Campfire at the Heart is such a peaceful, beautiful place to be. I have been enjoying walking among the Eucalyptus trees, listen to the birds, sitting in the grass, looking at the cacti, and just generally feeling good.
Rose, Sue, Kate, Sharie, and I went to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park. It is a place where people spend the whole day but we only had a couple of hours. The first thing we saw were a couple of Dingoes I sure hope I get to see these in the wild sometime on this trip.
Rose, Kate and Shaire went to the bird show which is similar to the one we have at the Oregon Zoo. Sue and I went to the small bird sanctuary where their was no screen between us and the birds. We also visited other sanctuaries and the nocturnal house.
Now for Interplay. I didn’t know what a Monk’s and Mystic’s Interplay event would involve. I asked Sharie (Rose’s friend from Seattle) and she tole me that it is, “an active and creative way to unlock the wisdom of your body using singing, storytelling, movement, and stillness.” I had no idea that it would be so much fun.
We began yesterday with some breathing and movement. Susanna Pain and Betsey Beckman are the leaders. Since this blog is actually my journal, I am going to try to record some of what we have done to help me remember the activities. It may not make sense to anybody reading it.
Betsey told a “Creation Story” that she had read. It was from the perspective of a black man. She also talked about Saint Frances. We sang a song and used motions to go along with the song. Here are the words.
“The world is my heart. The world is my home. The world is my monastery.”
Then we each individually found an item or place that spoke to us and spent some quiet, alone time. After a while we met in dyads to share what we were feeling and thinking.
Then we had some time to ourselves. I met a woman, Farida, who lives in Alice Springs. She was only able to attend the workshop for the 1st day because she is a doctor at the hospital and needed go to work. She shared a poem with me. Here it is.
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words.
And keeps repeating them, saying “Come dance with Me, come dance. “Hafez”
Before dinner we were invited to go to the labyrinth. What a fabulous experience. We were all walking around the beautiful labyrinth at the same time. It didn’t matter if you were passing somebody or not. I felt so at ease as I was walking around. One of the participants decided to do the whole walk with her eyes closed. A couple of people did it barefoot. This is the largest labyrinth I have ever experienced. I loved passing a little yellow flower both going into the center and returning out.
The following photos were taken the next morning. You can get an idea of the size because Pip was sitting in the middle praying when I took the photo,
Here is my little yellow flower.
After dinner we gathered in what they called the “Prayer Room” to share. Susanna told us about an event that was going to happen in town the next night. From what I understood, it was going to be a “Lament.” This is the 50th anniversary of Pine Gap which is the American base in Australia. The event would also be lamenting the Frontier Wars (the wars with the aboriginal people when Australia was settled). There was quite a discussion with varying opinions being expressed about whether we wanted to attend. What impressed me the most was the way that Susanna and Betsy honored each person in the group and made sure that everybody was personally give a chance to speak. If I had any anxiety about what activities we were going to be invited to do during this workshop, this experience removed any of them. I was fully ready to participate.
They begin each morning with a “Prayer Time” at 7:30. So far I haven’t been interested in that part. Since I stay up writing the blog at night, I just want to get up and shower in the morning.
Today the theme of our activities was, “Water” and we were first driven to a place called, “Clay Pans.” Because there has been so much rain, there was water there. Susanna was waiting for us to gather in a circle.
We were invited to move (dance) around in the space. I immediately took off my candles and headed to the water. The muddy clay bottom squished between my toes. I love it. Other people joined me in the water.
As we moved around, we sang a song together as we moved around. The words were, “May what I do flow from me like a river.”
Then we did some activities with partners. In one activity, the first person would get into a shape and the other person moved around them. Then we would switched roles. We did this with several partners and then as a whole group. Of course, we had time to share feelings and thoughts after the activity so I will probably stop writing about the sharing time after this.
After several activities we had bush tea (or Billy tea) that David had prepared for us. He made the tea in a Billy Pot over a fire he had built into the sand. We brought banana bread as a snack and it was great with the tea.
Terri walked back out into the water.
I found this activity exhilarating. Betsey asked us if a group of us would be willing dance in the water again while Sharie took photos. This is just another example of the respect the leaders have for the group. She had told us last night that she wanted to do some filming and some people said it might make them feel self-conscience and interfere with the activities for them. Some of the people who didn’t want to be filmed, sang music for us as we danced. I loved participating again.