GSV 2021 Winter Meditation

Winter 2021

Reflecting on Resilience


January 15 – 17, 2021


A virtual Zoom-based experience


$35 registration fee


Additional donations for the GSV Scholarship Fund and/or The Mountain can also be made in the registration portal.


Register now!

Sacred Brothers,

I invite you to join our January 2021 Winter Meditation where we will explore how we access and sustain our personal resilience.

With our GSV siblings, we will experience two meditation/journey visioning activities, one focused on practicing gratitude and a second one on gleaning the things we have learned as we have all navigated pandemic, social unrest/awakening, and a charged, divisive political landscape over the past months. To enhance our sacred space, we will weave our hearts together on Friday evening before our Opening Ritual. We will also create small breakout sessions for further processing and sharing of what we bring forth through these meditations and other activities.

As you consider this theme of resilience, is there a workshop/experience your heart leads you to offer to our group?

Join us for an opportunity to contemplate the last year and move forward into 2021 sustained and nurtured for your continuing journey. More details on the weekend program will be shared as we get closer to the end of the year.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN THE FORM OF SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE


THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATION FORM SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 1ST, 2021

Our hope is that anyone who resonates with our mission and community, and who has a desire to attend, can join us at our gatherings. To that end, we offer financial assistance through the Raven Wolfdancer Financial Assistance Fund.

Please go to the Financial Assistance page on the Gay Spirit Visions website for more information about financial assistance (scholarships) and for a link to the GSV Financial Assistance Application form.

Remember, the financial assistance application form submission deadline is January 1st, 2021.

GSV Financial Assistance page


Your eager and excited Winter Meditation 2021 convener,

David Cable
convener@gayspiritvisions.org

Register Now!

GSV 2020 Fall Virtual Conference

GSV 2020 Fall Conference

GSV 2020 Fall Virtual Conference


Resilience through Recounting


September 24 – 27, 2020


Register here

Greetings GSV Siblings,

This is not the conference I originally envisioned. Well, you know, life happens, and pandemics are a (thankfully, rare) fact of life.

As COVID-19 necessitated changes to how we do just about everything, I faced a familiar mix of resistance and excitement in planning for the fall conference. On bad days, I can’t face the challenges. On good days, I see so many fruitful possibilities.

I want this conference to be a space of sharing a similar mixed bag of experiences. We are full of so many stories. Some are about accomplishments. Some are about disappointments. Some are written on our bodies in scar tissue and wrinkles. Some soar up from our deepest spiritual center.

I don’t know what happens next; that is part of living in a story. Maybe you are eager for the end; maybe you want it to go on forever. Either way and at all points between, there is opportunity for recall, recounting, and resilience.

We tell our stories not just to record what happened, but to sing ourselves into being. And this is the story about the time we held our annual fall rituals online. Lean in. Listen. Share.

Our Conference Schedule


This is the schedule (below) in its pared down form. There is a more detailed and constantly updating version of the schedule at the link provided. There, you will find bios for all our presenters and more details about our workshops and presentations.

Mindful of best practices and advice for an online conference, I have endeavored to leave empty space on the schedule so that we don’t spend the weekend just teleconferencing. To the best of my ability, I have tried to schedule with the different time zones of attendees in mind.

I took note of feedback from the Spring Retreat Gathering to make sure small groups were part of this conference, both to honor our fall traditions and to provide more intimate virtual groupings to share in.

I have also worked to provide asynchronous content to facilitate different registers of engagement. Each day begins with a downloadable semi-guided meditation. You may sit with that at the usual early morning hour, or you can take advantage of that whenever you wish.

Similarly, I have set up several murals for the conference. One is linked at the bottom of this page and includes a more detailed conference schedule. That mural is “read only” but will contain links to other murals and content that you can interact with and add to. I chose this platform because it is relatively easy to use, with hopefully clear guides for how to add content and interact with the provided material. If you have questions about how to use it, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Take Care of Yourselves


Take breaks when you need to. Connect with others on your own platforms when you need to. Get up out of your chair and move around when you need to. Use the white spaces in the schedule as you need to. Drink lots of water. I know we aren’t at The Mountain, but we still need space for self-care.

I believe that stories heal and help us. But I also know that healing can take a lot out of us. And some stories, whew! You need a moment, right?

Additional information about Guardians, pop-up sessions, ways to connect, etc. will be shared on the fuller schedule mural link. That is a work in progress and will be continually updated throughout the conference. We will also email out connecting information for the Zoom sessions to the attendees. Enjoy!

Registration is now open. The GSV program fee is $50. In addition, a donation to The Mountain would be greatly appreciated due to their loss of income caused by coronavirus and subsequent cancellations.

Blessed be,
Jonny/Mothra, Convener, Fall 2020


Conference Schedule


Thursday, 9/24
7-9 pm EDT
Welcome and Heart Circle

9:30-11 pm EDT
Self-Pleasure
With Mahan-Kalpa Khalsa

Friday, 9/25
Early Morning
Downloadable Daily Meditation

11-12:15 pm EDT
Yoga
with David and Teddy Jones
Or
Enneagram Circle
with Tim Flood

2-3:15 pm EDT
Small Groups

4-5:15 pm EDT
Embody Your Inward Sage
Guided by Andrew Ramer
Or
Archangel Gabriel brings us Inspiration/Creativity/Boldness
With Pete Cossaboon

7-9 pm EDT
Telling Our Stories
Panelists: Jonny Gray, Greg Hummel, David Manning et al.

9:30-11 pm EDT
Lingam Puga
With Mahan-Kalpa Khalsa

Saturday, 9/26
Early Morning
Downloadable Daily Meditation

11-12:15 pm EDT
Small Groups

2-3:15 pm EDT
Keynote Address
Padraig O Tuama

4- 5:15 pm EDT
Introduction to Rainbow Awakening
With Damien Rowse
Or
Mindful Doodling
With Jeff Beacham

7-9 pm EDT
“Making Masks Fun Again!”
Online Variety Show and Masquerade

9:30-11 pm EDT
Open Zoom Room – To do with as we please

Sunday, 9/27
Early Morning
Downloadable Daily Meditation

10-11 am EDT
Small Groups

11:30-1 pm EDT
Closing Circle and Farewells

GSV Fall 2020 Fall Virtual Conference

GSV 2020 Fall Conference

GSV 2020 Fall Virtual Conference


Resilience through Recounting


September 24 – 27, 2020


Register here


Greetings GSV Siblings,

I am getting so excited about our upcoming fall conference, “Resilience through Recounting.” Folks are stepping up and offering some amazing workshops that I think fit well with our theme and online format. And I am thinking a lot about how stories are helping me cope with this ongoing pandemic.

As I have been busy putting my college courses online this semester, I have been struck by the importance of narrative framing. With fall fast approaching, I realized I really didn’t want to teach online. I spent a lot of time this summer teaching myself how to do it. Very quickly, an important message from a colleague sank in: don’t focus on what you can’t do online, focus on what online teaching allows you to do really well. Such a simple piece of advice, but so profoundly helpful! As I met my students in teleconferences or on discussion boards, I avoided saying how we would be covering this material if we were in person. Instead, I approached them with excitement about the different ways of engaging our material that the online platforms would allow.

I want to pass this insight on to you. Our fall conference will not be what we have come to know, expect, and cherish in our time together on The Mountain. But if we let it, it can be amazing in its own way. It will be its own kind of conference, and it will come with opportunities that an in-person gathering cannot allow. I am getting very excited about that!

I am working with the GSV Council to provide some fall conference experiences additional to the Zoom rooms. We are figuring out how to hold the silent auction online. I am pursuing some ideas for sharing spaces and asynchronous interactions that feature exploring our stories together.

Perhaps most exciting is our keynote speaker, Pádraig Ó Tuama. When we realized the fall conference needed to be online, we challenged ourselves to find an exciting speaker who could contribute to our theme. Since travel wasn’t an issue, we reached out “across the pond” to find an excellent practitioner of resilience and reconciliation who makes poetry and storytelling central to his work. Padraig is, quite simply, an amazing human being, and I am so happy he agreed to join us. It is worth noting that he was already aware of our organization and was eager to join us this fall. If you would like to know more about Pádraig, I highly recommend this TED Talk.

I am looking forward to seeing you all online in just under a month. I am eager to add this year’s fall conference to our treasure trove of stories we tell about ourselves and how we persevere even in the face of challenges.

Registration is now open. The GSV program fee is $50, for which financial assistance is available. In addition, a donation to The Mountain would be greatly appreciated due to their loss of income caused by coronavirus and subsequent cancellations.

Blessed be,
Jonny/Mothra, Convener, Fall 2020


Keynote SpeakerKeynote Speaker: Pádraig Ó Tuama. Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centers around themes of language, power, conflict, and religion. Working fluently on the page and with groups of people, Pádraig is a skilled speaker, teacher, and group worker. He is the author of four volumes of poetry: Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community, In the Shelter, Sorry for your Troubles, and Readings from the Books of Exile. From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community. He is based in Belfast, Ireland.


Convener: Jonny Gray (Mothra). Jonny has been coming to GSV since 2015. When he isn’t being aMonthra fabulous if large moth dancing around the sacred GSV fire, he pays the bills by being a professor of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University, where he specializes in arts-based environmental advocacy. He is also the host of the weekly show, Isn’t It Queer, which broadcasts on local community radio (WDBX) and is released as a podcast.

GSV 2020 Fall Virtual Conference

GSV Fall Conference 2020 Photo

Resilience through Recounting


September 24 – 27, 2020

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh, hard times, come again no more
(From: Hard Times Come Around No More, Traditional)

Hard times. Many of us have been here before; many will be here again–but not all of us, and none of us in the same way. We know sickness at the door. We know incompetence at the highest level and dealing with such sickness only makes it worse. Both seem out to get us and see us suffer and die. Or, at least, that’s one way of telling the story.

Stories link us in networks of shared understanding if not always agreement. They help us learn about things we haven’t directly experienced. Stories give us a frame to hang the ambiguous on so that it starts to make sense. They make the uncomfortable a little more palatable when seen through the frame of familiar narrative structures. Ah yes, we say, I know this story.

When we cannot gather together in person, when we cannot hug and otherwise explore each other with sacred touch, when we cannot raise our voices together in song or generate steam from our bodies entwined in pulsing dance, we still have stories.

This fall, Gay Spirit Visions invites you to a COVID-19-compliant online gathering to connect as we are able. We come together to tell and to listen to one another’s stories, for stories, too, are a powerful medicine. How are we weathering this storm? How is it familiar? How is it strange? Are there other stories that arise from our current situation that we want to give space to?

Circle ‘round. Listen up. What I have is a story …

Many events conducive to sharing our stories are already being planned, including an online talent show, panels consisting of some of our best homegrown storytellers, an online silent auction, and opportunities for discussions in small groups. As always, our members’ willingness to provide workshops and activities is strongly encouraged and appreciated. If you have something you want to contribute or present, please contact the Fall Conference convener, Jonny Gray (a.k.a. Mothra).

Registration information and suggested donation options will be handled through The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center registration platform. Details will be coming soon.

Jonny Gray,
Convener
2020 GSV Fall Conference

Special Message from GSV Council

Dear Members of the GSV Community,

The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black Americans, and moreover the persistent and pervasive racism that enables such acts of abuse, violence, and hate both large and small, call for a strong response. The Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions, Inc. joins in solidarity with those who are working to end the scourge of racism and oppression in all forms.

As an organization of men who love men, we acknowledge that the murder of George Floyd ignites within us our own tribal and personal stories of hate and oppression. We represent men with a shared vision of a world in which men who love men can come together, be authentic, and share our spiritual vision. We feel the need to create a safe place because we live in a world where we do not feel completely safe. We acknowledge and applaud the desire and efforts of anyone to change the world to allow people of any race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender, gender identity, or disability to feel safe.

We acknowledge that in our quest in creating a spiritual community, we are often faced with oppression which we seek to overcome. We do not always speak out, however, when confronted with hatred and prejudice as has been evidenced by the recent killings of black men and women, we resolve to stand together to seek a more just and equitable world for all.

As part of our commitment to support others in their spiritual growth, we feel it is important, especially because of the event related to the murder of George Floyd, to hear stories of spiritual growth in our community as it relates to prejudice, oppression, violence, injustice, and apathy. We recognize the importance of a lifelong examination of internalized racism as part of one’s spiritual growth.

We continue to work to create safe, sacred space for men who love men and know that this space can only exist where there is no hate. Although at times we are tempted to avoid efforts at social change and focus instead on making our own personal sphere safe, in truth, we wish for the whole world to be like the world we are working at creating for ourselves: a world in which anyone who loves anyone can come together to heal, nurture our gifts and potential, and live with integrity in the world.

Holding love in our hearts and life in our hands,
Your Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions, Inc.

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