The Landscape that Teaches ~ Steve Tanham

When we were creating the Silent Eye’s mentored correspondence course, we envisaged a three-year journey through a mental, emotional and spiritual landscape which would evolve as the Companion’s learning and depth of ‘being’ increased.

This landscape was to be internal – an active, meditative experience, whose presence would extend into the daily life as learning of true cause and effect deepened, and different aspects of modern living were brought into harmony. In the true and ancient meaning of the word, this would become a very magical journey.

Lately, we have begun to re-examine the idea of actual landscapes being used as teaching aides; not passively, but inviting – invoking – them to work with the noble intentions of the workshop in question.

I’ve been to many workshops over the years. Many of them were good. Some of them were very good. Two or three were life-changing…

What’s the difference?

Good ones were well structured; you had a clear idea -going in – of what would be taught and what effort you would have to put in if you wanted to succeed. What was success in this context? Success has to be ‘something added’ to your life; possibly an additional skill, something to be dropped into that ‘kit bag’ that is us; a bit like the tarot Card of the Fool (below), striding, unafraid, into the morning of Life with a little dog nipping at his heels and his few important possessions slung over his/her shoulder…

Tarot image Wikipedia – Public Domain

Very good workshops were those in which you discovered that, whatever you thought in the first few minutes, it deepened way beyond that as the agenda developed. This might have been the appropriateness of the subject matter, or even the approach of the teacher.

A workshop that is life-changing is one in which the attendee immediately feels at home with the event and the inner process of the teaching – generating a hunger. That sense of ‘coming home’ is difficult to pin down, but deepens with each stage of the event.

Why this happens may not be apparent in the early stages; indeed I’ve been to a couple of such weekends where I still don’t know how that sense of sheer magic was created… But I know it was. And the fact that the memory still generates a sense of wonder, years later, shows the power they had.

‘Let go and get out of the way’…

It’s a deeply mystical insight, and it may have a lot to do with the life-changing workshops. There’s an enigma at work, here: you have prepare the ‘skeleton’ of the event in sufficient detail for it to be viable. At the same time, the structure and keys of the weekend should only be the ‘tinder that lights the greater fire’. When this works, it’s obvious that something is happening beyond the planning and the preparation. It is as though an intervention is taking place that broadens and deepens a kind of group presence…

In the Silent Eye, this is what we aim for; that the landscape, itself, becomes the teacher, gradually aligning and moving forward each person to the degree that they are able to be receptive to it. More blogs will follow as we develop this theme.

Whitby is the location for our next weekend. Above is a taste of the opening day (Friday 6th December, 2019)… a few places are still available. You can click here for our website’s events page.

©Stephen Tanham

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

 

Going west -a final glimpse

Wales 267

We were much later than planned leaving St Davids. All of us had a long way to go before we would be home as we had come together from the far-flung corners of the land. The weather was foul, with heavy sea-mist and rain making driving difficult so we chose the back roads instead of the motorway… it would take longer, but be less unpleasant…and we might even get a final glimpse of mountains if the fog ever lifted. And it did, just briefly, showing us places that at any other time would have  demanded that we stop. As it was, it was late into the evening and night was drawing in before we got home.

IMG_21771

It has taken weeks for the three of us to share our impressions of the Silent Eye’s weekend workshop in Wales and even now, we have barely scratched the surface. It seems incredible that we manage to pack so much into these weekends… and yet, we do not rush, taking whatever time the place itself demands to experience it and sharing time to talk.

whitesands

Communication is at the heart of these weekends…with each other, with the endless thread of history and human thought and with the landscape itself. A leisurely pace rules and time itself seems to sleep, allowing us to step outside of its constraints, freeing us from the hammer of the minute hand for a little while and allowing us just to be where and when we are. Now, quite suddenly it seems, we are two weeks away from our next workshop weekend.

derbyshire heather

 This time we will be playing out working on the borders between Yorkshire and Derbyshire where the heather is in full bloom. You could always come and join us for the weekend as we explore some of the ancient places that have left their mark upon both the landscape and the soul of the land… In December, we will be going back to Wales and visiting Anglesey,then it will be onwards towards the Annual April Workshop… and the story of The Feathered Seer.

derbyshire heather