“I want to unfold, I don’t want to stay folded anywhere because there I am a lie” – Rilke
The Butterfly Course uses movement, mudra, poetry, voice, yoga nidra, creative enquiry and partner work to deepen intimacy with ourselves and liberate our natural expression.
It is a 3 year course that runs for 6 months of the year (8 days over a 6 month period) with 3 additional shorter practice sessions in the autumn to hold the group energy for those transitioning into the next year. Participants are only required to commit to one year at a time.
The course centres around relationship to ourselves and other. Once the year begins the group is closed to newcomers so that women can really get to know each other and travel together. Many find that working with a group of women who share and support their journey is one of the most nourishing aspects of the course.
The course supports women in a process of deepening intimacy, with yourself and your inner wisdom through daily practice. The backbone of the practice is the Butterfly mudra practice and in addition we will learn other sister practices to bring greater freedom and awareness of our being-ness. Since each woman is unique each person will gravitate to different aspects of the practice and over time you can uncover a personal practice that is perfect for you and one that can evolve with your life.
Many yoga and meditation practices opt for a sense of calm as the preferred state. But this kind of practice never fully satisfied me and inside I was longing for a practice space that liberated my emotional as well as all my physical expression. So this course creates a space where the emotional field is welcomed and visible as a vehicle to awakening. Sometimes we are in deep calm and silence, other times dancing wildly, laughter and tears are all welcome. Our stories can hold the doorway to our deep wisdom and guide us forwards in our own unique journey.
“There is an eternal light, and right out in front, shining ahead of a woman, like a presence which goes a little bit before her and reports back to her what it has found ahead. It is her perpetual reconnaissance…Yet when ones sees and senses, thusly, then one has work to do something about what one sees. To possess good intuition, goodly power, causes work. It causes work firstly in the watching and comprehending of negative forces and imbalances both inward and outward. Secondly, it causes striving in the gathering up of will in order to do something about what one sees”
The Butterfly practice itself is a sacred feminine mudra practice (a hand gesture that moves energy around the body in specific pathways) originally conceived through Jonathan Monks. It is rooted in Tantra, Kundalini and Kriya yoga. It is a deeply potent practice which helps to improve awareness and tone of the pelvic floor, awaken sexual energy and unblock the body. This and the sister practices taught to complement it, can release habitual patterns of holding which prevent us from accessing our full life force. This course invites us into dialogue on all levels of our being. Weaving and interweaving a journey of soul exploration which in many ways both large and small can liberate and empower your natural abundant nature.
“What if…..our negation of the feminine principle was responsible for climate change?…The shock (of disconnection form the Earth) needs to melt so that the locked up energy is made available to the creation of the world we actually want. If we don’t feel it, if it doesn’t become personal, then nothing will change. This vital ancient and very present grief is the lubricant of behaviour change. Feel it and you will no longer be able to collude with it.”
-Clare Dubois, Founder of Tree Sisters
Through relationship, both men and women have masculine and feminine energy and the negation of one, undermines the other. This course is about honouring both the sun and moon energy within you and becoming more conscious and available to the ways in which they express through you. That may be through your voice, your body, your emotions….usually all of those and more. One of the questions is how many colours can we invite into our palette. By lending ourselves to the various practices, within the container of the circle and the work we can start to liberate the caged aspects of our being and awaken to new parts of us that may have been forgotten or denied.
Spiritual practices are usually inherited though family or community. Or they spring up in times of need, when circumstances demand that we grow deeper trust and have faith in that which goes beyond what we can currently see. Finding more ease in our discomfort with the unknown is a key part of the practice. And in my experience, this is a road best travelled in company of others bravely doing the same.
“Spiritual practice are unlimited – and they are imaginative. And especially full of love. They come from love, they encourage love and they produce love. When you do them over time you find that you are living in a world full of love. And for your life and for our lives collectively in the times to come we are going to need love – lots of love. In good times, love is lovely. Nothing can be better. and in hard times, love is necessary. It turns tragedy into opportunity – something difficult and unwanted becomes a chance to drive love deeper, to make it wiser, fuller, more glorious and more resilient”.