Attuning to Ebb and Flow: An Earth Pilgrimage in the Pacific Northwest

September 21 to 28, 2017

Program registration has closed.  Check back here for potential future runnings of this and other pilgrimages by Shalem.

  • Overview
  • Lodging & Itinerary
  • Leaders
  • Price

NWPilgrimage_Sequim2014-4voa 9A

The Olympic Peninsula in Washington state offers a rare and unique experience of rugged terrain, plentiful life, and ecosystems so rich and diverse that they abundantly sustain body, mind and spirit. Anchored in the Olympic Mountains, this liminal space is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

On this pilgrimage, we’ll walk the Earth, exploring and honoring land, sea and sky. We will learn from First Nation peoples as we tune in to the spectacular beauty and wisdom of the landscape we’ll call home for the week. As we slow our pace, our awareness of the ebb and flow of all of nature heightens, and we become increasingly present to the beckoning of our own interior rhythm. We invite you to dedicate a week and join with others on a similar path as we reclaim and reaffirm our place within the ancient, sacred wisdom of Creation.


Juan de Fuca Cottages, Sequim, WA

The Juan de Fuca Cottages sit on a low-bank, waterfront bluff at the edge of Dungeness Bay with their own private beach. They offer spectacular views of the Dungeness Spit, the New Dungeness Lighthouse, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hurricane Ridge, the Olympic Mountains, and Victoria, B.C., just across the water. Most cottages have full kitchens. Kayak and bike rentals are available and you can reach the lighthouse by either.

Tentative Outline of Itinerary

September 21 to 28, 2017

Thursday “Becoming Pilgrims”
Meet at 2:00 PM in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) and travel by chartered bus with others in our group to the Juan de Fuca Cottages, which will be our home base for seven nights. If you are planning to drive or arrive early to explore on your own, you may prefer to make your own way to the cottages. Plan your schedule to arrive and settle in ahead of our opening circle at 5:00 PM.

Friday, Saturday “Attuning to Ebb and Flow”
Staying on site, we will begin each day with a time of simple presence, followed by a morning seminar and practice. There will be free time after lunch for exploring Dungeness Bay with its abundant wildlife; kayaking; biking through the countryside; or simply resting and reflecting on Earth’s beauty. We will join together in the late afternoon for small group sharing. Friday evening will be on your own to get to know your fellow pilgrims or to enjoy time alone. Saturday evening we will meet to go over our upcoming travel.

Sunday “Lessons of the Elwha: Restoring Ebb and Flow”
Today we will travel into the Olympic National Park, visiting the Overlook of the Glines Canyon Spillway, to enjoy the canyon views where the Elwah River’s blue-green waters flow through the 200-foot-deep Glines Canyon. We’ll follow the Elwha downstream and sit along the bank where the river flows freely. A short walk will take us to the beautiful Madison Falls. At the river’s edge we’ll offer a thanksgiving for all who worked on the largest dam removal and restoration project in US history, setting the river free again and making way for the salmon to return. On the way back to the cottages, we’ll stop in Port Angeles where you will have time for lunch on your own.

Monday “Learning from the Land: Stories from the First Nations”
On this special day, we will visit totems of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, listen to the wisdom of tribal elders, and later, enjoy the music of the children. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a cedar plank salmon dinner. Afterwards, we’ll have the honor of listening to a gifted tribal storyteller enchant us with stories of the tribe. This day is devoted to immersing ourselves in the culture of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and its long First Nations history.

Tuesday “Resting in Beauty”
Nestled in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, Crescent Lake is a deep, glacially-carved lake rich in natural beauty. You will have time to immerse yourself in a walk through an old growth forest as you make your way to Marymere Falls, a 90-foot waterfall. A self-guided nature trail offers a more leisurely forest walk by the lake. Lake Crescent Lodge offers a place to eat overlooking the pristine waters. Upon our return to the cottages, we will move into a time of extended silence.

Wednesday “Listening in Stillness”
The silent retreat continues. In the afternoon, we will break our silence together and enjoy our final dinner together.

Thursday “Taking the Blessing Home”
We will have a morning plenary and final pilgrim circle and will close by 10:45 AM. Our chartered bus will return you to Sea-Tac Airport to complete your journey home.

Margaret Benefiel, Shalem’s executive director, is an experienced pilgrimage and retreat leader. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest at the foot of the Olympic Peninsula and spent many happy hours at the sites this pilgrimage will visit. Margaret has served in various leadership roles in Spiritual Directors International and as co-chair of the Christian Spirituality Group of the American Academy of Religion. She is the author of Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader and co-editor of The Soul of Supervision.

Leah Rampy is an experienced retreat, seminar and pilgrimage leader and Shalem’s former executive director. She is passionate about contemplative ecology and sharing her love for Earth and is thrilled to be leading this pilgrimage again. Leah and her husband live on eight acres in the Shenandoah Valley where they use restorative agriculture and permaculture principles to create their gardens and expand the habitat for pollinators and animals.

Program registration has closed.
$2,550 per person, double occupancy

Cost includes coach travel to and from SeaTac Airport and Juan de Fuca Cottages; seven nights accommodation, double occupancy, at Juan de Fuca Cottages; seven breakfasts, three lunches, seven dinners; entrance to Olympic National Park; coach travel and entrance to all specified pilgrimage sites. * Cost does not include airfare.

Payment Schedule
$500 per person (non-refundable deposit) due to Shalem to reserve your space. Reserving your space is contingent upon receipt of your deposit.
$1,025 per person (interim payment) due July 14, 2017
$1,025 per person (final payment) due August 14, 2017
(Single supplement of $800, if applicable, will be due with final payment.)


Pay deposit online and you will fill outthis formduring checkout, or download and mail the PDF form here. A completed form must be accompanied by your deposit.

If you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made as follows:
Cancellations received on or before July 21, 2017: 50% of monies received minus $500 nonrefundable deposit; no refunds will be made for cancellations received after July 21, 2017. Shalem reserves the right to cancel the pilgrimage for any reason, in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.