Autumn/Winter 2017

Intensives are held 8:30AM-6:00PM Monday through Friday and include Body Prayer, Seminar, Art as Meditation and Process Group. A course requirement is met by attending all elements of the day/week. Students must choose one Seminar and one Art as Meditation class per week unless the two are combined in the description below. In order to register for a course, one must first apply and be accepted - either as an auditor or certificate/degree-seeking student. See Admission Process for application details.



Pray, Create, Illuminate
art as meditation

Monday Oct. 16 - Friday Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Paula Artac, DMin
Illuminated manuscripts are found throughout history in handwritten books with painted decoration that generally includes precious metals such as gold or silver. Illuminated art utilizes such media as watercolor, colored pencil, inks, collage and metallic leaf embellishments. Students will select their inspiration from ancient and sacred texts, poetry, meditation or music. Daily “step by step” instruction in the illumination process will honor the “Analytical Artist” within, calling on the power and energy of the imagination to visualize, plan and design the structure and content of an illuminated art piece. The “Aesthetic Artist,” who manifests through color, space, texture, value and contrast, is then honored. In combination, the Analytical and Aesthetic artists within exercise the imagination that lights up (or illuminates) the brain, promoting the development of compassion and transforming our conscious perception of “reality.”



The Wisdom of Mary Magdalene in the New Testament and Gnostic Literature
seminar

Monday Oct. 16 - Friday Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Bruce Chilton, PhD
This course will bring to light the wisdom of Mary Magdalene through attention to her story in relation to the composition histories of the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospels of John, Thomas, and Mary. We will reflect on the practice and meaning of Mary Magdalene’s sacraments in relation to her role in Judaic, Christian and Gnostic traditions.

This seminar fulfills this requirement: Drawing Wisdom from the Well of the Sacred Texts

Course Syllabus



The Awe of Cosmology
seminar

Monday Oct. 23 - Friday Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Larry Edwards, PhD and Adam Luedtke, PhD

Based on our ancestors’ knowledge and stories of the last few tens of thousands of years, our current cosmology has, as Thomas Berry noted, “provided a context in which life can function in a meaningful manner.” Over the last few centuries, however, much has been learned about the deep past that challenges our understandings of Earth’s past and current dynamics. Now, a new cosmology and worldview is emerging that is consistent with the Earth’s diversity, complexity, and creativity so that all life may indeed “function in a meaningful manner.” This course will explore the unfolding of the universe according to the newest science and work toward creating a new narrative for our species.

This seminar fulfills this requirement: The Emerging New Cosmology, Mystics East and West, and Science and Spirituality


Course Syllabus



Calling the Beloved: Writing Your Way Home
art as meditation

Monday Oct. 23 - Friday Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Mirabai Starr, MA
Writing is a potent spiritual practice in which fully showing up for whatever arises in our minds may lead us beyond the tyranny of thoughts and into the open field of the heart. In this experiential class, we will weave short passages of sacred prose and mystical poetry with contemplative silence, followed by writing prompts designed to evoke a direct experience of both the longing and the union that are our birthright. Small and full group sharing enhances the art of holy listening.

Course Syllabus



The Reinvention of Work
seminar

Monday Nov. 13 - Friday Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Matthew Fox, PhD
Work is often at the heart of peoples' identity and what they accomplish and give back in their lifetime. Whether it's preparing for work (education), doing our work, or recovering from work, we leave our footprint on history by the work we undertake. Spiritual traditions the world over acknowledge the sacred dimension to a calling or vocation to work and many people search to hear such a calling. Given the many challenges of our time—and with ecological needs at the forefront—how well are we doing? How healthy are our professions at this time in history? Do they create or do they destroy? How can we improve them so that they truly serve future generations and the health of the planet? Our readings and discussions and occasional guests who have reworked their professions will examine these important questions. How do we infiltrate our work worlds with values that inspire sustainability? We will call on teachings from various spiritual traditions for their wisdom on work, it's meaning and deeper purposes.

This seminar fulfills this requirement: Reinvention of Work, Leadership, and Culture



Moving Into Action
art as meditation

Monday Nov. 13 - Friday Nov. 17, 4 p.m. -6:30 p.m.

Melissa Michaels, EdD

Our daily immersion in movement and the somatic arts will provide every body with tools to explore and expand their capacities to be grounded, authentic, and inspired in their creative ways of living and leading. Our focus will move from the body as doorway self & soul, to the body as axis mundi to Spirit & ultimately one’s service in the world.



Anger and Betrayal in America’s Heartland
seminar

Monday Jan. 8 - Friday Jan. 12, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Marvin L. Anderson, PhD
This course offers a critical and interpretative framework for empathic listening in response to the anger and sense of betrayal in America’s Heartland in the wake of the recent presidential election. Contrary to the mainstream narrative of “Red and Blue state “polarization,” this course breaks down how the systemic devaluation and economic marginalization of various rural communities, people and resources have contributed to the sources of the pain of betrayal along racial, economic, cultural and geographical lines. Based on hearing these painful “deep stories,” students will learn that racism, classism and poverty are not just liberal platitudes. They are harsh realities in rural America that are denied and circumvented by projecting hurt and anger on others by blaming, shaming, and scapegoating. Using the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, we will reclaim the power of prophetic (biblical) indignation and “righteous” anger in the work of love, thus re-storying the pride and pleasure, human dignity and “divinity” (imago dei) of all those whose identity and culture are tied to their place “in the country.”

This seminar fulfills this requirement: Crucial Contemporary Issues

Course Syllabus



Singing and Embodying the African American Spiritual, Freedom & Protest Song
art as meditation

Monday Jan. 8 - Friday Jan. 12, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

David Sharp, DMin
This is a singing experience... of immersion into the African American spiritual, freedom and protest song. This course will connect students to the deep heritage and richness of the African American spiritual. We will explore the roots of this genre and the circumstances of body, mind and spirit that gave rise to its creation. We will place it within the continuum of other African American genres such as songs of freedom and protest and compare and contrast these genres as we sing them. Students will explore how to embody this music. I will guide students in looking for common ground from which to build bridges into the soul that connects the spirituals, freedom and protest songs with universal human experience no matter race, culture or nationality.

Course Syllabus



Introduction to Creation Spirituality
seminar

Monday Feb. 26 - Friday March 2, 2 a.m. -8 p.m.

Jeannine Goode-Allen, DMin and David Sharp, DMin

This course will teach students the four paths of Creation Spirituality as well as principles associated with Creation Spirituality. Students will then look at the lives and works of the following mystics, artists and prophets through the lens of Creation Spirituality: Jose Hobday, Joanna Macy, M.C. Richards, The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. This course will conclude with the students investigating their own lives through the lens of Creation Spirituality.



Tai Chi
art as meditation

Monday Feb. 26 - Friday March 2, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Leon Evans, M.D.
TaiChi is a profound art, reaching back into pre-literate traditions in China as “Animal Forms.” It represents one half of the Chinese martial arts tradition as an internal art of which TaiChi is the most famous but also including Hsing Yi and Bua Gua; the other being external arts, most famous of which is Shaolin. TaiChi rests on the philosophic principles of Taoism such as Ying/Yang, but also profoundly on Taoist principles of Chi and its relation to the natural world. I envision a class primarily focused on the acquisition of physical skills to perform the first section of the Yang Form and the mental focus that leads TaiChi to be called “Moving Meditation.” It is this joining of movement and meditation that is unique to TaiChi.

Course Syllabus



Deep Ecumenism: Interspirituality and the Wisdom Traditions
seminar

Monday March 5 - Friday March 9, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Ana Perez-Chisti, PhD
We will explore Wisdom Traditions and teachings from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and the Indigenous people and investigate how spiritual traditions address contemporary issues and facilitate the human experience of the Divine Presence in our daily lives. Specific attention is given to how these spiritual traditions address contemporary issues.

This intensive fulfills this requirement: Deep Ecumenism

Course Syllabus



Chanting the Wisdom Traditions
art as meditation

Monday March 5 - Friday March 9, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

David Sharp and Jeannine Goode-Allen
In this course, we will use music, lyrics and movement from the world’s wisdom traditions to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves and bring us together in community and celebration. The wisdom traditions we will tap into are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the wisdom of Indigenous Peoples. Each day we will teach chants from one or two of these traditions. We will give the background story for each of the chants. The lyrics will be presented in the original language as well as in English. We will teach movements for some of the chants and will provide live musical accompaniment. This will enable students to take the chants deeply into their hearts and bodies. After practicing the chants, students will have opportunities to express their inner experience via drawing and journaling.

Course Syllabus



Thomas Merton: Mystic and Prophet
seminar

Monday April 16 - Friday April 20, 10 a.m. -6 p.m.

Matthew Fox, PhD

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was one of the great spiritual writers and mystic-prophets of the twentieth century. From the time of his conversion at the shrine of the Black Madonna in Cuba in 1940 to his untimely martyrdom in Bangkok for opposing the war in Vietnam in 1968, his spirituality evolved profoundly. He journeyed deeply from being very much a dualistic monk from 1940-1957 to being a prophetic leader leading out a creation spirituality path under the influence of Zen master D.T. Suzuki and Meister Eckhart beginning in 1958.

His prophetic voice addressed issues of Ecology, Feminism, Racism, the rights and oppression of indigenous peoples, Technology’s excess, War (he coached the Berrigan brothers among others in non-violent resistance), Peace, bogus religion (he called the marriage of fundamentalism and empire the “greatest orgy of idolatry the world has ever seen”). He offered medicines to heal us including Deep Ecumenism (his close friendship with the Dalai Lama and Thich Naht Hanh are well known), a theology of the Cosmic Christ (“How is it possible to tell everyone they are walking around shining like the sun?” he asked following on a mystical experience at lunch time rush hour in downtown Louisville) and the cultivation of contemplation.

In this class we will explore the depth teachings of this man around contemplation and action, mysticism and prophecy and what he is telling us today about our spiritual vocations including cultural criticism.



Viriditas: A Course in Creativity inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen
art as meditation

Monday May 14 - Friday May 18, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Jeannine Goode-Allen, DMin
In this course students will connect with St. Hildegard and her life’s work in a variety of ways, including through reading, singing, guided imagery, movement, and meditating with St. Hildegard illuminations. These exercises will serve as a catalyst for entering into a deep meditative connection with this powerful Saint. In this space of connection, students will access their deepest creative selves. From this deep space they will express their souls in a variety of artistic mediums: water color painting, drawing, singing, movement, journaling and finally constructing their own model buildings using a variety of materials. As the students share the creative process as well as their creations with each other during the week, we will form a very intimate and powerfully creative community.

Course Syllabus



Feather on The Breath of God: The Beauty and Power of St. Hildegard of Bingen
seminar

Monday May 14 - Friday May 18, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Jeannine Goode-Allen, DMin
This course begins with an immersion in St. Hildegard’s Journey through the Senses, an exhibit that shows the life and work of this powerful mystic. Students will also read and discuss the content of the very first biography written about St. Hildegard in the twelfth century. Students will then explore St. Hildegard’s theological writings and illuminations as well as her medical texts. Some of St. Hildegard’s remedies will be available for sampling. The class will then take a look at St. Hildegard’s relationship with her world and key people in her life. The class will conclude with an exploration of how students can use St. Hildegard as an inspiration in their own lives.

This seminar fulfills this requirement: Mystics East and West

Course Syllabus



Nature Writing
art as meditation

Monday May 14 - Friday May 18, 10 a.m. -8:30 p.m.

Susan Coppage Evans DMin

Through a process of listening and responding, students will participate in writing exercises

that deepen their relationship with nature and build a repertoire of expression
that facilitates mindfulness, interconnection and increased awareness. Listening
to readings from nature writers and poets such as, Terry Tempest Williams, Mary
Oliver, Scott Russell Sanders, Edward Abby and others; responding to elements
of nature itself; and listening to one’s own voice and experience; will
facilitate one’s own creative writing and personal explorations.



Intercessory Meditation
art as meditation

Monday June 18 - Friday June 22, 8:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

Mel Bricker, DMin
Participants in this class will engage in a variety of meditation practices designed to help them make a shift of consciousness to be in Divine Love, the All, the One, the Great Mystery for the purpose of doing meditations for healing. Initial practice will include breathing, focusing, imaging and chanting. Then, these practices will be arranged in a particular sequence to be done in behalf of a person seeking healing of some kind. The intercessory, imagery meditation process is nonjudgmental, unconditionally accepting, noncoercive nondescriptive and compassionate. It is open to whatever is moving in the healee. Its medium for healing is the loving presence of the healers with the healee. Healers use images as a way of being intercessors for the wellbeing of the healee.

Course Syllabus