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Cultivating Women's Spiritual Mastery
A unique participatory conference in northern Italy for women of all faiths
June 26 - 28, 2009
Turin, Italy

Post-conference Women's Retreat
June 30 - July 4, 2009

Valchiusella Valley, Italy

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo             Sister Lucy Kurien            Swami Ambikananda     

Three contemporary women spiritual masters
from the Buddhist, Christian, and Hindu traditions
are the featured speakers and guest teachers


Conference Focus

The Turin conference and post-conference women's retreat in Valchiusella Valley embody a feminine participatory design, bringing women together from diverse spiritual paths and cultures to:

  • dialogue openly about the challenges confronting women in spiritual life, in a multi-faith forum of rare authenticity and intimacy.
  • receive inspiration and guidance from three contemporary female spiritual masters,
  • explore ways for women on different spiritual paths to support each other, and to bring forth the prophetic voice of the feminine within their respective traditions,
  • connect with one another in open space around shared commitments and interests,
  • meditate and pray together in an intimate contemplative space, conducive to deep sharing, presence, communion, and inquiry.

Who is this for?

The conference and women's retreat are ideal for women seekers of all faiths and cultures, including ministers, nuns, priests, spiritually-oriented health professionals and scholars, philanthropists, students, educators, and laywomen on the spiritual path. 

Women of all spiritual faiths and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to attend. All conference sessions will be in English.




Scholarships available for post-conference retreat.Please e-mail us for an application at:


About Turin, Italy

Turin is a magical city, famous for being the birthplace of quality chocolate, the host city of the 2006 Olympics, and for the infamous “shroud of Turin,” the alleged burial cloth of Jesus.  Steeped in spiritual and mystical history, Turin is an ideal venue for this conference.  Read more...


Vista of Turin from the conference site - Villa Gualino.



Who are the women spiritual masters of our time?

How can they inspire women seekers and emerging female spiritual leaders to fulfill their own divine destinies?

How can women on different spiritual paths support each other to overcome the challenges faced by all women on the spiritual journey?

What is the prophetic voice of the feminine?

How can women spiritual leaders bring forth this crucial voice --and cultivate the awakening of the divine feminine--so urgently needed at this precarious time in humanity’s evolution?

Cultivating Women's Spiritual Mastery

Although spiritual consciousness ultimately transcends gender altogether, women face unique challenges and obstacles in virtually every spiritual and religious tradition. As the 'divine feminine' is awakening across the globe, there is a need for women from diverse spiritual paths to join together and explore avenues for mutual support, mentoring, blessing, and empowerment. 

The conference organizers have invited three guest teachers who we believe are spiritual masters in their own right.  Each has forged a unique spiritual path, true to her heart's calling, against formidable odds within her respective faith tradition.  All three have directly confronted patriarchal injustice with love and truth, and surmounted major obstacles to achieve profound missions that would never have manifested, had they merely followed traditional religious and spiritual protocols for women.

The Turin conference is offered free of tuition charge.

Featured Presenters ~ Guest Teachers

palmoJetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a British-born Buddhist nun from India who secluded herself in a cave at thirteen thousand feet in the Himalayas, where she lived in spiritual retreat for twelve years. She meditated twelve hours each day, and slept for three hours a night, sitting upright in a meditation box.  She faced unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods and rockfalls, and almost died twice. When she came down from the mountain, Tenzin Palmo founded the Dongyu Gatsal nunnery in northern India to train nuns in the spiritual practices that had been denied women for centuries, and to revive the Togdenma lineage. She has led spiritual retreats around the world.  This conference is her final appearance in her last tour of the West.  Her books include Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism (Snow Lion Publications, 2002) and Three Teachings (KMSPKS Monastery, 2000).  For an inspiring account of Tenzin Palmo's life, see the best-selling book Cave in the Snow (Vicki Mackenzie, Bloomsbury, 1999). Visit www.tenzinpalmo.com.


lucySister Lucy Kurien is a Catholic nun and founder of the Maher project for battered and destitute women located near Pune, India.  Since its inception eleven years ago, Maher has provided refuge to more than 1,350 women, at least half of whom would have likely been murdered, committed suicide, or starved to death were it not for this project.  Home to 100 women and 400 children, Maher is an interfaith community that honors all religions and strongly repudiates caste distinctions.  Female staff are formerly-battered women who once took refuge at Maher and are now highly effective healers and care-givers.  Maher offers compelling testimony to the power of women to overcome some of the most appalling patriarchal social conditions on Earth.  Sister Kurien’s work is featured in a new book, Women Healing Women (W. Keepin and C. Brix, Hohm Press, 2009).  Visit www.maherashram.org.

swamiSwami Ambikananda Saraswati is a Hindu sannyasin, and founder of the Traditional Yoga Association in the UK, She also founded the MUKTI project to raise funds for two orphanages in India, and the Anahata Touch Healing system. She left South Africa during the Apartheid regime and settled in England and India, where she continued to pursue her spiritual path while raising her children.  Her guru Swami Venkatesananda was a renowned Sanskrit scholar and Vedic authority who encouraged her to study Sanskrit and deepen her understanding of the Vedas and philosophical schools of India.  After his death she was initiated into the sannyasin order by Swami Chidananda Maharaj, widely known as "The Sage of the Himalayas.” She is Chaplain of the Hindu Temple in Reading, England. Her books include translations of the Katha Upanishad and the Uddhava Gita, as well as Healing Yoga, Principles of Breathwork and Age with Spirit. Weblinks: www.traditionalyoga.org and www.mukti.traditionalyoga.org.



Satyana Institute

This conference and women's retreat are part of a new project launched by the Satyana Institute to support the cultivation of women's spiritual mastery, and to evoke the prophetic voice of the feminine across different spiritual traditions.  Our intention is to serve a strong need among women on diverse spiritual paths that to our knowledge is not met by any existing organization or network. The purpose of this project is to foster intimate spiritual mentoring, authentic transformation, and mutual empowerment of emerging women spiritual leaders -- in collaboration with established female spiritual masters -- across the faith traditions.

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