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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

October, 2004 Intensive
October 24-29 2004

Art as Meditation: Practices of the Natural Mystic- # 61087

Instructor: Judith Yost, D.Min,  Will Taegel, D.Min

Faculty Bio:  Judith and Will founded a nature-based spiritual community called the Earth Tribe in the late 1970’s.  They have been married for 29 years. Both are psychotherapists interested in the transformational power of Nature in the spiritual evolution of humans.  Judith has a D.Min. from UCS and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston in Texas.  Will has a D.Min. from the University of California at Berkley. Will has published numerous professional articles and is the author of seven books.

Course Description:  Indigenous and earth-based spiritual traditions have provided the basis for numerous practices that facilitate movement between the worlds of form and spirit. In this learning experience we will introduce practices developed over two decades in an ongoing nature-based spiritual community.  As a part of the process we will encourage the creative energy of the group experience to co-create new forms of these practices.  Our meetings will be held outside whenever possible.  Bring a blanket and dress accordingly.

Course Objectives:

To provide the students with a sample of nature-based practices that can facilitate movement between the worlds of form and spirit. 

To select and experience, in nature herself, a number of these

Spiritual practices. Some examples include “ tying prayer ties”, outdoor circle sitting, drumming and chanting, connecting to animal totems, “eco-dramas”, purification ceremonies, soul retrieval, shamanic journeying, and “Earth/Sky Meditation.

To support and encourage the creative energy of the group experience to co-create new and evolutionary forms of these practices.

Daily Plan:

Day 1:  Discussion of the many nature-based practices of indigenous and earth-based spiritual traditions that facilitate the connection between the worlds of spirit and form.  One or more practices will be experienced.

Day 2:  One practice from those identified on day one will be explored in depth through group and individual experience. The creative energy of the class will aid in the design of this experience.

Day 3:  If possible (depending on the resources of the retreat center) the class will begin preparing for an intense shamanic spiritual purification ceremony that will culminate on the last day of class.  This preparation will incorporate some of the nature-based practices discussed in the first two classes.

Day 4:  Nature-based ceremony related to shamanic spiritual purification.

Day 5:  Finnish Shamanic Purification Ceremony.

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