Soul Space in the City
I'm very grateful for my overnight landing at Jeff's-- for the still, quiet night in the hermitage, and for our fire talk the next afternoon. My heart found a place to settle and to hear itself, and I felt blessed by a host's great care and a guide's gentle soul-tending. –Kineret, California
Jeff provides fire talk counseling sessions in the small backyard cabin he calls the Hermitage. The Hermitage is also available for personal retreats and extended multiday intensive sessions.
Named after the simple one-room residence of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton at the Abbey of Gethsemani, the Hermitage provides simple soul-space, and solitude. At the Hermitage you can get to know your self again, unplugged from television, cell phones, texting, work and family drama. You can take a nap. Write in your journal. Read a book. Watch the birds at the feeders, and observe our honeybee hive humming with activity. You may get to see Chuckles the groundhog eating Jeff's perennials (!), or see our dog Indie chasing Chuckles back into his burrow. Enjoy the bursting blossoms in spring, the shady porch in summer, the blazing maples in fall, or the snowy landscape in winter.
From your lodgings in the Hermitage you can go for an easy walk down the street to Leeper Park, or an extended stroll or bicycle ride (bikes available) for miles along the St. Joseph Riverwalk Trail, or up to the beautiful campuses of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Marys College. You will find simple meals, snacks and bathroom facilities at Jeff and Regina's home. Let nature and quiet work its magic on your life. Rest, restore and return with new vision.
"The Hermitage and Jeff's teachings combine to create a rare experience - one of peace, concentration and discovery. My learnings have stayed long after our session ended. I would highly recommend Jeff to anyone wanting a new glimpse into life's mysteries!" -Avanti, engineer
“You have been a catalyst of daily spiritual practice and I am easily doing the exercises you give me. We recommend your sessions highly to anyone. Thank you! P.s. the hermitage is great and my preferred place to meet!” -Keith, CPA
To set up a shamanic Fire Talk session or a personal retreat in the Hermitage, click Schedule a Fire Talk.
No Plans, Just a Vision
I built the Hermitage in 2010 over a 5-month period using recycled lumber from the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store. The board-and-batten siding is from the boards of an old privacy fence; the porch decking is old 2 x 12 floor joists reclaimed from a demolished bowling alley.
Initially I did not have big plans for the Hermitage. I just wanted some personal space and had a powerful drive to keep working on it until it was finished.
Yes, Regina had her doubts. But once I dug the holes for the foundation posts in August, I didn't stop working until the final door, fashioned out of miscellaneous boards, was installed in December.
At first I thought the Hermitage was just going to be a private getaway. Then I began to understand it could be used for a lot more than that. Oh, I thought, I could do my counseling work out there...
It can get pretty warm out there in the summer, so I bought a ceiling fan and built handmade windows that swing outward from the bottoms for ventilation. In 2016 I added a little window A/C unit. It can get pretty cold out there in the winter, too, so I insulated the stud walls and ceiling (2012), added drywall, insulated the floor (2015), and bought a little propane heater.