, and not knowing how I would respond. Sessions were very emotional, insightful, and a mental (and physical) feeling of “getting rid of” the bad and seeing the love and good both in myself and all that is in this world. The facilitators were calming, attentive to my every need, played soulfully profound music, and literally held me in their arms, making me feel so loved and cared for throughout the experience. Very hard to give proper description how this experience made me feel, and I’ll never forget it. I “saw” how simple life really can be, how love can be my guiding force, and a rock to lean on when life throws me a curveball and/or negativity tries to get the better of me. Also, how important it is to provide and accept care and love to and from all.

Integration Day – We all met up again and described our journeys. Listening to each patient and facilitator helped me to better understand and integrate the experience. Many tools were shared verbally along with take home guide, tips and tools provided to help us on our way to solidify the experience into our new way of living and thinking… rather than slip back into old unserving routines and habits. Each facilitator provided their own wisdom and perspective that resonated with me. I would strongly recommend you take a few days after to relax, meditate, read your integration guide, and take care to ground yourself with your newly acquired understandings, before you plunge back into your busy life routines. This has worked for me.

Meals and music– All curated and crafted by an amazing chef and musician Andrew, providing nutritional, innovative and diverse foods, along with explanations of his preparations… Andrew also made me the most amazing cappuccinos! I could feel his love of cooking and caring for us as well as playing many musical instruments and background selections that all were perfect to relax and explore myself, especially during the medicine sessions.

Is this for you? - Think carefully and contemplate your mental, spiritual and physical status of your life… Are there areas where you feel stuck, alone, struggling to improve, or want to know more about yourself or how best to move forward with more peace and contentment? This was me, and I truly found something special in the Self Contact Retreat that was so needed in my life. This experience is not a recreational one. It is rather intense, challenging, and a bit unraveling… on purpose. I feel however this was required. I know if I truly want significant change, then I need a strong catalyst and then have to do the work. This retreat may be that catalyst for you.

My integration continues for me to this day, reading, reflecting, meditating, breathing exercises, etc… most of these are new to me yet somehow feel so natural and important part of life now, and try to do each day, to keep myself centered and aware and remember what’s most important to me…and how simple life really can be…

In conclusion - the facilitators. All so caring, understanding and truly love what they do. They want to help you… and you will feel it. I am sure to return to another retreat with them on the island someday, or maybe to their Earthlings Institute location in Vancouver. I will never forget my experience and the friends I made as I continue to integrate my new found insights. I rarely write reviews, and was not incentivized to write this one.

Philip Roberts, 54
Environmental Engineer & Investor
Maui Hawaii, April, 2024

Mahalo to “Soulful Sagen”, “Heartful Helena”, “Master Sage Mark” and “Chef & Musical Guru Andrew”