Monday, September 14, 2009

July 25: Peace and Spirituality

I got up really early and walked. Then I went to Yoga with Tori Pinto. I was an envigorating experience.

After daily announcements and sign-up for afternoon activities, we heard the reflections on Peace and Spirituality from a new group of youth, the Shinnyo Fellows. Their projects were: Peace and Healing Counseling Practices: Andre, UC Berkeley "Soul Food for the Activist" Retreat: Peace, Service, and Spirituality Workshops: Farah and Sarah; Men Committed to Serving the Communnity at Seattle University by Gordon, Revolutionary Relationships: 6 Billion Paths to Peace by Samantha; South Central Seattle Neighborhood Celebration: Building Pathways to Peace, by my home group facilitator Sean; After we heard about their projects we went into small groups to help their vision and cause with our experience and resources. I wonder what they will report next year!

The home groups had as a task to explore the relationship between inner peace and efforts to achieve external peace. We did this exploration through art. I discovered how important circles and connectivity with nature are in my spiritual life. I found some peace in the middle of my personal troubles doing this personal art activity. I realized that I have stopped comparing my art to others. Others will have great creativity. If schooled in art and drawing is a passion, theirs will look better, but the essence of this exercise was art as a medium of expressing something not easily expressed with words. This activity took me from "usual communication" (100% attentive, Preparing to React, 100% Reactive) to a dialogue with myself (100% attentive, listening to learn, 100% Inquire)

Lunch was delicious and we were sent to our afternoon activities.

Jeanie and I joined the Ocean Hike which was an adventure on loosing our way and exploration of reflection. As I walked and reflected with Jeanie, I found myself taking pictures of nature scenes that were spiritual and peaceful. The girls went kayaking.

Dinner was nice and I was in the first group to go through the labyrinth. The theme was What was your Spirituality. I discovered that my spirituality is connected to others and nature. I discovered how people I do not even know can take away my peace and others can bring pieces of that peace back to me. How spiritual I am in relation to my home life and how others and nature influence my reactions and actions.

The home group meeting after the labyrinth was the most powerful spiritual, painful and peaceful experience I have had. I realized how connected we are as humans and how we can empowered each other to find our pathway to internal and external peace. It was a memorable experience, too personal to discuss in a reflective pedagogical blog.

I spend many hours talking to my husband on the phone that night. I saw the girls walking to and returning from evening activities. It was an overall peaceful feeling.

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