I met Ben Walker when I was taking a class in Chicago. He and his then girlfriend, now wife, Emily Hildebrand were considering moving to Western Massachusetts and so, introduced themselves to me during a class break. When Ben and Emily moved from Chicago, they ended up working at White Pine Healing Arts for a short time while they got settled. Now, two exquisite children later, they own and run the Greenfield Community Acupuncture, in Greenfield, MA, just north of me and have remained friends.
Ben is now offering a day-long workshop November 23, 2019 in the Greenfield area that I’m proud to endorse! Inviting Bewilderment
A bit about Ben: He is an acupuncturist and herbalist whose practice is rooted in traditions of both the East and the West. Beyond his clinical work, Ben is called to delve into the re-animation and re-enchantment of the modern worldview, through land-based practices that interweave the more-than-human, the all-too-human, and all points between.”
In a nutshell, this class is part of a new project that aims to explore the fertile borderlands between the commonly held ideas of the human and the natural worlds. It will consist of guided meditations, exercises to facilitate connection with the medicine of plants and of the land itself, history, lore, wanderings, wonderings, and musings. It will be an all day affair in an indoor/outdoor setting, in the woods of Wendell, MA. No prior knowledge or training is necessary. If your interest is piqued, read on below for more of a feel…
Inviting in that we will actively engage, invoke, invite the other, the all that is not inscribed within the ossified confines of the notions of humanity that have come to define us, consciously or not, in the contemporary world. Inviting also in the other direction, in that we will awaken to the constant subtle come-hithers, the beckonings of the intelligent, embodied, more-than-human world, to which we ultimately belong. Inviting as in accommodating, comely, delicious.
Bewilderment as a state, a terrain, an open, improvisational quality. Leaning into the etymology for a beat or two with bewilder as a verb, we get: “confuse as to direction or situation, perplex, puzzle”. At the roots of the word are be- “thoroughly” + wilder “to lead astray, lure into the wilds”, likely drawn from “wilderness”.
That which we will seek to confuse, perplex, confound is the sense of a sheer divide between “human” and “nature”, between “self” and “other”, and the myriad subtler ways in which such distinctions color our awareness. And we may find that the wilderness here implied is not a place of disorder and confusion after all, but a vast and subtle realm, thoroughly inhabited by beings whose ways and wisdoms are diverse and complex beyond estimation. And we may too find that this territory extends right through the very human hearts and minds and imaginations that have been mistakenly relegated to the other side of the chasm. Our work will be to see with the right kind of eyes, to detect the paths that call us into relation.
Hope to see you there!
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