The simple truth

Retreat for Wisdom and Well-Being

Hosted by Ami Chen Coaching, with faculty:

Gabriela Maldonado-Montano and special guest volunteers from the UK Jenny Anderson of Innate Well-Being, and Dave Elleray of Freedom Thinking

Sept. 8th-10th, Santa Ynez, CA

This retreat/seminar includes three days at a beautiful, private estate in Santa Ynez, California (lodging is on your own). We gather in the hilly wine country of the Central Coast, a gorgeous, rural setting--mid-way between San Francisco and L.A.--to learn simple principles of unconditional well-being; and how Thought works to either obscure, or release this well-being and inner freedom.

Topics will vary according to needs of group, but will include:

~A foundational and "Principles-based" understanding for human psychological and spiritual functioning. The simplest paradigm for Truth.

~Moving from the "Personal" (as in "taking it personally") to the Impersonal, so that we move through life with less suffering and more compassion and core peace.

~The unique experience and sharing of four presenters (see below) whose work spans the globe, from Spain and South America to South Africa and Nepal, as well as the Mississippi Delta, the Hawaiian Islands, and inner city communities of the United States. The speakers have worked in settings from jails and juvenile hall to community agencies and government to Fortune 500 companies.

~Along with covering the fundamentals of the Principles, we welcome 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 reflective exercises. Breaks between sessions will allow for quiet contemplation. Group potluck gathering on Saturday evening. Optional nature walks and short asana yoga sessions will also be offered.


                              When: September 8th-10th, 2017

Where: Santa Ynez, California. The venue is "Quinta Refugio," a private estate just outside the small town of Santa Ynez in the Santa Ynez Valley, inland from Santa Barbara. Your host, Margot Smit (a long-timer with the 3P's), is a co-owner. Internet is spotty at the house, so come prepared to unplug! There are 10 acres to roam while we are on breaks, to enjoy oak woodlands, a swimming pool, jacuzzi and vineyard. We encourage carpooling when possible, for the environment and to save on parking spaces.

Details: Begins at 1:30 pm on the 8th & ends mid-day on the 10th (special session only for "Wisdom School" participants on Monday morning, Sept. 11.)

Cost: Regular rate: $375.00

Early Bird discount if booked by July 15th: $345.00

Food and lodging are on-your-own, although Ami Chen staff can help with recommendations; and morning refreshments will be provided, along with coffee and tea ... Potluck gathering Saturday evening. There are numerous hotels in Solvang (10 minutes from Quinta Refugio), as well as several bed and breakfasts in both Santa Ynez and Los Olivos (both 6 minutes from Quinta Refugio). There are a large number of excellent restaurants in Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. More info on Santa Ynez here.

Partial scholarships may be available for those in financial need (contact us for form).

click here to purchase early bird registration through july 15.

(This retreat is a stand alone retreat, as well as the first in the "Wisdom School" series. The fourth day of this retreat, Monday Sept. 11th is for Wisdom School participants only.) More on "Wisdom School" Here. 

JENNY anderson

With Rudi Kennard, Jenny co-founded Innate Well-Being U.K. and, the first global audio-visual resource for the Three Principles, connecting students and facilitators across the world.

Jenny's training includes internships at Pransky and Associates, visits to Salt Spring Island, and internship with a Principles-based government division in California, as well as significant time with Dr. Roger Mills, Ami Chen Mills-Naim and the Center for Sustainable Change. Jenny has presented the Principles at international conferences, on radio and TV, and has now conducted trainings in a dozen countries across the globe. ... Jenny has volunteered much of her time sharing the Principles with a variety of groups, from earthquake survivors in Nepal ... to community groups in South Africa. These experiences "have truly shown me the power and truth that the Principles offer."


Ami Chen Mills-Naim


This retreat is led by long-time practitioner of the Principles, and of innate health and resiliency, Ami Chen Mills-Naim, founder of Ami Chen Coaching and Education. Ami is author The Spark Inside and State of Mind in the Classroom, 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. 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 BIO and STORY for more info.

gabriela Maldonado-Montano

Gabriela Maldonado-Montano has worked with people sharing the three fundamental principles that help human beings experience life with a sense of gentleness and hope for 2o years. She has an abiding commitment to helping people thrive and enjoy life. Gabriela worked for more than a decade for Santa Clara County's "Three Principles Services Division," and was co-director with Ami Chen of the Center for Sustainable Change for two years.

Gabriela has worked with many thousands of people, in a wide variety of circumstances, including: children and youth in extreme situations--including corrections, adults in leadership positions, international coaches, business owners, and those who wish to release their natural genius.

Gabriela loves living in Silicon Valley, CA, a global center of innovation and creativity. One of her great strengths is working seamlessly with ethnically and culturally diverse groups.


dave elleray

In July 2013, a friend introduced Dave to a new understanding of human psychology, based on simple principles that explain what underlies our human experience. Although this understanding did not impact Dave immediately it was just a few weeks later, having watched a video of 3 Principles Founder Sydney Banks, that a deep truth dawned on him.

In a single moment, life became clear, and the years of his mental suffering ceased.

Dave is founder of Freedom Thinking. Through the simple yet profound Principles, Dave has found a peace of mind he could not have imagined possible before, and shares his rediscovered love of life, and passion for nature with a wide range of groups. He has led training for Innate Well Being UK, and traveled to both Nepal and South Africa to work with communities, releasing innate well being and wisdom.

This retreat also serves at the launch of six-month Wisdom School: Personal Grounding and Professional Development Program. See Here for More.