Classes and Workshops for Adults
Awakening Wisdom Classes is the new name for UUCB’s Center for Spiritual Development.
For over twenty five years UUCB has offered classes and workshops that express the UU value of drawing inspiration from diverse faiths and philosophies. Anyone interested in pursuing spiritual practice as a transformative life experience may enroll. As we develop psychologically and spiritually, our social actions become more compassionate. Classes provide an environment for the realization and enhancement of our connection with the larger Reality in which we live.
Chair: Lynnette Delgado
Led by Richard Stromer, Ph.D.
Third Wednesday of each month: Sept. 17, 2014 - May 20, 2015, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Meditation Rm.
Suggested fee: $ 60
For information, call Richard Stromer (510) 682-6302
In this study group we will explore the mythic nature of our personal experience of the sacred. In the process, we'll also consider how stories from the world’s great wisdom traditions mirror our own experiences of the holy. In addition, we’ll also seek to deepen our relationship to the images and symbols that reflect our experience of holiness. Through opportunities for reading and shared reflection, we will endeavor to expand our appreciation of the personal and communal dimensions of our sacred myths.
As a part of our exploration this year, we'll also expand and deepen our understanding of some core archetypal motifs, themes, and characters from the world's great mythological traditions. These will include the perennial and universal trinity of Mother, Father, and Child; the nature of the Heroic Task; the function of journeys of Descent/Death and Ascent/Rebirth; and the mythological nature of divinity. Our text for this year's exploration will be Mythologems: Incarnations of the Invisible World, by noted Jungian scholar and psychologist James Hollis.
Richard Stromer has a doctorate in mythological studies viewed from the perspectives of both world sacred traditions and depth psychology. He has a counseling and teaching practice based in Oakland that specializes in the application of the concept of personal mythology to issues of psychological and spiritual development. For the past eight years, he has been teaching myth classes at UUCB. To learn more about his approach to working with myth, please refer to his website: www.soulmyths.com
Led by Carolyn West
Saturday, September 20, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Safir Room
Suggested fee: $ 20; sliding scale available.
Declared non-cannonical and banned by the Nicaean Council, most of what we know about the Gospel of Thomas came from criticism against it as heretical, until the 20th century. Found among the books at Nag Hammadi in 1947 and a few other sources, the Gospel of Thomas is now regarded as one of the earliest Christian texts, and one of the sources for material in the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Consisting of 114 “sayings” of Jesus that sometimes read more like Zen koans or Sufi poetry, Thomas gives us a Jesus who is morally strong , divinely inspired, and profoundly human.
In this afternoon workshop, we will look at the Gospel of Thomas, and discuss the culture in which the Gospel was written. We will compare it to the portraits we are more familiar with. No pre-requisites. Participants are encouraged to read the Gospel of Thomas before class. It can be found in bookstores and libraries, often with newer translations of the New Testament. It can also be found free of charge on the internet at http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html
Carolyn West first had her socks knocked off by the Gospel of Thomas while an undergraduate at Princeton University, where she earned a degree in religion. She is the Storyteller at the Northbrae Community Church, and teaches and preaches at UU and other churches in the East Bay.
Led by Richard Stromer, Ph.D.
First Tuesday of each month, Oct. 7, 2014 - June 2, 2015, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., Fireside Room
Suggested donation: $ 60 for series, $ 8 for individual sessions.
Information: Richard Stromer, (510) 682-6302; registration: Martha Helming, (510) 528-3417.
Cinema is a powerful and captivating medium for exploring the mythic, archetypal nature of our experience as human beings. This class will continue exploring a rich variety of mythic and archetypal themes and characters from the world of film. In addition, this eighth series of film discussions will also focus on some of the perennial mysteries of the human condition, including the evolution of consciousness, the power of love, the enigma of faith, the magic of imagination, the perplexity of madness, and, that ultimate unknown, the mystery of death.
Each session will include a presentation about the archetypal and mythic themes central to the movie being discussed. Some of the archetypes we will explore in this series include the Child, the Traveler, the Guide, the Mystic, the Stranger, the Detective, and the Lover. Discussions will also include questions on how each of these films relates to the collective mythologies of our society and culture, as well as to the understanding of our own personal myths.
|Oct. 7 - Gravity (2013)||Nov. 4 - A Room with a View (1985)||Dec. 2 - Millions (2005)|
|Jan. 6 - What Dreams May Come (1998)||Feb. 3 - A Beautiful Mind (2001)||Mar. 3 - Vertigo (1958)|
|May 5 - A Passage to India (1984)||June 2 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)|
Navigating the Tricky Conversation with Those Closest to You
Led by Jan McClain
Saturday, October 18, 10:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m., Fireside Room
Suggested Donation: $ 30
At certain points in life, we can find ourselves holding back or feeling tongue-tied with the very people that we care about most--our adult children, our partners, our co-workers. We may feel shy or nervous about expressing our feelings and desires. Or maybe we just don’t know where to start.
This workshop offers an opportunity for you to:
- unpack the layers of what you deeply want to say and what (perfectly understandable) things may be stopping you. There will be time for both writing and discussion; you will be able to work with your specific topic privately, while participating fully in the group work.
- discover how to approach these conversations--what actually works (and what potholes to sidestep!).
- find sustainable ways that you can create, through these conversations, the connections you desire.
This really is an opportunity to have a conversation with yourself---before you have a tricky conversation with the one or ones you love!
Jan McClain has a life coaching and teaching practice in Berkeley, using tools from both the coaching world and the education world. She shows couples and individuals how to energize their most important relationships and find their true desires. She has moved from an intensely shy girl with not much “voice” at all, to being an advocate for having those conversations that create authentic, meaningful connections. To learn more, check out her website: www.janmcclain.com
Led by Lori Goldrich
Saturday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Fireside Room
Suggested Fee: $ 40 (includes artistic materials)
C. G. Jung’s method of active imagination is a practice of alleviating suffering and facilitating psychospiritual growth with the aim of connecting one to one’s essence, or, as Jung says: the Self. It can be a way to find meaning in one’s existence and discover a life’s calling in relation to self and others. More specifically, it is a process of allowing contents of the personal and collective unconscious to emerge freely while maintaining a working relationship to images, feelings, sensations, and thoughts springing forth from the unconscious into consciousness. It is a technique of turning one’s attention within, toward one’s inner world and finding ways to express it creatively while maintaining a reflective, psychological, and spiritual point of view that is mindful of the spirit of the earth.
In this experiential workshop, we will have an opportunity to explore the practice of active imagination from a place of embodied presence, and utilize creative modalities such as drawing and writing to deepen our understanding and integration of the material that emerges as a spiritual practice. (No artistic experience is necessary.)
Lori Goldrich, PhD, is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist in private practice with offices in Oakland and San Francisco. She is a music therapist and registered expressive arts therapist, with over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Lori teaches on active imagination at various institutions including, John F. Kennedy University and the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.
An Intensive Day-long Seminar in History, Symbol and Theology
Led by Beverly Allen, Ph.D.
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fireside Room
Fee: $ 50
Bring a bag lunch. Our lunch hour will be (a relaxed) part of our seminar.
This day offers a deep, nuanced encounter with the figure of Mary Magdalene and an inquiry into her importance for us today. Our path of topics leads through where we find her, where she came from, what became of her, and where she is now, with several short texts and images to deepen our historical, philosophical, and theological understandings. Throughout the day, we will take breaks for brief meditations, guided and silent, and for conversation with each other about material just presented. Participants will come to know Mary Magdalene as an historical figure, as a changing symbol throughout modern history, and, most importantly, as a symbol of the Sacred Feminine at the heart of Christianity. We shall see how the Sacred Feminine principle she represents draws from the archaic past and may now be reinstituted in our own theologies, ecologies, and relationships.
Writer and activist Dr. Beverly Allen has taught at U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz, Stanford, Cornell, the University of Zagreb, and Syracuse University, where, as Professor of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature, she held the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities. Author of numerous scholarly works and a prize-winning translator, she turned to screenwriting, creative non-fiction, and fiction. During the 1990s, she engaged in an independent investigation of war crimes in Bosnia, producing a work of investigative journalism, Rape Warfare, that insiders at the U.N. have hailed as influential in the adoption of new laws making rape a crime against humanity and a war crime. Now a visiting professor at Stanford and the Graduate Theological Union, she is teaching and writing about Mary Magdalene and the Feminine Principle in and beyond history.
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More Classes and Workshops!
Everyone can sing well, we just need to know how!
Are you new to singing hymns? Do your pipes feel rusty? Do you mouth the words because you're afraid someone might hear you? Join Michèle Voillequé in the Fireside Room after Vespers on first and third Thursdays (September - December, 2014) from 7:30-8:15 p.m. Learn to sing with ease and courage. Anyone wanting to sing better is welcome! Email Michèle for more information.