Current Events

A Journal of Events

During the month of June 2012...

I had the pleasure of working with a diverse group of organizations.

Jubilee

The first was with the Jubilee for Spiritual Directors through the United Church at Five Oaks Spiritual Centre.

We celebrated two years of preparation for 13 amazing people to develop their spiritual path to a point where they could listen deeply to the stories of others.  It was a celebration of "The End" of their time together and to say "good bye".  It was so beautiful to hear only the instruments selected and played for one another with hardly a word spoken. There was a grand moment, as loud and raucus and wild as they could muster when they released whatever inhibiting frustrations, sadnesses or invisible emotional blocks may have still been within.  The new space created a greater sense of liberation from which the participants could embark on their new path.

Hamilton Family Health Team - (FHT)

Second outing was an incredible collection of Mental Health Counsellors, Doctors and Nursing Staff from the Hamilton Family Health Team who came together for a rejuvinating retreat. And what a retreat was organized for them.  Steve Buist from the Spectator spoke about Code Red and Paul Johnson from the city of Hamilton spoke about how the city is responding to the findings in Code Red. Community members shared their experience of this new awareness of the city and especially of their own neighbourhood's awareness.  It was very inspirational.

The highlight for me of course was providing 60 drums so that we could participate as group listeners and support players to share the compelling personal story of "success" by Leo Johnson. Leo is an amazing man who can speak about what "going deeper"  means after surviving and growing up in refugee camps in the Ivory Coast and Ghana for 8 years of his life due to the civil war in Liberia.  The brightest part of the story is how he sees the world now and the ways of helping us make it a much more civil and relational place.  Wait for the video to be posted here in the future.

Good Shepherd Centre - 

Good Shepherd Centre also had a retreat and I had the distinct honour to spend time introducing the power of the drum and soothing nature of percussion to a compassionate group of Mental Health Counsellors who work with with every one who is not in the medical system. Again, 60 drummers shared the collective experience of drumming and "sounding" together. This was a group who could listen deeply and play with purpose. 

It was noted how safe an experience drumming and sounding could be for those working with some of the most challenging clients and clients who face enormous challenges.  Challenges most of us would dread to have to live through for one day let alone day after day for years!!  Some of the reflections back from the participants was how images can be spurred on by sound and how sound can represent the concepts, metaphorically, of what are lives are like.