Since last February I have been working with others on a book about contemplative Druidry. It has now been published and it is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in paperback and on Kindle.
‘Contemplative Druidry: People Practice and Potential’ was written to show that contemplative approaches are growing in modern Druidry, and to look at ways in which they might be fostered. Practices discussed include solo and group meditation, contemplation in natural settings and contemplative arts.
In my approach to this project, I decided to take a snapshot of contemplative Druidry in a particular place and time. The place is England, with a particular (though not exclusive) focus on a Druid contemplative group meeting in Gloucestershire. The time is March-July 2014, where 15 Druids responded to a questionnaire either through face-to-face interviews or in writing.
The questionnaire was designed to let respondents talk freely about their understanding of ‘contemplative Druidry’ and its value in their lives. They first discuss relevant aspects of their early lives, such as love of the outdoors, the literatures that fed them, and forms of numinous and psychic experience that they had but could not language or contextualise. They talk about their spiritual questing, often in the arenas of Paganism, Shamanism and Earth spirituality more widely, as well as their specific attraction to Druidry. Then they discuss their contemplative practice and influences on it, in some cases, from other traditions such as Buddhism, neo-Gnosticism and mystical Christianity. Overall there is the sense of an identifiable contemplative thread within Druidry (or Druid thread within contemplative spirituality). There is a sense of a form of spiritual expression to nurture and develop.
The idea of a book offering a variety of voices was further strengthened by Philip Carr-Gomm, who has led the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) since 1988. His foreword ‘Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth: the Nature Mysticism of Druidry’ is a significant contribution in its own right, speaking of a contemplative turn in Druidry as “an idea whose time has come”.
With the permission of the posters and commenters, the book includes two threads from the Contemplative Druidry Facebook Group – ‘Contemplation and Mysticism’ and ‘Pilgrimage’ as Appendices. These are more international in flavour, and date from August 2012.
The people who joined me in responding to the questionnaire were: David Popely, Elaine Knight, Eve Adams, JJ Middleway, Joanna Vander Hoeven, Julie Bond, Karen Webb, Katy Jordan, Mark Rosher, Nimue Brown, Penny Billington, Robert Kyle, Rosa Davis and Tom Brown. My heartfelt thanks to all of them and everyone else who has supported this book and the work that stands behind it.