May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew. – John O’Donohue
As most of you know, I recently walked into the Viriditas Studio to find part of the carpet and tap floor soaked in sewage water. YUK! It took a while to find out what was wrong. OK… A clogged pipe…. It is now unclogged (ah the relief!) and the repairs have begun. The studio will be closed for a while as we undertake extensive restoration and the laying of a new floor and carpet. Tap Into Transformation scheduled for October 20th as well as Healing With St. Hildegard, on November 4th, have been canceled. David and I hope to have the studio back up and running for Tap Into Tranformation on November 17th. We will keep you posted!
Through all of this, I have had a chance to reconnect with the meaning of the studio in my life. The studio has been the home of some incredible creative and healing work. No one has articulated the spiritual possibilities of the work of the Viriditas Studio better than John O’Donohue in the above blessing. It is from his book: Anam Cara: A Book Of Celtic Wisdom. Anam Cara has been on my book shelf for many years and I turn to it again and again as a source of great comfort, strength and beauty.
Hence, my delight when I showed up last Friday for the blessing and smudging of the office and classroom space for the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality. At the closing of the ritual, the Dean of Students, Carol Bennington, read John O’Donohue’s Blessing from AnamCara! I could feel “the secret love and warmth” of all of the staff, faculty and students of the Fox Institute come into the space. My heart melted with joy.
The Fox Institute is officially opening its doors this week! There have been so many moving pieces to juggle, and I am in awe of the flexibility, love, strength and ENTHUSIASM of the team of people working to launch this amazing institution. The teaching schedule is a magnificent and massive rubix cube. Faculty and students are coming from all over the country and world to teach and study. The board has decided to slow down the pace a bit, and the Institute is now offering 26 instead of 46 classes for the year.
The two classes that David and I are now scheduled to teach are:
Introduction To Creation Spirituality (February 26 – March 2): This course will teach students the four paths of Creation Spirituality as well as principles associated with Creation Spirituality. Students will then look at the lives and works of the following mystics, artists and prophets through the lens of Creation Spirituality: Jose Hobday, Joanna Macy, M.C. Richards, The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. This course will conclude with the students investigating their own lives through the lens of Creation Spirituality.
Chanting the Wisdom Traditions (March 5 – March 9): In this course, we will use music, lyrics and movement from the world’s wisdom traditions to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves and bring us together in community and celebration. The wisdom traditions we will tap into are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the wisdom of Indigenous Peoples. Each day we will teach chants from one or two of these traditions. We will give the background story for each of the chants. The lyrics will be presented in the original language as well as in English. We will teach movements for some of the chants and will provide live musical accompaniment. This will enable students to take the chants deeply into their hearts and bodies. After practicing the chants, students will have opportunities to express their inner experience via drawing and journaling.
I will be sharing more information about these classes in the months ahead. For those of you wanting to take the classes, please contact Dean of Students, Carol Bennington at email@example.com. The sooner you do this the better. Remember there are books to read AND a paper to write before the class begins. Even if you are planning on auditing the class, you must fill out a brief registration form and do the reading and pre-paper. You do not need to write the post paper if you are auditing.
This coming Saturday, October 21st is the Grand Opening. There will be a free Open House from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. Stop by the classrooms at the south entrance to the First Congregational Church of Boulder, directly across the street from 1st Bank on Broadway between Spruce and Pine. Faculty will be present to share a taste of the FICS pedagogy – from seminar-like panel discussions to short art-as-meditation experientials. The staff will be available to answer questions and to give tours of the classrooms and our newly remodeled staff offices in the historic carriage house, also behind the church. David will be part of a panel discussing The Four Paths of Creation Spirituality and yours truly will be part of a panel discussing The Mystics.
On October 21st in the evening the school is hosting a Grand Opening Gala at the Hotel Boulderado from 6:00 – 10:00 PM. Come be a part of this very important birth. Not only will you experience a joyful celebration, you will be a part of the very foundation of the Fox Institute. The evening program at the historic Boulderado includes messages of hope through reinvention of work and education, a three-course meal, a sampling of silent auction items and dancing to Mass Hipsteria, an eleven-piece band that includes lead singer, you guessed it, DAVID SHARP!!! David and I would greatly appreciate your presence and support. If you would like to attend the Gala, please call the school at: 720-880-3427.
In conclusion, I want to let you know that I will be in Austin, Texas from November 03 – 05. I will be attending a three day retreat hosted by my mantra teacher, Russill Paul and his wife Asha. This retreat will give me the opportunity to go deeper into The Yoga of Sound, The Mastery of Mantra and The Tantric Path. I greatly look forward to sharing the fruits of this retreat with all of you. Mark your calendars! Our next Healing With Mantra will be on December 2nd from 3:30 – 5:00 pm.
All right dear ones. I close with this quote that I have taped onto the back of my tea cabinet in my kitchen:
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”–anonymous
“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is my favorite author. I remember discovering the power of his words in college when I was reading Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (Wilhelm Meister’s Lehrjahre). I remember spending countless hours in Baker Library at Dartmouth College during my senior year with this book, soaking in the Wisdom and Beauty. The above quote is one of my all time favorites. In this newsletter I am going to offer YOU a little song, a good poem, a fine picture and a few reasonable words!
The song I am going to offer you is the latest recording that David and I created from the last Healing With St. Hildegard session which was held on September 2nd. In it you will hear my favorite phrase from St. Hildegard’s music. It is the opening phrase of her song: O Euchari In Leta Via. She wrote this song to praise and ask for the help of St. Eucharius. The opening phrase and title of the song mean “O Eucharius, you walked on a blessed path.” St. Eucharius was the first bishop of Trier whom legend tells us used St. Peter’s staff to raise people from the dead. In our session we used the phrase of St. Hildegard’s song to help us let go of the deadening obstacles in our lives so that we can truly walk on blessed paths. As you listen to the song, visualize yourself walking on your blessed path, the path that you are being called to walk. Notice any negative voices that come up to stop you on your path. Let the music silence these negative voices. Click here to listen to this gorgeous and powerful song.
Now for the poem! Here it is:
Jeannine, how awesome your mystic artistry!
Exuberant your prophetic spirit!
And gorgeous your heavenly voice!
Now is the time to rejoice!
Now is the time to celebrate all the
Inspiration, love and beauty you bring to the world!
Now is the time to be restful and receptive to
Exquisite voices and visions waiting to be born!
– Dr. Chuck Burack
Dr. Burack was one of my professors at the University of Creation Spirituality. His brilliance, huge heart and dedication to his students was and continues to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. He wrote me the above poem after I completed the 2011 run of Feathers On The Breath Of God. He made the trip from Californina to Boulder to be in the audience. I keep this poem next to my desk as a daily source of strength and inspiration.
Wouldn’t you love to be nurtured by people like Dr. Burack and myself … on an ongoing intimate basis? Give yourself the gift of an education that enlivens your mind, body and spirit and nourishes your work in the world. The graduate school where I studied with Dr. Burack is now reopening its doors right here in Boulder, Colorado as The Fox Institute. Both Dr. Burack and I will be teaching this coming November and YOU can be one of our students. You can enroll in a degree program or audit a class. But don’t wait! The deadline for enrolling in our November classes is October 1st. The limit for our classes is 20, and we may or may not offer these classes again. Especially for those of you interested in St. Hildegard, seize this opportunity to study and experience her life and work. I have been preparing to teach theses classes for many decades. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of a community of creative powerhouses! If you are interested in taking classes, here are the key links:
Click here for general information about the Fox Institute. Click here for information about academic requirements. Click here for information about the admissions process.
If you are interested in taking my class you should contact the Dean of Students, Dr. Carol Bennington at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to do it before October 1st.
If you are called to explore studying at the Fox Institute, I invite you also to check out the work of another graduate of the University of Creation Spirituality who has recently moved to Boulder. Her name is Robyn Hubbard and her website is corehealingarts.net. Robyn is also happy to answer any questions you might have about this amazing education. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Now for the fine picture! How I love tap dancing with this man… And how we love tap dancing with you! Tap Into Transformation continues to be the best dinner party in Boulder, Colorado! Last month after experiencing our group dancing to the song Tightrope by Janelle Monáe, I wanted to jump for joy for weeks. We had two new comers who dove right in together with those who have been coming for years. The group came together as one bundle of delight and pizzazz. One of David’s most amazing gifts is his ability to create a choreography right in the moment to meet all of our dancers at the same time. SO FUN! If you have been reading these emails for years, saying to yourself, “I should so go to Tap Into Transformation some time.” WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Our next Tap into Transformation is on September 15th and we will be tap dancing to the song “September” by Earth Wind and Fire! Our meal will be catered by Mandala Infusion, a newer restaurant in North Boulder. David and I recently attended their Happy Hour and sampled their fare. YUM!!! Click here to purchase your tickets!
Now finally…a few reasonable words… One of the questions that I get asked most frequently is, “Jeannine, how do you have the energy to do all that you do?” You have four children, family in Switzerland that you visit frequently, a beautiful home and garden to take care of and then all of your amazing work projects. You are not in your twenties any more. How do you do it all?”
One of the key ingredients in my ability to live my life the way I do is REST.
My current teachers in how to rest are these deer that come to my yard every day to rest. They rest right outside my office window. Rest includes getting enough sleep at night. (I get eight hours a night at least). It also includes naps and breaks, silent time alone, or just sitting or lying still. I believe rest is the most important “activity” I do. Are you getting enough rest?
I close with another quote from my friend Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship:
Knowst thou the land where the lemon trees bloom,
Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket’s gloom,
Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows,
And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?
May your inner land be filled with “lemon trees”, “a gold orange glow”, “a soft wind” and “groves of laurel, myrtle and rose”.
I know many of you who have been reading my newsletters all these years connected with my work because you saw Feathers On The Breath of God either at the Nomad Theater In Boulder in 2011 or at the Bas Bleu Theater in Fort Collins in 2013. I often marvel at how the Divine works in my life….
When I began my doctoral studies in 1998 I was planning on creating a curriculum on St. Hildegard of Bingen as my dissertation. In my final class during meditation I received the clear guidance that instead of the curriculum for my dissertation, I was to put my healing journey as it had been inspired by St. Hildegard on a stage. In that moment the seed for Feathers On The Breath Of God was planted, and in 2011 I launched Feathers in Boulder, Colorado.
Now… 9 years after completing my doctoral studies… it is time for the curriculum and I am inviting you to join me as my student! From November 13th through November 17th I will be teaching two classes inspired by St. Hildegard at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality (FICS) in Boulder, Colorado.
Here are the two Course Descriptions:
Feather On The Breath Of God: The Beauty and Power of St. Hildegard of Bingen: This course begins with an immersion in St. Hildegard’sJourney through the Senses, an exhibit that shows the life and work of this powerful mystic. Students will also read and discuss the content of the very first biography written about St. Hildegard in the twelfth century. Students will then explore St. Hildegard’s theological writings and illuminations as well as her medical texts. Some of St. Hildegard’s remedies will be available for sampling. The class will then take a look at St. Hildegard’s relationship with her world and key people in her life. The class will conclude with an exploration of how students can use St. Hildegard as an inspiration in their own lives.
Viriditas: A course in Creativity inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen: In this course we will use reading, music, guided imagery, St. Hildegard’s Illuminations and Healing Remedies as well as movement, to create a meditative connection with St. Hildegard and her life’s work. In this space of deep connection, students will access their deepest creative selves and from this space they will express their souls in a variety of artistic mediums: water color painting, drawing, singing, movement, journaling and finally constructing their own model buildings using a whole variety of materials (i.e. popsicle sticks, clay, feathers, paper, ornaments, miniature toys, to name just a few!) As the students share the creative process as well as their creations with each other during the week we will be forming a very intimate community of creative powerhouses!
In addition to offering certificates, masters and doctorate degrees, FICS welcomes students to audit courses for personal and professional growth. The Fox Institute for Spirituality offers a variety of auditing options for prospective students or for those looking to enhance their professional and personal lives through continuing education, even if there isn’t a commitment to pursue a degree. Click here to learn more.
To get a feel for the Fox Institute I invite you to attend the upcoming August Meet & Greet! David and I will be joining Matthew Fox in this webinar on August 19th. Join us! You can register by clicking the RSVP button below.
August Meet & Greet: The Mystics and Art-as-Meditation Rev. Matthew Fox, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp Saturday, August 19th, 1:30-3:30 PM MDT
Join us on-line this month as faculty members Rev. Matthew Fox, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp explore the Mystics and our art-as-meditation component.
Join renowned teacher, author, and mystic Matthew Fox, along with FICS faculty, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp, who, in addition to being graduates of the former UCS (where they met and then married), are spiritual teachers, actors, writers, singers and tap dancers! We will explore the topic of mystics as well as our unique coursework, Art-as-Meditation. We will also update the latest developments at FICS and give registration information.
Register NOW by clicking on the RSVP button below to receive your complimentary ticket to our community Meet & Greet webinar. You will receive directions about how to connect via computer or phone. We look forward to being with you and sharing a love for Creation and the unfolding story of Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality.
Feel free to call me at 720 308 6782 if you have any questions you would like to discuss with me directly about FICS or the classes I will be teaching. If you have often thought, wow, I would love to spend a week with Jeannine and really get to know St. Hildegard, this is your opportunity to do so!
Immerse yourself in Viriditas this coming November! Become a Feather On The Breath of God yourself!
This month I am sending out a special invitation. As most of you know, I have been playing the marimba for five years now. It is a source of powerful joy for me and I want to share that joy with YOU. This coming Saturday Titandare, the band I play with, will be participating in ….. drum roll…. AMARIMBA JAM!
If you have yet to experience the marimba, you do not want to miss this. One of my band members, Greg Amorese, has created a dynamic, gorgeous and HUGE performance venue inside his own home! I kid you not, there is a performance space dedicated to the marimba smack in the middle of Boulder. Greg has a huge heart and has a vision to bring people together with the music of the marimba. This particular marimba jam is going to be especially powerful because one of the greatest ensembles in the country, Shamwari Tamba, will be playing.
Many of the members of this band grew up in Boulder and started playing the marimba when they were youngsters. Most of them have left Boulder to go off to college. This summer many of the former members of the band are back in Boulder and are coming together again for this event. To experience them playing is a treat not to be missed. Every time I experience Shamwari Tamba playing, they sweep me off my feet. Awe-inspiring, I tell you! Click hereto see and hear what I mean.
Here are the details:
Host: Nola Fanestil and Greg Amorese When: Saturday, July 15 from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM Where: 825 Grape Avenue, Boulder, CO
Greg’s home is a delight to be in. His hospitality makes you feel welcome the moment you walk through the door! David and I were invited to his Thanksgiving Celebration last year. To see Greg and his friends whip up the most elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for about forty people inspired me to want to reach out and create more gatherings in my home for friends and family. He is going to have a pizza oven going as well as outdoor volleyball. Fun, fun, FUN!!!!
This Saturday’s jam is also going to be a fundraiser for Ancient Ways, an organization which vibrates with an uncommon passion for life. Ancient Ways provides services in two separate areas of Zimbabwe. Their current focus is on preschool children, maturing girls and the constructions of wells. Click here for more information.
Please contact me as soon as possible if you are planning on coming so I can let Greg know.
Titandare! (Let’s get together and have a great time!)
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” -John Steinbeck
Do you have a vision of something you want to create? Is it a vision that you know is going to take all the love you can give, every day of your life, for as long as you live…??? My sister-in-law Coni has such a vision. Her vision is to have redwood trees growing in her garden in Maur, Switzerland. I have been visiting with my sister-in-law in recent weeks and took these photographs of her redwoods.
One of the trees is now seven feet tall and firmly established in her garden. The others are tiny and still live in a flower pot outside her kitchen. I marvel as I see her love for these plants in action. In the flower pots where the tiny trees are growing are shells and rocks she brought back from the Pacific coast. She tells me that this way, the baby trees will feel more at home in the flower pot. She talks to her plants, making sure they have enough moisture. As my brother says, “These plants are her pride and joy.” To watch a moving short film showing the majesty and power of the trees that have captured my sister-in-law’s heart click here.
I am deeply inspired by Coni and “her redwood project” and have been considering the projects that Viriditas Productions is involved in and how yes… they require love, dedication and faith.
One of our projects, Tap Into Transformation, is now firmly established, much like Coni’s little seven foot tall tree. In November of this year we will be launching our 6th year of this community tap dancing event! On May 19th we created a choreography to one of my favorite songs of all time: “Here Come The Sun”…yes, you guessed it, we danced to a Beatles Tune. Here is a photograph of our dancers with David from that night. Yours truly climbed up on a bar stool to take the shot. We had two participants who drove all the way down from Greeley, Colorado. I promptly named them the Greeley Goddesses! Our delicious dinner was catered by our neighboring Mexican restaurant Wapos, and for those who are wondering, we did serve margaritas…smile. Our next Tap Into Transformation will be on Friday, June 23rd, and our theme is “Calling All Angels”. I especially encourage all of you who are feeling defeated by the turbulent times we live in to attend. Check out these powerful lyrics we will be dancing to:
“I need a sign to let me know you’re here ‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear I want a reason for the way things have to be I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me
And I’m calling all angels I’m calling all you angels…” (Train Music)
And to all of you who join me in a powerful connection to Archangel Michael…you are going to love the activity we will be doing in the second half of the evening! Be sure to come. Click here to purchase your ticket, today!
I consider my Doctor Of The Soul work to be much like Coni’s little trees in the flower pot. I launched this work in November of 2016, and on June 3rd we had our 8th group event: Healing With Mantra. In the Healing With Mantra events, I teach how to use mantra to help you reduce stress, enhance your emotional well being and optimize the flow of energy within your body. This month we invoked sacred energy through the channel of a mantra that invoked the Hindu God Krishna. Krishna is the god of compassion, tenderness and love. We connected this energy to our fourth chakra, the heart chakra, as we dislodged and released all negative energy associated with this chakra. During the session I invited the participants to write down the hurts they were feeling and wanting to release on an index card. After the session I did a ritual where I burned the cards and then released the ashes above the creek behind my house. Here is a photo of me releasing the ashes. The next Doctor of The Soul group session will be Healing With St. Hildegard on July 1st. I will be using St. Hildegard’s powerful song “O Frondens Virga” in our soul healing process. I am also available for private sessions. Click hereto find out more.
The part of the Viriditas work that is connected to the performing arts continues with my participation in the Kutandara Marimba Ensemble. In July I will be studying privately with Jesse Larson, one of the most powerful and skilled marimba players I know. She will be teaching me two new songs and helping me get ready to perform in the fall. Click here to enjoy Jesse playing “Moyo Wangu” (one of the songs I will be learning) with Kutandara. She is the marimba player in the brown shirt on the front marimba.
Finally, I want to describe the fine tuning that is happening in a part of the work that is still very much in the vision phase. As you know I have been asked to teach at the Fox Institute, a new graduate school that will be opening its doors this fall in Boulder. The opening dates needed to be pushed back to October due to some gorgeous renovations that are being undertaken to transform the buildings. I am now scheduled to teach two classes on St. Hildegard as well as two classes together with David: “Chanting The Wisdom Traditions” as well as “Introduction to Creation Spirituality”. I begin with The St. Hildegard Classes on November 13th. I have also been asked to join the academic leadership team of the school. I am in the midst of deep discernment regarding what exactly the vision is for my work with the Fox Institute. I trust clarity will come in the months ahead, and I will keep you posted.
I close with a request. What are the visions that are living in your heart? In what stages of development are they? I would love to hear about them. Please send me a message letting me into your world of visions! Let’s inspire each other.