Lean back and look at the beauty of the night sky,
lean forward and gaze at the sublime vision of a medieval cathedral,
lean in and walk labyrinth.
You are no longer the same person.
The Universe is thrumming with energy, mystery, and beauty. These qualities are marvelous gifts from Creation, but as the mystics and poets tell us, we must actively participate with joy amid the sorrows of the world. When we embrace courage, we begin a pilgrimage toward “the task of tasks that help us move from being destructive to creative presences on our struggling planet.” We are co-creating a New Story.
In our workshop we will explore this glorious New Story, bringing a convergence of science, spirituality, and the arts under the rubric of Cosmogenesis.
For cosmologist Brian Swimme, Cosmogenesis is the realization Creation didn’t happen only out there, billions of years ago—but is happening in here and now and is revealed in the development of our own imaginations. His work reflects a wild faith in the intelligence of the universe that “knew” from the very beginning that life was coming on a spiritual quest.
For mythologist Phil Cousineau, the New Story is a Numinous Narrative reflecting our desire to create art, a recognition of the alluring power of beauty, in the classical Greek sense, and personified as Aphrodite or Venus.
What better place to delve into these mysteries than the great pilgrimage center of Chartres! Our week features presentations by Swimme and Cousineau including storytelling, poetry, film clips, creative exercises and ample time for conversation.
A Vocal artist will lead a daily call-and-response as well as an evening of music around the St Yves Labyrinth.
Our time together will be highlighted by an evening of star gazing along the Eure River with Brian, and an afternoon of sauntering with Phil around the medieval streets in the spirit of notitia—the practice of noticing everyday beauty with the eyes of the soul. Each activity is designed to renew your own sense of awe and wonder about the universe and to aid you in creating your own New Story which reflects the twists and turns of your life pilgrimage. Please join us.
The Chartres Experience
What better place to feel nurtured than the sacred space of Chartres Cathedral? We begin with a reception to meet each other followed by an opening ritual and orientation to the program. Then each day, there is a morning seminar, a small processing group, and an experience of what Chartres has to offer. On Tuesday afternoon, there is a tour of Chartres Cathedral. Then, on Wednesday, there is an orientation to the labyrinth followed by a once in a life-time candlelit labyrinth walk with medieval music on the Chartres Labyrinth. Thursday afternoon is a tour of the Crypt , and a closing celebratory reception and dinner are on Friday.
- The Art of Pilgrimage, Phil Cousineau, Conari Press, 1998, revised 2022.
- Who Stole the Arms of the Venus de Milo? Phil Cousineau, Sisyphus Press, 2023.
- Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe. Brian Thomas Swimme, Counterpoint, 2022.
- The New Ecozoic Reader: Reflections on Brian Thomas Swimme. The Center for Ecozoic Studies, 2023.
- Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice. Lauren Artress. Riverhead Books, revised and updated, 2006.
- GLOBAL SPIRIT with Pico Iyer
- TED X Talk on Mentorship and Following Your Passion
- On Pilgrimage for Banyan Books, Seattle, WA
- Conversation between Lauren Artress and Phil Cousineau
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