Coming Up

 
Patrick's Work Recent News Thoughts Coming Up Sundries About Patrick Paschal Mystery Poetry

 

 

 

Patrick Oliver's

SOUL SCHOOL

Reflecting prayerfully upon life's journeys 

 

2021

An offering of Zoom interactive presentations

“Soul School” is dedicated to helping the rediscovery of our soul, through the lens of the best of the Christian tradition. Patrick regards the soul as our capacity to be truly present to those around us, and to the world in which we live – and therefore our capacity to be truly present to the grace of God in which we’re held.

These courses are aimed at assisting us to befriend again our soul – or perhaps for the first time, or after a long period of drought within us. They are designed to help us celebrate the movements of God’s grace within and around us through the years, whether or not we could perceive these as grace at the time.

Each of these courses is strongly undergirded by a practical and deep appreciation of the scriptures, which are a description of the “meta-story” of what it means to be transformed gradually into becoming fully human, and so more open to the fullness of grace.

 

·         $25 per zoom session (9.30am – 12.30pm)

 

·         Units require a minimum of ten on-line participants in order to proceed. If fewer than ten people enrol, then those interested can negotiate opportunities for individual sessions with Patrick.

 

·         A certificate of completion can be requested at the conclusion of each unit.

 

These 2021 courses will be presented on Zoom,

to enable as many people as possible from around Australia and beyond

to take part in the Soul School.

The on-line courses would be of benefit for those who find travelling difficult,

or for those who find themselves distant from faith communities,

and who would like to deepen their sense of practical prayerfulness in their lives.

 

Enrolment email: Please write to  patrickoliver01@gmail.com


UNIT A:

Befriending Our Soul Again

(three weeks)

 

When we lose touch with our soul – on either the individual or the corporate level – we lose the capacity to be truly receptive and present to anyone, anything or any situation. Perhaps this is one reason why organized religion has become so alienating for many, and why individuals can find it difficult to find meaning in life.

This course has as its cornerstone the view that our “soul” is not a thing, but a capacity to behold and relate to what is. For so much of our life, we can be busy with looking, examining and critiquing life, others and ourselves, yet we can forget how to behold, reverence and truly meet what is right in front of us.

“Befriending Our Soul Again” is a three-week course to help us remember the moments when perhaps we did see from a soul perspective, but didn’t realize it. It aims to help us to again “fall into” the mystery and sacredness of life – including our own.

 

Content of these weeks will include:

·         Seeing with the eyes of the soul, and not only with the mind

·         Recognizing expansion and contractions of soul

·         How seeing with the soul affects our perceptions of God

·         How seeing with the soul affects our appreciation of Scripture

 

9.30am – 12.30pm

Fridays 5th March, 12th March, 19th March

 

RSVP:             Thursday 25th February, to patrickoliver01@gmail.com.

 

UNIT B:

A Prayerful Approach to dreams

(four weeks)

 

In my work of spiritual direction and companioning, I have found dreams to be a consistent help for listening to the soul. Dreams aren’t concerned about whether a person has the “right” vocabulary about God or churchy things, but they constantly try to take us into a more conscious awareness of opportunities to participate in Love and life.

It has been a privilege for me to have listened to many thousands of dreams through the years, and I’m always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity that they bring forth. Dreams can be like a lighthouse, beckoning us through those times when perhaps everything else has seemed to turn to night.

We may think we have simply “crazy” or “stupid” dreams – yet experience has taught me that it is often the most stupid or crazy scenarios in dreams that can offer clues to wake us up to how we get stuck in one-sided perceptions. In fact, this is what the purpose of dreams seems to be: to move us from a constricted view of reality, into a much more life-giving appreciation of ourselves, others and God.

It has been my experience that dreams mirror the great Gospel themes of reconciliation, grace, healing, love and participation in our life both individually and communally. They draw us into the arena where we experience that there actually is a life within us that we do not make happen, and that this life (the Spirit of God) calls us to forget ourselves and to enter into the divine Dance. Dreams are a “little door” into the recesses of the soul.

Content of these weeks will include:

·         The purpose of dreams from a soul perspective

·         The relationship of dreams and prayerfulness

·         Examples of common themes within dreams

·         How to listen contemplatively to your dreams

·         Opportunities for participants to share their dreams if they wish

9.30am – 12.30pm

Thursdays 22nd April, 29th April, 6th May, 13th May.

RSVP: Wednesday 14th April, to patrickoliver01@gmail.com.

UNIT C:

A Prayerful Approach to the enneagram

(four weeks)

My presentation of the enneagram is called “The Infinite Circle of Grace”. Rather than making pathology the starting point (“what’s wrong with me?”), I make the beginning point the fact of our being fashioned in the image of God. Rather than starting with the personality question “Who am I?” I begin with the contemplative question of personhood: “Whose am I?”

I describe the differing ways in which we’re born to mirror qualities of God, and how they are given as gifts to be shared for the world. From there, I explore the different aspects of Divine Love, and how in our differences we reflect the beauty, fragility and strength of the Body of Christ.

A particular aspect of “The Infinite Circle of Grace” is its focus upon understanding our own and others’ soul-pain, and how this pain can serve to be a meeting place with Jesus, like the Samaritan Woman’s experience at the well.

The Infinite Circle of Grace” also presents a different way of understanding how in both the Glare and the Gaze, we move around the circle in response to Love’s invitation, to taste the worlds of spaces different from our own preferred space or “nest”.

“The Infinite Circle” is such a helpful resource in spiritual maturing, for it assists us to grow ever more sensitive to the movements of grace. It helps us to recognize how grace has ever waited to meet us in the moments when we might have feared we were most alone.

Content of these weeks will include:

·         Seeing ourselves as within the Infinite Circle of Grace

·         Ways in which we lose a sense of belonging to the Circle

·         Soul pain and our behaviours

·         Conversion through life circumstances

·         Prayer and our longing for home

9.30am – 12.30pm

Fridays 14th May, 21st May, 28th May, 11th June

RSVP: Wednesday 5th May, to patrickoliver01@gmail.com.

UNIT D:

Dreams: Prayerfully taking it further

(three weeks)

 

This course is designed to help participants to grow in confidence and skill, so they can listen to others who share their dreams. The emphasis is upon practical skills, and so there will not be a lot of theoretical input in the sessions. Rather, much of the three weeks will be about helping participants to become more proficient in asking helpful questions, to enable a prayerful processing and praying of another’s dreams. We will be approaching the dream not as something to decipher or to decode, but as a way to help the dreamer become more aware of the invitation to share more fully in a life of grace, in a practical way.

Participants are asked to bring along some dreams of their own with which they feel comfortable, for the purposes of group learning. Confidentiality and deep respect are imperative in this process.

 

Content of these weeks will include:

·         Listening contemplatively to others’ dreams, and helping them to recognize the invitations of grace within the dreams

·         Other spiritual experiences such as visitation dreams, near-death experiences etc

·         Dreams and their helpfulness in listening to the scriptures

 

9.30am – 12.30pm

Thursdays 5th August, 12th August, 19th August

 

RSVP: Wednesday 28th July, to patrickoliver01@gmail.com.


UNIT E:

The Enneagram: Prayerfully taking it further

(three weeks)

 

This course is designed to sharpen the participants’ awareness of the impact of our soul-joy and soul-pain, in how we all meet and try to engage with life’s vicissitudes and challenges. It highlights how the individual story is within a larger story of redemption.

Emphasis is placed upon assisting participants to listen for the clues and indicators in others’ stories, so they can help them to identify patterns not only of behaviour but of motivation. The course primarily is about assisting others to recognize grace in their life story – even if their life circumstances have not been particularly palatable.

This course would be particularly helpful for those in pastoral and ministry roles, as well as those working in the areas of psychology, social work etc. However anyone familiar with Patrick’s “Infinite Circle of Grace” approach and wishes to deepen their appreciation of the enneagram is welcome to participate.

 

Content of these weeks will include:

·         Taking further the “modes of love” model that was explored in Unit C, and relating this to the scriptures

·         Becoming more adept at recognizing the motivations of oneself and others, as distinct from characteristics

·         Allowing the enneagram to be a help in prayerfully reflecting upon the unfolding of one’s sacred life story

9.30am – 12.30pm

Fridays 15th October, 22nd October, 29th October

 

RSVP: Wednesday 6th October, to patrickoliver01@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 




©Copyright 2020 Patrick Oliver