Saturday, December 27, 2008

On Reflection

Stain glass window at Convent
It's been a month since my last blog, I did not loose interest or motivation for blogging, I simply took some opportunities to grow myself and others, which prevented me from sitting at a computer. I have saved up a few things I need to blog about. Firstly Earthworks Retreat, then later today I will return to report on my Japanese Reading Challenge progress, and the Banana.

Inside the Mudbrick Convent
Earthworks is a 2 1/2 day retreat which draws on the principles of Joanna Macy's work she titles 'the work that reconnects'. Thich Naht Hanh said 'the most important thing people can do to help change the world is to listen to the sounds of the Earth crying.' Through the Earthworks retreat, participants are encouraged to learn about the earth, our relationship with aspects of the earth through past, present and future, and to listen for opportunities to be involved in change.

This is the 3rd time I've done this retreat and each time I learn more about myself, my relationships with others and the earth and my own spirituality. The retreat is located at an old convent which was built by nuns in the 70's from mudbricks and pre-loved building materials. It's just a 'divine' setting for reflection and long periods of silence. Also works great for the saturday night sing along.

I find that I rarely allow for there to be long periods of silence in my life, but this year specifically, I was in deep need of the time to just sit and listen. I loved the session where we were sent to find somewhere on the property (mostly bush) and listen to what surrounded us. I thought I was sitting under a tree to listen to birds, but strangely I ended up listening to ants.... weird, but significant.

Time out of business and the demands of the looming Christmas season, was a truly and blessed opportunity for me to remember the real meaning of Christmas, and what my relationship to Christmas is. Contribute to change - somewhere, sometime.

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