October 2013 


 A very big Thank You 

to everyone who participated and helped us raise over $30,000! 
We would also like to thank Phyllis Carlisle, our Auction Coordinator Extraordinaire for her careful tending of the auction behind the scenes and not-so behind the scenes! 
It's never too early to start planning your participation for next year! Hope to see you then!


We're excited to announce our new look! Hope you like it!


We've been working to align our mission, vision and values, and from that work, a new logo has been born.

Mission: Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.


We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation.

Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness

we need to thrive in the 21st century.

Our Values:

Connection:  

We believe in connecting to our community through inclusivity and openness.

 

Transformation:  

Building on a strong foundation of history and faith, we support growth and development that leads to the transformation of individuals and communities.

 

Communication:  

We strive to give and receive accurate, open, honest and clear communication. We aspire to transparency and participation when making decisions about our organization.

 

Expansiveness:  

We believe in an expansive, flexible, and resilient approach to our work and our relationships.

 

Spirituality:  

We value the spiritual dimension of each human being and welcome followers of all religions and belief systems.

 

Integrity:  

We keep our word and deliver on our promises building a culture of trust and transparency. We are responsible in our actions and earn the trust of those we serve through the stewardship of the organization, its participants, and the labyrinth.

 

Service:  

We aspire to excellence in our programming – workshops, pilgrimages, and trainings -- and endeavor to align our actions with our mission, vision and values.

 

2nd Annual Veriditas Community Gathering

February 7-8, 2014


We may be new to the labyrinth, or it may have been years since our first transforming walk. Either way, many of us feel the call to be part of the labyrinth community. To connect in a soul-nourishing circle of like-minded and like-hearted folk.

We invite you to answer the call -- to join our circle at the Veriditas Community Gathering on February 7-8, 2014. We’re putting together an event you won’t want to miss!

There will be time for personal soul renewal, group visioning of the future of Veriditas, and socializing with old and new friends. 
  Some of the highlights include:
  • Spending two days in the indescribable beauty of the IONS retreat center
  • Delicious gourmet California cuisine
  • Veriditas community rituals and labyrinth walks
  • Keynote presentation by our Founder, Lauren Artress
  • A wonderful video of the Chartres Experience;
  • Discussion circles and small groups to gather the Body of Knowledge born from the labyrinth experience and envision the future
  • Soul Collage work: using images to expand your personal vision, as well as the collective experience
Register now. We look forward to seeing you!



Donor Spotlight

by Rita Canning, Development Coordinator

For October’s column I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Newburgh. Jay is a trained facilitator, Veriditas donor and a singer who lives in the Lake Tahoe area. A few years ago she built a labyrinth in her neighborhood which had been ravished by fire. You can see the labyrinth in the picture with some of the effects of the fire in the background.


Rita: Where did you first encounter the labyrinth?

Jay:
In 1999, a friend and I were in San Francisco for the opera. The next day we decided to tour Grace Cathedral. We discovered the labyrinth and walked it. There was a brochure there advertising the Woman’s Dream Quest which I picked up and took home. In looking at it I thought “Aahhhh, spend the night in the Cathedral?” In two weeks I was there spending the night in the Cathedral. I really fell in love. It bit me hard and as a result I have 19 Dream Quests under my belt. I love the ceremony, I love the people. As a singer it was really special to join in spontaneous chanting. You couldn’t keep me away. In the morning it was so magical just watching the light coming thru the stained glass windows and pouring onto the labyrinth. It was like I had died and gone to Heaven.

Rita: How were you inspired to get more deeply involved with Veriditas?

Jay:
The Dream Quest led to some retreats with Lauren. And this eventually led its way to Facilitator Training. I’ve read all of Lauren’s books and love her spiritual point of view. Her very non-didactic, light handed approach without too many rules and with simple courtesy really attracted me. I started doing research and taking notes. I really liked what was going on. I also love to watch her on DVD. I like to watch her talking. I still watch it even though I know what’s on them. I sit there in front of my tv and say “Hi, Lauren!”
  Rita: Please share with us a personal story of the labyrinth.

Jay:
About 6 years ago this June there was a fire that destroyed most of the homes in my area – Angora Ridge. My home is the only one that survived on my block. We had no damage to our house and we had to watch all the clean up that happens after a major fire – the toxic waste removal, the removal of people’s possessions, cutting down live trees and other activities for construction. Angora Ridge was a beautiful, green, tree covered ridge. If you look at the picture of me in the labyrinth you can see some of the burned stumps in the background. There were no 11 circuit labyrinths within 50-60 miles and I had wanted to put one in for some time. After the fire I just kept looking up at that ridge and thinking that it’s so ugly. A lot of the neighbors were in such profound grief over the loss of possessions and pets. My thought was to buy a lot and put in a garden with a labyrinth to give hope to the neighbors and restore a little bit of beauty to the area. The lot I bought had a house on it that burned down. It was an excellent location near a main street. Even though there were no trees it seemed like the perfect spot. The following summer a friend joined me in laying down a landscape cloth stencil of the labyrinth. I went to a meeting of survivors and I talked to them about it, showing them the blueprints. Somehow it got in the newspaper and 15-20 people showed up to help build the labyrinth. It has been very healing for the whole community. I spend the rest of the summer refining the labyrinth and it is a great joy to see people walking on it. It’s not cleared of snow in the winter but when there is no snow it is open so anyone can go on it. I get occasional requests through the Labyrinth Locator, but it is open for all. I often find things that people leave behind such as crystals and stones. Part of my spiritual practice is maintaining it and keeping it going. It contains all native plants, and a dry creek bed has just been added. I’ve named it Angora Garden.

Rita: Why do you donate to Veriditas?

Jay:
It’s part of my connection to the greater labyrinth community. It’s a way of acknowledging the profound work that Lauren is doing and all of you are doing in the Veriditas office. It’s my small way of being a part of that community. What you do is beautiful and inspiring and keeps the rest of us going. It was Veriditas itself and my connection that inspired me to build this labyrinth and continues to inspire me to keep it going.

 

Interfaith Labyrinth Walk

by Emily Simpson
 
The labyrinth is a truly universal symbol, a living archetype that is able to hold, welcome and reflect all faith traditions. As part of our awareness and fundraising campaign for the Sydney Labyrinth, we held an Interfaith Labyrinth Walk, on the field in Centennial Park where the sandstone labyrinth will be built. We were blessed to have leaders from many different faith traditions attending. They were asked to speak about the journey through life as a sacred path according to their beliefs and then they all walked the labyrinth together. It was very inspiring and deeply moving to witness these wisdom keepers walking and praying in peace together. Here's what they had to say:

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Emanuel Synagogue
Judaism at its best and at its core is a walking toward the light of awareness, consciousness and love - that which we call God, the One that unites all. How we do that is actually known as the Halakha, which means 'the walking'. So in the sense of walking the sacred path, I find one of our great teachers, instructs us best. The Prophet Mycah said, “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Subhana Barzaghi Roshi, Zen Buddhist Centre:
A Buddhist orientation to life and walking the sacred path is to walk in an upright manner with integrity, compassion and wisdom. The pilgrim learns to welcome each turn of the labyrinth as an opportunity for maturity in cultivating the heart of compassion. To walk with mindfulness is to let go into the moment, into this great mystery of our being, making each step a step of peace. With mindfulness we transform the ordinary acts of life into the sacred, so that the walker and that which is walked upon are one. 

Imam Amid Hady, Zetland Mosque:
We are gathered here to mark the beginning of our endeavour to walk and pray in the labyrinth in this humble, but historic event. I would like to share a prayer from the Islamic tradition in which all of us as believers are on the path. “In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful. All praise to Allah, the lord of Heaven and Earth and all within it. You alone will I worship and to you alone we seek help and guidance. Oh Allah, guide us to the true path, the path of those in whom you have bestowed your favour and who enjoy your blessing. Oh Allah, strengthen our faith and compassion, and we humbly beseech your forgiveness and protection. Unite our hearts so that we may feel the relationship of all of humanity as children of Adam and Eve”
  Reverend Ben Gilmour, Paddington Uniting Church. We have a labyrinth in our Church, which we lay out on Saturdays. There’s a small child in our community who calls it the maze of God. I like watching the children in the labyrinth because I see the temptation to jump over lines and sometimes when they jump over the lines they end up going backwards instead of forwards. This is a beautiful metaphor for life and of faith, reflecting the ways we are called to be true to the journey, the path that is before us. The labyrinth is the gift that calls us to reflect upon what it is to be who we really are in relation to ourselves, to each other, to the world and to creator. I’m excited about this labyrinth as a public space where we can all come and reflect and journey together. My hope and prayer is that this will be a journey of faith for us all, no matter what tradition we hold.

Father Martin Davies, St James Church, King St:
Christians have been known as People of the Way. The way we follow is the way of Christ leading to God, but the way is not always straightforward and many feel lost on the way. This prayer is by Thomas Merton: “Oh Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire to please you. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, to make my journey alone.” And so I enter the mystery of that journey…

Monsignor Tony Doherty, Church of Mary Magdalene: There’s a man named Hans Kung, who made the statement that “There will be no peace in the world unless there is peace among religions and there will be no peace among religions until we come together to listen to one another.” I’d like to share a blessing by John O’Donohue: “May we awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of our own presence. May we have joy and peace in the temple of our senses and may we receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon. May we respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.” I pray with you that the mystery of this labyrinth may continue to nourish the spirit of each one of us.

Emily Simpson
www.sydneylabyrinth.org


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Global Healing Response (GHR)


The Global Healing Response, founded in 2005 by Council member Ellen Bintz Meuch, offers an annual theme and quarterly ideas and information to enrich labyrinth walks. The GHR theme for 2013 is Truth and the focus for this quarter is Beauty. The quote is by John Keats: “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” If each of us could host or personally take the time for a GHR labyrinth walk, think of the unified healing energy we could create! The fourth quarter is posted on the website, www.globalhealingresponse.com.
We encourage you to visit the site soon and often. 
 

Little Miracles on the Path


Each month, Linda Mikell, secretary to the Veriditas Council and New England Regional Representative, emails a Little Miracles on the Path story to 439 facilitators who have signed up for them. Facilitators from all over the world send her stories about interesting, touching events that happen at their labyrinth walks. If you would like to receive these stories, please contact Linda (edlinmik@optonline.net). Please don’t forget to send your story when you have one. Little Miracles are archived on the Facilitators Portal of the Veriditas Website.




101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, CA 94952   |   707-283-0373   |   contact@veriditas.org

Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.

We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation. Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.

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