I am so delighted that you will be joining us at Ubiquity University as we virtually journey In the Footsteps of the Sacred Feminine in Dordogne July 12-18.
During our time together, we will be sharing in story, image and spiritual practices that I hope will enable you to feel as if you are transported across time and space into one of the most beautiful places in the world that I believe was the cradle of courageous compassion. We need this quality in our world more than ever, and it is my deepest hope that our class together will help us nurture this quality within us as we create a global virtual community.
The rhythm of our time together will follow an ancient pattern that is designed to open us to the depths of these teachings.
Prelude (done individually at home): Please allow yourself at least 20 minutes before class begins to settle your mind. I will have recommendations for music for you to listen to for our week together that will evoke the spirit of the times and place that we will be studying. I encourage you to listen to these pieces of music as you gather yourself in silence.
Opening Circle ( 11:00 am PST) We will being with a ceremony of lighting of candles, followed by a reading and opening meditation and a setting of intentions for the day.
Lesson We will explore a story and theme each day through a 60+ minute lecture woven with a plethora of images. Our schedule will be:
July 12: Introduction and the Prehistoric Caves of the Dordogne
July 13: Pilgrimage, Rocamadour and the Black Madonnas of France
July 14: The Knights Templar and Sacred Geometry
July 15: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Troubadours and Courtly Love
July 16: Heroines/Heresy: Esclarmonde de Foix and the Albigensian Crusade
July 17: Josephine Baker and Chateau Milande
July 18: The Call to Courage and Compassion in Our Times
Reflection Following the lesson, we will have time for questions. Some days, we will form small breakout groups to discuss the material; other times, an integrative practice will be introduced, followed by a closing circle.
Integration (done individually) It is strongly recommended (though not required) that you keep and create an art journal as we travel through this week together. Each day will offer questions for further reflection and journaling. This will become all the richer if you also print out pictures to download and collage into your journal, or if you sketch, paint or otherwise “illuminate” your pages. We invite you to share your pictures, writing and responses on our community site to keep our conversation going and spark one another’s creativity.
Enrichment and Immersion Of course, nothing can replace the experience of actually being in France, but a few of these suggestions will deepen and enrich your experience.
1)Ritual: Try to establish a morning routine that can support and deepen your experience. Spend an hour before class sitting in the garden, meditating, or doing yoga, chi gong or tai chi are all things that can help center yourself and open your body to receive.
2)Sensorial experience: To bring the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of France to you, try purchasing essential oils or soap of lavender, rose, lemon, thyme, rosemary. Souffle, galettes, quiche, crepes? I’ll be sharing some recipes from the area for you to try. Create something of your own that features truffles, wild mushrooms, hazelnuts, walnuts, duck, goat cheese and eggs-- all key ingredients in the cuisine of the region. Play music throughout the day that you might have heard if you were sitting at a sidewalk café.
3) Walking: If we were doing this in person, we would be spending a few hours each day walking after our morning lectures while we were on site. This is a wonderful way to process the information—even if you are only retracing the same path in your own neighborhood. Solvitur Ambulando was a favored motto of the Middle Ages: It is solved by walking.
4) Creating Community: start a “watch party” with your friends or fellow students to watch some of the movies on the recommended movie list and then discuss how they mirror the topics of each day and share your own revelations.
The Dordogne (Aquitaine) stole my heart thirteen years ago. I weep with longing every time I leave. Next week, it will be my great joy to bring you there in a journey that I hope will ignite your imagination, indle your courage and open your heart.
I so look forward with great anticipation to sharing this adventure with you,