Coming home to the alive world: animism, embodiment, belonging

In this free workshop for Melbourne University’s Contemplative Centre, Maya Ward presents an embodied exploration of the Animist traditions of Europe and contemporary ecological, or pattern, thinking. This provides a bridge to begin to approach the depth of Aboriginal Australian traditions: Dadirri (Deep Listening) and the complex, cultural meaning of the term Country. This experiential workshop incorporates embodied writing exercises to evoke a felt sense of the depth mode of perception of the natural world.

The ‘tradition’ Maya presents might best be called animism: reverence and connection to the aliveness of place and how we are sustained by and give back to the beings of place. It has therefore a deep alignment with Aboriginal traditions – the ‘practice’ is a combination of learnings from Aboriginal teachers as well as imaginal and practical engagement with European earth-based and pagan traditions. The practice also incorporates philosophy, psychology and somatic research that addresses the effects of the violent suppression of earth-based spiritualities, and takes inspiration from visionaries who imagine future scenarios of life-affirming, ecosystem-enhancing cultural practices.

What to expect

This workshop will be interactive, incorporating guided meditations and breakout rooms. You will learn embodied writing techniques to contact a flow state, to foster a deep sense of connection and communication with the more-than-human world. No preparatory work is required. Please have a pen and some paper ready.

This workshop is part of the Contemplative Studies Centre’s ‘Tradition Deep Dive’ series, which aims to provide a deeper understanding of an element of contemplative practice or theory within a tradition.


Jun 29 2022


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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