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"Play's intrinsic qualities are the qualities one reaches for as an artist. This retreat has been a wonderful platform from which to reach.

I am slow to think, realize, evaluate. I will know better the answer to this question after a bit of time and reflection have passed. I imagine that scenes from this retreat will come back and visit my mind for a long time to come.

I needed lots of time and space for reflection and lying fallow at this retreat. I deeply appreciate the lack of pressure, the way in which we could choose how to participate and interest with each activity. One of the most vital aspects for me was the stimulation of our conversation, in pairs, trios, or large group. And getting to see the spark of creativity ignited in people as they tried something new was wonderful indeed."

— Melbourne Beach Retreat 2009 Participant

"As I read this principle, I am struck by the words "revitalizing the human spirit" and the words take me to the beach and into the sea. That is the effect upon me of being next to the sea, walking on the shore, being in the waves. A meditative state overtakes me and I feel — I actually, spontaneously feel, not try to feel — a unity with the universe. I feel the sacredness of each grain of sand, each dazzle of sunlight on the water, each tiny shore bird, each shell fragment; I feel the sacredness of me. That overarching unity revitalizes me, brings me peace and clarity. Creative play is a dominant force in my life. To bring creative play to the beach is to expand my soul and my capacity to hold joy and I am so grateful for this. "

— Melbourne Beach Retreat 2009 Participant

"Play spaces are more than 'safe.' They are holy. At best, they are spaces that evoke holy energies and sustain them.

The ocean setting here awakens us to our creative energies and breathes sustenance into our spirits.

We all have holy places that we go to or work in. Sometimes we make them for ourselves — other times we just pay a visit for inspiration.

So, the environment in which we work with others to engage them in play is very important."

— Melbourne Beach Retreat 2009 Participant

The Discovery Retreat is an open studio art experience. Beginning with self active play the door is open to art making and following the creative flow. The less formal structure of these retreats allows more freedom, time and space to discover new interests, new possibilities, engaging deeper feelings and awareness within a supportive, creative community.