NEW! Sacred Groves: Deepening Your Spirituality of Trees and Forests (LIVE)
Starting July 1, 2020 via Zoom and running for 5 consecutive weeks
The Holyscapes Project is about facilitating workshops that explore spiritual ecology. This can have a variety of meanings, but primarily it means exploring the contours of and relationship between our inner and outer landscapes. In a wider cultural context, spiritual ecology is about reclaiming our sense of the holiness of the world as sacred activism.
This workshop is the seed of a much more extensive academic course I am preparing for the environmental humanities curriculum at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia where I teach. In this workshop we will look at the history of trees and forest in the human imagination mostly through the lenses of myth, spirituality, philosophy and literature. As a workshop, we will be providing an opportunity for you to explore your own relationship to trees and forests and to develop a practice of literacy and familiarity with these sacred beings and spaces.
- Define trees and forests in relation to human societies
- Articulate issues facing forests and trees in urban and global settings
- Explore the role of trees and forests in the world’s religious and spiritual systems
- Improve ecological literacy related to trees and forests
- Deepen one’s personal relationship to trees and forest spaces
- Access to the internet, web camera and microphone
- A field notebook and/sketchbook with reliable pen and drawing materials
- A locally relevant field guide to trees
Each week you will be given an experiential reflective writing assignment. Each assignment is due at 11:59 PM two days before the workshop meets. The beginning of each class will be dedicated to discussing the assignment that is due. Assignments will be written and turned in online.
The Course will be priced at $25 for students and $50 for non-students. Discounts available for Patrons.
Holyscapes: Mapping Your Personal Spiritual Ecology (Udemy) (2019)
The purpose of this workshop is to explore together the coming together of our inner landscapes with the world around us—the points of contact between landscapes of earth and soul. In this course and in the series of courses that are to follow, I am eager to explore with you the depth and breadth of the world’s rich spiritualities of place and landscape (particularly forested landscapes). While much of my public writing happens under the name Holyscapes, another popular term for this relationship is Spiritual Ecology. Holyscapes as a project could be characterized as nested within the broader Spiritual Ecology movement.
This workshop that provides an opportunity to cultivating an awareness to place, landscape, and the people and creatures with whom we inhabit the world, while at the same time working within whatever spiritual or religious tradition you may (or may not) subscribe to in order to explore the contours of the vast terrain within. This is not to say that I am total dualist (spirit and matter as distinct substances). Rather, interiority is more of a contour of the many folds that make up the world, rather than a compartment within it. This is not something that can be taught, only practiced. So this course will be an overview and an invitation to engage in a lifelong practice of ecological literacy, deepened sense of place, and personal introspection.
- Reflect deeply on how our own cultural, religious and or spiritual backgrounds have influenced our sense of place.
- Become aware of how we may impact the peoples and species with whom we share our home places, and how we might better care for place.
- Reflect on the relationship between inner and exterior landscapes.
- Examine our own perceptions, practices and ethics in relation to place.
- Articulate ways in which we would like to become more aware of our home places.
- Develop goals around a lifelong engagement with place.
This course will be made up of weekly readings and reflective writing assignments that include some local field trips (adjustable to your location). There will also be a final synthesis paper at the end of the Workshop that will be eligible for publication on the Holyscapes Blog at Patheos.
- Course journal or notepad.
- Camera (optional).
- All readings will be online