Weekend Workshop at The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

Saturday the 19th and Sunday 20th of September 2015

  The Kabbalah

   Awakening to Unity

  with Stephen Pope

 “At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.”

Kabbalah teaches that the spiritual dimension is not distant or separate. It is present within us right now, as the core of our being and the Essence of who we really are. Only our mind-made sense of separation and fear keep us from awakening to the direct experience of Unity and Peace with all life.

Patterns of Creation - book coverLike the mystics and shamans of every culture, as we awaken spiritually, we make the mystical, journeys of ascent into the formless heavenly realities, and descent into the life of the body and the natural world and know them both as aspects of the One Creation.

This weekend we will work with some of the most powerful gateways to spiritual awakening – expanding awareness through meditation and the conscious breath, awakening the vital energy of the body and connecting with the animal spirits and the living Earth.

From this comes true freedom, as we transcend the mind dominated by ego to know our Unity with all life and realize the Peace and Stillness of Sacred Presence at our core.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years and a meditation teacher for the past 20 years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts. His book Patterns of Creation –Axis Mundi Books, June 2012. Is a radical and acclaimed exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

 10.00am Saturday – 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday                           

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals   £165
You can join us for this companion Friday evening session as well  at a special price with two nights accommodation   £190

The Heart of the Wild

 7 – 9pm on Friday 18th September
with Eleanor O’Hanlon and Stephen Pope 

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The mystical and shamanic traditions teach that all life is conscious, interconnected and whole and we humans can commune with the spirits of minerals, plants, animals and the Earth itself. Western science and religious dogma broke that connection between humans and other life.

But now western science and shamanic teachings have begun to meet – many leading researchers in animal behaviour have come to see animals as conscious individuals that can choose to interact and commune with us.

Award-winning author Eleanor O’Hanlon speaks about this recent revolution and shares her own experiences of intimate connection with wild creatures from the desert elephants and rhinos of Namibia to the gray whales in Baja California. And with guided meditation, Stephen Pope takes us deeper into direct experience of inner connection with the animal spirits and the living Earth.

Eleanor O’Hanlon is a writer and conservationist. Her book Eyes of the Wild won the 2014 Nautilus Gold Award for Nature Writing. http:www.eyesofthewild.org

  £12 suggested donation for the Friday evening only 

All bookings through The Abbey Sutton Courtenay:

 The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 
Telephone: 01235 847 401 
Email: admin@theabbey.uk.com  
http://www.theabbey.uk.com              
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September Retreat in Southern France.

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Awakening

 

Patmos

Sunrise from the Cave of the Revelation, former Temple to the Goddess Artemis, Grikos beach, Patmos, Greece.

Spiritual awakening is not personal; it is freedom from all ego identity and its resultant suffering. Spiritual awakening is part of the collective awakening of humanity, the evolving consciousness of the life of the Earth, the Solar System and Stars, and the Cosmos itself. In Conscious Presence you come to Know that everything is alive, and that everything is connected. 

Dawn on the sea of Galilee

The Sun rises above the Jordanian Hills to shine upon the sea of Galilee. In mystical teachings the Sun walks upon the waters of Life, it’s non-visible Light -the essence of all Life – greets and enters the awakening heart.

The dawn light is always present on the Earth.

The Seed of Life

Healing begins as a Seed of Life deep within our inner Space.

Awakening illuminates all of the pain that we carry within us. The pain that you feel is not only personal, your pain is linked to the human collective pain and suffering which have accumulated over thousands of years.

To feel our emotions is an essential part of healing: realising wholeness. Even more important is to feel the stillness of space underlying and surrounding our emotions so that we don’t become identified with our emotional body. The mind will quickly turn powerful emotions into ego identities, unless we bring them into conscious presence: the intense aliveness that cries out from every cell in the body; and beyond that, the stillness that brings peace.

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life: I Am that I Am: the continual creation of life from out of the Eternal Presence of God: When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life:
When we breathe with awareness, opening the heart, we access the universal creative pattern of life.

Breathing from the heart and solar plexus stills the mind, and brings awareness to the aliveness of the spinal cord. Awakening to the vibrant aliveness of the spine through the conscious breath, you feel life flowing through the arms into the hands, and through the legs into the feet, and the opening of the Pineal gland at the top of the spine – behind the forehead.

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Movement and Stillness in water and stone. Underlying all movement is Still Presence, unnoticed until we still the mind. The still mind is empty of thought, yet full of alert awareness.

Holding still, thought-free, space for a few seconds during quiet moments throughout your day, calms the emotions and allows all the thought forms that cling to the ego identity to begin to dissolve.

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Allow your inner Being to open and blossom.

Allow yourself moments of freedom from thought throughout the day.

Be Still and move from there. Be silent and speak from there.

Entering the Place of Peace – September 2014 Weekend Workshop on Kabbalah

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.” (From Patterns of Creation.)

Weekend workshop Saturday the 27th and Sunday 28th of September 2014 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)

This workshop focuses on finding Inner Peace. In Kabbalah Peace is understood as the core of who we are, synonymous with Presence, and the stillness of Being. From inner Peace we realise our intimate connection to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the entire Universe.

Inner Peace, is the end of all of our projections: it equates with true love, which means no enemies and marks the end of all our unconscious destructive behaviour towards the natural world.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with the Place of Peace within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, as we experience these profound spiritual truths for ourselves and move beyond the mind dominated by ego into the stillness and the peace of Presence at the core.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts.  His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

“This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.”

 Scientific and Medical Network review.

“You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.”

Goodreads Review. 

10.00am Saturday -­‐ 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday £165. Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals. You have the option of arriving on Friday for the evening seminar, The Peace of Wild Things. Join us for both with two nights accommodation for £190

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.

To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 

http://www.theabbey.uk.com 

admin@theabbey.uk.com

Tel: 01235 847401

And for further details about the course please send an email to: stevepope59@hotmail.com

Kabbalah

What is Kabbalah?

cropped-img_08551.jpgThe Hebrew word Kabbalah means to receive; to be receptive to life as the ongoing revelation of Eternal Presence. There are many Hebrew words in the Bible used to describe this formless Eternal Presence. The three principal ones are Ehieh, I AM; Jahveh, To Be-Being; and Elohim, Absolute life – the formless source of unfolding creation. 

Eternal Presence is in the universe and is the universe, but the universe cannot contain the formless creative essence of life. Therefore every form of life is in  a continual state of flux: a continual outpouring of this One consciousness.

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You are a Tree of Life.
You are connected to everything that exists, both as formless essence and as the

multi-dimentional diversity that makes up the fabric of the universe. Most of Life remains invisible to the everyday mind, yet when you awaken as the Tree of Life your eyes are opened to the depths of Creation.  

To receive is to be open and spacious to possibility; this the universe continually provides in the present moment. You are letting go of outcome and allowing the creativity of the universe to come through you, as it will. This means that we enter a space of not knowing – or unknowing.

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Life always takes on form in the Present Moment. Creation is the continual outpouring of possibility, this is its infinite power.

The mind alone struggles to understand the reception of life because it is striving to know as an objective observer. But the conscious witness is at-one-with all that it beholds.

IMG_1046_1 copyTo know as the witness means letting go of all that we think and accumulate as intellectual knowing – it is to enter a state of Being – Presence – that allows life to flow through us as the universe itself.

The Essence of who you are is at One with the Essence of all Life. In Kabbalah this is expressed as Ehieh Asher Ehieh – I AM that I AM. 

The sound of every in breath and out breath is the mantra of Ehieh. Listen now, with all of your attention to your breathing, as you would listen to the sound of the ocean lapping on the shore. 

Birth through the conscious breath.

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You are intimately connected to the continual flow of creative existence. Even to the vast and seemingly remote Birth of  new Stars.

When you emerged from your mother’s womb into this world, you were naked, tiny and helpless. But within such a seemingly helpless body is the same energy that lights an entire galaxy, and more so, the entire Cosmos.

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The Earth and all its life forms are carried on the universal breath.

You are the Breath of Life, you are being breathed every moment of every day. The spark of life within you, at your core, is one with the creator of all life: whole worlds, stars and galaxies. When the mind is stilled we may see beyond all the forms that are continually emerging out of  formless Spirit, and realise their source within us. 

The Light of Consciousness.

The Light of Consciousness gives birth to the Sun. Every Star is the manifest form of the creative unity of life.

In order for the light of creative consciousness to realise itself in you, all thought forms that separate you from the Unity of Life must die, and in dying, be reunited with the totality of life which is the core of your Being.

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All that we see in the external world are but fleeting images, appearing and disappearing into and out of formation.
Consciousness is the ever open eye that perceives the continual flux of life without becoming lost in the dream.

The ego wishes to keep us small, and this thought form includes all our fantasies about being special or insignificant, powerful or weak, and part of an exclusive group separate from the rest of life. All such fantasies need to be brought into the light of awareness where they can be redeemed.

When the ego-dominated personality passes away, the space of Creative Spirit pervades your life. This is vaster than the mind can comprehend.

All thought dissolves in the face of Creative Presence which sustains all life in the here – now. 

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Our primary purpose in life is to be consciously present with all our attention in everything that we do and say.

Breathe consciously. focusing all your attention into the Present Moment.

Each conscious breath you take creates space where there is no thought, allowing you to be, allowing others to be, allowing all life forms to be.

In your awakening to Presence, the One consciousness realises itself.

Creative Presence

One of our greatest illusions is that we are far removed from the spiritual Universe, the Creative Presence that continually manifests life in all its forms.

The Spiritual Universe is present, here, within you now. It exists as the formless reality out of which all forms of life continually arise, and into which they return. The Spiritual realm is not something to be looked for as if it were an objective place, nor is it something that we need to wait for in some future time.

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In Hebrew the Spiritual Universe is called HaSamaim, “the Heavens”,  the Fire that burns as the Cosmic Breath of life. 

Ha-Shamaim is the animating creative spirit of every form of life, carrying the seeds of every living thing into the fertile womb of space that becomes the full expression of life.

NASA Earth observation website photo

The Earth is seen as a speck of light in the middle right of the picture just below the rings of Saturn, at the outer reaches of the Solar System.

The door to the Spiritual Universe is open to us Now. This has nothing to do with belief –  it requires only our practice of conscious presence. With this comes the dissolving of past thought forms and future imaginings.

Deep Space countless galaxies - Hubble telescope

Inner and outer space are One. The glimmering light of galaxies and the dance of subatomic particles within the cells of your body both exist in deep space. This creative dance is the continual emergence of form, out of the presence of the Unmanifest.

When you breathe consciously you stand on the threshold of the creative universe that exists as a permanent presence deep within you. Take a conscious Breath and feel the energy field that manifests your body. Feel it in your cells, in your bones and in the blood coursing through your veins. The conscious breath acts as a doorway to deep space within you, freeing you from the conditioning of the unconscious mind. 

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You have within you the light of the Cosmos: Take a conscious Breath and feel the spaciousness of Eternal Presence.

Two Day Workshop on Kabbalah

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.”

Weekend workshop Saturday the 2nd and Sunday 3rd of November 2013 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)

This workshop takes you into the depth and beauty of the mystical teachings of Kabbalah, which tell us that we are intimately connected to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the vastness of the Cosmos.

“You are a tree of life, connected to all that is unfolding in the natural world, the solar system, and stars. You have within you the light of consciousness that continually gives birth to, and sustains, the created universe.” (From Patterns of Creation)

The workshop will help you to experience these profound spiritual truths for yourself, going beyond the everyday mind, which is dominated by the ego, into the stillness and peace of Presence at your core.

The creative intelligence of life is far greater than the everyday mind can conceive: it is the formless essence out of which all life forms emerge, and into which they dissolve, to be reborn as new life.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with that creative source of life within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, and the realization that we are part of the great community of life on Earth, and intimately connected to the life sustaining the vast Cosmos.

Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm with an evening session. Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts.  His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.

 Scientific and Medical Network review.

You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.

Goodreads Review.

 

Cost of the workshop: £165.00

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.

If you wish to arrive at the Abbey and stay on the Friday evening there is a small supplement. Enquire on booking. 

To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 

http://www.theabbey.uk.com 

admin@theabbey.uk.com

Tel: 01235 847401

And for further details about the course please send an email to: stevepope59@hotmail.com

Agape – Love, the sacred power of consciousness

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Agape – Love, could be described as the activation of the sacred power of consciousness within us,
a deep initiation into the creative power that permeates the visible universe.

The Seed of Life

The Seed of Life

For if I speak with the inspired language of the Human Spirit (Anthropos)

and the voices of Angels (the Patterns of Creation)

but have not Agape (Unconditional/universal Love),

then I become like the roaring echo of an empty vessel,

the clamouring of restless and raging passions. 

And though I have inspired prophecies and insights into the mysteries,

and all gnosis (spiritual knowledge), and such faith that I could remove mountains,

and have not Agape, I am nothing. 

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The Flower of Life

And if I give away all my possessions to the poor,

and give the vitality of my body to burn as a shining light showing the way,

but have not Agape in me, I gain nothing.  

Agape stays constant, is patient and kind;

Agape does not envy or hate – knows no anger; 

Agape does not boast, and has no pride; it is not coarse or rude, does not insist upon its own way.

It is not irritable or easily provoked; it is not resentful, injurious or destructive.

It does not rejoice at finding wrong but rejoices at goodness, beauty and truth.

Agape never gives up, never loses faith, has confidence, and perseveres through every circumstance.  

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The Flower of Life

What we can know is only partial,

our prophetic visions are only ever partial,

but when that which is perfect comes (the peace of completion/Oneness with the continual creative outpouring,)

the imperfect (identification with forms) will pass away.

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The Flower of Life

When I was a child, I spoke without knowledge, I lacked understanding,

I reasoned without knowledge or wisdom;

when I became an adult, I deprived those childish ways of their power and influence over me.

For now we discern as in a darkened mirror, but then in immediate presence (face to face).

Now my Gnosis is partial, but then I will know, as I Am known.   

1 Cor 13:1-12 (My translation)

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The Flower of Life – Roman Tile, Cordoba

The Oneness of completion with the continual creative outpouring, that which is perfect, is not the end of created life, nor the cessation of change in the world, it is the Peace that comes to us as we allow life to flow freely through the centre of consciousness that we find to be at our core within the great unfolding universe. 

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All forms are fleeting and in continual flux.

To let go of attachment to all forms, is to allow the imperfect to pass away. All our holding on to form becomes imperfect because the creative spirit is a constant flux of renewal. Peace comes to us when we stand at the core of our Being, which is simultaneously the point of unknowing that allows the spirit to unfold freely.

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All creatures exist within the formless creative universe and the world of form simultaneously.
What we see is a mere fleeting glimpse of their reflection.
To see their true depths we first need to find our own true depths.

Everything we see, touch and, hear is an impression of the One consciousness interpreted by the mind as a series of objects and events. The source of life is the Eternal Presence: I Am – Being.  From out of Eternal Presence comes the continual outpouring of  creativity – Agape. This is the formless universe of Ideas which flows as the breath in great rhythmic pulses, sustaining the sea of  ever changing forms and ephemeral matter we call the Cosmos.

When you still and silence the mind, you become aware of this continual outpouring as living presence animating everything in existence.

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Every Creature is a revelation of the continual creative outpouring.

Universal Love is not the limited to human beings. Every creature is involved in the great revelation of Agape: each creature at first discerning its being as in a darkened mirror, but then realising the brilliant fullness of its beauty as an intimate expression of the whole universe – both visible and non-visible.

Goddess3

This image of the Divine feminine is based on the Archetype of Mary – Magdalene. 

We are emerging consciousness in human form. To become Human – Being is our destiny; to look into the dark inner reaches of the cave of unknowing, is to begin to see the brilliance of the fullness of consciousness emerging out of the Great Cosmic womb. 

This is to be continually born anew in Eternal Presence, where we relinquish all identity with form. 

Through becoming consciousness itself you are At-One with that Presence.

You create no more suffering for yourself, for others, or the creatures of the natural world.

This is Agape.

Etz Haim – The Tree of Life

The vast Cosmos is a manifestation of the Tree of Life – every galaxy an emerging blossom on one of the great boughs of this single Tree.

hubble telescope image 0f near and distant galaxies.

The pulse of creative life breathes the Cosmos into existence. This is taking place within you now, as you read these words.

In the Creation story of Genesis the Tree of Life, Etz Haim in Hebrew, stands in the midst of the Garden of Eden – the universe of diversifying forms. Eden is not a place, but a state of higher awareness. The Tree of Life is the stillness out of which the continual creativity of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil emerges. In Hebrew, the words translated as good and evil mean the movement to buildup and breakdown formless creative patterns and their emerging forms.

The garden of Eden symbolises the beauty of divergent forms and their manifestation as the continually emerging Cosmos and natural world.

DSCF0883The movement of creative patterns continually unfold out of the formless and dissolve back into the formless.

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You are a Tree of Life: the still centre out of which the creative movement of life continually emerges.

The four worlds as described in the Book of Genesis:

Tree of Life, eternal Being – Stillness.

Tree of Knowledge of good and evil – the formless universe of primal movements, the creative impulse of Life.

Eden – the universe of luxuriant, diversifying forms, giving life to the Cosmos,

the foundation of what we experience as the physical universe.

Dawn on the Sea of Galilee.

The Sun appears over the Jordanian hills illuminating the Sea of Galilee. Can you be aware of this as an inner reality?

Being is the essence of all creative life which is a continual movement out of stillness: this movement continually creates and sustains all forms of life out of the eternal present moment. Take a conscious breath, and feel the inner stillness out of which each breath emerges.

Mary Magdalene as the receptive vessel - Grail

In this image of the sun setting over the Breton coast the form of the Grail appears – the cup of light. The sun is both receiving and giving simultaneously in the eternal present moment

All life is continually emerging and dissolving out of nothing that we can say is anything: all sub-atomic particles are continually appearing and disappearing into and out of the formless womb of creative space, which ceaselessly nourishes physical matter.

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Geometric Tree of Life – from the Madīnat az-Zahrā, Cordoba, Spain. 10th Century.

Every flower and insect, every bird, and all the creatures that live upon the land and swim within the rivers and seas, are part of the Great Tree of Life.

You are connected to the whole of life. Whatever happens to the myriad  forms of life in the world around you, has a direct affect on you.  

Menorah

Menorah – depiction of the Tree of Life

The Tree of Life and Torah:

The Torah, or the laws given to Moses, are not a set of rules governing human behaviour. Torah is the teaching on life’s creative patterns, which tells us that everything is alive, and that we are intimately connected to the whole of life.

Torah signifies the laws which give space and movement to the whole of life.

The Tree of Life

The image of the geometric Tree of Life emerged out of the relationship between Greek and Jewish Cultures. From the Book Patterns of Creation.

It was often said by the mystics and prophets of the tradition that the Torah is oral; it can only be taught by word of mouth. And that it was only permitted to be written down if it was in danger of being forgotten.

Why was this warning given to us? Because the Law is not, and can never be, fixed or contained by either the mind or the written word.

The Laws which govern Life are continually transforming with the unfolding of creation into the form and matter from which they are inseparable. We cannot say “here they are, we have defined them in a book.” Or “there they are, we hold all the answers to life’s problems and mysteries.”

When we truly awaken to the realization that all life is One; feel it in our breath and blood, in the cells of our flesh and bones, taking each step of the way with awareness of Being, then all our life negating, behavior will cease.

Through conscious presence the Torah lives in you as the abundance of the Tree of Life. Take a conscious breath, breathe with awareness. 

The Laws of Life give us insight into the continuing story of the emergence of existence. If we can live from the place of unknowing deep within, we allow ourselves To Be. From the place of unknowing, at your very core, know that you are supported by Eternal Presence as you move within the continual creative flow of the universe – Genesis of the great river of life.DSCF0017 copy