Summer Seminar 2006
THE SCHOOL OF THE NATURAL ORDER
About the time we started brainstorming ideas for this year’s seminar we received a request from Jenna Dalton for a summer celebration. She and her husband, Matt Burns, want to renew their wedding vows and celebrate their family at Home Farm. “Family” includes their twins, Sage and Scout—a family of four. As we began to plan for this event, we began to generate ideas about the importance of four in our studies and practices. Soon we had several teachers eager to share the significance of four in their lives. The outcome: an exciting participatory seminar simply titled
A Family Celebration: June 24th
Seminar: June 25th – June 30th
We would like to invite you to come 4th (couldn’t resist that one) and share explorations of four in classes described below.
General Semantics and “4” — Bruce Kodish
Vitvan showed wisdom when he advised his students to study General Semantics (GS). Along the pathway to becoming more conscious one can easily lose one’s head in clouds of verbalism, illusion, and delusion. One can fool oneself and others by worshipping symbols at the expense of actualities. General Semantics provides a discipline to help students of self-development stay grounded and not lose their way too severely on their spiraling and sometimes confusing journeys of ascent. Bruce Kodish, a veteran teacher of GS and co-author of Drive Yourself Sane, an acclaimed introduction to GS, will provide you with some tools for your journey in a series of 5 (sorry!) lecture-demonstrations with lots of participation. Prepare to have some serious fun … and don’t worry … we’ll have plenty of “4”-play.
Lynne Hoffman —The Four Somatic Divisions of Man
Perceptions: How Does It Feel? How Does It Act?
An ‘Objective/Modern’ View of the Somatic Body
The Geometry of Four: Puzzles and Games
The Language of Four: Metaphors (MetaFours). Semantically Incorrect Clues
The Somatic Body of Our World: Elementary Geology, Weather, and other Sciences
Joanne Dalton — The Four Agreements
“In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and creates needless suffering.” This seminar session will acquaint folks with these four agreements and then provide time to share how they may be implemented in our everyday lives. The Four Agreements deck of cards will also be shared as a tool to support transformation from our complex thinking to these four simple reminders to love and respect ourselves and others.
Jenna Dalton and Matt Burns — Alchemy Through Earth, Water, Air, and Fire
During this session we will be exploring the cyclical connections of the four elements through storytelling, art, and small group activities. Each activity will follow a “path” beginning in the earth phase, moving into water, then being shocked into activity by air and brought full circle through fire. By using the metaphor of the elements and their relationship to one another, we will then be able to compare this process to our own inner lives and spiritual development. Bring nothing but an open mind!
Jody Dalton — Interwork: A Weaving of Meditation Practice with Reference to the Four Somatic Divisions of Man.
I will be sharing the essence of my daily practice which will include:
· Yoga, Salute to the Sun (the Air element)
· Floor stretches (the Earth element)
· Standing Meditation (the Fire element)
· Healing energy body scan (the Water element)
· Energy Centers of the body
· Reflection of the day
Marj Coffman — Unifying the Four Aspects of Consciousness
Working with Gay Hendrick’s exercises from his book Conscious Breathing, we will begin each day with gentle stretches coordinated with breathing to unify the physical, etheric, emotional and mental ‘bodies’ to prepare for the activities of the day.
Jim Dalton — Foundations of Mindfulness. Evening meditations
Bringing mindfulness into the present moment in these frames of reference:
Body in and of itself: To begin we attempt to bring the mind and body together: mindfulness of breathing, mindfulness of walking, etc.
Feelings in and of themselves: Then we expand our awareness to the feeling state. In Buddhism the term feeling does not refer to complex emotions or psychological states. It is simply the “gut level” impulse to attach to our experience (grasping) or to push away from it (aversion). We are drawn to what is pleasant and we turn away from what is painful.
Mind in and of itself: Next we observe moods: passions, hatreds, delusions, restlessness, clarity, concentration, tightness, expansiveness. These are qualities of the mind that we can be mindful of.
Mental qualities in and of themselves: Finally we can turn to habitual patterns that are sometimes called hindrances: Hatred, greed, habitual restlessness, sloth and torpor, doubt. These more complex qualities of mind arise according to our character, and can be overcome through mindfulness and clear awareness.
Finally, seven factors of enlightenment emerge and grow as our practice matures and the hindrances die down: curiosity, joy, energy, mindfulness, calm, concentration and equanimity.
An exciting “Youth Camp” for children ages 7 – 17 is planned to be held concurrently with the adult seminar. They will also explore the theme of four. They will be camped at the Grey Cliffs group campground in Great Basin National Park. For more details about this aspect of the seminar, please contact Nomi Sheppard. Email: email@example.com
Seminar participants will be given priority for Home Farm housing, but since many wedding guests are expected it would be wise to make your reservations early. Accommodations are limited. Overflow accommodations will include camping at Home Farm or making reservations at one of the two small local motels. We’re looking “4-ward” to seeing you.