Through presentation, ritual gestures, poetic prayers, contemplative exercises and quiet walks Alexander John Shaia invites you to recover the mystical Easter of early Christianity (pre 500 CE).
This ancient Easter is remarkably different to the one that we know today. The eight days of what Christians call "Holy Week" - Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday - were lovingly crafted some 700 years ago as a dramatic meditation on the imagined last days leading to Jesus’ arrest, trial, death, and resurrection. What may come as a surprise is to know that this prayer is not the origin of Easter. Many centuries before “Holy Week”, Christians marked Easter as a sacred Three Day (Triduum in Latin) or 72 Hour Festival - over three nights and three days. The Roman, Anglican and Lutheran traditions began restoration of the three days in the 1970s and 80s. The work dimmed in the 90s. And tragically by 2000, all research and efforts came to a standstill. I urge us to take up the work, all of us regardless of tradition.
The Ancient Easter invites us into depth work and a deep spiritual practice as we pray with the cosmos, recognising that earth's daily movement through darkness to sunrise tell the great story of our own continual dying and greater rising. The core symbols of this Easter are: a wash basin, the four - armed equidistant cross, a fallow stillness, the fruitful dark, dawn's first light and our prayer to be in union with All that is within us and without.
Living a new form of human community was the spiritual practice and the true fulfilment of the ancient Easter. Can there be a more noble cause for us today? Do we not need to return to the ancient wisdom of our elders who wait to teach us how to create, sustain and deepen in a vital and diverse communion?
There will also be some optional gentle explorations in sacred geometry and painting with natural pigments with Bertrand Gamrowski and Basia Goodwin.
Alexander John Shaia, PhD, is a thoughtful and poetic man, living the ancient rhythms of his Lebanese, Aramaic and Maronite (Eastern) Catholic heritage. He is an author, educator, cultural anthropologist, spiritual director, Jungian psychotherapist known as a creative, multi - disciplinary thinker and internationally sought out speaker. With deep conviction, he invites us into spiritual practices for the 21st century - ones that cross traditional boundaries, encourage vital thinking and inhabit a genuine community of the heart. Each autumn he guides a small group of pilgrims on the Camino Francés as an intentional rite of passage. And for more than forty years, Alexander has worked to recover the mystical Easter of early Christianity. He lives between Santa Fe New Mexico, USA and Galicia in northwest Spain.
11th Arrival in the afternoon, after 3pm, opening at 5pm and welcome evening meal
12th - 17th Retreat
18th Mid - day departure following closing ceremony.