Lerita Coleman Brown: The Enduring Spirituality of Howard Thurman
“Silence is the door to God.”
Howard Thurman always encouraged people to “center down,” embrace quietness, befriend stillness, and cultivate a relationship with silence. Mystic, theologian, and spiritual adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurman possessed the uncanny and prophetic ability to make a connection between silence and the scrutiny of one’s inner life. Drawn to nature and a contemplative life as a young boy, we will explore and experience why Thurman felt silence and stillness are so powerful and how they ready the spirit for an encounter with God.
Rod Owens: The Black prophetic tradition and the wisdom of the Dharma
Whether we are talking Black Liberation Theology or Radical Dharma, we are talking about socially liberating beliefs and practices that privilege a development of fundamental love for what we have been taught is unlovable. In this talk Lama Rod explores the profound and revolutionary practices of love as a tool for marginalized people to achieve both social and spiritual liberation that is rooted in the liberatory theology and dharma traditions.
Lynyetta Willis: Soul Sight: from Shame to Compassion
We often act from parts of us that carry beliefs of brokenness, shame and not enough-ness; however, when we connect with the Divine within, we see ourselves, others, and the world through eyes of love, compassion and wholeness. This session explores how to shift our mindset from shame-sight to Soul Sight. This session will combine teaching with experiential exercises that will help participants not only connect with our Divine essence, but also gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for those parts of ourselves that carry the brokenness and shame. Participants will leave able to view themselves with a softer gaze of self-love and as a result reflect the same healing energy outwardly towards the world.
George Craig McMillian: The Tantra of Jesus Christ
Drawing from his experience as a devotee of Jesus, a Kalachakra Monk, and a Kundalini Laya Yoga teacher, Kirantana Khalsa – aka George Craig McMillian – looks at how Jesus rested in the trust, voice, and guidance of Spirit – and how you can do the same, practically and everyday, with confidence that you can act appropriately and wisely as the challenges of each moment unfold.
David Bollt & Aline Defiglia: Practicing the Presence of People
Who are you? Who is this stranger – or friend – standing next to you? Dive into fun, highly interactive group exercises that explore the present moment as well as the stories we all bear – getting to know yourself better while at the same time learning to see and appreciate more about everyone you connect with. This space of “practicing the presence of people” becomes a safe space for taking risks, playing outside our comfort zones and discovering more about ourselves than we typically do in our everyday lives. Just as contemplatives and mystics go beyond their ordinary awareness to experience an expanded sense of communion with God, we’ll practice Jesus’ second great commandment and see the Divine show up in our neighbor’s face. Aline Defiglia and David Bollt set a tone that’s equal parts fun and profound, creating a container where anyone willing can go beyond small-talk and social awkwardness.
Mike Morrell: Evolving Wild: Wisdom Interventions for a Primal Future
What do hunter-gatherers, developmental psychology, and forgotten Bible stories have in common? A surprising common revelation about the trauma of our origins – and the way through them. In this far-ranging exploration, we’ll look at the recurring mysteries of who we are as a species, how we wound up in a cul-de-sac of disconnection from Spirit, self, society, and our surroundings – and how we can consciously choose re-connection. It isn’t too late, and the wisdom we need is hiding in plain sight.