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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 and the aging process.  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.