SOCIAL WORK AND SPIRITUALITY JUNE 24
1. This was the main event for me - the presentation of the CYM workshop we worked so hard on. There were about 30 people (room was packed, we ran out of handouts and the volunteer had to make more) for this. Only 4-6 people had any knowledge or experience w/MBSR/CT, a surprise to me, considering the number of people talking about the benefits of mindfulness at various other sessions. All and all, went smoothly, the vid clips fit perfectly, the audience seemed delighted to have Kristy and Candice joining in. As usual and expected we had too much for the time slot. I had to snip and clip on the fly, but not diminishing the material at all.
It seemed that the thesis - that popular mindfulness-based models misrepresent the deeper social message of Dharma - was news to most. At the conclusion of the session a few nice reactions:
. An older woman took me aside and confided the session had sturck right to the heart of what she has been struggling with
. Another social worker came up and asked if she could buy the CYM Manual! She asked about leader training and how she could implement it right away. I told her about the plans I have been exploring with Kim S to develop all of these things
. Several people commented on how provocative the naikan was, even with the brevity of it.
. several people congratulated and thanked us for the session.
2. The other morning session I did was on spirituality and environmental justice. The presenter was John Coates. From Fredricton, who has been a leading voice in this. All through this I kept saying “ Kanzan should hear this”. In the afternoon, there was an interfaith panel with 5 different faith reps (Unitarian, Catholic, Jewish, Progressive Evangelical and Buddhist). The Buddhist speaker was a woman associated with IMS locally and she was very articulate about the need for social action to be grounded in personal awareness - a frequent theme expressed all through the event. The afternoon group event was by a spirited presentation by a poet/activist/pastor. She went through the Book of Genesis in the most amusing, insightful and entertaining way. I had difficulty relating to this Christian vision.
In the evening, a group of 10 of us went out for dinner and the ‘open mic’ show at a local Church-supported coffee house. Very 1960's feel. Amazing talent - from folkie/singer-song-writers to spoken word to hip-hop dance to soul.
An exhausting day both physically and intellectually.