Meetings & Retreats
Over the years, Open Spirit has offered many different courses of weekly meetings from interfaith study in the Highlands of Scotland to women’s circles, nature study & silent meditation by candlelight in the depths of Devon… currently we are taking a break from offering weekly meetings but hope to start a new sequence of ‘Wild Monastics’ sacred chant & silence later in the year.
Through Open Spirit we want to support fellow and sister spiritual seekers in developing a holistic and contemplative way of life. Regular spiritual study and practice are central in all contemplative traditions and supported by coming together in community for regular meetings and gatherings. We have no fixed Rule but rather the core members of Open Spirit are each seeking to create and encourage each other in a Rhythm of Life.
A rhythm of life is a way of living with sacred intention that unfolds uniquely for each person in relationship to their own context and their own experience of faith. We could call this a form of ‘new monasticism’. Open Spirit is an interspiritual community – we don’t all believe or think or feel the same things, though we share a particular interest and enquiry into the deep stream of the Western Mysteries and a love for its source, the Source of All, by whatever name that may be known.
A rhythm of life is about discovering a way to repeatedly re-centre, to keep returning awareness to the source, to keep remembering to be honest and loving and brave in relation to ourselves, each other and the world. For most folks it includes some form of daily study, meditation and prayer and a way of integrating this into how we act and live our lives. It’s not easy to sustain that alone, so part of the purpose of Open Spirit is to offer regular opportunities to get together with open minded and open hearted spiritual companions.
Through all the Living Spirit activities, within Open Spirit & Wild Church, there’s a web of shared activities and resources to help you live your own form of contemplative life alongside others. Open Spirit courses give a yearly structure and community of study and practice, Wild Church gives a monthly and seasonal way of gathering in relation to the natural world.
Sam has facilitated both singly and together with wonderful colleagues including Sue Charman, Joyce King, Beth Thomas and others many weekly groups for over fifteen years. Until recently there were Kabbalah and Torah studies on Tuesday mornings with the Tree of Life School, Wednesday ‘Wild Monastics’ meditation in Dartington Church by candlelight and Celtic Christian and Druidic studies on Thursday mornings through the Wood Sisters. A great deal of wisdom, inspiration, love and support has grown between the many women and men who have participated, some over many years and others for just a short but sweet visit. Here are some of their comments:
I send a heartfelt thank you for all the pleasure, creativity, comradeship and inspiration it brought into my life. (Isabel)
An unforgettable time, those years of circle sharing, wild life exploration and celebrations… (Wendy)
I am really touched reading your words and through them connecting with the feeling and memories of being in the wood sisters circle which you both so lovingly held with a delightful lightness and depth. I too have a lot of memories of laughter, tears, and wisdom shared, a richness of women coming together and honestly sharing. What a treasure, thank you to you both and to all the women I met in the circle for sharing yourselves. (Kate)
I’m joining the chorus of voices to send profound and emotional thanks to you two and all the other women who have been part of the circle over the years, whose company I have greatly appreciated and learned from. It was always a rich and fruitful experience – as well as sometimes quite painful in its intensity. It was not even necessary to be always physically present to have felt included in the learning and listening and dancing and playing and occasional tears – and the celebrating of each other and the changing seasons of the year. (Christine)
Many thanks for all you have offered and given for the work. Its made a real difference. (Janet)
RETREAT SPACE -NEW FROM AUTUMN 2016
For much of her adult life Sam has both run and created beautiful retreat spaces and her previous home was an eco retreat centre, Badarroch Retreat, in the Highlands of Scotland created with her former husband and business partner in their ecological architectural practice Earthway Design.
After a few years of change and transformation (and a return to Devon) Sam is once again offering simple retreat space from her home in Hunters Moon, in Dartington Devon.
Please contact Sam directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your retreat needs and bookings are offered through Air B&B. Two spaces are available:
Retreat guidance and spiritual counselling & mentoring can also be booked. Please see the ‘one to one’ support page for more details.