Lighting seeds is a one day workshop designed to offer the space to experience the wisdom and presence of animals as a gateway to belonging— both to ourselves and to the natural world. We'll explore subtle yet potent technologies of magic, including: moving meditations, journaling, wildcrafting, foraging, medicine making, and encounters with animals as a means of activating our intuition and non-verbal ways of knowing, and allow them to lead us into a depth of stillness where we have the opportunity to fully meet ourselves. It's for this place of absolute truth that seekers travel the world, climb sacred mountains, go to ashrams, and make holy pilgrimages. One of the easiest ways we can reach this holy place is simply in the eyes, presence, and hearts of the animal kingdom- the wild unknowable 'other' who lifts us out of ourselves.
In the same way a lightning strike may ignite an instant blaze or slow burn that smoulders for months, these awarenesses and experiences may take root eagerly within us, or they may take months (or even years!) to percolate down through our soil. Our intent is to approach these gateways with gentleness and a spirit of joy and curiosity; to offer seeds of awakening, awareness, practice, ritual and inspiration that you can integrate into the habit body of your life.
February is the gateway between the deep dreaming of winter and the quickening of spring. In this workshop we'll draw on the medicine of stored light- the sugars and energy of last year's sun that trees hold secreted in their roots, waiting until the warmth of the spring sun causes the sap to rise and brings their energy alive in the world again. We'll work with stored sunlight as a metaphor for the potency of timing and trust, and to explore all that is still dreaming in our hearts. Then, we'll marry this metaphor to the physical world by collecting the bud casings of black cottonwood trees and making them into a healing balm that's the energetic and literal manifestation of this stored light.
We will begin our day by greeting each other and exploring the questions: where is our individual stored sunlight? How do we replenish ourselves when we feel far from the source of our own energy? What secret dream lies waiting in our hearts, waiting for the right conditions to burst into bloom? We'll then take our questions out to the animals, and let our guided meditations and encounters with them marry us back to the wild intelligence of our hearts, reconnect us with our roots, and send our branch tip buds up to meet the sky.
We will eat together, a simple meal of soup, salad and bread.
After lunch we'll go outside again and sink deeper into relationship and revelation with whichever animal we feel called to return to. Then we'll go into the forest to meet the cottonwoods, get our fingers sticky with the resin of their buds, and create a balm of Gilead to take home: an energetic and physical reminder of the reserves of stored sunlight that exist all around us.
Güliz Ünlü works with humans and animals in a range of wellness modalities. For most of her life she has been immersed in the layers and complexities of the Animal Kingdom. Through her work with both wild and domestic animals, she began to discover deep meaning in the purpose of the “pets” in our lives and the greater realm of animals that surround us daily. She was driven by discoveries in what they have to teach us about ourselves – about such things as compassion and forgiveness – and about their own purpose. She began to listen more intently to them to nurture this deeper connection. http://equuarius.com/
Kera Willis is the founder of Mountain Horse School in Pemberton BC, where she creates intimate and transformative encounters between horses, humans and the natural world. A life long horsewoman, writer and explorer of connectedness with the more-than-human world, she strives to offer opportunities that bridge the gaps between animal and human, wild and tame, and to help others find their place of belonging- both within themselves and within the larger body of the world. www.mountainhorseschool.com