Grieving Through Mindfulness and Expressive Arts

About This Event

Grieving Through Mindfulness and Expressive Arts

Registration for this retreat is done through Barbara Dametto's website: 

Retreat Description:

Grief is a natural response to loss but often the emotional upheaval can leave an individual feeling lost, depleted and mentally exhausted. Understanding loss and learning how to navigate the unchartered waters of grief can be overwhelming especially if it is done in isolation. Practices such as meditation, yoga and creative/artistic expression grieving can help those that have had a loss to handle the grief journey more effectively. Learning how to tap into one’s own inner resources through meditation and expressive arts while grieving can empower individuals to manage their emotions and channel them into meaningful works of art. This process can encourage individuals to rediscover peace, resilience, joy and confidence in their lives. 

This retreat is dedicated to supporting the bereaved and will help to equip participants with the tools to calm and strengthen the mind, reduce suffering, connect with creativity and cope with intense emotions. It is for people who are experiencing the pain of grief due to the loss of a loved one as well as other types of personal loss (job, relationship, divorce). Our time together will encourage the learning and practising of experiential techniques for understanding the nature and impact of grief and discovering new ways to practice self-care throughout the grieving process. 

Some of the tools we will share with participants include breathing techniques, stress relieving yoga poses and sequences, conscious dance, expressive arts, journaling and simple ceremonial rituals to honour ourselves and our loved ones. All the while, we will be in communication with each other and the beautiful natural forest and lake landscape of Gaia Retreat Centre. We will have ample free time to rest, connect with nature, eat delicious meals and share in a safe environment that fosters community and trust with other participants.


Margaret Lorrie Beaton

Margaret believes in the power of the arts in healing. Her work is dedicated to emotional recovery, safe self-expression and expressive arts. She invites and guides participants of all ages to delve into their inner world through different artistic modalities (painting, collage, poetry,  movement and mask).

Margaret holds a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology, is trained in Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy (C.Hyp™ practitioner), is an Expressive Arts Practitioner and a practising Visual Artist. Margaret was a faculty member for Fleming College (contact info blocked)) within the Expressive Arts Graduate Certificate Program, where she trained professionals from various fields (including doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, teachers and those working in palliative care) to integrate the arts into their own work.

Much of Margaret’s work focuses on grief, loss, personal growth and transformation. She uses expressive arts to empower children and their families to express and process the emotions that are attached to grieving. She offers individual grief counselling, as well as facilitates bereavement programs and expressive arts workshops for groups. Currently, Margaret lives in Ottawa and balances her time between her private practice, working with those in palliative care, and supporting families after a loss through bereavement counselling.

Barbara Dametto

Barbara Dametto is the founder and director of Breathe True Yoga located in Guelph, Ontario. She is a hatha yoga instructor, expressive arts practitioner, conscious dance facilitator, sound healer and visual and performing artist. She received her chakra yoga 500 hour teacher training in Thailand at the Pyramid Yoga Center in 2016 and 2008, her sound healers training from Jonathan Goldman in Colorado in 2009, her Soul Motion conscious dance training with Vin Martie in Toronto in 2005 and her journey dance training with Tony Bergins in Sante Fe, New Mexico in 2013. Barbara has attended numerous long-term retreats at the Ontario Vipassana Center, the Dharma Center of Canada, the Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York and Nilambe Meditation Centre in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Barbara holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Fine Arts Education from York University, an Honors Bachelor of Art (Dance/Drama) from the University of Waterloo and a College Certificate in Expressive Arts from Fleming College. She has worked for the Ontario School Board for over 25 years as an artist in education and school teacher, as well as Voluntary Services Overseas where she taught theatre for social change in Sri Lanka in 1997-98.

 Barbara presently works as a yoga teacher, journey dance facilitator, sound healer, expressive arts practitioner, visual and performance artist and occasional teacher. Her creativity, love of learning and eclectic background all contribute to her unique approach to facilitating and self-expression.

Our experience using the Gaia Wellness Retreat as our venue was IMPECCABLE, to say the least. The environment itself is literally magical. The energy in the air is palpable. You'd think you've found the garden of Eden! The service is beyond expectation - when I have about 100 things to take care of as a host, I don't want to have to worry about 100 other things - they make the food, keep the place tidy, have incense and diffusers going at all times, have firewood, and so much more. All to say, this is a place to be. Go for a day or a week, you'll feel re-energized and ready to take on the world! Just spent the weekend at this beautiful property on such a Majestic lake. The scenery blew me away. The yoga studio & all the props were perfect! So many little touches that make you want to breathe it all in & never leave. Thank you, John, for inspiring us with flavourful dishes that were also good for us. Every meal was a delicious delight to enjoy. Thank you to Robert for creating such a lovely home & cozy cabins for us to enjoy the quiet & beauty of the nature around us. Can’t wait to be able to stop in again as I’m sure it is lovely all year round! I had the pleasure of staying here last weekend and it was wonderful. The private cabins are sung and cozy and one is designated pet-friendly so I could bring my dog. The main lodge has a sauna, beautiful washroom/shower room, a peaceful yoga room and a large upstairs quiet area with a wood stove, tea station and a gorgeous view of the lake. I highly recommend spending some self-care time here. John and Billie are gracious and caring hosts who love what they do. What a relaxing weekend! This retreat centre has everything for a memorable experience being tucked into nature, close to the lake with kayaks and walking paths close by to enjoy. The morning yoga classes were amazing! The healthy food is delicious, hosts are welcoming, sauna with essential oils and the beds are super comfortable. Feeling super refreshed. Can't wait to go back.

Event Highlights

  • Understand the impact of loss and the impact that grief has on our mental, emotional and physical selves (and those around us).
  • Develop a plan and learn strategies for sustainable self-care and a daily mindful practice that empowers individuals to tap into their inner resilience and wisdom for the process of rebuilding their lives.
  • Engage in a complimentary private counselling session with Margaret Lorrie Beaton if you are in need of extra support.
  • Learn how to access your emotional world as the bases for your creativity. Your deepest wounds can become your greatest expressive and artistic assets. Some forms of art that we will practice may include spontaneous painting, collage, poetry, writing activities (dialoguing with loved ones, inner child, with objects from nature), mini sculptures, expressive movement, personal prayer flags and or soul cards.
  • Connect to higher states of personal wisdom and consciousness through meditation, yoga, silence, stillness, active listening and communing with nature.


Morning Yoga and Meditation
Workshop Activities with Barbara and Margaret- Lorrie
Free Time
Workshop Activites with Barbara and Margaret- Lorrie
Evening activities with Barbara and Margaret- Lorrie

Venue Highlights

Retreats can be transformative and life-changing - a chance to reconnect with who we really are and surrender our old ideas of who we thought we were. Taking time to journey within can lead to awakening a deeper awareness and can inspire an inner journey of self-discovery and self-realization - a deep spiritual renewal that rejuvenates your spirit.

At Gaia Wellness Retreat we can accommodate up to 24 guests in shared accommodations. More space is available if guests are sharing a bed or if guests would like to camp outdoors or in the yoga space overnight. We have 4 beautiful winterized cabins each with their own screened porch. Cozy and quiet, you are sure to get a good night’s sleep!

Our 780 square foot yoga space is perfect for workshops, teacher training, group retreats, and private yoga sessions. This space can accommodate up to 20 students and 1-2 teachers comfortably. It comes fully equipped with mats, blocks, blankets and meditation cushions.

What to Bring:

At Gaia Wellness Retreat our aim is to offer a comfortable retreat experience. Each cabin is fully outfitted with linens, cozy blankets, plush towels and luxurious pillows to enhance your stay. However, you may want to include a few comforts and necessities from home to make the most of your stay at Gaia Wellness Retreat.

Recommending Packing List:

Hiking boots to explore the numerous trails and forests
A bathing suit for the lake and sauna
Natural mosquito repellant & sunscreen
Personal care items & toiletries (bio-degradable preferred)
Warm clothes for breezy nights around the campfire
A good book you’ve been longing to read
Warm socks or slippers
A flashlight
Veggie snacks
In winter bring outdoor wear, skates, a toboggan, and plenty of layers to keep you warm
If you are on a restricted diet. Our kitchen is plant-based, vegetarian. We do not permit meat in the Main Lodge or Cabins & Camping area.
Essential Retreat Items

Flip flops/sandals
Sun hat, sun cream, sunglasses
Beach towel(s) – we provide room towels
Snow Gear in winter
Comfortable yoga clothes
Practical clothing for the season
Some long sleeves for cool evenings/beach
Camera (if you would like to take photos)
A reusable water bottle/coffee mug


At Gaia Wellness Retreat we strive to offer all of our guests a serene and calming escape from the busyness of life and an opportunity to connect with nature and themselves. Our B&B is open year-round so that guests are able to enjoy all there is to offer in nature during the different seasons.

Each of our cabins is nestled in among the trees for added privacy and is fully outfitted with linens, cozy blankets, plush towels and luxurious pillows to enhance your stay. Our clean and environmentally friendly Honeypot Outhouses are easily accessible to each cabin and guests have 24-hour access to the indoor change rooms with beautifully tiled, floor-to-ceiling showers. While staying with us guests also have 24-hour access to the Main Lodge which features a geothermal radiant floor heating system for added comfort and energy efficiency, a professionally equipped, open concept, vegetarian kitchen, rustic dining room that seats 20 and our wrap around screened porch that offers an exceptional view of the property and the lake.


  • Free Wifi
  • Spa
  • Sauna
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Yoga Studio

Menu Types

  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free


At GWR we are a plant-based, lacto-ovo vegetarian facility that believes in fresh, whole foods that are locally sourced when possible. Beyond eating well for ourselves, our vegetarian facility supports animals and the environment. We are fortunate to live in an area with many local organic farmers and are proud that we grow our own organic veggies as well. We’re are happy to accommodate your dietary needs such as vegan, raw vegan, gluten-free, or nut free. Please let us know of any allergies ahead of time.

We actively support and participate in the culinary beliefs of vegan, organic, locally sourced, high quality produce that is then transformed into an inspiring, energizing, nourishing dining experience. In addition to our own organic garden, we benefit from access to local farms - Juniper Farm, Ferme et Forêt, Ferme Roots and Shoots


209 Chemin Usher, La Peche QC Canada

Tags: bereavement expressive arts meditation sound healing yoga

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

My inspiration is a desire to gain a deeper connection to and understanding of myself, something that I've been working hard on for so long and will continue to do in the future. I view a retreat as a wonderful way to focus entirely on this without the distractions of every day life! Nicola

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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