Chrysalis Institute 


Chrysalis Institute offers a variety of programs year-round, tying most to a semi-annual theme, and including a nationally known keynote presenter. The Spring 2015 theme was Quest for the Divine. This season of programming featured two keynote presenters, professor of religion, Dr. Jay Ford,  and spiritual teacher, Rabbi Rami Shapiro. The Fall 2015 theme is Creativity: The Soul Speaks and features internationally-known artist, author, and speaker, Jan Phillips.

Events are listed below in chronological order. Register online and attend! Scholarships are available based on financial need and other criteria. If interested in applying, please contact Chrysalis Institute or call 804 359 0384.

Upcoming events

    • 01 Dec 2015
    • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space

    Let Your Yoga Dance® is a yoga-inspired dance class for everyone and every body. It is a joyful and uplifting musical journey through the chakras (energy centers) – a movement experience that affects body, heart, and soul. This inspiring genre is a fusion of yoga and energizing user-friendly

    dance movements, using music from around the world, and has been described as “where joy and fun meet deep and sacred.” No yoga or dance experience is necessary for participation. This inspirational dance of yoga is for everyone, including those with physical limitations. The only requirements are a body and a willingness to move!

    Martha Tyler, RN, CMT is a licensed registered nurse and a Virginia certified massage therapist, also board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Her background includes a Master’s Degree in public health, and her interest and experience in promoting health and wellness, combined with a strong interest in anatomy, physiology, body movement, and the power of touch led her to create Still Point Massage Therapy, LLC. Martha serves on the board of Chrysalis Institute. As of July 2015, Martha is a certified Let Your Yoga Dance instructor (trained at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health).

    There is no charge for these sessions during this test period. Donations are welcome.

    Special Instructions

    Participants are welcome to bring their own mats.

    For more Information

    • 03 Dec 2015
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space
    • 31

    van Gogh's Ghost Paintings

    One of the most significant and revealing paintings by the world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh was never seen by anyone but the artist himself. 

    The painting was so important to the artist that he painted it twice. He was so conflicted about the painting that he destroyed it twice. 

    Cliff Edwards argues these two unique paintings Vincent created and destroyed are at least as important to understanding the artist and his work as are the two thousand or more paintings and drawings that do exist. 

    In Van Gogh’s Ghost Paintings; Art and Spirit in Gethsemane, Edwards invites his readers on a journey that begins in a Zen Master’s room in Japan and ends at a favorite site of the artist, a ruined monastery and its garden in the south of France. Recovering the intent of van Gogh and the nature of his “ghost paintings” becomes a “zen koan” waiting to be solved. The solution offers access to the deepest levels of the artist’s life as painter and spiritual pilgrim. The journey leads to the artist’s choice of the biblical theme of the Garden of Gethsemane. 

    The answer to the mystery of the lost paintings illuminates the relationship of joy and suffering, discovery and creation, religion and the arts in van Gogh’s life and work. In this fascinating book Edwards solves a long-ignored mystery that provides a critical key to the relation of van Gogh’s religion and art. 


    Cliff Edwards, PhD is Professor of Religion in the School of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. His education spans East and West. With a PhD in biblical studies and world religions at Northwestern University, he has studied in France, Switzerland, Israel, and a Zen monastery in Japan, and has been a Coolidge Fellow in New York and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University in England. Among his books are Van Gogh and God, The Shoes of Van Gogh, and Mystery of the Night Café, as well as a biblical commentary and two books on the Japanese haiku. 

    Chrysalis Gathering Space

    3527 Ellwood Ave.

    While not necessary, donations ($10 suggested) will help defray the cost of utilities and maintenance.

    Pre-registration is not required, but it is helpful for planning purposes.

    Special Instructions: Dr Edward's book is available for sale here at the Chrysalis Gathering Space, Chop Suey Books in Carytown as well as other locations.

    • 16 Dec 2015
    • 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • The Clearing

    Ember Day 

    Silent Retreat

    at The Clearing

    A day of quiet and contemplation

    Share an Ember Day of silence and reflection at the Clearing in Amelia County on Wednesday, December 16. 

    Before moving into silence, the day begins with a brief opening circle. This is a time to introduce ourselves and share expectations. The day concludes with a closing circle when we are invited to share the day’s gifts and insights.

    Forest paths are open, as always, and tables and chairs are available for rest, reading, art work, and writing projects. The Lodge will be open. Hot water for coffee and tea will be available.

    Maggi Tinsley on Ember Day retreats from Chrysalis Institute on Vimeo.

    Chrysalis is delighted to co-sponsor this retreat with hosts, Friends Marjorie Bertolino and Elizabeth Smith.

    The Clearing

    While not necessary, donations ($10 suggested) will help defray the cost of utilities and maintenance.

    Pre-registration is not required, but it is helpful for planning purposes.

    Special Instructions: Please bring your own brown bag lunch. You may also choose to bring simple snacks (fruit, nuts, veggies) to share.

    • 20 Dec 2015
    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • The Outdoor Labyrinth

    Winter Solstice

    at the Chrysalis Labyrinth

    An ancient mystical tool, the labyrinth is used by many cultures and religious traditions. 

    Unlike a maze, the labyrinth has a single pathway in and out.

    There are no tricks or wrong turns, and you cannot get lost finding your way in and out again. A walk through the labyrinth has come to symbolize our spiritual journey. Concentric circles weave and twist as they direct pilgrims to the center, the place of illumination.

    Sunday, December 20

    While there is no fee, donations are kindly accepted.


    The Chrysalis Outdoor Labyrinth

    Special Instructions: Come at any time during the walk, but allow 45-60 minutes for the experience, and wear comfortable clothing and shoes. This event will take place weather permitting. If the weather is questionable, please check the Home page on our website before heading out to the Labyrinth.

    For more information:
    • 03 Jan 2016
    • 06 Mar 2016
    • 4 sessions
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space

    Divine Popcorn
    Winter Film Series

    The world's spiritual traditions are shot through with parables, midrash, and koans, which bring us philosophical ideas in a form that feels less like preaching and more like playful storytelling.  

    The story is the sugar that helps the medicine go down.  In our secular society, movies are powerful mediums of preaching and teaching, modern parables that transmit ancient wisdoms and also challenge traditional orthodoxies.

    This series will survey four movies that can be seen to have spiritual and philosophical subtexts, sometimes obvious, and, other times, subversively- hidden in seemingly-irreligious stories.  Each session will begin with a series of clues as to the themes to be watched for in the film and will end with a discussion afterwards.  The movies surveyed will be The Seventh Seal, Antonia's Line, The Matrix, and The Big Lebowski. Popcorn will be served.


    A popular previous Chrysalis facilitator, Jesse Rabinowitz is a Richmond-area clinical psychologist who specializes in spirituality and spends way too much time watching movies. 

    Dates: Sundays, January 3 and 24, February 7, March 6 

    Time: 2-6pm

    Location: Chrysalis Gathering Space
    3527 Ellwood Ave

    Registration: Registering helps us plan for seating and popcorn needs

    Donations help off-set the cost of popcorn and facilities. Thank you!

    For More Information: 
    • 20 Jan 2016
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space
    • 11

    Mindful Self-Compassion

    An Eight Week Series with Susan Wilkes

    self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindfulness

    Based on the most current scientific findings, this 8-week course will aid participants in cultivating the skills of self-compassion in their everyday lives. 

    The focus will be on strengthening three core competencies: self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindfulness. Through numerous practical exercises and teachings, participants will learn to treat themselves with the same kindness they might offer to a friend and experience the proven benefits.

     Participants will learn how mindful self-compassion:

    • Increases well-being, life satisfaction and happiness
    • Decreases stress, anxiety and depression 
    • Strengthens capacity for compassion for others, and
    • Improves empathy and relationships 
    Register early as this class is limited to 12 people!

    Susan Brock Wilkes, PhD, is a psychologist, university professor, and award-winning instructor. A certified spiritual director and trained MSC teacher, Susan has presented nationally as well as for a variety of local nonprofit and faith-based organizations. She is also a past President of Chrysalis and co-editor of the Words for the Journey.

    Location: Chrysalis Gathering Space
    3527 Ellwood Avenue


    Wednesdays, January 20, January 27, February 3February 10February 17, March 2March 9, March 16

    12 - 2 pm

    $150, Chrysalis Members
    $170, Non-Members

    For More Information: 
    • 12 Feb 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space

    The Spirituality of Food

    Eating as Spiritual Practice

    Rediscover what it means 

    to truly nourish yourself

    The modern grocery store is filled with food-like substances geared to please our pallets but not much else. This workshop will explore how modern culture views food, to rediscover what it means to truly nourish oneself, and reintroduce the sacredness that has been removed from the fundamental practice we all engage in at least three times a day – eating.

    We will examine the benefits of eating from a holistic paradigm - body, mind & spirit. Furthermore, participants will learn how to use the ancient yogic practices of yamas and niyamas to bring more depth, fulfillment, and sacredness to the everyday experience of eating and living.

    You will

    • Understand deeper spiritual reasons for eating

    • Gain an understanding of the impact food choices have on our body, mind, and spirit

    • Understand how the food we consume impacts the lives of everything on Earth

    • Develop a spiritual ritual around food and eating


    Keya Williams is a busy mom of 3, Yoga Lifestyle Consultant, and Author. Keya is passionate about maintaining a healthy balance in life. Food, of course, plays a huge part in that healthy balanced life. Keya believes food physically sustains us and, when consumed with awareness, it can lead us into a deeper sense of Self and personal evolution. When she is not cooking, eating, or shuttling her kids around, Keya teaches moms how to find health and balance in their lives through yoga and good food.


    Dates: February 12

    Time: 7-9pm

    Location: Chrysalis Gathering Space

    3527 Ellwood Ave


    $10 Members

    $20 Non-Members

    For More Information: 

    Contact us.

    • 01 Mar 2016
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space
    • 10

    Exploring the Gift of Dreams

    A Weekly Dreams Group with Carrington Brown

    - Carl Jung

    Dreaming is a universal human experience. According to renowned psychologist Carl Jung, dreams are a way of communicating with the unconscious. We spend about ⅓ of our lives sleeping and tend to dream several times a night, but often forget our dreams upon awakening. Dreams can unlock secrets to our unconscious and be a deep source of wisdom if we learn to listen to them.

    In this safe and non-judgmental series, Carrington will gently guide you to access the meaning of dream images and uncover their power for healing and self-transformation.


    Carrington Brown is the mother of five sons, which qualifies her to do anything! She is also an artist, landscape designer, and yoga instructor. She has a degree from the Haden Institute as a Spiritual Director and Dream Group Leader. 

    Meeting weekly on Tuesdays from 12-1:30 pm
    March 1 through March 22

    $100, Chrysalis Members 
    $120, Non-Members 

    Special Instructions:
    Bring your dream journals, including dream titles if you have them. For further reading, see Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert A. Johnson and Dream Language: Self Understanding Through Imagery and Color by Robert J. Hoss

    For More Information: 
    • 03 Mar 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chrysalis Gathering Space
    • 25

    Reading Jung

    Five Class Series

    "Who looks outside,dreams; 

    who looks inside, awakes."

    - Carl Jung

    You are invited to explore the works of Carl Jung as we delve into Joseph Campbell’s “The Portable Jung”. In this volume Campbell selects essays and chapters from the Collected Works that provide a well-rounded introduction to Jung’s theories.   

    We will read, discuss, and explore together Jung’s writing, not only to have a better understanding of his ideas, but also to share an experience of discovering how his work may be helpful for our own journey.


    Everett McLaren is a Jungian Analyst who received his training from the Inter Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He currently serves on the training committee for the IRSJA and is on the faculty of the New Orleans Jungian Seminar.

    Dates: Thursdays in March (5 sessions, March 3 - 31)

    Chrysalis Gathering Space
    3527 Ellwood Ave

    $70 Chrysalis Members
    $80 Non-Members

    For More Information: 
    • 22 May 2016
    • 5:00 PM
    • 27 May 2016
    • 1:00 PM
    • Shalom House
    • 13


    Women's Retreat

    Our Masks 

    Inner and Outer

    Join Carol Jacobs, MSW, and Ann Skinner for our annual Women's Retreat at Shalom House in Montpelier, Virginia, as we explore the emergence of new life. Creating our own masks, we will have the opportunity to access our deeper Self, that part of ourselves that can guide us toward our fullest potential.

    Toward the goal of a deepening into our creative, individuated Self this workshop provides a loving and sacred container for women to celebrate and discover their uniqueness and their place in the world. Mask-making, body movement, voice, art expression, and the fairy tale "Red Shoes" will provide the foundation for the "hearing" of the Self.

    How do we stay true to our instincts, our intuitions, and our Soul's calling?  The creation of a personal mask will provide a pathway into the psyche's authentic self and allow for the release of energies that no longer provide protection. The joy and appreciation of creative expression will accompany us in our mask-making retreat of personal renewal.

    Space is limited so please register early. You may register on-line and then mail a check or pay on-line using a credit card.


    Carol A. Jacobs, MSW, is a psychotherapist with 28 years of experience has a private practice in Ashland, Virginia. Carol is a Trustee of the Marion Woodman Foundation Board and has completed the BodySoul Rhythms Leadership Training Program with Marion Woodman, Mary Hamilton, and Ann Skinner. She is also a faculty member for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC, providing trainings for professionals and for victims of trauma both nationally and internationally, including work in Macedonia and Kosovo. She also serves on the Chrysalis Institute Faculty.

    Ann Skinner serves as Senior Faculty at the Marion Woodman Foundation and is Head of Voice Emerita at the Stratford Festival, Canada. She is also the former Head of Voice at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. With Marion Woodman, and Mary Hamilton, she founded BodySoul Rhythms®, an eight-day intensive for women, teaching a psychological process including body, voice, and mask.

    Vicki M. Lanier M.Ed has a private practice specializing in women’s issues and body centered psychotherapy. She studied with Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman for 7 years and founded Pointe Wellness in an effort to create a center for self-searching and healing and actively seeks opportunities for individuals to grow through body, mind and spirit.

    Location: Shalom House 

    15340 Robert Terrell Road, Montpelier, Virginia, 23192

    Single Room Occupancy: 
    Chrysalis Members: $1,400 | Non-members: $1,475

    Double Room Occupancy: 

    $100 off if you book a room (double occupancy) with a friend. Call or email for details.

    Retreat pricing includes payment to Shalom House for meals and lodging. 

    For more information

Contact Us

By Phone
804 359 0384

By Email
By Mail
Chrysalis Institute
Post Office Box 7014
Richmond, Virginia 23221
The Gathering Space
3527 Ellwood Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23221
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