Category Archives: Quaker

FCRP 2017 Interest Groups

closing ceremony
FCRP Closing

Interest Groups 

1. PARSING THE PLENARY
Facilitator: Dixon Bell
We will explore the Plenary talks on a deeper level in a facilitated discussion group.  We will also discuss any other topics that arise.  This Interest Group provides an opportunity to join into a group identity that is safe and develops organically. Mode: Discussion, sharing

Dixon Bell is a past clerk of FCRP and has been associated with FCRP and WFCRP for over a decade.   He is a poet and a cyclist and has been a teacher for the past 43 years.  He is now retired and lives in Glengary, WV.

2. YOGA AND EMBODIED WITNESS TO PLENARY INSIGHTS
Facilitator: Lorraine Kreahling
Ideas and insights that occur while listening to the Plenary talks can get lost when we stand and hurry off to what’s next.  We will make a point of noting these insights or epiphanies (whether comforting or troubling) and bring them to share with the group.  We will use breath and images, and simple yoga postures to create space to honor these truths in our bodies.
Mainstream culture’s obsession with bodily perfection—youth and conventional beauty—can land as a kind of shadow on our physical selves, triggering defenses that can get in the way of the Light.  In our discussion of evil (following the Plenary topic), we will use breath to enable us to hold the dark material nonjudgmentally—rather than reflexively dismissing it.  From this conscious physical witness, new Light may emerge from a deeper place.  Please wear lose clothing that allows movement and bring a yoga mat or blanket and a journal. Mode: Discussion and yoga

Lorraine Kreahling  is a writer and lifelong student of yoga with a daily practice.  She studied professional dance for many years in New York City.  She did graduate work focused on the meaning of dance in fairy  tales and folk tales; her graduate thesis was on Jung’s Individuation process as mirrored in fairy tales.  She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, including articles on yoga.  She is a member of 15th Street Monthly Meeting.

3. THE WISDOM OF TAI CHI
Facilitator: Beth Perry
A broad range of people can benefit from Tai Chi.  Tai Chi teaches you to relax and avoid using unnecessary effort in movement. It allows you to channel the energy you save into paying attention—first to your body, and later to the forces that act on you from the outside. “Sole” work—directing your attention to the weight pouring into your footprints—helps you discover one of the basic secrets for maintaining balance. The practice of listening to your body can open the door to unexplored abilities. Our work will include practical applications for daily life—from lifting a child or shoveling snow to getting in and out of a chair with the least amount of effort.   Come in comfortable clothes and flat comfortable shoes. All levels of physical capability are welcome.  Mode: Gentle Movement

Beth Perry began study of Cheng Man Ching’s Yang form of Tai Chi in the early 1980s and has studied with many of his senior students, including, Maggie Newman and the late Dr. Tao. She is an advanced student of the martial art application of ’push hands.’ Beth teaches Tai Chi  in retirement homes, adult education schools, senior centers, and Friends Center in Philadelphia. She spent several years working in Uganda and southern Sudan, returning to use that experience in anti-apartheid work with American Friends Service Committee and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Beth is a member of Radnor, PA Friends meeting.

4. DREAMING LIGHT INTO DARKNESS AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE UNCONSCIOUS AND THE NATURAL WORLD
Facilitator: Stephen Potthoff
In this interest group. we will be exploring various ways the natural world and dreaming can facilitate journeys into the shadow realm of the unconscious while simultaneously serving as a place of inspiration, light, and transcendence.  Participants are encouraged to bring with them dreams that have brought them into valleys of the Shadow, as well as realms of light.  Workshop activities will include a hands-on telling of the universe story, dream incubation exercises involving intimate exploration of the natural world, and collective dreaming on behalf of Mother Earth.

Stephen Potthoff is a Professor of Religion at Wilmington College, in Wilmington, Ohio. He has both a personal and scholarly interest in dream and visionary experience and has offered dream workshops at Wilmington College, Pendle Hill and the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology. Stephen is a member of New Garden Friends Meeting (NC) and attends Wilmington College Campus Meeting (OH).

5. MYSTERIES OF DEATH AND DYING
Facilitator: Gary Soulsman
Death has been a taboo subject for many of us. But we are also learning there is much to be gained from sharing our experiences with death, along with our anxieties and hopes around our own aging.  In fact, by looking at death we can gain a new perspective on how we wish to use our remaining years. This group will include intimate sharing, meditations on love and our personal fate, as well as a discussion of the implications of the Near Death Experience. Participants will have a chance to talk about Lionel Corbett’s plenaries as well.  Mode: Sharing, meditation, discussion

Gary Soulsman is a journalist whose academic work focused on social and behavioral studies. He was the religion reporter for Delaware’s largest daily paper. His work with dream sharing groups spans more than 25 years.  He is a long time member of FCRP and will be co-clerk of the FCRP Planning Committee starting after the FCRP 2017 Conference..

6. THE EMERGENCE OF THE EMBODIED FEMININE TO COUNTER STRESS COLLAPSE
Facilitator: Deborah Shayne Hughes
Recent developments in neuro-science suggest that beyond the well-known ‘fight or flight’ response to overwhelming stress, there might be a third response of collapse or freeze.  In this group, we will use the practices of Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement and iRest Yoga Nidra to explore the impact of stress on the body, including paralysis and collapse in the face of old terrors or untenable dilemmas.  Through these techniques of gentle  movement and deep-body meditation—and drawing on the work of Marion Woodman—we will allow the slow emergence of the conscious feminine which can bring healing in ways both earthly and divine.  Yin or the receptive in feminine energy is present in both men and women.  The subtle shifts of consciousness that it engenders can help us articulate and embody our soul’s destiny and the sankalpa (the heart’s desire envisioned in yoga Nidra). As we learn to honor the posture of stress collapse, we can begin to witness how it can be fertile ground for a new embodied self.   We will see how initiating small changes in how we move and speak can help alter old patterns and make us more open to guidance and transformative behavioral choices.  Please bring your journal, pen and colors, a blanket and support pillows, if available.

Deborah Shayne Hughes is a former librarian, storyteller and teacher of Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Awareness through Movement.  She is a graduate of the Trauma Center at JRI Boston and Feldenkrais Baltimore.   She is also a long-time student of Jung and the work of Marion Woodman and the Embodied Feminine, NS first attended FCRP in 1989.

7. REFLECTIVE WRITING
Facilitator: Martha Witebsky
We will use Baroque music as background to boost our concentration,  help us  become aware of our thoughts, and to inspire us to examine and reflect on what flows through our minds. Expressing our thoughts on paper helps us to reflect more fully.  This mindful approach will allow us to respond to the Plenary theme and explore our personal experiences.  We will have an opportunity to share our writings with the group if we so wish.  Mode: Writing

Martha Witebsky has facilitated writing groups at many  FCRP and WFCRP Conferences.  She is retired from her work as a translator of French and German at  the US Patent and Trade Office.

8. FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS
Facilitator: Randy Goldberg
Family constellation work helps you connect and correct the past so you can move forward with inner peace. Imagine a constellation in the sky—a grouping of stars that depicts your ancestors. Each star has an invisible string of energy connecting one to another and to you. In your aliveness on this earth, you are tethered to these people of the past. You have inherited their joys and sorrows, and you may be carrying anger, loss, illness or guilt that burden your life today—even if you do not know how or why.
Family Constellations is a method that allows the hidden to come to light.  The family constellation not only permits disconnections to become visible, but it also provides for the reconnection of the family members to take place.  Specific words or phrases and certain movements allow the energy to flow.  When it does so, everyone in the room can experience the shifts that become apparent.  Mode: Experiential, sharing

Randy Goldberg, is a graduate of the DC Hellinger Institute, and did advanced studies with Heinz Stark of the Stark Institute for Systemic Integrative Therapy in Germany. He regularly facilitates Family Constellation therapy for individuals and groups.  A former Yoga monk, he is also a Craniosacral therapist and an astrologer.

9. INTUITIVE POETRY AND WRITING
Facilitator: Jane Byerley

We will study poetry –some related to evil—some not. And we will journal to share or not to share. And perhaps do a little intuitive writing—as Spirit moves us. Do not hesitate to bring a poem for discussion if you wish.  Mode: Creative journaling and discussion

Jane Byerley has a wide range of experience. She completed graduate work in English literature at the University of Warwick, UK, and a Masters of Social Work in the States. She has studied C.G. Jung in study groups for 25 years and is a member of the Jung Society of Washington. She has worked as a psychotherapist and as a management consultant. She is FCRP’s Registrar and is Clerk of the Washington Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology (WFCRP).

10. PAINT AND COLLAGE
Facilitator: Dana Gayner
Express yourself with color, shape, and form.  Engage your right brain in an artistic blitzkrieg of passion by painting papers that will be cut up into enticing shapes and glued together to tell your story.  No artistic skill is necessary.  Let your creative side take control while building the saga of your life.

Dana Gayner studied art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She was a teacher for over 25 years and learned to appreciate the many forms art can take. She has shown her watercolors, acrylics, ceramic masks, and fiber creations in many galleries and exhibitions. In addition, she has run many workshops featuring art in both two and three dimensional forms. Her Quaker background has led her to explore the spiritual nature of creativity.

11. EVIL, SUFFERING AND THE INNER LIGHT
Facilitator: Walter Brown
We will take a quick look at the historical Quaker view of these topics and have a discussion about where modern liberal Friends are these days.  Mostly this will be a chance to consider your personal philosophy and/or theology and how it fits or does not fit well with Jungian thought.  No particular knowledge of Quakerism or Jung for that matter is needed for this group.  Mode – Discussion, deep sharing and meditation.

Walter Brown is a life-long Friend who recently retired from his work as psychotherapist.  He has done various workshops at FCRP, WFCRP, Baltimore Yearly Meeting and other Quaker and professional settings.  Walter with his wife, Carole, live in Washington, DC and attend Langley Hill Friends Meeting in No. Va.

12. CREATIVELY DOING NOTHING (Opt Out Group)
Facilitator: None, follow your leadings
This group is for those who would like unscheduled time to collect thoughts, share, meditate, and just relax. Loosely scheduled, we will provide a safe space for those who just want to be or do their own thing. 
Mode: Discussion, sharing, free time, your choice.

 

 

 

WFCRP 2017 Interest Groups

WinterSunset st Claggett Center
WinterSunset st Claggett Center

WFCRP 2017
201 Interest Group Descriptions

Click here to go to the WFCRP Registration page and register.

  • W1-Proprioceptive Writing (c),  Martha Witebsky— With the calming effect of Baroque music in the background, this practice provides us with an opportunity to express our thoughts in writing. We can review our life and reflect on the innermost part of ourselves and past experiences that have stirred us and shaped our identities. We will write what we “hear” and share our “writes” with the group, if we choose. The practice is based on the book Writing the Mind Alive. The Proprioceptive Method for Finding your Authentic Voice, by Linda Trichter-Metcalf and Tobin Simon.
  • Martha Witebsky— Martha has practiced the proprioceptive writing technique for many years and has facilitated Interest Groups at a Friends Conferences at Wellspring, Bishop Claggett Center, and FCRP at Lebanon Valley College.  She has participated in workshops led by Linda Trichter-Metcalf and Tobin Simon.  She is retired from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where she worked as a technical translator.
  • W2-Pulling Together, Judith Duerk— In our small group, meeting just a few weeks after the Presidential Inauguration, let us steady ourselves and each other, be in silence together, and share from our deepest hopes as well as fears, and see where this will lead us: Into song? Prayer? Art? Please bring your journal and writing and draiwng materials for journaling as well as any quotations that have helped you.
  • Judith Duerk  — Judith has been a psychotherapist and music therapist for 50 years. Her books Circle of Stones and I Sit Listening to the Wind are beloved by women in the retreats she leads throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has taught ongoing tai chi classes locally since 1980 as well as remaining active in chamber music performing.
  • W3-Tai Chi: The Wisdom of Letting Go, Beth Perry — Tai Chi primarily teaches you to relax, to avoid using unneeded effort. It allows you to channel that energy toward attention: first to your body, and later, to the forces that act on you from the outside. “Sole” work, paying attention to your weight pouring into your footprints, helps you discover it is one of the secrets for maintaining your balance. Listening to your body may open the door to your unexplored capacities. The work will include practical applications for daily life—from lifting a child or shoveling snow to getting in and out of a chair with the least amount of effort.  Come in comfortable clothes and flat comfortable shoes. Beth welcomes all physical capabilities. A broad range of people can benefit from Tai Chi.
  • Beth Perry — After spending several decades studying the Cheng Man Ching style of the Yang form of Tai Chi, starting with Maggie Newman, a senior student of Cheng Man Ching, Beth teaches in retirement centers, adult education schools, and senior centers in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of Harvard University, Beth spent several years working in Uganda and southern Sudan. She used that experience in working for the American Friends Service Committee and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on anti-apartheid issues and Ethiopian disaster relief. Beth is a member of the Radnor, PA, Meeting.
  • W4-  Plenary Impressions – Susan Brown — Using simple art tools, crayons, markers, pen and pencil, paper and cardboard, we will journal our impressions/reactions/responses to the Plenaries through art and/or writing and share what we find meaningful.  No skills necessary.
  • Susan Brown – Susan is an artist and writer who has taught and participated in numerous art and journaling workshops.  People learn in different ways and for her the kinesthetic experience of doing art and writing enriches the Conference experience.
  • W5- Parsing the Plenary – Dixon Bell-– Explore the plenary talks on a deeper level in a facilitated discussion group. Also discuss any other topics that arise. Join into a group identity that is safe and that develops organically.
  • Dixon Bell – Dixon Bell has been associated with both FCRP and WFCRP for over a decade. He is a poet, a cyclist, and a teacher for the last 43 years. He lives in Glengary, WV.
  • W6- Soulful Creativity  – Dana Gayner – We shall be tapping into our well of creativity to decorate a time capsule into which we can put a precious story and keepsake mementos for future generations.  Many recycled materials will be used.  These sessions include brief meditations to find the artist within.  No skills necessary.
  • Dana Gayner– Dana studied art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She was a teacher for over 25 years and learned to appreciate the many forms art can take. She has shown her watercolors, acrylics, ceramic masks, and fiber creations in many galleries and exhibitions. In addition, she has run many workshops featuring art in both two and three dimensional forms. Her Quaker background has led her to explore the spiritual nature of creativity.
  • W7 – The On Your Own Group – no leader. We encourage Interest Group participation It is an important part of the Conference. However we understand that there are times when people need to opt out. This is the opt out group. You might meet together just to talk or you can go off on your own during the Interest Group time periods.

 

About FCRP


FCRP CORE VALUES

Our guest speaker develops the Conference theme in four plenary sessions (informal talks) over the four-day period. Within our nonjudgmental and retreat-like environment, we can open ourselves to the speaker’s message and its personal resonance in our lives. The small group workshops use discussion, art materials, writing, dreams, and body work to process and integrate insights. Throughout the weekend, community builds as well through informal sharing at meals and in free time.

Our approach has been historically Jungian but in recent years has focused more on the Jungian concept of individuation.  We all have the capacity to find wholeness, to find more of what we are and in that way have more to contribute to the world around us. Yearly speaker topics have ranged from dealing with aging, with trauma, healing our environment and the natural world, neural networks, and the connection between body, mind and spirit.

We also sponsor a smaller and shorter Conference which meets in the Washington DC area in February, mid-winter. It, again, is a chance to be part of an on-going spiritual community bringing light to the dark time of the year.

FCRP ORIGINS AND HISTORY

The first Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology was held over Easter weekend in 1943 at the Friends Meeting House in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In the shadow of WWII, one of our founding members, Elined Kotschnig, wrote:

Gradually out of the very extremity of the darkness, pin-points of light and understanding were seen glimmering here and there in a counter movement to the vortex of devastation and degradation we had been sucked down into.”

Elinid Kotchnig
Elinid Kotschnig

Mrs. Kotschnig was in analysis with C.G. Jung in Switzerland and started a study group to examine similarities between Quakerism and Jungian psychology. At a four-hour tea in his garden, Jung and the group discussed the affinity between Jung’s conviction that spiritual growth began with the journey inward to the unconscious and the Quaker conviction that focus on the Inner Light provided direction. This foundation continues to be a springboard for FCRP’s exploration of the Life of the Spirit through the inward journey—a journey which embraces disciplines beyond psychology and the Quaker faith.

Click here to view FCRP history document

FCRP 2017 Plenary

closing ceremony
FCRP Closing

FCRP 2017 – Our 75th Anniversary
Memorial Day Weekend: May 26th to May 29th, 2017

Plenary Speaker: Lionel Corbett, MD

Topic: The Problem of Evil: A Spiritual and Psychological Exploration

 

picture of Lionel Corbett, MD
Lionel Corbett, MD

PLENARY SESSIONS + ONE PANEL DISCUSSION

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology.  The conference began in the shadows of World War II as Friends were witnessing the dark side of man’s nature, and were considering how a life that was led by the Inner Light might be enriched by in-depth psychology.

Many Friends feel the world is again being challenged in a very profound way by social, political, and environmental forces. Throughout the country, groups of Friends and other people of good will find themselves wrestling with the problem of what it seems necessary to call evil. When FCRP’s Planning Committee met in January, as we discussed our upcoming anniversary, we found it was impossible not to see the parallels in the darkness that overshadowed the world in 1943 and what is going on now. Many of us in our discussion of evil, spoke of using silence to calm ourselves and sitting with the dark in order to enable the Light to come through. The committee became particularly animated as we discussed the nature of evil via teleconferencing with this year’s Plenary Speaker, Lionel Corbett.

Dr. Corbett is a Jungian analyst and psychiatrist whose work has deeply examined how Divinity manifests in the psyche.  He is currently writing a book on the nature of evil, or the dark side of God.  When he joins us in May, Dr. Corbett will shed some light on the darkness many of us feel in our hearts, minds, and spirits.  With Dr. Corbett, we will examine the roots of evil—including the numinous dark and its power which exercises itself in the psyche, in ourselves, and in our world.

75th Anniversary of FCRP

The conference will also have an afternoon panel discussion in which several Quakers and Dr. Corbett examine the roots of FCRP, specifically the similarities and differences between Quaker silent worship (and the leadings that arise in worship) and Individuation in Jungian psychology as a spiritual practice.  Much like messages that arise in the silence of Quaker worship from the “God Within,” the process of Individuation takes very seriously the dreams and symbols arising from the unconscious which sometimes appear divinely charged.  Becoming conscious of their meaning and integrating this meaning into one’s life can be seen as an ongoing spiritual journey.

PLENARY TOPICS

PLENARY TALKS

  1. An Overview of the Problem of Evil
  2. Evil and its Narcissistic Roots: Psychological Approaches to Evil
  3. Jung and Jungians on Evil
  4. The Dark Side of God:  Fundamentalist Spirituality and Terrorism.

BONUS:  Afternoon Dialogue with Dr. Corbett on Quaker Worship and Jungian Psychology

Plenary Speaker, Lionel Corbett, M.D., trained in medicine & psychiatry in England and as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. At Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he teaches, he founded the Psyche and the Sacred program which integrates spirituality with depth psychology and explores the personal experience of the sacred. He is the author most recently of The Soul in Anguish: Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Suffering and The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice.

Please join us Memorial Day weekend for the 75th annual Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology.


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FCRP General Information

FCRP Conference Structure

closing ceremony
FCRP Closing


PLENARIES

The Conference is divided into PLENARY speeches and INTEREST GROUPS. Each year the FCRP Planning Committee plans future Conferences and vets potential speakers on topics related to Quaker and Jungian thought, new trends in psychology, and individuation, ecology, and peace . We look for the intersections between mind, body and spirit, and what will enrich us our processes of individuation thereby creating a more peaceful world. The Plenary Speaker gives four to five talks on their subject.  Past plenary speakers include Joseph Campbell, Bill Plotkin, Donald Kalsched and Joanna Macy among others.  You can also check the FCRP History page for a list of past speakers.

EVENING DIVERSIONS

Saturday and Sunday night feature what are called diversions for those who wish to participate. Saturday night is movie night with movies pertinent to the Plenary or to Jung.  Sunday night usually features our ever popular “No Talent” Talent Show, an FCRP tradition.

 

INTEREST GROUPS

Interest Groups are an important part of FCRP. Interest Group leaders are carefully selected and their topics vetted by the Planning Committee. The process that unfolds within the Interest Group—with its ups and downs and insights—is an important part of the FCRP experience. Interest Groups are intended as a personal growth experience, not as therapy.

Groups are limited in size and assigned on a first-come basis. If the group you wish to attend is already filled you will not see it in the list of choices on the Registration form. Choose another group and if you still wish a particular Interest Group you may contact the Registrar to see if an exception can be made.

Interest groups vary in approach and content from academic psychology to meditation, to creative expression; from physical activity such as yoga or tai chi to the “Doing Nothing” group (which has a non-structured approach to the weekend). The groups meet four times during the weekend to help deepen the experience of the Plenary talks.

 

Welcome Friends, Welcome!

The pond at LVC
Peace Garden at LVC

You have discovered one of the best-kept secrets of the Religious Society of Friends. Since 1943, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology has gathered annually on Memorial Day Weekend to provide a respite for individuals of all spiritual and religious backgrounds who wish to delve more deeply into their inner lives.

2017 is our 75th year!

FCRP is one of the oldest conferences in the U.S. dedicated to individual spiritual exploration with a focus on in-depth psychology, specifically Jungian psychology. For the better part of the last half-century our Conference was held at Haverford College on Memorial Day weekend. It now takes place in beautiful central Pennsylvania on the campus of Lebanon Valley College.
Registration for FCRP 2017 open NOW, click here to go to the FCRP Registration page 

We also have a smaller Conference in the Washington area (WFCRP) held near the end of February.click here to go to the WFCRP page.

As part of a spiritual community, we seek:

  • To discover our own deepest processes & nourish them
  • To uncover the ways in which our new insights can help us return to the everyday world more focused and grounded in our spiritual reality
  • To explore the dynamics of Quaker principles in group life and to apply them to our daily living

We warmly welcome new members, whether Quaker or not, to come for one or both Conferences or choose to become part of our ever-evolving community and network.

For more information on the history of the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, click on the About FCRP page in the menu above. The Articles and Links page gives access to a small library of relevant material.