Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions
This three day teaching is part wonder, part battle cry and part strategy for the beginnings of a deeply wrought human life which makes peace with the ravaged world, finds a home along the old abandoned road, and honours the grief soaked longing for those things and those people we thought we lost. This is what generations to come deserve from us, this labour, and it might yet fashion from us a generation of ancestors worth coming from.
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Session 01: Ritual and Memory
Length: 1 Hour and 37 Minutes
Whenever we of the dominant culture of North America gather, it detonates a great longing for the occasion to be marked by the presence of something venerable, old and enduring. All peoples of the world have such occasions for such longing, but ours is most often a longing for something missing, or unknown, or gone. This session gives guidance for the crafting of real, soul feeding ceremony by reimagining the mandate of ceremony to be remembering to feed the world.
Session 02: Grief Needs Work
Length: 1 Hour and 3 Minutes
Whenever and wherever grief encounters psychology it is turned into a trauma to be treated. a loss to be recompensed for, a hole to be filled. With that affliction in tow, what can dying and death ever mean for us but the annihilation of peace of mind, the end of well being? What can sanity ever mean but the elaborate scheming of ten thousand ways of not dying? This session offers up grief as an antidote to death phobia and to competence addiction, two of the principal ways by which this culture is known to the world.
Session 03: What If There’s Nothing Wrong With You?
Length: 1 Hour and 9 Minutes
Whether or not you are a believer, still you are heir to the toxic proposition that trouble or darkness or mayhem came into the world with humans, and in this wretched myth we dwell. This myth is the darkness. This session asks instead: What if you could die with rafts of unmet needs and still be well? What if you’re not nearly as needy as you are needed by the world? What if you’ve tried being needy and unworthy, and it didn’t work out?
Session 04: Water of Forgetting
Length: 1 Hour and 13 Minutes
Ours is a demythologizing culture, hooked on knowledge, technique and self reliance. Still, the longing for real magic and alchemy planted right in the heart of our daily, ordinary lives endures. We’ve tried living without it, and so we have the culture and daily lives we have. This session honours the old mysteries and struggles that have probably always attended the effort of being human. One of the pillars of that mystery is how we so often forget how to be human, and the other is how our humanity needs the humanity of others in order to show up at all. This is the essence of village life.
Session 05: Being Alive, Dying
Length: 1 Hour and 42 Minutes
It is remarkable how intolerant the mania for certainty is. It wages war on learning, on wonder, on the capacity for authentic awe, and reduces our inner lives to making a feast of starvation. This session offers up death as the Great Mystery of human life. Learning it can cost you everything you’ve decided is true, or useful. That might include your fear of death. Being deeply human asks you to live and to die, at the same time, to learn them both. That is sanity.
Session 06: The Fourth Temptation
Length: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
We suspect the great power of the spoken word. We fear it too. Withholding words has as much power and consequence as saying them, and we do each other little good by not bringing our eloquence to suffering, to consternation. This talk carries a deep proposal and plea that the people of our time challenge the desire to win and the habit of setting up their tents on the arid plain of their old certainties. The world and its need for us is elsewhere.
Session 07: Food Makes Hunger
Length: 1 Hour and 2 Minutes
Much of our religious impulse and heritage has an instinct for transcendence running through it. How does that instinct describe or explain our abiding sense that we don’t quite belong where we are, that we’re not really at home? This session offers the unlikely notion that our longing for real depth and culture comes from it being close at hand, closer than we think. The labour of living as if this were true is how we begin to approach those who have gone before us.
Session 08: Getting Lost
Length: 1 Hour and 7 Minutes
If you have grown up in a culture which bequeaths chronic homelessness of the heart, crowded places are lonely places. Other peoples have found way to live obedient to the seasons of their lives and to their home places. This session teaches a story about how elders, real elders, don’t falsely reassure us about our lostness. They counsel learning, soulful learning, about the world, not the self.
Session 09: Time is Religion: The trance of loss
Length: 1 Hour and 39 Minutes
In this session we climb down into the dark cave of North American history, the conquest of minds and souls. We’re heading towards this thing called ‘home’, and the path leads us to history, to the dreadful resemblance of God and The Dead, to the old poverty that whispers that the past is gone. Who are your people? And what do they ask of you?
Session 10: Heaven, Hell, Home: Weaving your life
Length: 2 Hours and 10 Minutes
The great mystery of coming into and going out of this world: if your culture has wonder about the Other World, then the mystery is rich and full and greatly sustaining. If your culture has dread or fantasy about the Other World, than the mystery is torment and haunting. This session teaches that grief is the recognition of what a human life requires, that it is wisdom and not affliction. It is the great awakening to what you owe for being alive, the beginning of deep gratitude for the gift of being alive. The skill of being at home is found there.
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