Warm Greetings to all as we embark upon a new year that is unfolding even for those of us who don’t feel quite ready for it! I hope that you have been able to enjoy time with family and friends in whatever way has been possible. Last year, mostly due to the circumstances we found ourselves in, was something of a fallow year for Open Sanctuary. This year is beginning slowly.
Contemplation for an age of Crisis
The Black Summer of 2019/20 appeared as an apocalyptic event. The extent of the fires, their ferocity, their spread and the length of time they ran for, were horrifying. Hot on the heels of fire we entered the time of Covid. The true meaning of the word apocalypse has to do with the revealing of something. And, as others have said, if we are not listening and looking, we will miss that which is being revealed to us in this time through events such as fire and pandemic. We cannot return to ‘normal’ because in many respects it is ‘normal’ that has brought us to the time of crises that we are now in. So how do we live in a world that will see more crises? How do we meet the challenges of our time with compassion, equilibrium and wisdom? And more, what is being called for in these times? How are we to respond to the need for both personal stability and resilience and the need for humanity to find common purpose and resolve to unify in facing the future together?
The central focus of Open Sanctuary has always been the practice of silence and coming together to encourage a contemplative stance towards life. As the writer Maggie Ross says, “Life hangs in the balance”. * We are at a precarious moment of history and we have a choice to make. She says, “The choice for silence or noise, for carefulness or carelessness, is ours in every moment. To choose silence as the minds default in an accelerating consumer culture – a culture that sustains itself by dehumanizing people through the unrelenting pressure of clamor, confusion, and commodification – is indeed a subversive act.”
The crises that we face will, ultimately, be resolved at the spiritual level of humanity. When we are unable to listen because of the noise of our minds and our world we become less human. At Open Sanctuary we hope to foster our capacity for listening, simplicity and stillness such that we will make the choice for silence, carefulness. Choosing silence is a choice for wholeness. It is a choice for wilderness. It is a choice for Life.
Silence is our natural habitat, and the work of silence is, as it were, a process of returning to the wild”.
If you would like to join us at Open Sanctuary, this year we will be offering:
Meditation every Monday morning during school term 10.30am to 12.30pm. Using discussion and reflective practices, meditation offers us an ancient and new way of engaging with the creation around us through our community of Open Sanctuary to renew trust and love of life. Contact Mandy
Dadirri Days - On each fourth Friday of the month. A quiet day based on sessions of meditation. Shared silence informs the morning with space for contemplative walking, journaling or sitting at the foot of the mountain. All are welcome to join in this time of simplicity, silence and stillness. Contact Linda or Lyndall Preparing for Parousia - Going Deeper. Every second Saturday in the month from March onwards, from 3pm to 5pm. A discussion and practise group in seeking Presence, including the re-capitulating of our personal stories and the human story with a particular emphasis on consciousness and its evolution. Contact David.
We hope you will join us as we seek to grow in the contemplative wisdom, hope and quiet joy, so urgently needed in the world.