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Touching The Spirit http://www.touchingthespirit.ca Voice of the Soul, Music of the Heart Thu, 18 Feb 2016 19:05:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.27 from:THE ENDURING RELEVANCE OF THE HUMANITIES by Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto, U of T magazine, Summer 2015. http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/fromthe-enduring-relevance-of-the-humanities-by-meric-gertler-president-university-of-toronto-u-of-t-magazine-summer-2015 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/fromthe-enduring-relevance-of-the-humanities-by-meric-gertler-president-university-of-toronto-u-of-t-magazine-summer-2015#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:26:42 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=494 “Why do the humanities matter? the study of philosophy, religion, literature, languages, history, drama, and art engages us in a conversation about what it means to be human. it enables us to think broadly and deeply about our problems and the values that guide us in forging solutions. The humanities foster cross-cultural understanding and engagement. They investigate the meaning of practices, texts and artifacts and thus encourage a critical rethinking of individual happiness and cultural vitality. …the study of the humanities empowers us to question our assumptions, to communicate and to collaborate, to understand our history and culture and those of others, to evaluate what is and to imagine what could be. The humanities, therefore, are not only relevant — they are crucial to individual and societal progress and well-being.”

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Thanks, Oshawa Little Theatre http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/thanks-oshawa-little-theatre http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/thanks-oshawa-little-theatre#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 16:33:58 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=424 Secret Garden Musical Image

Thanks Oshawa Little Theatre!

Last Sunday night we had the great privilege of being invited to lead a workshop with the cast and crew of The Secret Garden being presented March 27 through April 12 by Oshawa Little Theatre. What a warm welcome and such active participation. Truly a delight for us!

In this story, an estate’s garden is locked by its owner, Archibald Craven, as an expression of his inconsolable grief over the loss of his wife, Lily. The image of this locked garden expresses how the garden of the hearts of all the characters in this play are somehow also locked or unable to love, be loved, and even be lovable. The arrival of Mary Lennox, the orphaned niece of Archie, sets in motion a process of healing and renewal whereby the outer estate garden and the inner garden of the hearts of all the characters is gradually opened to new life.

This story, presented in its musical form, is enriched by the beauty of the music contained in it. The story suggests that, despite difficult losses, it is important for all of us to struggle to keep open, to cultivate, and to share with one another, the secret garden of our own hearts.

We were invited in this workshop to offer images, stories and reflections that would help the cast find deeper meaning and expression for their roles in this play. Through the articulation of these experiences and thoughts, it becomes clear that The Secret Garden is a play of considerable depth and multiple layers of feeling that help us not only to name the life experiences of the characters in this story, but also to name our own life experiences and feelings as well.

In The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett has created a modern day folk tale that speaks to a universal timeless story whose characters represent pieces of all of our stories.

At the end of the workshop, the cast treated us to beautiful singing of some pieces from the musical. What a treat that was!

This is a cast who is doing some real soul work on character development and is going to create a spectacular production. Book tickets through their website:oshawalittletheatre.com to experience OLT’s The Secret Garden if you are in the area!

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A Trip to the Middle East http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/a-trip-to-the-middle-east1-petra-jordan http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/a-trip-to-the-middle-east1-petra-jordan#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:42:09 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=393  

We are back from a very valuable and memorable trip to the Holy Land, from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee, from Jerusalem to Nazareth, with a group ofKnights Templar, led by Ron Matthewman. We will post more pictures and information in the next little while

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A New Year’s Blessing http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/a-new-years-blessing-2 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/a-new-years-blessing-2#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 22:37:48 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=312 A NEW YEAR’S BLESSING
•May all our sorrows gradually stretch our heart to be more fully open and compassionate.
•May we experience a depth of caring in our lives sufficient to convince us that we are deeply and truly loved and lovable.
•May we learn to respond to the persons and events in our lives less and less from the place where we are hurt, afraid, or angry, and more and more from the place where we are loved.
•May we always be a safe and trustworthy place to those who entrust something of themselves to us.
•May we come to see that each of us is more than our pain, and come to experience the difficulties of our lives neither as prisons or identities but as resources for strength and growth.
•May we glimpse and delight in the beauty that is at the core of each of us.
•May our lives unfold according to the inmost longings of our heart, and may there always be a friend or friends to share that journey.
•May we know a hope that always reaches further than any hope or disappointment.
•May we always be a blessing to ourselves and to one another
Norman King, January 1, 2004

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Forgiveness http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/forgiveness http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/forgiveness#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:40:43 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=301 To forgive ourselves or others is to recognize a worth deeper than any wrong. It is to free self or others from the burden of the past and the dread of the future so that we may live freely and creatively in the present.

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What’s missing in taking photos http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/whats-missing-in-taking-photos http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/whats-missing-in-taking-photos#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 16:46:11 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=290 New evidence suggests that taking photos may prevent our brain from remembering details of what we saw.

We believe that snapping photos may give our spirit an exit plan so that we miss the experience itself and therefore are not able to remember or articulate that experience, or share it with others.

Take the photo … miss the experience? What do you think?

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Waiting http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/waiting http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/waiting#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 17:06:43 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=281 Advent is portrayed as a time of waiting. Waiting is often seen as simply putting in time. Yet it can also mean to expect, to attend to, to reach toward, to hope. In this sense, we can speak of openness, a giving space and time to listen to our own inner depths and the living truth that flows from within.
Rainer Maria Rilke: “Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.”
Thomas Merton: “Contemplation is essentially a listening in silence, an expectancy … The true contemplative is not one who prepares their mind for a particular message that they want or expect to hear, but who remains empty, because they know that they can never expect or anticipate the word that will transform their darkness into light.”

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Advent and Longing http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/advent-and-longing http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/advent-and-longing#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:05:26 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=250 Advent is a season of longing, longing for renewal, for wholeness, for completeness. following is a quotation from the section on longing in our book, Touching the Spirit, Reflections from the Heart.

Longing is the voice of  love in its aching for completeness and wholeness  …

Longing is a gentle openness  to embrace and share our lives as they have been and are.

Longing is a gentle openness to grow beyond where we are now,

to move with another on our journey,

as we trust the unfolding process of life, within us, between us, and beyond us.

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Story http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/story http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/story#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 04:08:41 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=1 Explore the story of your life.

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Music http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/music http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/music#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:59:41 +0000 http://www.touchingthespirit.ca/?p=39 Discover the music of your heart.

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