I offer a range of workshops that combine deep ecology and horse-facilitated practice, with the aim of enabling participants to explore concerns, feelings and understandings about what is going on in the world, and to seek positive ways forward. Much of my inspiration for these workshops comes from two women: Joanna Macy, who is known for her Work that Reconnects, with roots in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and native American traditions, and Linda Kohanov, whose work explores the healing potential of the horse-human bond.
I offer these workshops by request for groups of between four and twelve people. We can meet here at my home in the Exmoor National Park in the South West of England, or I can come to you if you have a suitable location and horses to help us.
The Great Turning 1 and 2: the two separate workshops, 1 and 2, introduce concepts and experiential exercises from the despair and empowerment aspects of Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects. Drawing on various sources including general systems theory, deep ecology, Buddhist and shamanic spiritual traditions, and psychology, we deepen our sense of connection with all life and explore practical ways of contributing what we have to offer. Both these workshops, each of which stands on its own, will include practices such as the truth mandala, spontaneous writing, systems game, widening circles, who are you, choices for this life, harvesting the gifts of the ancestors, thirty years hence, and metta meditation.
Depression – Don't Shoot the Messenger: this workshop explores the possibilities for understanding depression as a helpful messenger. Topics include the apparently increasing prevalence of depression, medical / pharmaceutical approaches, and alternative views such as depression being the stop light of the soul, collective anguish made manifest via a sensitive being, and the Buddhist concept of 'renunciation' as the foundation of the spiritual path. Working with discussion, meditation, movement and interactive exercises, we look for ways of discovering what the messages of depression might be and how to appreciate its wisdom so we can act upon it.
The Double Circle: this is a simple, powerful and uplifting practice from the Work that Reconnects that stands well on its own.
The Council of All Beings: another exercise from the Work that Reconnects, this is a powerful ritual resonant with shamanic wisdom; the horses are especially closely involved in this one.
Tonglen Practice: this is the classical Tibetan Buddhist taking and sending meditation; the heart-wish and practice of the bodhisattva, or spiritual warrior.
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