STILLNESS DAY

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Stillness Day is a day to escape from the pressures of daily life and spend some time connecting with that within that never changes.

Stillness Day is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the School of Practical Philosophy in Sydney. The day provides the opportunity to take part in a day of quiet contemplation and meditative movement. It is a day for going beyond our usual limits of time and place to experience resting in our deeper being.

SCHEDULE

For the first session of Stillness day participants will be invited to engage in a form of meditation together. Following this the programme allows for a choice of a further three sessions that run between sixty and ninety minutes in length. Between each Stillness session morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be served.

Stillness Day will be held at Mahratta, 25 Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga. Please arrive at 8.45am for Registration.

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TIMES
08.30 – Arrive (Mahratta, 25 Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga)
08.45 – Registrations
09.00 – Session 1
10.15 – Morning tea
10.45 – Session 2
12.00 – Lunch
13.00 – Session 3
14.15 – Afternoon tea
14.45 – Session 4
16.00 – Finish

SESSION ONE: 9.00 – 10.15

THE FIRST SESSION OF STILLNESS DAY IS FOR ALL TO ATTEND.
To engage in a form of meditation together.

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THE MEDITATIVE STATE   Anthony Renshaw
The object of meditation has been described as profound stillness. Shri Shantananda Saraswati has said that “The ultimate end of the meditation is to reach this total immobility or the profound stillness and this is very deep. No meter could measure it, it is without end.” (Conversations, 1971). This session will explore the different levels of the meditative state, including practical ways of realizing them. There will be information about how meditation has been absorbed into our culture over the last fifty years, but the key purpose of this session is to experience something of the meditative state and practical ways that such a state can be accessed.

Please choose this if you do not currently meditate on a mantra.

MANTRA MEDITATION  Stewart McKendrick
The object of meditation has been described as profound stillness. Shri Shantananda Saraswati has said that “The ultimate end of the meditation is to reach this total immobility or the profound stillness and this is very deep. No meter could measure it, it is without end.” (Conversations, 1971).

Mantra meditators, please choose this one.

SESSION TWO: 10.45 – 12.00

CHOOSE ONE FROM THE LIST BELOW
For each of the sessions choose one from the list

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest  Klaus van Deit & Stewart McKendrick.
The Art of Calligraphy offers an effective practice to come to stillness and experience the deep Peace of the Self. It only takes some attention and a little mindful practice to write beautifully.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Simple Carving

Simple Carving Chris Heeks
Come to the Mahratta woodwork room and learn how to do a simple wood carving. Experience a moment of simple undivided attention as the chisel glides through the wood.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Zen Garden Maintenance

Zen Garden Maintenance David Hogan
Gardens are formed by universal elements, a Zen Garden is where the elements are in balance, everything in its place, at one with universal space and beyond. Maintenance will involve rebalancing the elements to re-establish the unity, connecting once again with the limitless space.This is a practical workshop primarily using listening to transcend our normal mental activity to connect with the stillness within, that then is reflected in the garden.

Chanting: Resting in listening

Chanting: Resting in listening Michele Beaven
In this session we will discover how stillness can occur through resting the attention with the listening. We will begin with sounding of Sanskrit vowels and consonants followed by the chanting of prayers from the Upaniśads, some of the oldest and most sacred Vedic texts, using the traditional Vedic accents.

Experience required? – none.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi Demetrius Condos
Tai Chi can be energizing or calming, a martial arts practice or a meditative practice.  Through the simple movements of the 5 Flowing, this session will use Tai Chi to discover the balance between tension and relaxation, the inward and outward breath,stillness within movement, and remaining as the silent, motionless observer in the midst of activity.The group will then discover strength without tension, and then move onto Pushing Hands, and experience the openness, sensitivity and inner strength through just observing the movement of the body and connecting with the senses– “Like water, the softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world” (Lao Tzu).

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – Comfortable, loose fitting clothing and flat shoes.

Silence,Sound,Silence

Silence,Sound,Silence Ian Connell
The session will revolve around silence and the sounds that play upon it. The sounds when sequenced harmoniously, give rise to songs. These songs influence the heart and mind with their inherent emotional potential. We will endeavour to explore, through experience, the power of song and silence.

Experience required? – none.

Stillness at the needle’s point

Stillness at the needle’s point Christine Condos
Experienced and novice needleworkers come together! Join us in practising simple attention, learn a simple stitch or two (using wool on canvas or silks on linen) and discover stillness in action at the needle’s point. The aim is to have a brief period of instruction then work together quietly, with assistance provided as needed. This is an opportunity to work alongside others in peace and quiet. Bring a piece you are working on – tapestry, embroidery, cross-stitch etc. Otherwise, a small piece of work will be provided.

Experience required? – none.

Still Life Drawing

Still Life Drawing Robert Lenn
The aim is to engage in the timeless practice of drawing without the pressure of achieving a result. In such an atmosphere and with simple observation, there is every opportunity to just rest, enjoy and delight in the drawing itself.

Experience required?
 – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Bread making: The Staff of Life - BOOKED OUT

Bread making: The Staff of Life  Judith Donald
Bread is the Staff of Life, and has been basic to the Western diet since it was developed in Ancient Egypt and taken by the Romans to Europe.  There are very many styles and types of bread baking.  We will make a simple, wholesome loaf, which may be taken home.

Experience required? – none.

SESSION THREE: 1.00- 2.15 

CHOOSE ONE SESSION OF YOUR LIKING
For each of the sessions choose one from the list

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest  Klaus van Deit & Stewart McKendrick.
The Art of Calligraphy offers an effective practice to come to stillness and experience the deep Peace of the Self. It only takes some attention and a little mindful practice to write beautifully.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Simple Carving

Simple Carving Chris Heeks
Come to the Mahratta woodwork room and learn how to do a simple wood carving. Experience a moment of simple undivided attention as the chisel glides through the wood.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Silent Garden Walk

Silent Garden Walk David Hogan
What’s it like to walk in natural surroundings without speech, in that profound silence from which all sound arises? There will be no speaking in this guided tour of the garden, allowing the senses to awaken and discover the underlying stillness in all things. Comfortable shoes, Raincoat or umbrella if necessary. Highly recommended for those doing the Zen Garden Maintenance in sessions 2 and 4, but not essential.

Chanting: Īśā Upaniśad

Chanting: Īśā Upaniśad  Naomi Smith
The group will explore the stillness to be found in fine attention to listening. We will begin with sounding of Sanskrit vowels and consonants, and the chanting of a simple prayer. The group will then proceed to chant some verses from one of the oldest of the sacred scriptures, the Īśā Upaniśad, using the traditional Vedic accents.

Experience required? – none.

Shibashi Qigong

Shibashi Qigong Tana Proft
Participants are invited to discover ‘stillness in movement’ through the practice of the simple, graceful movements of Shibashi Qigong.  Shibashi movements are based on the refined essence and basic principles of Tai Chi. They involve the same mindful attention on the movements of the body, and similarly increase circulation of energy (chi) throughout all the physical systems of the body as well as brightening the mind in a gentle and enjoyable way. This harmonious alignment of the body, mind and heart opens one to peace and quiet joy.The session will begin with a gentle warm-up, followed by instruction in some of the Shibashi movements before performing the set.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – Comfortable, loose fitting clothing and flat shoes.

Contemplation

Contemplation Prue McLean
Contemplation offers the opportunity to leave aside worldly concerns in order to let the mind deeply consider the eternal, through the inspired writings of philosophers and poets.
“It has been asked whether it be possible for the soul, while it is yet in the body, to reach so high as to cast a glance into eternity, and receive a foretaste of eternal life and eternal blessedness.”  Chapter V, Theologia Germanica.
This session will introduce contemplation through a selection of excerpts from the works of Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Hafiz and St Dionysius.

Needlecraft: Make Something Beautiful

Needlecraft: Make Something Beautiful Judith Donald
This is an opportunity to learn or practise simple needlecraft skills to produce something beautiful that you may take away with you.  There will be a choice of two simple needlework genres, which may be learnt and practised over one or two quiet sessions.  Having learnt the stitches, you will be encouraged to focus on the work in a quiet and peaceful way, and allow your natural creativity to express itself within the needlework style.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Drawing Within and Without - BOOKED OUT

Drawing Within and Without Katrina Beissel
Drawing has the ability to lead us to a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us. It is a way of being quiet and noticing a larger reality.

“Seeing/Drawing is, beyond words and beyond silence, the artist’s response to being alive . . . . It transmits a quality of awareness” (Franck, 1973).

In this session you will learn how to pay attention and let go of preconceived ideas. A series of simple meditations (‘drawing within’) and drawing exercises (‘drawing without’) will provide the opportunity to experience the calming effects of mindful creative engagement. Using pencil, charcoal and felt pen on paper we will engage in tasks aimed at connecting with the senses, experiencing deeper stillness, and finding our own ‘response to being alive’.

Experience required? – none.
Materials? – will be provided

Stay Calm and Colour In

Stay Calm and Colour In Annette Gadsby
Adult colouring in books are the top selling books in Australia. It is little wonder when they offer a time to be still, focussed and calm. Mandalas are an ancient form of geometry, the word mandala, loosely translated from the Sanskrit, means circle. Mandal patterns celebrate the circle of life. Some say making or colouring in mandalas can lead to spiritual enlightenment, at the very least you will spend a delightful session engaged in a calm and therapeutic activity.

Experience required? – None
Materials? – Will be provided

SESSION FOUR: 2.45-4.00

CHOOSE ONE SESSION OF YOUR LIKING
For each of the sessions choose one from the list

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest

Calligraphy: A Way to Rest  Klaus van Deit & Stewart McKendrick.
The Art of Calligraphy offers an effective practice to come to stillness and experience the deep Peace of the Self. It only takes some attention and a little mindful practice to write beautifully.

Experience required? – none.

Materials? – will be provided

 

Simple Carving

Simple Carving Chris Heeks
Come to the Mahratta woodwork room and learn how to do a simple wood carving. Experience a moment of simple undivided attention as the chisel glides through the wood.

Experience required? – none.

Materials? – will be provided

Zen Garden Maintenance

Zen Garden Maintenance David Hogan
Gardens are formed by universal elements, a Zen Garden is where the elements are in balance, everything in its place, at one with universal space and beyond. Maintenance will involve rebalancing the elements to re-establish the unity, connecting once again with the limitless space.This is a practical workshop primarily using listening to transcend our normal mental activity to connect with the stillness within, that then is reflected in the garden.

 

Chanting: Resting in Listening

Chanting: Resting in listening Michele Beaven
In this session we will discover how stillness can occur through resting the attention with the listening. We will begin with sounding of Sanskrit vowels and consonants followed by the chanting of prayers from the Upaniśads, some of the oldest and most sacred Vedic texts, using the traditional Vedic accents.

Experience required? – none.

Lohan Qigong 'Enlightened Warrior' - BOOKED OUT

Lohan Quigong – ‘Enlightened Warrior’ Tana Proft
Participants will be introduced to the Lohan – ‘Enlightened Warrior’ Quigong. The Lohan exercises were originally devised at the Shaolin Temple in China specifically to develop physical strength, promote health and to increase mental powers and steadiness for better meditation. Accordingly, the Lohan exercises all aspects of the being – spirit, will, intellect, vital energy and physical systems of the body.  It involves harmonising the elementary forces of Yin and Yang within the being.  We will begin with a gentle warm-up, followed by instructions in some of the Lohan movements, before performing the set. Please Note: Some of the movements require stretching & turning.

Experience required? – none.

Materials? – Comfortable, loose fitting clothing and flat shoes.

Contemplation

Contemplation Prue McLean
Contemplation offers the opportunity to leave aside worldly concerns in order to let the mind deeply consider the eternal, through the inspired writings of philosophers and poets.
“It has been asked whether it be possible for the soul, while it is yet in the body, to reach so high as to cast a glance into eternity, and receive a foretaste of eternal life and eternal blessedness.”  Chapter V, Theologia Germanica.
This session will introduce contemplation through a selection of excerpts from the works of Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Hafiz and St Dionysius.

Needlecraft: Make Something Beautiful

Needlecraft: Make Something Beautiful Judith Donald
This is an opportunity to learn or practise simple needlecraft skills to produce something beautiful that you may take away with you.  There will be a choice of two simple needlework genres, which may be learnt and practised over one or two quiet sessions.  Having learnt the stitches, you will be encouraged to focus on the work in a quiet and peaceful way, and allow your natural creativity to express itself within the needlework style. No previous experience is required.

Drawing from Nature

Drawing from Nature Sally Plumb
This is an opportunity to use the activity of drawing as a means to bring the mind to rest. It won’t matter how ‘good ’ or ‘bad ’at drawing you may think you are as surrendering attachments to results will be part of the practice. The focus will be to let the attention rest in the present moment as the activity unfolds. Enjoy the nourishment of drawing simple objects such as leaves, fruits and flowers.

Experience required? – none

Materials? – will be provided

Walking the Labyrinth

Walking the Labyrinth Cathie Van Geldermalsen

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
-T.S. Elliot

Walking this ancient path is a means to quietening the thoughts in the mind and coming to stillness in your own being. As the body moves around the labyrinth and you approach the centre, you become yourself, centred. There rest awhile, leaving behind the thoughts of the day and opening yourself to the possibility of limitless space.  Walking back out take this space with you and see all as if for the first time.  Meditative walks can reduce stress, open the heart and encourage creativity.

Dress? – Raincoat or umbrella as it is outside & comfortable shoes

ENROL NOW (SPACES ARE LIMITED)

SPACE ARE STRICTLY LIMITED
Click on the image below to be taken to the registration page where you can choose your sessions, add your details and register for the event.

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