Offering from Ukraine: Crisis and Meaning: Renewing the Dance of Life

Date: 
Jun 14th, 2017 - Jun 18th, 2017
Instructors: 
George Kushnir and Katia Babenko

Campsite in the Inyo Mountains

 

As human beings we all have the capability to determine who we are in the world we live in through meanings. We use these meanings to define our past, become more aware of our present, and attempt to forecast our future. 
 
Throughout our lives we create and destroy meanings; it is an ongoing process. We learn meanings in childhood, trusting the words of parents and believing in the absoluteness of these meanings, never considering whether they are right or wrong. Then we check our meanings with the meanings of others, becoming happy or sad on the basis of comparison. As we attach to the world our own meanings, defining them as truth, we begin to attribute these truths to others and to the world. When we discover the imperfection of our meanings, very often we encounter a life crisis, a crisis of meanings. 
 
So, as we are living our lives, change happens. In a single moment, such as a birth or a death, or over time, the old meanings disappear, like a torchlight switching off. The battery loses its energy, and the way becomes dark. Before, everything had a certain meaning - small activities, big plans, or achievements. Attempting to find the old light only leads to confusion and despair. We can no longer find our steps in the dance with life. 
 
In this workshop we will explore the ways we form our meanings and where the old meanings no longer work. We begin to look at how to create new meaning, how to tap into the resources we need, and how to uncover what we must let go of in order to restore our relationship with life. In this exploration we begin to find new meaning and a new dance. 
 
Nature will be our guide and teacher, nature with Her wisdom as an infinite source of meanings. In the morning we will sit in the circle, sharing and listening. In the afternoon we will take walks in nature to question Her. In the evening we will sit in the circle of mirroring in order to witness the meaningful wisdom of our new dance with life.

No yearning for an afterlife,
no looking beyond,
no belittling of death,
but only longing for what belongs to us
and serving earth, lest we remain unused.

Ranier Maria Rilke