I am so delighted that you will be joining us as we journey through Mystical Spain.
One of the most important aspects of our journey will be the setting of intentions and the making of wishes and blessings. To deepen this experience, we invite you to create an altar .that evokes the promise and hope of spring. Gather together beautiful colored cloths ,beautiful imagery or icons, and flowers .
For our opening ritual you will need:
A candle A blank journal or large sheets of sturdy paper Colored paintes, pens or markers
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 to the sacred sites of Europe that were places that inspired courage, creativity and compassion . We need these in our world more than ever, and it is my deepest hope that our class together will help us nurture these qualities 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 15 minutes before class begins to settle your mind. You will receive a link to music recommendations for you to listen to for our weekend together that will evoke the spirit of the times and place that we will be studying. I particularly recommend the music of the Cantigas de Santa Maria and Llibre Vermell, songs that have been used for 700+ years on this pilgrimage.
Opening Circle ( 10:30 am PST) We will being with a ceremony of lighting of candles, followed by a reading of poetry and opening meditation and a setting of intentions for the day.
Lesson (10:45-11:30 ) We will explore a story and theme each day through a 60+ minute lecture woven with a plethora of images.
Practicum (11:30 - 12:00 pm) Following the lesson each day, a creative or spiritual practice will be introduced by aa guest faculty member
Reflections (12:00-12:30 pm) We will have 15 minutes to share in small break out groups, followed by a closing circle.
Integration (done individually) It is strongly recommended 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 will invite you to share your pictures, writing and responses in our sharing circles on the last day. This is a marvelous way to spark one another’s creativity.
Enrichment and Immersion Of course, nothing can replace the experience of actually being in Spain, 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. These are all things that can help center yourself and open your body to receive.
2) Sensorial experience: Bring the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of these sacred sights to you. You may want to experiment with Spanish recipes, such as potatos bravas, gazpacho or stuffed eggplant ( click here to explore some simple recipes). Purchase a small pot of spanish lavender for your altar or your garden.
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 old familiar paths in your own neighborhood. Solvitur Ambulando was a favored motto of the Middle Ages: It is solved by walking. Strapon some earphones and listen to Medieval pilgrim songs or watch this concert, filmed in an ancient church in Montpellier aalong the pilgrim route from France to Spain.
4) Dive into reading, studying and watching
Among resources you may wish to explore: Pilgrim, Poems by David Whyte Soul of a Pilgrim by Christine Vaulters Paintner The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau The Way of the Rose by Clark Strand and Perdita Finn The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage by Paolo Coelho Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, a documentary film The Way, a Martin Sheen drama about a man who walks the Camino after his adult son dies
This weekend, it will be our great joy to bring you to this magical land of myth, music and mystery.
I so look forward with great anticipation to sharing this adventure with you,