For the past 2 weeks I have been quietly going about chores at home, some of them a bit dull, like servicing the car, and even cleaning it. Some of my chores have been a bit unexpected, like clearing a flea infestation brought about by warm weather and my tardiness in treating the lovely Selkie. You’ll be pleased to know she is now touring the house killing them off as she goes. And don’t worry if you’re considering making a booking, the retreat rooms are quite separate from the main house!
Catching up in the garden is never a chore, well perhaps dead-heading might count as that, but I usually love whatever I do in the garden. But as I write I am in fact happy to report it’s raining hard, that amazing fulsome wet rain that will feed the garden, the river, and the landscape for miles around. I’ve swum every morning in the river this month bar two – one on the day I had tickets for Wimbledon (a fine excuse), and today. Although rain doesn’t in theory prevent swimming, it was a bit too wet first this morning for me to be tempted.
These welcome quieter weeks follow a rather hectic 6 weeks, starting early June with a day here on “The Wisdom of Centering Prayer”. A sunny day with a lovely group of people in which we looked at the practice of Centering Prayer meditation, and its’ links to both Jesus’ teaching on kenosis, or “inner letting go”, and the way it can support the challenges of daily life, through for example the “Welcoming Prayer”. It was a very full day, see below for an expansion on that comment!
June also brought a trip to the Holy Isle off the coast of Arran, for a second “wisdom school” with Cynthia Bourgeault. It will take some time to digest her profound and unique teaching on “the divine exchange”. I hope to write more about it, and to incorporate what I learnt into future events.
Shortly after that I gave a speech to 200+ people at an event in London. Flattered to be invited by an old friend to be his “principal guest”, it involved giving the speech of thanks and preparing it was a huge learning experience. 5-7 minutes James said, and whilst I struggled initially to find the right content, the real struggle was in ensuring I kept within the time. What emerged, I’m proud to say, was a mistress-piece of oratory!
But before I take a tumble, the real learning from the experience was this – when I offer a day event I usually have way too much material than can be delivered and more importantly, consumed and digested in the space of a few hours. So I am resolved to offer less for more on day events! And that dovetails nicely into a decision I made after the June day. This is to offer a series of 6 day events over a year, to allow a small group to delve more deeply together into this wonderful wisdom teaching that is emerging to challenge and enrich us.
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