Workshop on Finding and Teaching Spiritual Peace

July 14, 2012
Spiritual Activism Handbook

by Jessie Murray, COE Intern, Burlington Vermont

On Sunday April 15th, the Vermont Chapter of COE reunited for a workshop focused on exploring the Spiritual Activism Handbook, created by Dr. Nina Meyerhof and Dr. Diane DeTerra. The goal of this workshop was to train our members on how to work with and teach youth about intercultural understanding and spiritual guidance to encourage peace. This training was held in preparation for a group of Chinese students that will come to Vermont next fall before visiting the United Nations in New York City. We hope to equip these students with a conscious understanding of peace making strategies so they can go forth creating positive change in their lives and the world.

As we went through the handbook during this workshop, we explored different reflection practices, methods of active listening, ways to engage in productive discussion ,and how to facilitate cultural understanding. Our chapter spent a gorgeous spring day getting to know each other better and discussing our own personal spiritual journeys and inspirations that have led us to where we are today. It was exciting to hear the ideas that every member had about the upcoming Fall convention and to see which activities truly spoke to each of us.

Through this experience, the individuality of each person was evident and we were able to see how there are many different means to the same end. Every one of the Vermont Chapter members had specific ideas of what spirituality means to them and why it is important in their life. It was clear that everyone has different methods to get to a place of peace or spiritual happiness; some mentioned meditation, art, dance and music, while others mentioned being active with sport. Others emphasized the role of personal relationships giving substance to their spirituality. Often times, these methods are not recognized as “spiritual,” but our chapter discussed how any activity bringing peace to an individual and connecting him or her to others is indeed a type of spirituality in itself.

The Vermont Chapter of Children of the Earth used this training to reconnect with ourselves, our chapter, and the reasoning behind our motivation for being involved in COE. We were able to fully appreciate each other and recognize the gratitude that we have for our lives. The handbook will be a guiding tool made available for people to work toward a better understanding of what spirituality is and how we as members of the human race, can gain an appreciation for one another and ourselves.

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