The Danu Portal, with gate, elemental altars, spiral labyrinth, and Brigid’s Cross. Some of the Grove Pavilion tents are in the background.
Last year I attended a Saturday workshop on meditation, led by a Buddhist monk. We practiced several different types of postures and meditations, all with an emphasis on mindfulness. It was helpful, but what I remember most of all was Br. ChiSing’s final recommendations: practice alone daily, practice with a group weekly, and attend a retreat or seminar quarterly.
Daily practice and weekly meetings have always been a part of my religious life. Or at least, it was what I knew I should do even if I didn’t always do it. But the idea of regular retreats and seminars was new to me. The Baptist church I grew up in would do revivals every year or two, but they were geared more toward scaring “sinners” into “getting saved” rather than actually reviving the congregation. All I knew was that I had to go to church every night for a week and miss all my favorite TV shows.
The Druid Gorsedd was a wonderful experience for all the reasons I’ve written about before. Three weeks later, though, I’m starting to see the long-term benefits. My nightly meditation and prayer has gotten deeper, and a bit longer. I’m back to working through one OBOD lesson every week – at this rate I’ll finish the Druid grade material before the end of the year
More importantly, for the first time in a long time (maybe ever) I feel like I’m not just “on the right path,” but I’m doing and learning what I need to do and learn and I’m progressing at the rate I’m supposed to progress.
Some of that comes from the workshops, rituals, and conversations. But I think most of it comes from a weekend of immersion in contemporary Druid culture and practice, and being with people who are doing what I want to do. I’ve seen what’s possible, and I see how I can have a place in it. I don’t need another degree and I don’t need a career change. I just need to keep practicing, keep learning, and say “yes” when the Goddess and God present me with opportunities.
I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.