Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts, and then thou
wilt feel the principle of God... George Fox (founder of the Quakers), 1658.
We offer hermitage retreats in the spirit of Christ Jesus, who himself sought solitude and prayer-time in quiet peaceful places in order to be closer to God without distractions. Our Lord encouraged others to do the same.
Hermitage retreats provide time for finding balance in a hectic world and contemplative space for openness to a deeper awareness of God. The abundant natural surroundings of Quaker Monastery foster intimacy with God so that the soul can find refreshment in Him.
There are several unique, simple and peace-nurturing hermitages at Quaker Monastery available from 6th month through 9th month.
Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third,
a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love. - Julian of Norwich
Some years ago, we were blessed to have unexpectedly acquired a 1966, 24' Airstream Tradewind Land Yacht. It was in exceptionally good condition and so we carefully (and gratefully) stored it, and then prayerfully considered how we could best use it in the Lord's service.
Though we immediately knew that the best use of this Airstream's potential was not to be recreational in nature, it would still be a while longer before we understood how to use it in a spiritual way. Finally, we were led to see the good of repurposing the Airstream by offering its use, complete with second hand fittings, as a unique, upcycled Christian silent retreat hermitage -albeit we had never heard of an Airstream being used this way before!
No longer vulnerable to being disparagingly dubbed a tin-can torpedo, this Airstream now has a recycled purpose as a silver cocoon of sacred space; a humble prayer shelter of spiritually prodigious significance. Is this perhaps the very first Christian spiritual retreat Airstream in existance?
Cleaning was carefully done with environmentally safe, non-toxic products, and everything affixed in the Airstream was preserved in its originality. The simple appointments which we added are all recycled, having been intentionally sought and found second hand, and in some instances even salvaged from being discarded.
Once ready, we named the Airstream "Julian Hermitage", after Julian of Norwich (ca. 8 Nov. 1342 ca. 1416) who was an English Anchoress and Christian Mystic. Julian of Norwich lived a life of prayer and contemplation in a small cell (room).
Her visions were the source of her major work, Revelations of Divine Love, which she wrote in around 1393. It is believed to be the earliest surviving book written in the English language by a
It seemed fitting that the small, simple, unstylish space of this Airstream should be dedicated to the work of the Lord in Julian's name. This is an ideal place for pilgrims to take a break from their busy, complicated lives, and peacefully relax, meditate, journal, read and be alone with the Alone for a day.
We affectionately refer to these retreatants as our "day-hermits", and making a retreat in the spiritual capacity of being a day-hermit is very meaningful, and deeply spiritually encouraging for those who pursue the hermit experience at Quaker Monastery even for a little while. For in fact, there is no offering of self to God that He considers insignificant. Our Father in heaven is waiting for all who seek Him. While seeking the Divine is becoming increasingly difficult in our techno saturated society - God ever faithfully waits for each and every one of us to accept His loving invitation to "Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10.
Julian Hermitage is available for day-retreats only - dawn to dusk. Overnight stays are not available. This is a primitive retreat space for a single retreatant only. It is important that guests use this hermitage gently and considerately in order to kindly preserve it for long future use. After all, Julian Hermitage is almost 50 years old, and who knows how long it may be until we are blessed with another such Airstream to use as a hermitage?
Julian of Norwich lived without conveniences in her cell. Julian Hermitage at Quaker Monastery affords its day-hermits a modern (and therefore much less severe) austere experience of no running water, no electricity, no heat, and no useable bathroom. For novice (first time) day-hermits, the immediate shock of going without that which is generally taken for granted causes some individuals to reflect upon the substandard conditions that vast numbers of people throughout the world face every day, and this becomes a point to ponder and a concern to include in prayer; praying for those in the world who do not have access to water or electricity, convenient (or sanitary) waste disposal, easily acquired inexpensive food, or even shelter.
However, drinking water is provided to each day-hermit in a portable container, and a sawdust compost toilet is available for use; napkins, tissue, toilet paper and cups are provided as well. There is also a bible and a few books of a spiritual nature that may be used, but should not be taken. Though there is no to Wi-fi Internet access, we do generally have cell phone reception, however, a cell phone should be strictly sequestered in the car - what a distraction!
For day-hermits who wish to deepen their experience, an authentic wooden shepherd staff is available to use for walking, and a loose fitting brown cotton robe with a Franciscan style rope belt (cincture) is also available to wear for the day. The comfort of such plain and unrestricted attire can be a real aid to relaxation and prayer.
Cooking is not allowed in Julian Hermitage, but retreatants may bring prepared food and drinks in a cooler or thermos. No smoking, no incense, no pets, no alcohol. In consideration of future guests, please refrain from using cologne or perfume.
Suggested donation: $30 per day. Reservations required in advance.
For the sake of those who may never be able to visit in person, the following photos are offered for a glimpse inside this unique Christian retreat Airstream, fondly known to us, and the day-hermits of Quaker Monastery, as Julian Hermitage.
Julian Hermitage entry door.
Julian Hermitage living room.
Modest dining table perfect for spiritual reading and journaling too.
Resting area and bedroom with a lovingly handmade, gently used Amish style quilt.
Bedroom area and book shelf.
Rear to front view.
Julian Hermitage front to rear view with open curtain.
Drawing inspiration from
guests come to know that solitude is not lonely,
silence is not empty and that
Divine companionship can be realized in stillness.
St. Francis Prayer Shelter
Pictures and information coming soon.
Contact us to schedule a retreat.
More retreat information will be added to this page as time allows.