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Hannelore – Windows to the Soul
Burnaby, BC, Canada, V5A 1K1

Phone: 604-926-4988

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Retreat Journal

Retreat Journal

Segments of a journal from a previous Retreat …
by Hannelore

The following journal will give you a great overview of what to expect and a sample of the activities during the retreat. My first experience with the Dolphins was in 1999 and our first retreat was in 2003. Over the years we include more variety, speakers, entertainers and new activities.  Many participants have returned two, three and some even up to eight times!

Journal …

I always arrive at least a week early to make all the last minute preparations before the start of the retreat.  This is also a sacred time for me, as it is exciting to re-connect with my Dolphin friends.


On my first morning swim,a small group of 5 dolphins swam directly in front of me with a lovely greeting.  It seemed like they were going to swim right into me (almost like playing chicken).  At the last minute they separated, still swimming very close, circled and surrounded me.  All I could do was to place my hands over my heart and receive their love, embrace their energy and send back my love for them.   We were looking deep into each others eyes and I felt their energy welcoming me back.

They then placed themselves in an upright position in a small circle around me, and just “hung” about for a few moments.  As quickly as they arrived they swam back out to sea, one of them leaping in the air, as if to say – “Welcome back, we look forward to playing with your group.”


The Dolphin retreat is my favorite time of the year.  I feel so very blessed to be able to offer the retreat in such a spectacular house. Its’ uniqueness is that it is right on the bay the dolphins frequent and where the whales and dolphins birth their babies.

‘Aka’, a powerful and beautiful Hawaiian woman, shared with us how the year before, just a few feet from the house, a whale birthed her calf  unusually close to shore.  We often hear the Whales at night.

Each morning we awaken early for a sunrise meditation to bring us into the energy of the dolphins and prepare us to connect as a pod in a unified group. It is of extreme importance to respect their space!  Everyone is given extensive briefing of how to behave in the water, recognize when they are in sleep mode and learn about Dolphin etiquette.

From our balcony we can see the dolphins entering the bay.  The whales have been especially active.   On one of my swims I found myself within approximately 30 feet from a mother and its baby!  What an amazing thrill.  A friend of mine shared, “When you swim with the Dolphins, it is like you are swimming with the angels. When you are blessed to swim near the Whales, it is like you are in the presence of God.”




The snorkeling here is amazing.

When we don’t have the dolphins to swim with …

the turtles delight us with their gracefulness in the water and occasionally bask on the beach in the sun.





We had a spectacular day for our private boat trip.

We connected with a large pod of dolphins and were blessed to have several whales swim very close to our boat.

When we were in the water, it was exciting to have the experience of  clearly hearing the Whale song and even felt the vibration of their song permeate our bodies.

Once back on the boat, we enjoyed playing our Djembe drums, the didgeridoos, grooving to the music, lots of laughter and an all-around magnificent day!


We spend our mornings with the dolphins, and our afternoons are filled with adventure and ‘play time’. Such as the afternoon when ‘Dolphin Dave’ teaches us to make and play our own didgeridoos. The didgeridoo is an aboriginal “dream-time” wooden instrument traditionally played to call the whales. When we are out on the boat, we notice the Dolphins respond to the music as well.

David is a master at his craft and it is a treat to hear him play the Didgeridoo for us. We then make our best attempt to have a good try at making ours sound remotely like his, only to have a crescendo of what sounds like sick elephants invading the beach.


The magic of this retreat is the magic of the people that come together.  Joy and laughter is had by all!
The inner child is definitely out to play!

Our day at the volcano is always a wonderful adventure and a mystical experience. We stop on the way at a wonderful fruit stand and enjoy white chocolate macadamia nut butter, mangoes, papaya and other tropical fruits, great coffees for those that need their hit, ice cream and more. Once we reach the Volcano area, we stop at a picnic site and have lunch.


It is at this time we use the ‘Ti’ leaf and make our ‘prayer bundles’ to honor ‘Pele’ the Goddess of Fire.   We then go to the edge of the crater, each privately reflecting on our prayers, and toss the bundle as an offer to Pele. 


After walking through hardened lava and around crevices, we walked through lush tropical forest and into a lave tube.  Once deep inside, we turned off our flashlights and experienced the power of the complete darkness and silence.  After our silence I played the ‘Pua’ a Hawaiian instrument. There in the darkness of the lava tube, hearing the enchanting sounds of the Pua and honouring the Spirit of the Volcano, well, you had to be there!


Every day is beach day, soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkeling, playing, sharing and laughing. To complete our perfect days, we relax and enjoy music, song and are entertained.


‘The Place of Refuge’ is a place of forgiveness.  We all gathered after a relaxing afternoon and ‘free time’, to visit the sacred ancient Hawaiian village.  Here we did a beautiful sunset ceremony of ‘letting go’ and of ‘forgiveness’.


We have the most amazing caterers for our retreat. They put so much love into the delicious, succulent, gourmet, mouth-watering, scrumptious selection of organic meals and spectacular deserts. The presentations are works of art with special attention given to detail, as our taste buds were bursting with anticipation and satisfaction of each salivating experience. Thank you!


I feel so blessed to share this experience with others. This is a time for miraculous transformations. This retreat came together because of a magical connection I had with the dolphins.  I feel blessed to share this connection and experience with others.   We face many challenges and responsibilities in our lives, and this is the most profound gift you can give to yourself.  This is my gift to myself.  It is a time I let go and let my inner child come out and play, and a time to connect with my inner joy, love and peace.  The dolphins have the gift of connecting us with our Bliss!

Our cetacean friends, the Dolphins, bring the gift of connecting us with our Bliss!



See you next year!




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