Experience of the Spirit

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    The Wonder of Seed: the whole world in your hand


    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.

    We are offering a limited number of free places (including all meals and accommodation) on this course for Friends aged 18 – 35 years, if you would like to take advantage of one of these places, please contact learning@woodbrooke.org.uk or call 0121 415 6785.

    Mindfully Together


    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.

    We are offering a limited number of places (including all meals and accommodation) on this course at a heavily discounted rate for Friends aged 18 - 35 years, if you would like to know more or take advantage of one of these places, please contact learning@woodbrooke.org.uk or call 0121 415 6785.

    Creativity and Ministry


    Creativity is not just about creating wonderful, imaginative ‘things’, such as art pieces; it’s about who we are and about how we contribute to the world – whatever this might be. How can we clear the space within so that creativity can flourish? How can we release it? How do we get inspiration and the confidence to use it? How can we make our brains work to forge new ideas, new connections? How might creativity be linked to ministry? How can spirit move us in the silence to release our creativity and allow it to contribute to and shape our ministry?

    Our creativity meets the world in many different ways, but often we are too shy to use it as fully as we might and this might limit it and affect our ministry or action in the world. Ministry can mean different things for different people: speaking aloud in Meeting, helping someone in need, preparing a delicious dish for bring-and-share lunch, shaping a spirit-led minute in Business Meeting and many other examples. Please bring something that you have created to the course, to share with others on the first evening.

    On this course we will use the playful creation of simple objects from the physical world to help us free up our natural urge to create and to consider how our ministry can be enriched by this process.  We will be using a mixture of craft and natural materials, and the last session of the course will be the creating of ‘garden installations’ and flower arrangements in the main house, as our ministry to Woodbrooke.

    A quiet day with Experiment with Light


    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.

    Walking with a smile into the dark


    "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.

    Spiritual surrender: the ego strikes back


    Isaac Penington wisely counsels us to 'give over thine own willing.' But old hurts and false beliefs - about ourselves or ‘how things are’ - may stop us experiencing spiritual surrender and connection. ‘Notions’ about God/Spirit, strong emotions (what Thích Nhất Hạnh calls 'afflictions') and personal attachments (which George Fox termed 'addictions') may block our spiritual growth. Creating safe containment for our explorations together, this is an opportunity to question old habits and set ways as we open ourselves to mystery.

    A Taste of Life Writing for Transformation™


    This self-paced course, led by Joanne Klassen and Eleanor Chornoboy, introduces a process of writing for authentic, creative self-expression and personal development. The course emphasizes mindfulness through an awareness-based approach to writing by turning attention within. It does not involve interactive sharing and this “no red pens” approach results in greater awareness, mindfulness and self-acceptance through a gentle stream of guided tools you can use just five minutes at a time. The course includes six multimedia sessions and a workbook, based on the work of Joanne Klassen, creator of Life Writing for Transformation™.  The sessions are released weekly throughout the course and are yours to keep and work through at your own pace; each session introduces key concepts followed by exercises, examples, a review and additional optional learning activities.

    There are limited places available for this course so book early to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately we are unable to accept late bookings, please make sure you have booked before 20 September.

    Please note the change of course dates: This course now runs from 23 September to 3 November, one week later than the dates originally published in our brochure.

     

    European Quaker Voices: online


    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct price for this course is £25.

    This is a 6-week online retreat for European Quakers, using devotional and inspirational material by European Quakers. In addition to readings, there will be suggestions for activities and exercises appropriate to a retreat. Participants will share reflections and experiences with each other along the way. The retreat is thus an opportunity for individual and group spiritual development, as well as an opportunity to learn from the rich experience of European Friends. This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

    Dances of Universal Peace: Dancing Into the New Year with Hope and Joy: 2019


    “Come into your heart”, holding hands, honouring various religions / spiritual traditions, moving and chanting in a circle. Simple words and simple movements are taught, attuning to love, harmony and beauty: dancing inter-faith. A joyful and powerful experience of oneness, freeing the voice. We move, breathe and sing together, holding hands - like one organism, like a cell in the body, remembering being part of something much bigger than the small self. No singing or dancing experience is required.

    Seeking Sanctuary and Stillness – October


    A time set aside to enjoy spaciousness and quiet in your own home and join with others online to share a sense of connection. Different spiritual practices will be offered on each of the days, to help you to focus, and to settle into a place of deep peace and openness to all that is; the flowing vastness of presence. We will join together for silent worship and reflection during the day.

    Participants have the option to join the remaining three retreats running throughout 2019 at a total discounted cost of £35.  Click here to book all three retreats.

    Seeking Sanctuary and Stillness – November


    A time set aside to enjoy spaciousness and quiet in your own home and join with others online to share a sense of connection. Different spiritual practices will be offered on each of the days, to help you to focus, and to settle into a place of deep peace and openness to all that is; the flowing vastness of presence. We will join together for silent worship and reflection during the day.

    Participants have the option to join the remaining three retreats running throughout 2019 at a total discounted cost of £35.  Click here to book all three retreats.

    Resting in Presence – Individually Guided Retreats


    Woodbrooke's individually guided retreats 'Resting in Presence' offer you an opportunity for a few days of individual reflection and stillness.

    This will be a chance to pay attention to your inner wisdom, to become more aware of your true self, and perhaps to explore more deeply the role of Spirit in your life.  You will have space to ‘just be’ and to reflect; perhaps considering decisions you want to make or changes you want to work towards.

    Remaining dates for 2019

    We are holding space for Resting in the Presence on the following dates in the remainder of 2019:

    Sunday 27 October - Friday 1 November 2019

    You can choose to come for between two and five nights. Please indicate how long you would like to stay on your booking form.

    Format

    You will meet each day with your own spiritual guide who will help you to focus, reflect and discern. The beautiful space that is Woodbrooke’s house and gardens provide a place of nurture and an open Quaker welcome.  The retreats are open to those of all faiths and none.

    We encourage you to hold your own personal silence during your time here and a quiet space is set aside for retreatants’ exclusive use.  At Woodbrooke days begin with a Quaker Meeting for Worship, which is based in silence, from 8:30 am – 9:00am and end with ‘epilogue’ which is a short time of reflection at 9:30pm  both are open to everyone staying at Woodbrooke.

    The retreat begins at 6.15pm, with dinner on the first evening followed by a short introduction to your time here (bedrooms are available from 4.00pm). Please try to arrive between 4.00pm and 5.00pm to have time to settle in and set aside the busyness of life.  You may choose to come for between two and five nights. The retreat finishes with breakfast on your final day.  You are asked to clear your bedrooms by 9.30am.

    Please be aware that other guests will also be staying at Woodbrooke while you are on retreat so whilst we aim to offer a place of stillness, nurture and calm, we cannot guarantee that the whole building will be silent.

    Cost

    Two nights: £245.00
    Three nights: £345.00
    Four nights: £445.00
    Five nights: £545.00

    These prices are inclusive of ensuite accommodation and all meals.

    New Horizons

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