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Song can break open the heart, take us to a place of prayer and refresh soul and body. This retreat is a time to sing simple chants together, allowing words and music to speak deeply to us. You are invited to bring along favourite chants, including well-loved words to turn into chants of your own. What new song will the Spirit put into our mouths? All voices are welcome, and everything will be taught by ear.
For centuries people have found solace, challenge, inspiration and companionship in praying with the Psalms. Those attending this retreat can look forward to entering into a living stream in which they may encounter the comforting presence of God through the lyrics of these songs. Meditative reading, worship, song, individual and corporate reflection, writing and sharing will enhance our experience of the Psalms as a part of our daily spiritual practice. This retreat is for those interested in contemplative, reflective practice.
Amongst Friends there is a tradition of attempting to describe in writing what goes on in our spiritual lives, in our engagement with Spirit, and the consequences of these activities in our daily lives. Grounded in worship, we will savor Quakerly writings in this tradition through personal narratives, fiction, poetry, song and film. In addition to exploring these forms, participants can expect to spend time in solitary reflective writing, and sharing in pairs and small groups.
There is beauty in the process of mosaic making. You jig-saw fragments to describe your story, which may include items of personal significance. Within the process of play, we discover a stillness in making. No previous mosaic experience necessary. All equipment and materials provided. During the course you will learn essential skills: cut shapes with tile nippers, score snappers, create with crockery, use a variety of adhesives, translate your ideas into mosaic and learn how to grout. www.mangomosaics.co.uk Comments from Woodbrooke 2018 Making Mosaics: “What a week! I have felt completely happy... really good to feel that. So good to laugh and create and to learn” “What an amazing week & how much we’ve all accomplished, much more than expected & no pressure. The seed has fallen on fertile ground & created.” “ Many thanks for your inspiration and expert tuition in your inimitable style! I feel encouraged...” “You’ve bounced us through a week of enthusiasm, joyous creativity & a wonder of mosaic world. Total enjoyment.”
Labyrinths are creative resources for spiritual practice, and offer space for prayer, play and discovery. Starting with paper and pencil, we'll create labyrinth patterns from around the world, from simple to more complex designs. We'll make labyrinths small enough for postcards - and big enough to walk, using natural and temporary materials. By the end of the course, everyone will know how to create a temporary labyrinth indoors or outdoors.
The Grail is a quest for all living beings. This medieval myth has familiar resonances with our own times: a wasteland of rapine, wars, exploitation, and the urgency to restore peace and joy. Our study of the unique Elucidation text helps us experience the regenerative Grail as a gift in which all participate. Through discussion, meditation, prayer, and simple ceremony, we will walk its paths. Discovering timeless ways to embody its wisdom, enabling its healing to irrigate our world.
If you enjoy dancing and music from all around the world, then this is the weekend for you. We will dance to a wide variety of music and in different styles, some lively, some more meditative. Circle dance enhances our sense of community, of wholeness and of harmony, drawing as it does on the diverse heritage of traditional cultures and a range of musical genres. Experienced and less experienced dancers are all welcome.
Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. This correct prices for this course are £315 for residents and £210 for non-residents.
This course takes a new look at the persona in the light of Jung the person and his work. The idea of the persona as a mask/masks is central. While for Jung, persona did not contain archetypal dimensions, a consideration of mask work in theatre can lead to a different perspective on the use of mask creatively. Through input, experiential work and a masque enactment, the persona will be considered both in theory and in lived experience.
‘Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.’ These words of Thomas Keating give a sense of our exploration this weekend. This introduction to Centering Prayer and Christian Meditation will include meditation sessions, teaching on meditation and its effects and help with taking forward a discipline of meditation into the future.
An oak tree inside an acorn, a conker on a string, the wheat grains that makes our bread – seeds will provide beauty, wonder and inspiration to stimulate creative ideas and writing. We will also draw on the rich meanings and resonances of seeds by dipping into myths, our imaginations and memories, finding how the seed offers a way of thinking and speaking about our deep selves and inner growth.
How can we evolve our co-creative capacities so that we make all groups we are a part of inclusive, dynamic and innovative? This course will give people who want direct experience of new models of co-creating practice that elevate presence, fun and collaboration in groups. We will practice methods that take us beyond the individual and use the whole self, body, mind and heart. These new ways of observation, sensing, sharing and creating, deepen awareness of the space between us, otherwise called the we-space or social body.
For 13 years, Woodbrooke has hosted retreats drawing on the Zen Buddhist teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh. We will welcome back Sister Annabel Laity supported by members of the Community of Interbeing. Discover how mindfulness of the present moment can bring peace and happiness. While the practice is accessible and guidance will be offered to those with little or no experience, it is not without demand. You will enjoy times of silence, walking meditation in Woodbrooke’s beautiful grounds and specially prepared vegetarian food.
Christianity exhorts us to rejoice and give thanks. It’s quite hard to do in the face of our many world challenges. We’ll come together in an experimental spirit to enquire together as to what might support us in the practice of joy. We’ll include singing/sounding, giving thanks, praying for each other.
Our creativity meets the world in many different ways, but often we are too shy to use it fully. We will use the playful creation of simple physical objects to help us free our natural urge to create and consider how our ministry can be enriched. We will be using a variety of craft and natural materials, individually and as a group. As we will be spending time in the garden, participants will need a moderate degree of mobility.
This will run for 24 hours from lunch on day one to lunch on day two. This day is suitable for those who are familiar with the Experiment with Light practice and those who are new to it. It will allow people to use the Experiment with Light practice in a retreat like atmosphere. Participants will be given an introduction to the practice if needed. Experiment with Light will be practiced on the afternoon of the first day and the morning of the second day.
"But there is a deeper, an internal simplification of the whole of one's personality, stilled, tranquil, in childlike trust listening ever to Eternity's whisper, walking with a smile into the dark." Thomas Kelly
Accepting that there is much that we do not know and cannot control frees us to walk the path of faith. We will use this weekend to explore alone and together how we can let go of what blocks us and be more open to the guidance of the Spirit.