Workshops & Courses


Resistance & Obedience to God

A deep exploration into how we experience God and divine guidance, based on Resistance and Obedience to God, Memoirs of David Ferris (1707‐1779), ed. by Martha Paxson Grundy, Friends General Conference edition, 2001.

Study questions and queries are the foundation for a rich examination and sharing of how God reaches us and how we respond, deny, resist, struggle with, change, accept, follow, and live in the divine flow. We begin at: “Hello, hello? Is anybody there?” and move together through “Who, me?” and all the other states of mind and spirit that go along with experiences of divine guidance.

This course can be designed into a number of possible formats:

  • An 8‐9 day Intensive
  • A long weekend: Friday evening through Sunday noon
  • Weekly meetings for two to three months

    The Intensive is for in‐person groups. The other formats work in person and via Zoom.

    Shorter formats may be followed by one or more single day or weekend follow‐ups.

    Co-teacher: Because this is an or extended program, Joel Cook of Florida will join me for many of the sessions.

    Water of Life

    A refreshing dip into practices for spiritual renewal

    This in‐person retreat includes Quaker and other time‐tested ways to deepen our spiritual lives. There will be times of prayer, of learning, of healing, and of silence. The daily rhythm also includes times of solitude for individual reflection, work if the hosting center welcomes it, and rest.

    In creating a retreat environment, Shulamith builds an atmosphere of stillness, spaciousness, acceptance, prayer, healing, and love.

    Elements of the retreat can include:

  • Experiment With Light (a Quaker guided meditation developed by Rex Ambler, based on historical home worship practices)

  • Lectio divina (“divine reading,” monastic origin)

  • Accessing divine guidance (using Quaker Luke Cock’s experiences to assist us)

  • Developing a Rule for Joy / Guide for Transformation (monastic origin as Rule of Life, but with a light touch and a Quaker orientation)

  • The Welcoming Practice (a method to remain centered in the divine flow during difficult events, developed by Mary Mrozowski, adapted by Cynthia Bourgeault, and then adapted slightly further by Shulamith)

  • Worship: unprogrammed Waiting Worship, extended worship, and semi‐programmed worship using chants or other kinds of music, and brief readings.

  • Meeting for Healing (Quaker)

  • One‐on‐one spiritual direction with Shulamith

    How many of the above elements are included will depend on the length of the retreat. This in‐person program can be designed to fit into a single day, a weekend, a long weekend, or extended to a limit of five days. It can be a semi‐annual or annual event.


    The elements of the Water of Life Retreat are also offered as separate workshops:


    Luke Cock’s Sermon on Following his Guide

    This is the humorous and inspiring story of Luke’s struggles to follow his Guide at various milestones in his life, spoken to his Meeting in 1721.

    Includes historical Quaker approaches to guidance, discussion of participants’ experiences of guidance, Waiting Worship, small group work, and explanation of Quaker methods of accessing guidance, such as Experiment With Light.

    In‐person and online versions of this workshop work well. Ninety minutes to two hours, depending on the size of the group.

    An optional second session a week or a month later will give participants a chance to open more fully to guidance and then return to the group to have questions answered, to solve problems, and to tell their own stories.

    The Experiment With Light

    This is a 45‐minute guided Quaker meditation was developed by Rex Ambler from his research into early Quaker home worship practices.

    It is designed to help people access messages from Spirit, including needed guidance, assurance, correction, and love.

    This meditation is often done in ongoing groups called “Light Groups,” which provide support and build community amongst us. It is also a wonderful introduction to Quakerism so can be used as an outreach tool.

    A simple introduction, the meditation, and sharing afterwards, can be done in an hour and a quarter. Shulamith’s preference is for a somewhat deeper introduction and a longer time of individual reflection, bringing the experience to ninety minutes to two hours.

    These formats work well in person and via Zoom.

    A longer version of the in‐person workshop goes from 9:00 am to 4 pm, or for a similar length of time beginning and ending later in the day. It works well going from 2 pm into the evening hours. This version includes a shared meal (usually in silence), a second time through the meditation, small group exploration, and large group sharing.

    Experiment With Light is often offered on a weekly or monthly basis, either as a series or as an ongoing worship program.


    Semi-programmed worship

    We will explore some of the many ways to blend silence with music and readings for those who cannot do, or cannot sustain, silent or mostly silent Waiting Worship. Music can include chanting (Quaker, Taizé, interfaith), singing from Quaker songbooks, and listening to or singing along with other uplifting music, including modern spiritual rock music.

    Poetry and readings can be entirely from Quaker sources, or include interfaith sources and inspiring or enlightening secular sources.

    Objectives:

    ♦ To have a rich, fulfilling and fruitful worship together, with silent Waiting Worship, and possible vocal ministry, as its heart.
    ♦ Over time, people can become able to extend how long and how deeply they can participate in Waiting Worship.
    ♦ To provide an introduction to Quaker Waiting Worship that is easier for some people to understand and participate in than an unprogrammed meeting.

    An hour to an hour and a half is good as an introduction. If this is an ongoing program, we can experiment with extended periods of worship.

    This works well as an online program. We can go deeper, and longer if desired, in person.

    Quaker Meeting for Healing

    Meetings for Worship for Healing are a time to let our love flow to each other. We focus on people one at a time, with everyone sending healing in a way with which they are comfortable. For some, it is a holding in the light. For others it may be silent intercessory prayer or a laying on of hands.

    It is done in silence. There may be vocal ministry but that is rare.

    There is a specific, very simple protocol which is followed.

    It is not a time of giving advice or expressing despair, grief or anger. Love flows through us with our healing intent and the atmosphere is holy. We help each other heal, in whatever form that may take. We experience the Beloved Community; this in itself is healing.

    Meetings for Healing can be powerfully effective, and are a joy to participate in.

    Ninety minutes. There are such groups online, but Shulamith recommends doing these Meetings in person, especially when people don’t already know each other.

    Meetings for Healing are often offered on a weekly or monthly basis.

    Developing A Rule of Life

    or Guide for Transformation, or Regeneration of Joy! Plan

    What nurtures your spirit? What daily practices do you need to develop your spiritual muscles? Are you giving time to what you love? What’s standing in your way?

    A Rule of Life follows the age‐old path of getting specific and serious—though with joy and hope and a light touch—about becoming the person you want to be. Your Rule should not be dry, dull, or onerous, but something that you love to do, something that inspires, transforms, and empowers you. This query‐driven workshop will help you find balance and joy in your life.

    Ninety minutes works well; two hours is preferred.

    A follow‐up two months later allows participants to get help if their Plan isn’t working well for them or if they haven’t been able to fully develop it. It will also provide peer and teacher support and a way for participants to share what it’s been like for them to have such a guiding vision.

    Online works well; meeting in person can take us deeper.

    Lectio Divina

    Lectio divina, latin for “divine reading,” is a way of slowly reading and reflecting on a short text. In groups, it can include responses, discussion, individual reflection, and worship sharing. The result is that the meaning of the text penetrates us deeply; we absorb it fully.

    Objectives:

    ♦ Become familiar with Quaker writings and authors;
    ♦ Achieve a deep understanding of spiritual matters;
    ♦ Develop a personal or family practice of lectio divina to strengthen your spiritual life or that of your family;
    ♦ Enhance the life and depth of your community or Meeting.

    Ninety minutes. Online works very well; meeting in person works slightly better.

    This can be a one‐time introduction, a series, or an ongoing weekly or monthly event.

    The Welcoming Practice

    This technique to cope with hard times and extreme emotions was developed by Mary Mrozowski and made popular by Cynthia Bourgeault. Shulamith has adapted it a little further. The workshop introduces a simple technique—not always easy, but simple—to re‐center ourselves in the midst of emotional turmoil. When practiced regularly, it has surprisingly far‐reaching effects on one’s life.

    Objectives:

    ♦ Remain anchored to your divine center no matter what is happening around you;
    ♦ Recover quickly from stress, anxiety, and trauma reactions and, if practiced enough, eventually pre‐empt these reactions entirely;
    ♦ Surrender to Reality by living in continual awareness of God’s Presence.

    Ninety minutes for most groups. A more in-depth, two‐hour version is available for people who know each other well and therefore can share more of themselves with each other.

    Online works well. In-person can take us deeper.

    A follow‐up session a month later can help people troubleshoot their use of the method, provide peer and teacher support, and help participants integrate the practice into their lives.


    Shulamith is happy to provide more information about any of these programs.


    Shulamith Eagle

    clearbridge@feelingmuchbetter.org

    802.324.9149
    (New York/Montreal time zone)

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    Please try again if you don’t hear from me within a few days.

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