Are you ready for some spiritual adventure?

Forgive my absence. It has been a busy summer. My whole life is changing and I am having some trouble keeping up with all of it! It’s all good, just a lot happening right now. What a difference a year makes. A year ago, I was heartbroken and unsure how life could look so bleak. Today, I am grateful for all the change that yesterday’s hurt has created. They were all blessings in disguise. Let that sink in, especially if you are going through some unwanted change right now. Change is always for our greater good, which explains why I am smiling today.

Have you ever been so inspired and excited about your future that you can’t sleep? This is how I have been these last few months. I should explain. As the new Executive Director of the Conversations with God Foundation, I have been given the opportunity to make a difference, much in the way my life was impacted by the very organization I now lead.

Everything changed for me 13 years ago when I began a quest to know and understand God,  when on one particular day this one particular book kept insisting I read it, it kept showing up. CwG came to me three different ways on that day, and nothing would be the same after. I got the message.  And upon reading that book, everything began to change in my life. Here I am 13 years later in a leadership position of the very Foundation that played such a wonderful role over the years in my life. I am teaching out of  those very same books that changed everything for me…and life could not be better.

Life is the way it is for me today because I use the concepts and tools offered within the pages of CwG, and, for that matter, many other spiritual works I have been drawn to read as a result. Yet I keep coming back to CwG because of its simplicity and easy accessibility to joy-filled messages within. Sure, some of the concepts were way over my head when I first began, but I knew if I could say it, I could live it.

I wanted nothing more than to live the material I was so attracted to, so I got on with teaching it. Seven or eight years of facilitating study groups and being surrounded by the hopeful messages, and my life  began to transform. Be clear, it is a process. I see myself evolving even to this very day. Yet I am still attracted to this simple and profound material as my life changes and I see the wisdom of CwG as it flows through me.

So last month, a group of dedicated professionals and I put on “A Path to Peace” retreat in Medford, Oregon. It turned out to be an even greater experience than I hoped and the feedback I received made me smile. I have dedicated my life to helping people find their truth that sets them happy, joyous and free. “A Path to Peace” is just one of the ways I hoped would do just that. My desire is to help those struggling with dis-ease recover and get free.

Inspired by that outcome, we decided to hold retreats in San Jose, California, in September and then one on the east coast in Orlando, Florida, in October. I recognize that it isn’t always easy for people to come to Medford, Oregon, to visit me, so I have decided to take this “show on the road.”  I am very excited about the rest of this year’s retreat schedule. I have a very special retreat coming in November that you may not want to miss either, so if I may be so bold and use this forum for the following announcements:


Sept 19 – 22 – San Jose, CA – A Path to Peace – CLICK HERE

October 24 – 27 – Orlando, Florida – A Path to Peace – CLICK HERE


Dust off your passport, because we are headed to Costa Rica!

November 8 – 16 – Costa Rica – What God Said – CLICK HERE

That’s right, Costa Rica.  Some of you know that I lived in Costa Rica where I held my Change House program. Change House was designed around the book When Everything Changes, Change Everything, and it was created to help people move through unwanted and unexpected change or on-purpose and enlightened change…or both.

My life is a living example of what a program like Change House can do, as I used every one of those tools this last year…and they work! Change House is a wonderful program and it will return in the near future, but for now we are going to take on something timely, important, and really wonderful!

On October 1st, The latest CwG book will be out. It’s called What God Said.

What God Said contains The 25 Core Messages of Conversations with God that will change your life and the world, all of the most important concepts within CwG messages brought forth in one book. This retreat will be an overview study of these concepts and how to make use of them in daily life. Who wouldn’t benefit from that?

This retreat will also launch CwG College.

CwG College has been created for those who desire to be students/teachers of Conversations with God, those who wish to deeply understand the benefits created by living the material, and who may also wish to share the good news and teach the material to others.

I call this the ultimate study group as people from all over the world will meet in different cities to take on learning and living the wisdom found in the CwG material. When people come together, the power to create positive outcomes multiplies by the energy in the room.

What God Said is the perfect book to begin CwG College with since it provides a summary of the core messages found throughout all of the books and an overview of what an in-depth study of the material will provide.

The Costa Rica retreat will be held at a hot springs and spa in my adoptive hometown in Costa Rica called Orosi Valley. Eternal springtime conditions await you there as the weather is 75 during the day and 57 at night. Located in Central Costa Rica, there is little humidity and no mosquito nets are needed for sleeping. The resort is built around a river and hot springs, and the amenities are wonderful. This will truly be a mix of fun and a life-changing deep study.

It won’t just be all work and no play, I have also arranged the possibility for those who wish to have some traditional Costa Rican adventures, like zip-lines and volcano tours.  I want you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this amazing place. You are welcome to consider staying longer than our seven day retreat.  I would be happy to assist you, given that I know the area well. If you want to live this material and have fun doing it, this retreat is created for you.

If reading CwG felt important and impactful to you, and if you feel like I do, that these kinds of messages could change your life and change the world, please help me get the message out. I know through my own personal experience and through using these messages to help others that if more people were given the opportunity to explore CwG, that, in fact, the world would become a more peaceful place. Peace begins with you and me. Please join with me in supporting our work and common goal of helping others. My commitment since I took over the CwG Foundation is to expand our outreach and impact the world in a positive way. I am excited to say that we are doing just that and hope you will join with us.

Do you get why I am excited now? I hope you are excited, too! I look forward to seeing and sharing with you in these amazing retreats and in many other ways in the future!

As always I love hearing from you…how can I be of service? – J.R.

(J.R. Westen, D.D., C.Ad, is a Holistic Health & Spiritual Counselor who has worked and presented side-by-side with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade. He is passionate about helping individuals move beyond their emotional and spiritual challenges, transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. His counseling and coaching provides practical wisdom and guidance that can be immediately incorporated to shift one’s experience of life. As is true for most impactful teachers, J.R.’s own struggles and triumphs inspired him to find powerful ways of helping others. Sober since June 1, 1986, J.R.’s passion for helping individuals move through intense life challenges drove him to also specialize in Addiction and Grief Recovery. J.R. currently shares his gift of counseling & coaching with individuals from around the world. In addition, he operates “Change House” a place where people come to transform. He also works with Escondido Sobering Services and now serves as the Executive Director for the Conversations with God Foundation. He can be contacted at JR@CWG.ORG.)

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  • Therese

    Wow! Costa Rica looks like an amazing retreat in an amazing setting! and the price of the retreat and lodging is right, too! and the airfare from where I am is very little different than to Medford. Wish I could go…

  • eric buchannan

    I remember when science cracked the human genome. Business, Medical, Insurance industries were ecstatic because now they would be able to determine if someone would develop a disease. They could decide based on someones DNA what they thought would be an out come. The problem it did not work. Just because someone had the markers did not mean the condition would develop. Also if someone did develop a condition there was no set path for an outcome. One of the biggest factors was if the patient believed the prognosis of Doctor, it seemed to have the greatest effect on the outcome. You see the actual outcome has more to do with the patients belief system. The actual outcome is between the patient and god. The Doctor is a human making a guess. It turns out we are not the body but rather the soul which resides inside

    What they learned from the DNA was; First, we have genetically far more in common with a field mouse than they wanted. Second, our attitude has a far more important effect on the quality of our life than our genetics.

    There was a study done maybe 10 years ago now, that looked at; Cardiologist, Oncologist,Neurologist. They followed them for 25 years and looking at them as people and doctors, and what they learned was really alarming. Over 90% died from the conditions they worked in (over 90%), in other words Cardiologist died from heart related conditions, Oncologist died from cancer, Neurologists died of strokes, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, (There is an old Buddhist statement that says where you focus is where you are.)

    So our quality of life is in our hands, the sickness industry has little if any impact. Now in trauma situations they have a benefit.

  • Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I can definitely see why you’re so excited! I wish I’d have known you were in Medford. I may have been able to come see you (I’m in Coos Bay). Guess it just wasn’t the time. I love Costa Rica… it’s one of my favorite places! Good for you. Congrats on becoming the Executive Director and all that it’s taught you. Very inspiring stuff! Have a great week. 😀

  • Erin

    Many blessings, JR! May your happy rock the world! 🙂
    Funny, when we take the opportunity to review our lifetime thusfar, & Understanding blossoms from the many seeds sown, It’s a pretty cool experience going on.
    It is nice not to worry…It’s nice to be Amazed…and Nice seems to be what you’ve got going on. Sweet!

    I so know what you mean about the first CwG…another funny :). Neale sure has made some Life Leaps, & his sharing made many lives leap in process…Carry on, Beloved! By all means, carry on! It will also be cool to see your updated photo all silvery & fluffy & smiley…a little start in the beard there, yes? And ya already have a great smile. 😀
    Namaste’, Kiddo. 🙂

  • Contentttt

    The “Cult” of CWG followers…..oh great!
    Train them and then send them all over the world distributing the CWG materials!
    CWG Book Thumpers!!
    Sounds like a money making proposition to me!!
    Okay, now you can come back to me and share how it is not the same!!
    Keep telling Your Self that!!
    The difference’s are not that different!!!!!!!!!

    • mewabe

      Most people are all too eager to follow, as they are afraid of carving their own path.

      The saying “Lead, follow or get out of the way” expresses a very widespread mindset…that says that ONLY leaders and followers have a legitimate place in this world. They others are “black sheep”, standing apart from crowds.

      I have always been a black sheep…I would never lead, as I don’t need followers, and I would never follow, as I don’t need leaders.

  • mewabe

    It’s a great sales speech!

    However, and I could address this question to the hundreds of self proclaimed spiritual “teachers”, coaches etc out there:

    How much would Jesus charge?

    Why is it that absolutely everything must be turned into a money making enterprise?

    Doesn’t this cut off the very people who need help the most, such as those who are down and out, lost, homeless, without resources and without hope?

    There are many ways to make a living…but the Spirit is not be for sale. Those who make a living from it are bound to be driven and ruled by money rather than the spiritual truth, in areas where the spiritual truth threatens to no longer be profitable because too controversial, too bold, too unpopular.

    In areas where the spiritual truth is more like a strong, bitter medicine, they are bound to sell candy instead, to keep their profits coming.

    • CynthiaL

      To mewabe: I too have issues with retreats/conferences costing so much. With that said, I did attend a CWG retreat 13 yrs ago (received scholarship) and it was life changing (literally saved my life). Neale is not perfect, no one is, but he had wisdom beyond this world. Everyone was all in one large group & he spoke about what he’d learned and answered peoples random questions. He had a way of knowing what to say to each person that caused them to look deep inside themselves & discover the root cause of their problem (no matter what that problem was). Just as amazing was that it only took him 5-10 minutes of this individualized give & take to accomplish this with each person, including me! He didn’t solve your problem, he led you to solve it yourself, in a matter of minutes, instead of months or years that takes most counselors… I also met J.R. Westen & his wife there too. Apparently it was their first time to attend CWG retreat too. I remember them because of their great kindness & generosity to me, a stranger, by immediately offering their home for me to stay in after I mentioned my desire to move to California. I decided not to move but have always remembered their selfless offer.

      • mewabe

        Thank you for the feedback Cynthia…and the testimonial. Yes, I have no doubt the people you are referring to are very good people whose hearts are in the right place.

        I did not mean to be critical of any one person, but more of a trend in our societies to turn everything into a money making enterprise. The prices of these seminars are somewhat reasonable compared to what some others charge (for example I was astounded to learn the price of learning transcendental meditation many years ago!)

        I also know of one of the founder of a very popular therapy who claims to seek to help people, yet drives the latest jaguar, lives in Beverly Hills, and charges a price that guarantees that most people will not be able to afford such help!

        Not to mention James Arthur Ray who charged $10 000 per person for his fiasco in Arizona.

        The greed has to stop some time.

        Traditional Native Americans never charge anything for healing. They receive donations, but these are up to the individuals and their means, and most often are very little, as the people are poor. The ones who charge, who are mostly fake and do fake ceremonies for white people in the white world, are known as “plastic medicine men”, because they take credit cards.

  • Terri Lynn

    Thaank you for your message and your work. I wish I could make one of your events this year but my work schedule does not allow presently. One day soon! Good luck and God bless the work you do.