xLife Wave by Lisa Lipsett
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The Transformative Learning Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
and co-sponsors The Indigenous Education Network at OISE/UT, Resurgence Magazine and Mpambo, the African Multiversity
in collaboration with Paulo Freire Institute (Brazil), Centre for Ecology and Spirituality, and Institute for Environmental Studies
present a Celebratory Gathering:

Spirit Matters: Wisdom Traditions and the "Great Work"
May 13th - 16th, 2004,
Toronto, Canada

Dialogue Circles


A key part of the Spirit Matters gathering is the small group Dialogue Circles. These circles give the opportunity to discuss conference themes in more depth, to learn more from some of the presenters in a more intimate setting, and to discuss and practice how to put spirit into action.

There are three different types of dialogue circles and four slots in the agenda.

Participants, including plenary speakers and other presenters, will be assigned to the Abiding Questions Circles by a random process when they arrive at the gathering.

The Abiding Questions Circles will all be about the same size and will each have a facilitator who uses a set of "abiding questions" to help frame a discussion in light of issues arising out of the plenary circles and with reference to the framework presented by Thomas Berry in his book, The Great Work. Over the two sessions, participants will move from developing their understanding of the Great Work to discussing how to put it into practice.

There are two sessions in the schedule for these circles -- Friday May 14, from 3:45- 5:15 p.m. and Saturday May 15 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. People will remain with the same group for both sessions, giving them an opportunity to deepen the dialogue and develop the central theme of Spirit Matters: Wisdom Traditions and the "Great Work."



The Theme-Based Circles, scheduled for Friday May 14, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., are the most like traditional conference workshops. Each has a theme (linked to the larger themes of the gathering) and one or more resource person, the majority of whom are plenary speakers. Participants will have an opportunity at the conference to indicate their first and second choices of circle, and organizers will do their best to accommodate them.

The following Theme Based Circles are offered:

A1 Agnostic Spirituality (Daniel Schugurensky) description

A2 The Role of Religion in the Ecological Age. The Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology (Heather Eaton, James Miller, Anne Marie Dalton, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Stephen Dunn and Dennis Patrick O’Hara) description

A3 The Gift Paradigm for Social Change (Genevieve Vaughan) description

A4 The Wisdom of the "Earth Charter" in the "Great Work." (Larry Daloz, Howard Richards and Caroline Higgins) description

A5 Spiritual Eldering (Zalman Schachter-Shalomi by simulcast and Bonnie Burstow) description

A6 Carrying Wisdoms Through Time: Indigenous Views on Practice Laara Fitznor, Oren Lyons, John Mohawk and Umar Umangay) description

A7 Spiritual Renewal (Michael Lerner, Paulo Wangoola, David Abram and Diane Longboat) description

A8 Economics as if Spirit Matters (Sue McGregor and Gary Warner) description

A9 Decolonising the Spirit (George Dei, Jeff Richardson and Pramod Parajuli) description

A10 Child Honouring: A Circle Where We All Belong (Raffi, Robert Morgan and members of the Children’s Peace Theatre) description

A11 Justice, Peace and Spirituality (Ursula Franklin and Satish Kumar) description

A12 Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet (Matthew Fox) description

A13 The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love (bell hooks and Ed O'Sullivan) description

A14 Muslim-Jewish Mysticism in Dialogue (Aubrey Glazer and Atif Khalil) description


Sacred Spaces Circles are opportunities for participants to engage in spiritual practices and/or to put spirituality into practice in the world. These circles will be held on Saturday May 15 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with the longer time slot giving an opportunity for more profound engagement in the practices and dialogue. These circles vary in the number of participants who can be accommodated. Allocation into the Sacred Space circles will be by signing up on a first-come basis on the day they will be held.

The following Sacred Space circles will be offered:

B1 Pipe Ceremony (Herb Nabigon) description

B2 Interbeing: The Earth and I Are Not Two (Ghan Chee) description

B3 Co-Creating Interfaith High schools In Our Communities (Stephen Bede Scharper, Kathleen Boylan, Leanne Kloppenborg, Peter Petrasek and Margaret Small) description

B4 A Return to the Sacred: Sound and Healing of an Inspirited Drum (Jeanette McCullogh) description

B5 Capoeira (Mestre Bezerra, Lang Lui and Márcio Mendes) description

B6 Stones and Bones: A Ritual For Connecting With Your Life Purpose (Jeff Richardson) description

B7 Rhythm, Sound, Drum and Spirit (David Berger) description

B8 Creative by Nature: Painting in Communion With the Earth (Lisa Lipsett and Neil Meikleham) description

B9 Putting the Great Work into Practice by Finding the "Common Fire". (Howard Richards, Caroline Higgins and Larry Daloz) description

B10 Spirituality, Creativity and the Academy (Deborah Schnitzer and Out of Order) description

B11 Reconciliation through Mysticism: A Joint Sulha-Selihot Devotion. (Rabbi Aubrey Glazer and Sheik Tevfik) description

B12 Embodied Spirituality: A Participatory Approach (Jorge Ferrer) description

B13 I Do as I Say; I Say as I Do (Suwanda Sugunasiri) description

B14 Blood Brothers: The Indian and the Cowboy as Sacred/Hero Warrior Twins (Lois Provost-Turchetti and Anne Solomon)
description