embodying the dream retreat

Women came from all over the world with the shared intention of dreaming together in council. Mornings were magic as we tended to our dream journals in shared silence, while the mottled sky bathed us in diffuse light. And then we danced, grieved, laughed and played with our dreams!


Hear what the dreamers have to say… 

taraIt is here that I learned the power of dream council. This ancient practice is one that our world needs right more of and is a new priority for me. Our time together was a deep, magical,potently simple, and wondrous! I was struck by the ease at which we opened our pores and listen to ourselves and others (human and non) with the whole of our beings. This is the natural way to be in our world – to listen with tenderness and curiosity to ourselves, the environment and one another, to trust what arises, and to embody that which is calling us. Pure simplicity. I didn’t at all expect to be lead in an exploration of one of my life-long questions. As a child I began asking the waking and dream worlds to show me how ecosystems communicate. How do hives, packs, flocks, colonies, and healthy plant, animal, and human communities use their interconnectedness and senses to work for the greater good of their tribes….so that I may do the same? Dreams and synchronicity, the direct language of the soul and that which is connected to a greater tapestry of mystery, is the imaginal language that every human shares. By tapping into this soul-level conversation with a dream council, it is powerfully evident that together we possess an immense capacity of wisdom, creativity, and healing for ourselves, humanity, and this earth that we are not separate from. Alone, how would we know this?– Tara Sims, Woodside, CA

hilaryWe gathered up our dreams and offered them to each other around circles, fires, good food, and song. Finally, I felt myself saying, “Yes” to the wild, hidden places within my nature that were dying to be seen and heard. A voice that longed to emerge spoke, arose in song, and I felt my heart singing. In meeting Toko pa for the first time, I felt a strong divine nurturing presence radiating a fiery compassion. Salt Spring Island is a magical place, even the birds responded, listening to us with longing to get  “In”. – Hilary Harrison, Gloucestor, MA

anyesThank you, dear Toko-pa, for hosting such a graceful, attentive, tender and joyful dream lodge this last week-end on the pristine and glorious island where you presently live. It was well worth traveling from California. Such gatherings nurture the soul and spirit and create strong bonds, in the outer as well as inner space, may we sow more seeds of reunions and inspiring ritual gatherings, the flowers and seeds much needed on an industrious industrial sparse landscape. – Anyes, Nevada City, CA


Dear friend, allow yourself to connect with the beautiful art that is inside you. Welcome your imagination to the table, uninterrupted, and give yourself the gift of being held, supported and nourished while you do so. Initially, I felt vulnerable.  Toko-pa was gifted at welcoming all shadows and dreams and griefs into the space.  She set the stage for a beautiful and safe intimacy. I left feeling so fulfilled, inspired and grateful and it helped me welcome winter in a way I never had. – Karin Beviere, Salt Spring Island, BC

All was so incredibly excellent. The farm had the feeling that it was being put to rest for the winter… which felt conducive to going deeper into dreamwork.  My favourite part was eating breakfast in communal solitude as we woke slowly from our dreams.  Making that part of my oh-so-private life a communal act was very beautiful.  There were a few lines out of Toko-pa’s teachings that stayed with me to this day – about exile and belonging, and accepting the ragged edges of ourselves.  ‘Embodying the Dream’ is a beautiful experience of being held in a community of dreamers; of women who chose to believe that there is something beyond the mere ‘skin of the world.’– Kera Willis, Squamish, BC



This was the most magical dreaming experience of my life.  I will cherish it always, and forever.– Teresa Deck, ON Canada

This was an unprecedented opportunity to enter into a community of women that is creating a new model for how women can interact and support each other, underpinned by a non-judgemental unabashed spirituality. I loved the whole retreat, but especially the fire at night.– Kate Eccles, Toronto, ON

It was like nothing I had experienced prior. I realized that “discovering” is important to me and that with this material and the beautiful ceremonies and guided discussions there is an endlessly beautiful amount to discover and uncover. It is the most healing, exploratory retreat I have gained the most from. It was a time of utter safety that will resonate eternally with any participant.– Stacey Curtis, Toronto, ON




If you’re longing for a deeply connected experience in a group, and if you want to learn more about how to work and play with your unconscious mind, I highly recommend Embodying the Dream. The quality of presence of people in the group was what made the experience so deeply meaningful and safe. It was incredibly relaxing, gorgeous, and wholesome. I felt held in a safe space not only by the group, but by the land, and the people who tend to the land and property there. The meals were incredibly tasty, healthy, and fulfilling. It was very heart opening for me to share my dreams and stories in this dedicated group.I felt safer and safer to share and open up more of myself with each passing day and interaction. I have tons of favorite parts! Walking in nature with Toko-pa and the group off of the farm, dancing, sharing outdoors around a gorgeous fire, all bundled up and witnessing the moon bless us during our sharing. I plan to go again next year. Come with me! – Carolyn Vega, Mountain View, CA

It was an amazing, life changing experience. I was impressed with the depth of sharing, trust, intuition, diverse knowledge, vulnerability, sacredness and also the willingness of group members to share. The farm is breathtakingly beautiful and the food mostly homegrown, nourishing and delicious. This workshop may add an element of depth and breadth to your life, to your deep knowing of who you are and what your creative gifts are. Also, and in the company of supportive women, how to move forward with courage, conviction and in a deeply sacred feminine groundedness in the full expression of your creativity.– Cindy Waites, Salt Spring Island, BC



As soon as I arrived I felt a vital part of something quietly magnificent. This Eden, this sacred space called Stowell Lake Farm is sublime. It is heaven on earth. My room was my haven, quiet and cosy and spotless and all embracing. I slept ” like a chicken “- a little saying in our house that means” really well” ! Heidi and her sous chef are goddesses! I have never tasted food that delicious in my life. You can taste the love. So amazing. For me sharing dreams and stories became easier with time and trust and courage. To share fully one’s self can feel uncomfortable and exposing. The power of the circle supports and heals and opens our hearts. Through connection and belonging we are strong and grounded and able to share. My favourite part was the morning time, waking up early to help get the fire going, being in communion in silence, eating our breakfast and each doing our own rituals, journal writing or choosing cards from the decks or sitting in the sunshine, knowing we would meet at 10:00am and share the weather in our hearts with laughter and tears. I would say, it just might change your life.– Patty Northcott, London, ON

I truly felt belonging, understood, held, and valued. I felt invigorated and playful as we explored the mysteries and hidden gems of our dreams. I felt empowered, wise. So much love and potency and fascination swirled around every gathering. I am extremely grateful and honored that I was able to share my dream with the whole group and discover endless layers of meaning that we were all able to resonate with. Stowell Lake Farm is an enchanting place that matched the surreal and inspiring mood of the retreat. If you are seeking to feel love, inspiration, magic, connection…this is the place. This was the most powerful and healing retreat I have experienced. The ritual, sharing, and love that unfolded during this time has transformed me, I left feeling part of community and more clarity on my life’s purpose. – Becca Baer, Denver, CO


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