"Freedom and the Formless"

releasing the aloha within

Please stay tuned for coming retreats …

“Mana, my young friend, is a power that holds the secret to your very existence ... It has neither shape, nor form, yet it is in everything that exists ... Mana is pure energy. It is of Spirit essence. It is Mana that helps wash away the illusionary values you place on life ... It is the sustenance of the wise.”
— Mamma Lila, from Second Chance, by Syd Banks

The Hawaiian Islands emanate a profound gentleness—in their soothing, cooling trade winds, and embracing tropical climes—as well as a distinct ferocity that shows up as active volcanoes and razor-edged cliffs, as the danger and simultaneous welcome of the powerful Pacific Ocean. This is the most isolated island chain on the planet.

Fittingly, we meet for retreat on one of the most beautiful and quiet of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai, the Garden Isle, to immerse ourselves in reflection on the gentleness, the Aloha of Truth—and also its great strength and power.

Through it all, we are supported by the land itself, the breath-taking beauty at every turn that is the North Shore of Kauai.

This retreat is an exploration of our True Nature as human and spiritual beings, and the three formless Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, first introduced as a trinity by Mr. Sydney Banks, who spent much of his life on these islands.

To find out more about Ami's Public Retreats, See Here

Retreats for Life!


The experience of Truth lies outside, or beyond, the words “Mind, Consciousness,” and “Thought.” Yet, these words—these principles—and how we define and understand them are priceless pointers to our own experience of Truth.

The experience or awareness of Truth lies in the realm of the formless, turning into “form” as guidance for our lives, as the “form” of our lives: our thoughts, feelings and actions, our whole experience of life.

In the end, words, teachings and teachers cannot go with us into Truth. But we discover that they are us, and have always been us. We discover that aloneness has at its center: “oneness.” We discover that “inside” and “outside” are One.

This two-day retreat will be focused on providing participants with talks, pointers and space for deep and peaceful reflection on form and formlessness in light of the “Three Principles.” Our goals are freedom, authenticity, increased capacity for unconditional love (aloha), and greater ease and peace in life--at home, at work and in all our relationships, including that with our Selves.


Along with covering the fundamentals of the Principles, Ami welcomes participants, via Q and A, to bring their honest issues, questions and concerns (as well as insights!) to the group. Format includes lecture, Q and A, dialogue and possible reflective exercises. Breaks between sessions will allow for quiet contemplation.  We culminate with an end-of-retreat potluck at sunset on the beach at Hanalei (weather permitting). Possible guest speakers may join us.


  • February 10th-11th, 2018


  • Keanolani Hale at the Waipa Foundation, 5-5785A Kuhio Highway, Hanalei, North Shore, Kauai, Hawaii. See location details here


  • Begins at 10 am on the 10th & ends at 5 pm on the 11th followed by a potluck celebration at Black Pot Beach on Hanalei Bay on Sunday evening (weather permitting. Location may change).

  • Food and lodging are on-your-own, although Ami Chen staff can help with recommendations. The Village of Hanalei, with many restaurants and shops, is a five minute drive from retreat location. Also, see Kauai Recommendations here or at our Store page as download (free).


  • Purchase Here

  • Regular rate: $275 ... begins Dec. 1

  • Community Scholarships for low-income individuals available for residents of Kauai only (contact us for scholarship form)

  • Partial scholarships are also available for those in need (contact us for form)

  • Also accepted: Venmo, PayPal, personal check. Please contact us at info@amichen.com for further info

  • Cancellations: Full refunds minus $50 admin. fee before Jan. 10. After Jan. 10, no refunds

See our Facebook Event Page here for timely updates and info about this retreat!

This retreat is facilitated by long-time practitioner of the Principles, and of innate health and resiliency, Ami Chen Mills-Naim. Ami is author The Spark Inside and co-author of State of Mind in the Classroom: Thought, Consciousness and the Essential Curriculum for Healthy Learning, and is the daughter of Dr. Roger Mills, one of the first and most dedicated pioneers of the Three Principles movement. Roger and Ami co-founded the Center for Sustainable Change in 2004 and led its fundraising and national community resiliency projects. Ami’s wide range of study and reflection includes some of the most direct spiritual teachers alive today, and of course, the late Mr. Sydney Banks. Please see her complete BIO and STORY for more info.