Friday, 1 April 2011

Spiritual practices workshops

Wednesday 20 April, 7-9 pm: Meditation workshop
We will start with some simple meditation techniques for relaxation, such as relaxing the body, mindfulness of breathing, and simple visualisations to assist with focusing on the breath.

Wednesday 18 May, 7-9 pm: Metta Bhavana 
This is a Buddhist meditation practice which promotes loving kindness and a sense of peace and harmony. We will explore the variations on Metta Bhavana, the Buddhist ideas which gave rise to it, and spend some time practising it.

Wednesday 15 June, 7-9 pm: Visualisation 
This is a practice used by many Pagans to explore and transform the inner self. We will try some simple visualisations, and look at some of the symbolism of the Pagan traditions which is used in visualisations, such as the four elements.

Wednesday 13 July, 7-9 pm: Chakras 
These are an ancient Hindu concept of energy centres in the body. They correspond to various glands in the body. We will look at their names and associated concepts, sounds and colours, and visualise opening and closing them. 

Wednesday 17 August, 7-9 pm: Unitarian writers on spirituality 
We will look at some of the Unitarian writers who have explored spiritual practices, especially those which cultivate a sense of the Divine as being immanent (involved and present) in the world. It would be helpful if participants could obtain a copy of The Unitarian Life: Voices from the Past and Present, edited by Stephen Lingwood (London: The Lindsey Press, 2008). 

Wednesday 14 September, 7-9 pm: Communion 
This is quite a difficult subject for many Unitarians, because most of us do not believe in salvation. What does communion mean to us? What Unitarian traditions of communion have emerged? How can it be re-imagined? We will look at three different Unitarian bread-and-wine communion services, the flower communion and the water communion, and their historical and theological contexts. 

About the workshops 
  • We welcome people regardless of ethnicity, ability, gender, or sexual orientation. 
  • We welcome people of all ages except that a lower limit may be applied as appropriate. 
  • We welcome new members and help them to feel at home. 
  • We offer a safe space, characterised by acceptance and respect for all. 
  • We make room for people of different beliefs, perspectives, and spiritual orientations. 
  • We emphasize that there is no single answer to life's great questions, no one way of understanding the sacred element of life, and no one spiritual path that is right for everyone. 
  • We offer opportunities for broad participation. 

About the facilitator 

Yvonne Aburrow has been a Unitarian since 2007 and a Wiccan since 1991. She has led numerous workshops and rituals, and studied MA Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities at Bath Spa University. She has written four books on the mythology and symbolism of trees, birds and animals, published by Capall Bann. She is a trade union activist and web developer, as well as a blogger and a poet. 

The Trowbridge Unitarian Meeting House
'The Conigre' 45 Seymour Road

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