The Sacred Art of Conversation: Increasing Awareness of the Sacred Between Us

Every conversation is a potentially sacred conversation.

Diane M. Millis, Conversation—the Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction

Do you yearn to connect more deeply with yourself and others in the midst of our constantly connected lives? This retreat is devoted to enriching everyday interactions. Diane will introduce us to sources of inspiration, guidance, and wisdom from an array of faith traditions, and invite us to practice noticing the sacred within us as we encounter the sacred between us.

The Art of Deep Listening

To “listen” another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another. 

—Douglas Steere, Gleanings: A Random Harvest

In the midst of all the demands and distractions that swirl throughout your daily lives, you may have far less time to listen to that which stirs within your heart. This retreat is designed for all those who are yearning to connect, or reconnect, with the sound of the genuine in themselves and others. During your time together, you will practice approaches for listening deeply within yourself as you listen deeply to one another.

Living Fully, Leading Authentically

What are the qualities needed to live fully and lead authentically in our age? This retreat is designed for leaders in all sectors who aspire to:

  • Engage the deepest part of their being—their true self;
  • Deeply engage others through their curiosity, concern, and generous presence;
  • Build communities of deep engagement that cultivate, support, and encourage the practice of love, care, and compassion.

During your time together, you will explore the guiding precepts for leadership featured in Diane’s book, Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning, and Joy (SkyLight Paths, 2015).

How Our Stories Shape Our Leadership

We understand ourselves in the form of a story, and we perceive events in the form of a narrative. Story is our access to reality. And any situation can be understood through more than one story because no single account can tell everything that happened.
Richard Hester and Kelli Walker-Jones, Know Your Story and Lead with It


  • Explore the story of your journey as a leader;
  • Increase your capacity to tell your story in new ways;
  • Draw upon your personal, and institutional, story as a resource to enhance your leadership.

Join Diane for a retreat devoted to mining the meaning of your calling as  a leader. This retreat is not limited to those who currently occupy formal leadership positions; rather it is designed for all those who feel called to lead. Participants will be introduced to an array of frameworks for telling their stories and learn processes for “hearing to speech” one’s own and others’ stories. This kind of hearing, coined by theologian Nelle Morton, invites you to listen beneath the joys, struggles, accomplishments, and disappointments of your lived experiences as a leader for the new story waiting to emerge.

Coming Alive: One Encounter at a Time

In an age where more and more of us are gazing at our devices rather than at each other, Pope Francis beckons us to reach out and truly encounter one another. “We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full” (Laudato Si 226).

Through poetry, wisdom teachings, and conversations with one another, you will practice looking closely, listening deeply, and lingering intentionally with the dimensions of your daily encounters that most enliven you.  Reflect upon what helps or hinders you from encountering others, and consider ways to increase your capacity to deeply engage and be fully present with more of the persons you meet in your everyday life.

Contact Diane to discuss how to design a workshop or retreat tailored to your community’s needs.