Category Archives: Events

Our Spirit Journeys: The Backstory

Andes mountain scene - a spiritual retreat to Peru in April, 2020Since we announced our 2020 Spring Spirit Journey to Peru, some have asked how our Spirit Journeys fit into the larger context of our work with Constellations and Breathwork.  Here is how it all started. Many years ago when we were heavily focused on breathwork, we offered breathwork in a warm swimming pool here in the Boston area.  And we all discovered that being held in warm water while opening the body and heart is incredibly beautiful and powerful. As we dried off and shared our experiences, the idea of doing breathwork in a warm ocean was raised.

This idea eventually culminated in our first “breathwork training in the sun” in Holbox, Mexico. It was an amazing success.

We named our journey Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces, as it included visits to Mayan sacred sites. At these sites, we did ceremonial work as well as daily breathwork sessions in and out of the water, opening those sacred spaces inside ourselves. Of course, “sacred shopping” was added as another activity by the group as we explored the little island!

Once we had a flavor of how deep our transformation can go when we give ourselves time away from routines and engage the forces of the elements, we were hooked on offering Journeys of the Spirit.

Our subsequent journeys also involved an element such as water (our Dolphin Journey in Bimini) or fire (Desert Wisdom). They often included animals such as the camels in the Sahara or the horses we rode during our trip to the Badlands of North Dakota (“Eagle Medicine”).

Some of our journeys have been Vision Quests. Others have included shamans or healers from the local area. Our shamanic hosts worked alongside IAI facilitators to show us how they access healing and spirit in their own tradition.

I have loved each one of our journeys.

You can watch some of the mini videos we made of previous journeys if you’d like.

Coming Soon ~ Vision Quests In Massachusetts

As we realized what powerful healing comes through Mother Nature and the elements around us, the IAI team began dreaming of offering Vision Quest experiences here in Massachusetts so that more people can afford to journey with us.

That is when Maya and I bought an old farm in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Since then, it has been seven years of clearing land and old houses and re-building the property. And we are almost finished! Our Constellation Barn is close to completion and with luck, it should be operational by the spring!

Still, we have gone many years since offering a Journey of the Spirit, and in the meantime, I have been exploring as I always do before inviting you to join me. It takes a lot of organizing to meet the right people, find the right power places, and decide how to put a group experience together.

Inner Light: A spiritual Retreat to the Andes of Peru

Well, it has come together at last!!

I am delighted to be able to invite you to the sacred valley of Peru and the glorious city of light, Machu Picchu, in April of 2020.

Samvedam on top of Huayna Picchu.

Some amazing shamans of this area have agreed to work with our circle. We will be in ceremony with them throughout our journey. You can also book private sessions with one of them.

When I explored Peru, I had a private session with a local shaman. It was a profound experience that opened new doors for me and helped me close some old ones.

The highlight of my visit there was being in the temple of the moon, which is out of the way on Huayna Picchu. We will go there for a ceremony first thing one morning, when hopefully nobody else is there yet. The views are absolutely breathtaking with Machu Picchu nestled below us in the expansive panorama of the Andes.

Please take a look at the program.  Our guides on the ground are Pierre and Janice, who know the area very well, speak the language, and are both shamans in their own right.

They are fabulous and make all the logistics so easy.

Machu Picchu

If you are up for an adventure and the timing is right for some inner transformation, please join us next April. We have planned for 10 days, as for most of us, this is a trip of a lifetime. The Andes are stunning and there is so much beauty to see.

I look forward to this adventure with the “just right” small group that is called to join us!

Click here for more information.

Samvedam and the IAI team

Planting Flowers for 2019

cartoon showing animals planting flowers hopefully for 2019.
Source unknown.

At the Inner Arts Institute,  we spent 2018 “planting flowers” like the character in this cartoon. Our work expanded with an intensity that felt dizzying at times. What a joy!

In this New Year, I am so grateful for the incredible clients and collaborators who helped us plant seeds of peace and healing in our communities. I want to take a moment to acknowledge those who co-created with us. We can hardly wait to see what blossoms in 2019!

Connecting Family Constellation Work to Cultural Trauma

One of the brightest “flowers” we have been cultivating is deep training in how to help people integrate cultural trauma. First, I completed Part II of Thomas Huebl’s training in Collective Trauma Integration last spring. This profound journey brought personal growth, new friendships, and new tools for Family Constellation work; namely, a greater ability to hold space for the shadows of large-scale traumas such as war, famine, slavery, terrorism, and natural disasters…. and explore how these shadows reside in our culture and in each one of us.

Secondly, Thomas Huebl was also the keynote speaker at the 2018 North American Systemic Constellation conference, where Collective Trauma Integration is starting to be recognized as a natural evolution of Systemic Constellation work.

I had the privilege to introduce him to fellow North American “constellators” there, and also to lead a Collective Trauma Constellation workshop. Other members of the Inner Arts Institute team stepped into leadership roles at the conference, too. Comma Williams and I co-facilitated a Medicine Wheel Constellation, drawing upon the shamanic training that has influenced both of us deeply as practitioners. And Kimberly Clementi-Eadon introduced her work on Constellations with Adolescents.

It was a great joy  to share our work in the North American Constellation Community which has provided so much inspiration over the years. We hope that we planted seeds that will flower in the work of Constellation practitioners far and wide!

Collective Trauma as a Source of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

3 people on stage in a panel discussion
Samvedam, Christiana, and another speaker in panel discussion at ACEs conference in Bermuda.

An unexpected highlight of 2018 came when I was invited to present a talk on Collective Trauma Integration at a large conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Bermuda. Research has shown that ACEs play a huge role in physical and mental health struggles in adulthood. This understandings has inspired new efforts to recognize and address trauma occurring childhood.

In Bermuda, racial issues stemming from colonialism and slavery have brought tremendous pain that continues to impact new generations of Bermudians. My role was to share insight about how children can inherit Collective, or Cultural Traumas that impacted their families… and  to offer a model for healing such an enormous wound. The intensity between white and black people filled the space in our conversations.  Continue reading Planting Flowers for 2019

Collective Trauma Work… Mine and Yours

“I don’t think this has much to do with me.”

I heard this from a number of people at the Celebrate Life Festival, a dynamic annual European consciousness event that was held for the first time in the U.S. this summer.

Racial division, white supremacy, and white privilege were words that we invited into our midst. They dropped into a sea of discomfort that quietly built, even though many of us could not identify with these words…

“It’s not me!”

Continue reading Collective Trauma Work… Mine and Yours

Breathwork as Transformation ~ A Student Perspective

by Helena Greaney, Breathwork Facilitator

“Breathwork classes. Drop-ins Welcome.”

The sign at the Center for Body Oriented Psychotherapy was intriguing. I went to a class. There were about ten people in the large room in the Victorian house in Union Square (Somerville MA), and several of us were new to Breathwork.

Samvedam Randles was our facilitator. In the introduction she told us, “You will lie on the floor with your full attention on your breathing for approximately one hour.”

“You will breathe through your mouth ,” she continued, “ deep into your belly, and then expand the breath up to your chest. You will let go like a sigh. Like this. She demonstrated. “The breath is circular; the inhale goes into the exhale and back again to the inhale. You want to eliminate the pause between the inhale and the exhale. This will intensify the breath.”  Continue reading Breathwork as Transformation ~ A Student Perspective