Experience of the Spirit

Showing 1–16 of 44 results

    Writing Retreat at Swarthmoor Hall

    Set in the beautiful and quiet surroundings of Swarthmoor Hall, this retreat is open to anyone looking for space and time for writing, whether starting a new project, or to take forward or finish off a current piece. There will be the opportunity to hear from the tutors about their experience of writing and one to one time with them but the emphasis will be on creating a supportive environment to devote to the craft itself.

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk or ring 01229 583204

    T.S. Eliot: The heavy burden of the growing soul

    This course will track the remarkable evolution of Eliot’s poetry – from his early modernist forays, culminating in The Waste Land, via the intensifying spiritual preoccupations of subsequent years, leading to his crowning contemplative masterpiece, Four Quartets. We shall focus especially on the poet’s intensifying quest for meaning against the often hostile background of the modern world, and consider how these challenging – but intensely human, subtle and honest – works stimulate insights into our own quandaries and aspirations.

    In Humility of Heart

    One of the foundations of the spirit-led life, humility is at the heart of our witness. However, in this age of individualism, status and celebrity to turn oneself over to a life of faithful service is a radical act. Together we’ll explore how we can let go of the need to judge and be judged, and learn to accept, forgive and be content. It will be a space in which to be encouraged by those who have faced the troubles of life with grace-filled hope.

    Nurturing Authentic Spirituality: a rule to live by

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct non-resident price is £240.00.

    How are we to live an authentic spirituality? What spiritual principles do we apply in our daily lives and how can we be accountable to our faith community in our quest for spiritual authenticity? This course will give us a chance to share our spiritual aspirations, histories and practices and to identify those areas where we feel we need help. Building community through worship and creative listening, we will define personal strategies for daily faithfulness and explore how we might challenge and support one another along the way.

    Icon Painting as a spiritual practice

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct non-resident price is £350.

    Practicing icon painting helps us to look into ourselves, make time to be in the silence of our hearts and learn who we are. How can we then after knowing more about what we are develop a connection and relationship with the Divine. Learning technique will be a very important part of the course. Feeling confident in creating an image helps to forget about all distractions, things we can’t achieve, things that we don’t understand and simply let our hand be an extension of our souls. Participants will learn all stages of icon painting and principles of the technique but will focus on meditative aspect of the process. Each session will start with short guided meditation to help us reconnect with our bodies.

    The search the Deep Self

    The course will help people discover their deeper selves and what gives them meaning and purpose. It is based on stories of people finding insight into who they are and what their life is about. Stories are drawn from the well known and the not so well known eureka moments and slow dawnings. All, however, are liberating and life-giving. By exploring these often intimate and moving stories, participants reflect on themselves – and are empowered to take further steps in their own lives.

    Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct prices for this course are £295 for residents and £220 for non-residents. The higher price is to cover the cost of performance tickets.

    Beethoven’s final symphony expresses complex and intimate states of mind while embracing the universal aspirations of the Age of Revolution, in unprecedentedly dramatic and beautiful music.  In this course we shall look both at the historical context and the way that Beethoven has shaped the work. We shall hear Simon Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in an eagerly awaited performance. This course is intended for all music lovers, and specialist knowledge is not needed.

    Telling our (digital) Quaker stories **Cancelled**

    This course provides the opportunity to participate in a digital storytelling process to create a short film on the theme of ‘Our Quaker stories’. Through participating in a supportive story circle you will create a short script and additional visual material to make your own two minute digital story. At the end of the weekend we will share our stories together and consider future possibilities for sharing them more widely.

    No specialised technical knowledge is required but we request that you use your own smart phone or tablet If you have one. If this is not possible please get in touch and we will make arrangements to have extra equipment available.

    Living Water – an Appleseed Course

    Water is essential for life and has been a feature of the natural world that has given rise to spiritual symbolism and religious ritual since earliest times. What does 'Living Water' mean to each of us today? The Appleseed process balances thinking and feeling and provides a safe space for personal exploration. Short talks and meditation will be followed by simple art-based activities (no skills required) and worship sharing. The course is suitable for those with and without Appleseed experience.

    A Drop of Stillness

    A weekend retreat to nourish the deep peace stillness and silence can offer us, and the soft, graceful movements of Qi Gong to centre ourselves, replenish and harmonise our Qi (energy), to nurture a calm and relaxed body and mind.  To be centred.  Sitting and walking meditation, periods of noble silence, deep relaxation, informal walking meditation in the gardens,  and the invitation to take our meals in silence and enjoy eating meditation together.

    Spiritual Principles:daily practices

    The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the US in 1935 by two seemingly hopeless drunks - an Akron surgeon and a New York stockbroker. The fellowship is based on spiritual principles contained within its twelve steps and traditions. Visitors to meetings often remark that the spiritual principles contained within this framework would be good for anybody to live by. Up until now, little has been brought to the attention of non-alcoholics regarding the spiritual principles behind this success. Together we will explore the practical applications of these principles, in relation to the faith and practice of Friends. Those attending can look forward to worship, individual and corporate refection, and sharing. No previous twelve steps experience is required. All are welcome.

    Desert as sacred space **Cancelled**

    For centuries the vastness and emptiness of the desert has called out to us. Within its shifting landscapes, we find a place for solitude and silence, a symbol of spiritual growth and maturity, for refuge and struggle, stillness and change, withdrawal and meeting. Together we’ll explore the significance of the desert experience in religious, literary and cultural texts; from Jesus of Nazareth to the Desert Fathers and Mothers, from T.S. Eliot to David Lean.

    Introduction to Life Writing for Transformation

    ‘Greet yourself in your thousand other forms. As you mount the hidden tide and travel back home’ Hafiz. Whether you are looking for practical tips to kick start your writing, or seek deeper personal transformation, this course provides a safe, inspiring retreat. Introducing key tools of Transformative Life Writing™ that minimise your inner critic, enabling you to re-connect with your authentic voice. On completion, writers join the wider community of Transformative Life Writers™. This includes newsletters, and an annual retreat at Woodbrooke

    A Gathering of Fools

    *This is a retreat exclusively for those who have completed a previous ‘fool’ course with Angela*

    The fool archetype is sometimes known as a systems changer. This means that by showing up as the fool we automatically change any environment we are a part of. As great change is happening everywhere in the world, we need a flood, a renaissance of fools, who can positively change systems and environments through their embodied, flexible, spontaneous, aware, courageous service. This year’s gathering will focus on how we can serve a group, system or ‘social body’.

    A changing world: Who am I? What can I do?

    Drawing on the wisdom of the enneagram to deepen our understanding of ourselves as spiritual beings and to recognise what drives us, we will consider how we can act with integrity in our communities. By valuing our talents and gifts; by noticing our characteristic patterns of behaviour; and by considering our position within our family or community, we will think about how we might be effective agents of change.

    Look Not Out But Within: a Quaker retreat

    For Friends seeking a refreshment of their Quaker spirituality and a deeper understanding of its roots. We will draw on the writings of early Friends and others to enrich our own experience. Short talks and whole group sessions will alternate with extended periods of silent time with the Spirit, reflecting on what we have heard. Meals will be silent. Individual spiritual accompaniment is not a formal part of this retreat but can be offered if required.