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Laying Down Your Burden: Cultivating a Feminine Sabbath Practice

Thursday, April 23, 2020

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Mirabai Starr

“Here. Come here,” Mirabai beckons in her new book, WILD MERCY: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics. “Take a moment to set aside that list you’ve been writing in fluorescent ink. The list that converts tasks into emergencies.”

The world’s wisdom traditions offer multiple contemplative methods to encourage holy rest and sacred play. In Judaism, the Sabbath carries the quintessence of the feminine. Shabbat is interpenetrated by the Shekinah, the indwelling feminine presence of the Divine. As the sun goes down on Friday and the Sabbath candles are kindled, until its sets again on Saturday, we are invited to welcome the Shekinah into our hearts where she imbues us with the spiritual resource we need to navigate the blessed landscape of Sabbath.

In this gathering, contemplative activist Mirabai Starr shares the ways in which she has come to embrace Shabbat as a beloved female relative whose love and sustenance are vital ingredients in a full and fruitful life of loving service and caring community. Weaving contemplative readings, writing prompts, chanting, silent sitting, and group dialog, we will discover how to build what Heschel called “a temple in time” and enter it.

This Shabbat crucible is available to everyone – people of all faiths and those who do not subscribe to any faith – to transmute our overwhelm and restore our weary souls. Our Sabbath practice need not conform to the traditional structure. We can adapt it to fit the shape of our own lives.

As the brokenness of the world grows more apparent, our impulse to do something to alleviate suffering grows more urgent. And so it becomes increasingly vital that we cultivate sanctuary spaces where we can take refuge, lay down our burdens and refill the cup of our souls

Mirabai taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Her latest book is Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of theWomen Mystics.