What holds you up during the hard times?
That was the question of the day posed for the Women’s Spirituality Circle last week.
For some women in the circle it meant drawing on the support and guidance found in their formal church affiliations.
For others it meant drawing on other sources of strength and inspiration — practicing yoga, going inward to study the situation, taking a walk in nature, sharing with a friend or being involved in community work.
The women in the circle are part of a larger group of women working to bring women from many different faiths and spiritual backgrounds together to learn about the different spiritual traditions and practices that sustain women and families in this community.
As one woman in the circle, who has studied many religions, and has dealt with heartache of her own explained, there is a common thread that runs through the heart of all religions and spiritual quests for enlightenment and understanding.
A thread that should bring people together in understanding and support rather than tear them apart.
The workshop is a chance for women to explore their differences while discovering how they are connected, says event organizer Margaret-Anne Enders.
“I’ve noticed that while there is a lot of diversity in our community, people often form friendships with those who are similar in culture and religion to themselves,” Enders says.
“The Women’s Spirituality Circle offers a way to meet and develop relationships with the neighbours that we don’t know yet, with people we might not otherwise cross paths or spend time with.
“We are creating an open and inviting atmosphere for misperceptions or assumptions to be respectfully corrected and for people to gain knowledge, awareness, and ultimately a sense of connection to those of other spiritual traditions.”
“It is a safe, welcoming opportunity to share stories and time with other women who are also on spiritual journeys.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, Islam, Baha’i, Sikhism, Messianic Judaism, Yasodhara Yoga, First Nations spirituality, eclectic spirituality, and more.
The workshops will offer personal ways of exploring spirituality through movement and dance, singing and sharing sacred songs, Tibetan Buddhist meditation, musical meditation, colouring or drawing mandalas, meditation using a labyrinth to walk through on the ground, or a small labyrinth that can be traced in meditation using the fingers.
There will be workshops to study dreams as spiritual insight, the First Nations smudging tradition, sacred story sharing, sharing sacred space and a roundtable on prayer.
Participants will have the opportunity to help make a group mural using felting as the medium, to try various forms of movement such as yoga, dance, and tai chi.
The workshop takes place at the Lake City Secondary Carson Avenue campus on Friday evening March 28, and Saturday, March 29 during the day.
Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. there will be a light dinner and a panel discussion with representative from various faiths and traditions, plus performances and dance from various traditions.
Saturday the workshops take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The fee is pay what you can from $2 to $30. Tickets are available only in advance are can be purchased at Dollar Dollar, Smashin’ Smoothies, CMHA, and the Women’s Contact Society before March 24.
Free childcare is available: Pre-registration is required before March 24 by calling Eva Navrot at 250-392-4118.
The event is funded through an EmbraceBC grant with support from various community organizations.