Fall 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the Fall Newsletter!

Happenings this October!

2018 Fall Seminar Oct 26-28
Revisioning the Sacred: Discovering Our Treasures from the Jewish Mystical Tradition

In this seminar, we will examine and contemplate what is holy or sacred in our lives and how we recognize it as such. We’ll explore the sensory aspects of this act of naming the sacred in terms of how we see, hear, taste and feel its presence, as well as how we can move toward honoring it in our individual and collective existence. With the goal of considering living of one’s life as pilgrimage, we will work with exercises for identifying the qualities as well as the boundaries of the sacred, the language we use to hold in reverence the downward earthly movement as well as the raising up.

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The seminar will begin at 7 pm on Friday, the 26th and finish at noon on the 28th

Place: The Easy Yoke Ranch in Beulah, Colorado.

Leaders: John Lee and Barb Cashman

Fee (includes light dinner Friday evening and meals through lunch on Sunday): $180

Registration: Email our registrar, Shirley Sullivan, at svcsullivan@gmail.com

Who Do We Choose to Be? by Margaret Wheatley
You are Invited to the Upcoming 2018 Fall Book Group:

Meg Wheatley takes a big picture look at the state of the world in which we live. Each chapter explores who we are individually, collectively, how we got here, and how we can choose to be together. In this book, she examines four salient aspects of our dilemma: What Science Teaches; Facing Reality by Looking at Particular Challenges Which Face Us; Claiming Leadership to Forge Paths of Inclusion and Away From Fear; and Restoring Sanity.

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The format of the book lends itself to group discussion and we are certain to engage in lively banter on each topic, particularly in her final chapter, which explores the meaning of our “post truth” “reality”. The last section of the book “Coda” contains a beautiful quote by Thomas Merton: “Humans have a responsibility to find themselves where they are, in their own proper time and place, in the history to which they belong and to which they must inevitably contribute either their response or their evasions, either truth and act, or mere slogan and gestures.”

Our first gathering will be Thursday evening, October 18 at the home of Nancy Arko. We will meet several times over the next few months to delve into this book. Join us! Contact Nancy at nancyarko@comcast.net or 303-596-0610 for directions

Happenings this December!

Advent Event: …greatly anticipated each year, this is when the Guild, after sharing appetizers, engages in a creative activity to discern meaning of the Nativity figures in our lives. Join us for this magical evening!
When: Dec 9 at 6:30 pm
Where: Cameron Church

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Winter Solstice: Each year the Guild meets on or near the darkest day of the year to share a pot luck dinner, read poetry, share thoughts about endings, new beginnings in a candle lighting ceremony not to be missed! Join us on Dec 20th at 6 pm for a memorable evening. Location: Barb Cashman’s home Contact becashman@gmail.com for directions.

Reflections…from the study of Dr John Lee

This morning during “concerns and celebrations” people voiced sincere and deep worries about health, relationships, job loss, and cancer. In addition there were groans of agreement at the assertion that “this world is a mess!” Several people felt anger, others helpless, judgmental, confused, and disillusioned, wanting to escape to an island not on the map!

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On my way home I thought of 2 records passages I wanted to suggest to each of us. Both are from Section 38, portions a and i

A- Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and dust dost consume…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…

I- And why behold the mote in thy brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye…

Working with these passages offers helpful perspective. Although choices and actions are required of us, deep reflection is even more necessary. Action that can come out of prayer (our deepest pondering) can bring our personal transformation to bear on our actions of goodwill. These approaches will be guided by soul rather than quick and temporary solutions.

Books for deep reflection members are reading…

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert Johnson.

Years of participating in the Guild had brought me to a deep desire to unlock the power of dreams and to live in a way that invited active Imagination into my life. My intuitive sense has always played its role but I have long been in need of a deeper sense of the “marvelous universe of unseen energies, forces, forms of intelligence—even distinct personalities—that live within us”. (P.3).

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I found this book the perfect place for me to begin my study of Carl Jung and the unconscious.

With professional help from Dr. John A Lee, I gained tremendous insight into how hidden personalities were wreaking havoc in my life. I experienced surges of emotional energy from the unconscious that had very unfavorable results. My middle age crisis began to make ‘sense’.

Johnson’s Inner Work has added depth to this process by assisting me in setting up a genuine flow of communication between the conscious and unconscious. This has been life changing. Inner Work contains direct and practical approaches for dream work. Johnson also explores the Art of Imagination through a 4-step process that guides the reader into a dialogue with the different parts that live in the unconscious.

I read Robert Johnson’s Owning Your Own Shadow in tandem with Inner Work.

This book explores the “dark and unlit parts of the ego”. This easy read explains how cultural processes create the shadow; how to balance the conscious and unconscious aspects of the personality; and describes shadow as “spiritual gold” that lies within each of us. I highly recommend these two books for anyone searching for a deeper understanding of ‘how she or he ticks’. By Mary Jane McCormick

The Footprints of God: The Relationship of Astrology, C. G. Jung and the Gospels by Luella Sibbald

This book gives a glimpse into the work of the Guild for Sacred Studies. It is highly recommended as a source for understanding the nature and importance of doing our own inner, spiritual work. It shows us how we can bring forth, integrate and transform the opposites within our unconscious.

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As the planets move beyond the 2,000 year-old Age of the Pisces and into the Age of Aquarius, it is the author’s view that we humans are being called to focus on the work of integrating the unexamined opposites in our psyches, so that we might become more whole.

Carl Jung said to a colleague not long before his death in 1960: “I don’t envy anyone having to live through the end of the twentieth century.” Responding in her 1988 book, Sibbald has written, “For ignoring the negativity and evil that are in the unconscious of each of us we are paying dearly. We are paying with guns, drugs, terrorists, and diseases, with poverty, illiteracy, and fascism.”

In Chapter Five, “Jesus as the Aquarian Person,” the author points to Jesus’s statement “Resist not evil” (Matthew 5:39) which reflects his awareness of the need to deal with the opposites within ourselves.

Sibbald expands: “What we do not know about ourselves and leave unrecognized in the unconscious is projected onto certain individuals, the environment, or groups of people that have standards of living different from our own…We all have these unexplored parts of darkness in ourselves. The crimes that are extant now show how much of the suppressed evil is being released into the world. But recognition of the evil in oneself is possible; as such, it would be an act of the First House, astrologically, where ego choices are made.”

This book, barely 167 pages, packs a wallop for those readers who yearn to understand the spiritual relevance of our times and desire an instructive guide for reaching greater fullness By Billie Sterns

Sardello weekend and Acoma Sky City

Sacred Earth presence came alive for those of us who traveled to Albuquerque for the Robert Sardello Seminar July 12-16. This exceptional gathering of 30 people encouraged deep conversation, listening with heart awareness for the sake of the world.

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During this special weekend with Robert, we delved into the importance of New Mexico for its spiritual and environmental significance working with the image of the buffalo, uranium stores, and native American wisdom.

We explored the Black Madonna, Lady Guadalupe and Native American wisdom. We opened ourselves through body awareness, poetry, plant awareness and the living qualities of language.

Particularly significant was our visit to the Acoma Pueblo located 1 hour West of Albuquerque. The Pueblo is situated on a high mesa 370 feet above the dessert floor and has approximately 300 structures of adobe and sandstone. The Sky city is distinguished as being the oldest, continuously inhabited community in North America. During the 16th Century the Acoma people were invaded by Spanish armies, slaughtered, tortured and subjugated, and later Christianity was imposed by Catholic missionaries. Inevitably the Acoma people preserved their culture and native traditions and were able to retain this piece of earth as their own. Acoma potters still make the Pueblo’s distinctive, thin walled pottery, which can be purchased on the Pueblo from individual artisans. Homes are owned by Acoma Pueblo females and are passed down from mother to the youngest daughter. Men inherit the kiva (outdoor oven).

Visitors are welcomed for tours of the Pueblo throughout the year and each Sept 2, the feast of San Estevan, the public is welcomed to feast with native peoples there.

The creator of this small seed pot is an Acoma woman, Daisy Lewis. She explained that she alone, in her village, has been granted the privilege of depicting the “Ant People” in her artwork. The “ant people” are those people believed to be present on the land, even before the ancestors and therefore are revered and remembered. By Nancy Arko

Reflections on the 5 Day Seminar by Shirley Sullivan

Free, mobile, and in readiness
The will, known beforehand, is not the will
…that which crosses my willful path, violently…
Why not become totally fire?

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These words, the words of some of the world’s great thinkers, linger on. After decades of “Records Seminars,” we don’t always use these quotes, but the experience itself has shaped many of us, and changed our lives.

Words, music, and small movements greet the day. And silence. Silence is built in. It has made me hungry for itself, after more than 25 years of doing this. I am shaped by silence, almost as much as by the words of Jesus that form the backbone of our experience together.

We speak in the circle, each from our unique point—not on the path, for that would imply a goal to be reached—but each from our own point of light. This grows and dims as we listen and try to give voice to what is moving inside. Sometimes our hands are closest to our hearts’ wisdom. How do you paint the heavens were rent asunder? How can a broken heart allow life to enter?

What I have learned through this study of the life and teachings of Jesus is not that he was the only son of God, but that his story is my story, our story. What was available to him is available to us. All we have to do is pick up our beds and walk. A tough challenge. We are learning the art of risk, of daring to open to what has been called Other, of realizing that Other is none other than ourselves. What better training for being in the world?

In Memoriam

A tribute to Gene Copeland
By Kate Adams

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Gene Copeland was an early member of the Denver Guild. Gene was legal counsel for Security Life, later ING in Denver, where I met him in the early 70’s. We shared a bond as fellow seekers. Every now and then he would tell me about the latest workshop he had found. The spiritual workshops of the ‘70’s blossomed into a heart-opening, lifetime spiritual quest for Gene. He and several members of the Guild became long-time students of Robert Sardello and John Lee. Gene never seemed to tire of learning about the spiritual words. I am grateful that in 1993, at his insistence, I attended the Guild’s 9-day seminar.

Gene contributed mightily to the ideas, imagination and spirit of the Guild with his unique presence. He served on its Steering Committee and was a longtime friend of John Lee and countless other members. He was a multi-faceted man with many friends. When he retired in 2008 he moved back to his hometown of Fairfield, Iowa to be near family. People say that Gene was a one man Chamber of Commerce – showing visitors sites from the Arts and Convention Center to a restaurant on the Skunk River. He had strong opinions but was generous, kind and a mentor and friend with a quick mind and a hearty laugh.

On June 10th Gene slipped the bonds of this earth due to complications following two strokes.

On July 21st 40 friends celebrated the fullness of our dear friend’s life at a memorial service in my back yard. People’s love for Gene was honored with prayers, flowers, stories, food and the beautiful voice of the 12 year old daughter of his Skype yoga instructor Gene had “discovered”. She and her parents drove from Salt Lake so that Eva could sing for us…and for Gene. Gene believed that in communicating with those on the other side. Talk with him, I’m sure he can and would still provide counsel.

Exercises for the Soul: Monthly meetings of the Denver Guild take place on the 2nd Monday of each month at Cameron Church 1600 South Pearl St @7:30pm

For a full listing of events and mission please visit denverguild.com

A quarterly newsletter like this is planned to begin each season. Contributions to the Newsletter are encouraged and can be sent to nancyjoarko@gmail.com

Dr Nancy Arko, editor