Deep Calls Unto Deep: A Contemplative Exploration of the Psalms in Our Life and Practice
with Rev Simon Ruth de Voil and Rev David Wallace
Tuesdays, September 5, 12, 19, 26
Known as תְּהִלִּים in Hebrew and Zabūr in Arabic, the Book of Psalms is a revered sacred text across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The psalms (sacred poems or songs) are cherished for their deep wisdom, beautiful poetry, and their broad exploration of the joys, sorrows, despairs, and longings at the heart of the human condition. Join this experiential webinar with guides and fellow dancing monks Simon de Voil and David Wallace. We will be learning about and engaging with the Book of Psalms through teaching, music, writing, and contemplative listening, with opportunities for sharing and for spiritual companionship. All spiritual wayfarers from any (or no) spiritual orientation or tradition will find wisdom, song, and practice to nourish their life’s journey.
What to Expect:
- Teaching on the Psalms as historical text, literature, myth, and sacred text, and hearing them anew as well, in fresh translation, as conversant to our times.
- Contemplative practices, such as Lectio Divina, writing, and singing.
- Learning to hear our own voice in the writings of the Psalms.
- Spiritual practices to strengthen, encourage, and bring new awareness and fullness to everyday life.
- Listening to one of the sung Psalms as a form of Lectio Divina.
- Invitation to write a short personal psalm of your own—a psalm of praise and/or a psalm expressing struggle.
- Receive and offer invitation to continue our connection to psalms as an ongoing practice.
Please note: There will not be an asynchronous discussion forum. All questions can be asked during the live Zoom sessions or emailed in advance if you are unable to join.
All sessions will be recorded and posted the next day (on Wednesdays).
Week 1 — An Intimate Encounter: Engaging with the Psalms as Living Poetry of Our Souls
- An overview of the Psalms as historical text, literature, myth, and scripture.
- Exploring different spiritual practices to experience a personal connection with the Psalms.
- Engaging with these ancient poetic expressions that have moved generations of spiritual wayfarers.
- Experiencing the Psalms as an ancient transformative practice that continues to meet us anew as our spirituality evolves. A short teaching on Lectio Divina will be offered.
Week 2 — The Psalmist as Spiritual Companion: Examining the Unique Gifts We Each Bring to The Psalms
- Who is the psalmist as we experience these verses?
- Encountering the archetypal voices behind these poetic texts.
- Making the psalms alive in this moment by adding our own breath to those voices. How does this practice reveal our own soul’s sighs and cries. Where do we end and where does the psalmist begin?
- Receiving a gift from the ancient psalmist lost to our current culture: a deep understanding of the purpose of praise.
Week 3 — The Fullness of Life: Discovering Our Shared Humanity
- Using the image of the guest house (from Rumi) as a central image, we explore transcending the ego and opening to all aspects of our collective human experience: joy, anger, sorrow, confusion, praise.
- Experiencing the psalmist’s ever-evolving humanity — both ancient and speaking to us today.
- Opening to our fullness, which includes opening to finding ourselves variously weak, humble, or in pain— opening to the healing, resolution, and change.
- Opening to join creation in praise as one of its creatures.
Week 4 — Embodying the Psalms: Serving as Anam Cara to All Beings.
- Engaging the Psalms as “living water” — the many invitations our psalm reading practice offers: daily praise; blessing of our deepest questions and doubts; engagement with the world around us as we notice more fully the beauty and mystery of creation, and our relationship to it and to one another.
- Listening to the shared embodiment of our individual voices and creativity in group practice.
- Exploration of using the psalms — and any sacred text — as part of our own spiritual journey.
Your Guides for the Journey
Rev Simon Ruth de Voil
Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil, is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister, trained to be a sacred presence outside the conventions of traditional religion. As a sacred musician, spiritual mentor and worship leader he incorporates chant, ritual, poetry, storytelling, and mindful practice to create a space for profound connection and sacred witness. Simon provides music for worship, ceremony, and prayer in a wide variety of churches and non-religious spiritual communities. He particularly loves to create music for meditation, healing services, and rites of passage.
Simon is also an experienced workshop and retreat leader, drawing on 15 years of study, training, and practice that grew from his time living and working in Iona Abbey. Although influenced by many traditions, Simon’s spiritual path and teaching is deeply rooted in Celtic Christianity, the wisdom of the earth, and in the Scottish land where he’s spent most of his life.
Learn more about Simon on his website: SimondeVoil.com
Rev David Wallace
Rev. David Wallace recently retired as a dean and senior teacher for One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City, and is a faculty member of the spiritual direction program at the Rowe Center and an active officiant and spiritual director. He is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and has continued those studies as a lifelong student of the “great books” of philosophy and archetypal psychology. Rev. Wallace offers teaching and retreats at spiritual venues worldwide, and specializes in poetics, contemplative practice, and the wisdom texts of both the Eastern and Western traditions.
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