New Day Herald

The Royal Road Retreat:
A Participant’s Experience


“This workshop proceeded exceedingly smooth, like riding a swift Japanese bullet train instead of clackety Amtrak. Any needless nervousness I might have felt was soon gone, swept up in a surge of energy I only had to choose to participate in. It seemed effortless and I sensed a movement within me.”

I participated in the first Royal Road Retreat dedicated to The Path to Mastership from Monday December 10th to Sunday December 17th, 2017. Following is a summary of what I experienced and learned.


The day before the retreat formally begins, I sit on the outside deck of my room at Asilomar Conference Center. The sky is clear and blue and I ask myself, what am I doing to further my Soul’s advancement most positively and what changes can I make to improve my attitude and enjoy life more? This inner reflection allows me to let go of many perceived needs in my life and become present in the here and now.

Years ago I had attended the Living in Grace Retreat here. This new retreat was said to be similar but different and that was enough to make me participate. Arriving a day early, I met one of my three roommates and we spent the day together walking around nearby Carmel, enjoying the fine weather and window shopping. This served as a warmup to the process of becoming more aware of my surroundings, what was going on inside of me, and becoming present.


I wanted practical experience and awareness of my Soul’s nature. The peaceful surroundings made such an intention completely attainable. Not a goal, or a measurable marker with which to judge success, but something greater, something I was unable to articulate. By committing to a process rather than a goal, it became a winning proposition. The official opening of the retreat was not until later that night, but evidentially it had already begun inside of me.

I learned to practice ‘creative listening’ by following a person’s dialogue as it comes instead of trying to anticipate where it’s going and judging it along the way. I remembered to forgive myself for any judgments I made to become free of them, yet habits must be outlasted to be broken.


A chance to practice what I had learned the day before. Besides forgiving my judgments, I remember to forgive myself for forgetting I am divine and that there is more to ‘the show that is me’ than my thoughts and emotions. Good habitual disciplines assist me to maintain my own Path to Mastership, so that when I fall off the road I stay alert and get back on the path. Good discipline means choosing at any one moment where my thoughts are going, what foods I am eating (before I take my first bite) and devoting myself to my path. Discipline will follow devotion and make a nice bed for Happiness to lie in.

This workshop proceeded exceedingly smooth, like riding a swift Japanese bullet train instead of clackety Amtrak. Any needless nervousness I might have felt was soon gone, swept up in a surge of energy I only had to choose to participate in. It seemed effortless and I sensed a movement within me. As I synchronized with the energy around it became easier to have faith in the process and I experienced changing perceptions from within myself. Suddenly an ordinary green cypress tree became so incredibly beautiful that tears of joy sprang to my eyes.


Opportunities to make choices were everywhere. Did I want to focus on what I wanted or did I want to allow myself to become distracted by someone’s voice or appearance? Making conscious choices made me stronger and more confident. The word ‘sacrifice’ is derived from ‘make – holy’ and sacrificing, by turning away from some thoughts and actions, brought me to the more holy or Spiritual aspects I wanted more of. At the same time I realized I had to work to maintain the discipline and devotion I sensed would lead me to more of who I already am. It was easy to fall asleep and succumb to a boring life, a life where I looked to distractions as a way of staying engaged with living life. It was one thing to have faith, but that doesn’t mean much unless I’m performing actions to support my faith.

By now I had already validated certain unseen things in life which are always around but which I’m often unaware. I had to sacrifice the belief that I know it all and stop distracting myself to avoid a greater awareness. Doing so brought me a greater attunement with the Spirit around me. What the hey, I thought, it might even produce something positive of which I’m currently unaware.

I already see myself becoming more attuned with Spirit. How can I claim more awareness for myself? One way I’ve learned is simply by participating in this workshop.


I chose to focus on some health issues I’d been having. I envisioned becoming flooded with bright, white Light and I experienced a sense of comfort that all is just fine. I heard once again to use everything to my advantage. Thinking judgmental thoughts? Use them to either simply watch and ignore them to get past them, or forgive myself for my judgments. I have to outlast the bad habits by doing things which help me remember I am a Spiritual Being worthy of God’s Love and Light. I decided to make being happy a habit.

I also decided to personify my wants, as if they were alive and able to talk to me. By doing so I got a different perspective on my remaining life’s purpose, and came up with concrete things to do to advance that purpose.


Last night I almost felt as if I were on automatic pilot, participating fully in the process of the workshop but without effort other than intending to do my best. I watched myself still churning out opinions and judging, but aware of what I was doing almost as if I was a disinterested observer of myself. One thing different though, I was present and completely at one with myself as I functioned within my old habits. John-Roger once said, “simple awareness is often curative.” The operative word to describe my outlook most of the day was ‘calm’, with any tension or stress melting away.

In the morning I experienced a powerful surge of energy, an indescribable demonstration of Spirit’s influence at Its own timing. All I had to do is be there to experience it.


Yesterday I transitioned from sleep to wakefulness instantly with a new awareness of a relationship which had long caused me anxiety. Throughout the day I wondered what this meant and finally concluded it was only in my mind that a problem existed. False assumptions had plagued me, but with my new awareness I was released from using my assumptions as a distraction in my life.

Was life really just a matter of showing up? I notice a different flow of energy within me now, sometimes demonstrably strong and sometimes only evidenced as a greater awareness sitting behind my eyes as I perceive of the world. It is so obvious that it needs no further proof.

I have learned to accept myself and my world better and to bring more happiness into my life. Two phrases I find helpful in freeing myself from distractions are: “judgments are only assumptions” and “assumptions are only guesses.”


The workshop finished in fine fashion just after Noon. What did I learn?

  1. Stay focused on the present. The stuff circulating around in my mind and body usually only gets in the way.
  2. Trust Spirit. Without judgments my inner knower is more freely operating and increases the chances that truth will come forward.
  3. Trust Myself. The work I do is simply showing up. Yet my intentions count a lot and can unconsciously bring me to where I want/need to be.
  4. Do my Spiritual Exercises regularly. Time spent isn’t as important as dedication and devotion to Spirit, and that is demonstrated by my willingness to engage in S.E.’s.

The Next Royal Road – The Path to Mastership PAT retreat will be held in September of 2018 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain at the beautiful Quinta Da Auga Hotel and Spa. Click Here to Learn More.

1 thought on “The Royal Road Retreat: <br/>A Participant’s Experience”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *