When Kurt Schwarz, a Winnipeg spiritual care practitioner and meditation teacher, talks about the healing power of contemplation, he speaks from experience.
In the 10 years he’s been providing spiritual care at Health Sciences Centre, primarily with patients dealing with mental illness and addictions, Kurt says one of his main goals is to help people learn practices that can have a real impact on the quality of their lives.
“Over the years, I’ve found my practice of yoga and meditation to be really helpful for me to let go of some of the difficulties or experiences I might have encountered,” he says. “These practices give me the emotional ability to be present with patients and their families.”
Kurt is the author of Moving Into Stillness: Finding Meaningful Activities that Nurture and Sustain the Inner Life. He will be sharing these same strategies with participants in the upcoming conference, Healing our World through Contemplative Practice, Oct. 15-18 in Winnipeg.
During a presentation on ‘Beauty, Art, Nature and Silence as Medicine’, Kurt will guide participants to explore the seven qualities essential to experiencing the healing power of beauty, art and nature.
Solitude — the ability to be comfortable being by yourself.
Playfulness or Spontaneity — discovering a child’s willingness to be open to what’s happening around them and the spontaneity of life, and letting go of our adult way of trying to organize and categorize life.
Mindful Awareness — being present in the moment, open to whatever is arising without judging or closing down.
Contemplative Perspective — drawing on the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Merton to learn how contemplative readings can be a form of prayer.
Time — understanding the need to give ourselves time and permission to actually slow down enough to experience life (nature, beauty, art, silence) in a new way. In order for newness to come into our lives we need to be patient and be able to wait for something new to happen.
Basic Trust in the Goodness of Life — the ability to look at life and nature around us and experience God’s beauty, realizing that it’s really all about love.
Ritual — the importance of marking new experiences, making them concrete, by either writing in a journal or creating a new ritual to help bring that quality into daily life in an intentional way.
Please visit http://prairiejubilee.ca/contemplation-conference-october-15-18-2015/ for more information or to register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you there!
And stay tuned to this blog, we’ll be speaking with other presenters in the coming weeks.