Day 1 – Dolce Sentire

Dolce Sentire come nel mio cuore
Ora umilmente sta nascendo amore
dolce sapere che non son piú solo
ma che son parte di una immensa vita
che generosa risplende intorno a me
dono di Lui e del suo immenso amor.

Ci ha dato il cielo e le chiare stelle
fratello sole e sorella luna
la madre terra con frutti piante e fiori
il fuoco il vento l’acqua e l’aria pura
dono di vita per tutte le creature
dono di Lui e del suo immenso amor.

This song has followed us on our first day of the Path to Wholeness Retreat.  It is a prayer from St. Francis and is sung with the most hauntingly beautiful melody.  Listening to Mirka and her sister Mara sing it brings tears to the eyes.  Some of us are now working on remembering the Italian so we can have it with us always.

The English translation is:

Sweet Feeling in my heart
Now humbly love is dawning
Sweet to know that I am no longer alone
But that I am part of a great life
That generosity shines around me
All gifts from Him and His immense love.

He gave us the sky and the bright stars,
Brother Sun and Sister Moon,
The mother land with fruit trees and flowers,
Fire, wind, water, and clean air,
Gift of life for all creatures,
All gifts from Him and His immense love.

Today, we set the mood for the week by learning and experiencing more of the stories of the life of St. Francis so we can reflect on his example of following the true Yogic path.  With a local guide to give us some background (her family has been in Assisi for hundreds of years), we learned a bit about the town and the Basilicas that holds the tomb of St. Francis.  Walking through the streets of Assisi on a fresh autumn morning is wonderful!

Amy and her son Liran came from Israel to be with us. A beautiful morning in front of the Basilica.

As we approached the church, a friar spoke with us about the blessings of the economic downturn.  After all, Francis taught that only in poverty can we find true happiness.  The friar was a lovely, loving man who was very happy to share his Truth.  As you can see, Mirka was very happy to receive it.  This man is not a member of the clergy who worships in the church.  He is one of the faithful who lives as St. Francis did.  These wandering friars do not belong to the church but are fed by the Poor Clares (the order of nuns who follow the path of St. Clare), and they have taken a vow of absolute poverty.

One of the faithful teaching as we approached the church. He was a loving, kind man.

As our group approached the tomb of St. Francis, we found an empty  corner to gather, and the magic began again.  In the normally silent crypt, the air was filled with ‘Dolce Sentire’ being sung by a small group on the other side of the crypt followed by a short lecture by one of the friars about some of the very themes Mirka is discussing this week.  It was moving and a perfect welcome into the space of meditation which we were preparing to enter.  Once silence resumed in the tomb, we all turned inward for 20 minutes of meditation/prayer before moving into the late morning air.

To bring it full circle after an inspirational morning and afternoon Yoga practice (leaving our chakras resonating and our spirits at ease), our day ended with ‘Dolce Sentire’ sung, this time, by Mirka and Mara in the amazing practice space, which is also a small church.  A very moving, a very beautiful experience.

To give you a sense of how powerful chanting sounds in our practice space, here is a photo of where we will do our Yoga practices this week.  It is the chapel of St. George, and we are truly blessed to have been given this space to use.  It is right next to Chiesa Nuova, which is the church over the parental home of St. Francis.  Everything has been restored, so the Frescos that have survived are crisp and beautiful.  It is also where a local choir rehearses, so the acoustics are also fantastic.  Amazing, isn’t it?!

We practice in a recently renovated church. Francis watches down from the ceiling with approval, I think.

As the sun went down, a few of us enjoyed the light and quiet on the terrace above Hotel Alexander where some of us are staying.  The dome in the background is Chiesa Nuova.  It has been another amazing day and there is still so much more to come!

Russ and Sandra – One of a few beautiful couples here on the retreat together.

Your faithful story teller enjoying the view



  1. It sounds like a wonderful way to start your journey! Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to read more and live vicariously through you and your journey.

  2. Envious of that peace but happy that you are sharing it with us.

  3. Carla, no need to envy peace. You have just as much within you as we have here 🙂 In this moment, you are peace.

  4. Micha

    Thank you for sharing 🙂 One day……! Enjoy.

  5. you and the view look fabulous tammy . and i swear i can hear the fantastic acoustics in the chapel, wow, just wow darling

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