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Fri, 21 Apr


Camellia Centre for Reflective Practice

A 1-day retreat on embodied reflective social practice

This one day retreat explores the question of how we engage with living processes in our lives through a series of embodied and reflective practice activities. Facilitated by Peter Westoby and Rachael Donovan

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A 1-day retreat on embodied reflective social practice
A 1-day retreat on embodied reflective social practice

Time & Location

21 Apr 2023, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Camellia Centre for Reflective Practice, Maleny QLD 4552, Australia

About the event

A one-day retreat in embodied reflective social practice from 9.30am-4.30pm, 21st April.

This one-day workshop explores the question of how we engage with living processes in our lives through a series of embodied and reflective practice activities.

As a way of both doing and being the workshop supports people's inner and outer development through a number of practical activities based on the themes: observation, working with aliveness, working from the inside-out of phenomena and expanding consciousness.

These activities take many forms including but not limited to:

  • reflective observation that develops intimate encounters with other (both human and more-than-human),
  • art journalling that develops the capacity to pay attention and to work with living ways of seeing
  • gentle yoga that connects mind, body and breath together to support participant's body observation and awareness
  • mindfulness meditation enables observation of the mind without reaction and a deeper connection to the present moment

The workshop will be based on experiential activities combined with individual, small group and larger group reflection processes. It will support a deepened and renewed sense of self and provide an opportunity to practice a new form of individual and collective activism to bring healing to the world.

Morning and afternoon tea are provided. Please bring a shared vegetarian lunch

The ideas drawn from in this workshop come from Peter's new book which can be pre-purchased (for the extra $50) or bought at the workshop. 

What previous participants have said about this workshop:

I loved the workshop/process. Rachael and Peter held such a safe space which allowed real vulnerability while at the same time challenging and stretching my understanding of perception and the experience of reality. I found the non-directive guidance liberating, enabling me to allow myself to move into new awarenesses.

I have continued with the practices and process as much as I have been able. My reading of the book so far has reinforced for me a long-held conviction that we cannot segment our lives. There is no practice that relates to professional work, and another for personal life. There is simply life and the practice of living it. So thanks for the validation of that conviction which I have found to be not generally accepted either in my time at uni, nor in my time working.

Peter and Rachael's workshops are an opportunity to step out of the busyness and demands of work and life. To enjoy precious time for processes that support critical reflection. They are so sustaining.

In Peter's new book, Three Rivers Flowing - Peter’s personal stories and honest accounts of things with which he’s grappled make this such a unique book. He has theorised and integrated conceptual frameworks that make so much sense. They help us to care for ourselves, care for others, and care for the planet, all crucial for this time in our history.

About your facilitators & hosts:

From the age of 20, Peter has been on a journey of social practice, deeply shaped by three powerful rivers. The first, a river of dialogue, has informed decades of community and social development practice. This river still flows strong. The second, the river of soul has taken Peter into the depths of personal and social worlds, inviting an understanding of the ritual and mythic elements of social change. The third river, of phenomenology is the flow that most informs this poetic and delicate activism river, one that is most alive to Peter now.

Peter has been a writer or co-writer/editor of 15 books and over 60 professional journal articles on community development.

But more importantly, he loves reading, walking, sitting by a fire under the moon or stars, wandering daily in Mary Cairncross Park, exploring his bio-region, being with friends, sipping a coffee at dawn, and going to bed about 8.30pm (yes, he’s a lark, not an owl).

At this present moment he is:

  • Director/consultant at Community Praxis Co-op;
  • Part time practitioner at Hummingbird House;
  • Custodian of Camellia Centre for Soul-Work & Reflective Practice;
  • Associate of The Proteus Initiative, South Africa;
  • Honorary Associate Professor, Deakin University; and
  • Visiting Professor, University of the Free State, South Africa.

As an advocate and community practitioner, Rachael has worked with women, young people and communities for the last two decades. Through incorporating the traditions of meditation, yoga and circle work, she has facilitated women’s circles and retreats to support people to reconnect to nature, presence and their inner wisdom. She is a qualified yoga teacher and has explored the world of Buddhism, Advaita and other eastern spiritual traditions throughout her life. She is currently immersed in the practice of phenomenology to grow her observational skills through a deep relationship to the natural world.

Her greatest joys are being immersed in nature and the embodiment of yoga, both of which she practices regularly. Although she has been fortunate to explore (and live) in many parts of the world, her most favourite place is Girraween National Park, or, place of flowers, in the granite belt region of Queensland

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