The Wisdom Way
of the Aramaic Jesus

1996 North American Retreat

Sponsored by Abwoon Study Circle
and SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality
With Neil Douglas-Klotz,
Kamae A. Miller
and Brother Joseph Kilikevice.
LaSalle Manor
Plano, Illinois
August 18-23, 1996

"Whole, complete and healthy are those who have softened what is rigid within; they shall receive physical vigor and strength from the universe." (Version of the Beatitutdes,) Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth.",from Prayers of the Cosmos.

The Dances of Universal Peace, chant and sacred movement done by participants gathered in a circle, invites and allows an emersion into the wisdom ways that are the spiritual paths of the people of the world. By discovering through one's own experience -- individually and in community -- the depth of these wisdom ways, we seek to align ourselves with the Creator's unfolding of the universe, to find the next steps we need for personal and planetary healing.

During this retreat, we will focus on the words of Jesus using his own language, Aramaic. The Lord's Prayer and Beatitutdes will be sung and danced to gather the spiritual power of these sacred words, intended by Jesus to be powerful healing interventions in the lives of his listeners.

Other traditions will be experienced on this interfaith retreat will include the Buddhist, Hindu, Native American, Old Canaanite, Sumerian, Great Goddess, Classical Sufi, Hebrew, Arabic, as well as the teachins of the medieval mystics such as Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bengin, Mechtild of Magdeburg and others. All processes are dedicated to the benefit of all beings and for peace on earth. An interfaith sharing of bread and wine, inclusive of all present regardless of faith tradition, will be celebrated during the dance cycle of the Aramaic Lord's Prayer. In doing so, we expand beyond the differences and distinctions that have resulted in separation and hostility. This retreat is open to all regardless of prior experience. Our approach is entirely non-elitist, with no previous art, music or dance experience needed. The only requirement is a willingness to participate with a respectful and hospitable heart. While this experience may be deeply therapeutic, it is not intended to be, or to replace therapy.

While much of the retreat will be a new experience, even for those who have participated in it in the past, seeking new spiritual depth rather than novelty is our desire. Like meeting old friends, time honored spiritual practices and processes will be revisited to gather their gifts once again. Out of the stories of the participants, the joys and sorrows of lives lived with purpose and passion, the retreat is co-created by all who gather with the the guidance of the leaders. The retreat guides collaborate to offer song, chant, sacred movement, guided art-as-meditation sessions, ritual and conferences. While this retreat is based on the work expressed in Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations of the Aramaic Words of Jesus, and Desert Wisdom,(Harper San Francisco), it will be largely experiential, not a lecture or discussion. Participants are asked to become acquainted with some of the written material that is available.

Retreats Guides includes:
Neil Douglas-Klotz, M.A.
Author of Prayer of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus and Desert Wisdom: Sacred Middle Eastem Writings from the Goddess through the Sufis, (Harper San Francisco) Founding Director of the International Center for the Dances of Universal Peace.

Kamae A. Miller, M.A. (Spirituality)
Artist, writer, educator and advanced instructor of the walking meditations and experiments begun by Sufi Murshed Samuel L. Lewis. She offers spontaneity, grace and creativity to her work with groups using collaborative ritual and "what works."

Brother Joseph Kilikevice, O.P.
A Dominican Friar, director of interfaith retreats in the creation spirituality tradition, and Founding Director of the SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality, Oak Park, Illinois.

Location and Accommodations:
The Retreat will take place at La Salle Manor, a beautiful retreat center in rural Plano, Illinois, about an hour's drive southwest of Chicago. The center offers private rooms for all retreatants, large meetings rooms, an outdoor pool, a lake, wooded trails and vegetarian food. We cannot accommodate anyone who cannot be present for the entire retreat from beginning to end. The respectful atmosphere needed for this sacred work is jarred by late arrivals and early departures. The retreat will run from Sunday evening through Friday brunch.

For those traveling by air, rides to the retreat center can be arranged by the registrar no later than two weeks before the retreat. Please contact the registrar for further details.

Room and board for this five day retreat including private room with linen, towels and all meals is $250. Retreat tuition is $250 totaling, $500 if registering before June 1 8th. Tuition for members of the International Network of the Dances of Universal Peace is $220, totalling $470 if registered before June 18th. All participants add $40 if registering after June 18th. A deposit of $250 (in USA funds payable to Abwoon Study Circle) with completed registration form is required to reserve a place in the retreat. Cancellation fee before July 1 8th is $40. After July 18th the cancellation fee is $100. Space in the retreat is limited to 45 persons. Send the completed registration form and deposit to Pat Fitzgerald, 117 S. Taylor, Oak Park, IL 60302, U.S.A. Telephone number: 708-386 4446. Further details and a letter of confirmation will be sent to you after you register. A tithe of the proceeds supports the International Network of the Dances of Universal Peace in its support for dance leaders worldwide.

Registration for The Wisdom Way of the Aramaic Jesus August 18 - 23, 1996

Please type or clearly print all information below:

Name___________________________________________ Phone _________________


First and last name as I wish them
to appear on my name tag ______________________________________________

___ I enclose a deposit of $250 (if registering before June 18th)

___ I enclose a deposit of $290 (if registering after June 18th)

___ I enclose the entire amount of $500 or $470 if a member of INDUP 
         (add $40 after June 18th)
___ I enclose a donation of $ ______ to benefit the work of Abwoon 
         Study Circle and SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality
___ I understand that I am making a commitment to the entire retreat from 
         August 18-23, 1996.

For further information contact Pat Fitzgerald, registrar, 117 S. Taylor,
         Oak Park, Illinois, 60302, 708-386-4446.

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