Welcome World Blog

Gratitude for the Prayer of the Heart Retreat

Added 23/05/2014

Wow! How do we put experiences into words? When we have experienced such openness, sharing of honesty, healing and love with a group of people.

I am going to start with gratitude as at the present moment I am simply filled with gratitude for everyone who joined us in our annual Prayer of the Heart retreat we held in Portugal last week. The incredible willingness everyone offered to dive deeper and deeper into self-honesty, self forgiveness and self love. The wonderful effect of this we discovered together was the honesty, forgiveness and love we touched on for our self also included the exact same for others. I could say how could this be any other way? Yet receiving a direct experience of giving and receiving brings a knowing that moves way beyond words.  So I truly thank all of us who joined together to ask the question “what is a prayer of the heart?”.  I know the ripples of love and healing we all received will simply continue as we all embrace our daily life holding steady with our prayer of the heart.

Part way through the week, Dominique, Louise and I made a medicine talking stick. This was a symbol of our deep commitment to those who had joined us on retreat and ourselves. For anyone who hasn’t heard of a talking stick, it is that simple a talking stick…… when you hold the stick you speak with everyone’s full attention and ears willing to listen. There is no sense of fixing anything, simply being heard in a safe loving space.

We decorated the stick early one morning in amongst the meadows of the retreat centre Gravito with the sun shining in a bright blue sky. The sounds of the river and the birds singing being music to our whole existence, it felt as though I was wrapped in a warm soft blanket of love.

Then there was more! I love the mantra there is always more, always more. We can dive deeper and deeper into love.

We decorated the stick with the plants that make my heart sing with joy and they were growing all around us.

Fox Glove…….. This plant is strong medicine for the heart. How perfect for the Prayer of the Heart retreat!

Most people know this plant is potentially very poisonous. So this is not a plant to wild harvest and use without the knowledge of a herbal practitioner. It isn’t a plant I use in my pharmacy other than in a symbolic way as we choose to use with the talking stick.


Calendula…….. Oh this plant always whispers to me of summer sunshine. You can’t help but smile when you meet this plant. So straight away the immune system is supported. We placed this plant on the medicine talking stick because I believe it assists us to bring things to the surface that are no longer needed. Be that physical effects, emotional effects or beliefs that are no longer of assistance to us. It also soothes and reduces inflammation. Just perfect.


Lavender…… well this plant was shouting from the roof tops, “all is well, simply rest back sweetheart”. Lavender lifts spirits, encourages relaxation and warms and stimulates parts of the physiology of the body enabling harmony to be restored.


Olive leaf………. Most know this tree as a symbol of peace. The trees were growing all amongst us at the retreat centre Gravito. As a herbalist I love to use olive leaf to support the immune system and also for lowering blood pressure. It is just a wonderful plant for supporting us through stressful experiences and gently supports increased energy. This is its signature, “gently” simply in the background supporting, reminding and promoting wellbeing and peace within us.


Sage……… This particular sage was some I had brought back from Maui las[AR1] t year in the form of a sage stick to be burnt. We had been using it to refresh the yurt space, so each session we could begin with a clean slate.  A wonderful herb that is such assistance medicinally from sore throats, night sweats and when needed to stop breast milk flowing.  


Rose………. These beautiful flowers were in abundance. For most roses assist in opening our hearts. The large plant family they belong to include raspberry and hawthorn both of which are amazing herbal medicine. I could list many medicinal uses of roses but not in this post. We used the rose as a loving symbol of the death of the constructs of our old beliefs of who we are and welcoming in to our being the truth of who we are.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing a tiny glimpse of our retreat. We are ready to ponder on dates for next year so keep checking Welcome World’s Facebook page and of course the website www.welcomeworldcafe.com for next year’s dates. We would love you to join us on our next Prayer of the Heart retreat. Lots of love Amanda x


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