Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look back to the retreat: August 9th

6:30-7:30: Maura Wolfe volunteered to have a yoga and meditation 101 class. I could not have been introduced to Yoga by a better person. I am going to buy the WII fit because it is the only computer product that will somewhat come close to what I experienced with Maura. I also found out she would be heading the team going to Oklahoma City and my initial feeling of dissapointment because neither Haru nor Liane can come was replaced by a feeling of enthusiasm for Maura and her possibilities. Here is a little bit about Maura " MAURA WOLF (USA) — A consultant to the Shinnyo-en Foundation, Maura has been involved in founding and launching non-profit ventures and assisting individuals and organizations to become more effective through coaching and leadership training for the past fifteen years. She has assisted in the design of training for City Year, Citizen Schools, JumpStart, Youth on Board, The Bonner Foundation, and COOL. She is the founder of Boston Do Something, the YES Ambassador program of the Points of Light Foundation, and Virginia COOL, all campaigns to engage young people in community action and develop their leadership capacities in the process. She is author of two books, Light One Candle: Quotes for Hope and Action and Exploring Realities: Stories of Young Women Making Decisions and Finding Meaning. A Kripalu-trained yoga instructor, and a 360-report writer for Fortune 500 Executives, as a staff member with the Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence, she has put a lot of attention on integrating her mind, heart and body. Recently she completed her MA in Leadership at Saint Mary’s College. She does individual and group coaching through MindWing, is married and the mother of a one-year-old son."
7:30-8:30: Wonderful breakfast with many choices

8:30-8:45 Mrs. Kaye woke up the body with an interesting sequence of bodily-kinesthetic movement and yoga. I must remember to write her and request her process and sequence because as a result, we were transform from a diverse group to a team willing to face the days challenges and opportunties together. We were given the guidelines for the Labyrinth activity and instructions to sign-up for special interest afternoon activities. I wanted badly to go on a ocean reflective walk, but it was still too cold and decided to go to Team which changed into ice cream with Haru. Although the weather improved, I do not regret my decision because I learned a lot even how to find out a little bit about people by what topping the put on their ice cream. I must write the foundation to get the source of their information because it was cute and I have ice cream socials at the beginning of the school year as part of the service-learning office Open House.

8:45-9:45: Intergenerational Dialog on Concern of Youth People. This presentation reafirmed the strenght of intergenerational work. The activity was organized by Katie Pinard of Seattle University 206-296-2328 In a circle, we were read parts of a Letter to a young activist during troubled times by younger participants.
Do not lose heart,. We are made for these times...Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradatons of what matters most to civilized, visionary people... The letter was written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. About 8 younger participants read parts of the letter and then they became the leaders of a discussion group with a task..

We were asked to complete the below sentences individually and then do the task together
1. One concern I have about the world is ...For me it was hunger
2. One thing I want the next generation to know about my generation is.. We cared
3. A gift I would like to give the next generation is...children will on learned about hunger in history books

Then we had to complete the following task as a group and choose the wisest person to speak for the group. We chose our young leader to be our representative:
Write a letter that will be placed in a time capsule and opened in 100 years, in 2018. In your leatter share your wishes and hopes for future generations living on Earth. Tell them what gifts you would like to give to them. Tell them anything else you would like them to know. It was an amazing opportunity to see how different the letters were. Some were personalized others were deep, but all shared hope that the human race would have survived and were peaceful. I am going to be presenting at a Volunteers conference in September. After giving a brochure and letting my students have an opportunity to tell their story, I will do this exercise. It was amazingly powerful and speaks to the subject with greater eloquence because it touches our hearts.

9:15-10:00 We had a break

10:00-11:45 We had our third Home Group meeting. Our task was to share a momemt when service was received and specially valued. Then share a moment when service was provided and felt specially important; and finally reflect on the meaning and power of service. The group had heartfelt moments. I found myself talking about my English teacher at Casady School when I was an exchange students and my trip to Peru to build a playground for children; others talked about similar services in their lives. We realized that we had learned by giving and receiving and our lives had been transformed by service.

12:00 -1:00 Lunch I met the writer who will be documenting our retreat experience to honor the 10th anniversary. I was interviewed and eat wonderful food.

1:00 -5:00 I chose to do a t-shirt. The activity was facilitated by Jody Kennedy. My t-shirt was not great buy the younger participants made a "We are made for these times" t-shirts that were amazing. I signed up for this workshop because it was cold and it allowed me to be inside and attend tea/ice cream time with Haru. I learned about special paints and a system to spray decorations on t-shirts using stencils. My students love to have personalized t-shirts and this will give us an opportunity to do something different at low cost for our projects such as the hunger walk. Ice-Cream with Haru was interesting. I learned about the difference between the foundation and the Shinnyoen order. I learned that people who like cherries as a topping of ice cream are detailed oriented and people who put nuts on their ice cream are the life of the party. I am not sure how scientific this is, I will find out the sources, but it was a nice way to begin the meeting. It was a nice ice breaker. Then we proceeded to true or false statements about Haru. A nice way to get to know him without him saying much. I was glad I went. After the meeting I had a few seconds with Haru and he told me that he would help me get where I wanted to go no matter how long it took. I told him that my hope was a world free of hunger for food and for justice. He said some things we might not get to see in our life time, but we need to work for them anyway.

3:30-7:30 Refreshments and anniversary dinner. At 5:30 I attended an introduction to meditation. It was interesting, but not as impacting at Yoga had been in the morning. My path crossed Maura's path again and I was reassured that the time in OKC was going to be great. We made an appointment to meet the whole team at lunch the next day to finalize details and for them to ask questions about my reality.

7:45-9:00 Labyrinth Activity: The amazing labyrinth rug awaited for participants. Our instructions were that this was not a maze, we would end at the beginning and we did not need to worry about where we were going, just to focus on something personal. I saw people praying, crying, deep in reflection. I felt out of place because the walk was not doing much for me, when all of the sudden I started to pray in Spanish and I took this as a permission to explore my religion again. I was very excited but I am still to do it. Part of our directions were to stay and observed others. I focused on observing two women whose service programs I admire, Nan and Kathryn Berger Kaye. I saw them across from me moving at the same pace in reflection. I could only think about how far they were from were I was, but that the foundation was our connecting path. I felt that someday I could be in syncronicity with them too.

9:15-11:00 Open Mike- I was to tired. I went to bed exhausted before the labyrinth activity ended.

No comments: