contemplativeinquiry

This blog is about contemplative inquiry

Tag: sacred space

BOOKMARK

The other day I glanced at a bookmark I was using. It drew me in and I really took notice of it. I realised that this was an old bookmark, as bookmarks go, and that I’d been holding on to it and intermittently using it since about the dawn of the millennium. I know that because it advertises Banyen Books & Sound, 2671 West Broadway, Vancouver. I’ve only been to Vancouver once, for a conference in August 2001. I remember liking the city and the summer atmosphere. Retrospectively it feels like the last breath of the 1990’s, such a short time before 9/11 and all that has happened since.

One side gives the information about the store – I’ve no idea whether it’s even there now, books and music being sold so differently now. The other has a traditional Chinese picture – mountain, river, mist, all somehow spaciously portrayed within a restricted area of card – together with this quote from Joseph Campbell.

“To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”

It’s true, and a great thing to bring forward from that time.

A CONTEMPLATIVE DRUID EVENT

Thanks to the interest generated by Contemplative Druidry, members of the Gloucestershire contemplative group have set up an entity called Contemplative Druid Events. So far we have a blog at http://contemplativedruidevents.tumblr.com/ and a forthcoming retreat.

The retreat is being held on the weekend of 17-19 April 2015 at Anybody’s Barn, Birchwood Hall, Storridge, Nr. Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 5EZ.  Details of the retreat can be found on the blog.

I am excited by this prospect. It provides the opportunity to work with a larger group of people and to learn from them. Contemplative Druidry doesn’t come with a long specific tradition or an inherited set of practices and teachings. As modern Druids, we are engaged in an exploratory and co-creative enterprise. Events will extend the experience and understanding of participants and facilitators alike.

At the same time we do have a vision of what we are offering, and a sense of how the retreat will work. We will use the Friday evening to enter sacred space and move into introductions and a culture setting process. I consider the way in which we enter into relationship with the space and each other to be a highly significant part of the event and not just a warm up or preamble. It does much to determine the quality of living presence in the space, as important as any practice or activity. As for practices and activities – there will be sitting meditations and an introduction to what our existing local group calls “Awen Space”. Other offerings may include chanting, sacred movement, outside walking meditation and ‘lectio divina’ from the book of nature. We will likely make use of a fire pit on the Saturday evening.

The retreat also gives us the chance simply to be, alone and with fellow travellers, in a beautiful nurturing space. (After the opening process, every activity is an invitation to the participants, rather than a demand on them.) We will work with a maximum of sixteen people, including ourselves – there are five of us with facilitator roles from the Gloucestershire group. This is not the full capacity of the centre we are using, for we wanted a spacious environment on the physical as well as other levels.

I have a strong belief in this way of working and look forward to sharing it with new people.

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