Professional Practitioner Training in
The Sacred Arts of Spiritual Healing
Since the dawn of our species, we have sought rapport and relationship with a spiritual presence, through the arts of contemplative reflection and creative expression, finding insuppressible inspiration in sacred words and music.
Today we bear witness to a global revival of this quest, as many among us lose trust in the vagaries of material acquisition, and seek an authentic way of living and loving that acknowledges a deeper truth and higher purpose. Consequently, insightful practitioners who can help others in this endeavour are in more demand than ever before.
The Practical Training in Sacred Arts provides you with firm foundations upon which to offer that assistance. It simultaneously facilitates a personal adventure to behold the nature of spirituality, and embrace the healing that Sacred Arts can bring.
The Training is routed in an interfaith cross-cultural paradigm, synthesising principles and practices from myriad traditions, unifying spiritual and psychological dynamics into a single methodological approach to recovery and rejuvenation, insight and transformation.
Practical and Analytical Content
The Training incorporates two types of content:
The Practical Content provides an opportunity to explore and experience the healing potential of Sacred Arts through a series of guided exercises and investigations.
The Analytical Content offers a comprehensive framework of principles with which to comprehend and interpret the intense and profound experience precipitated by those practices.
The emphasis of the Training is on the Practical Content, which constitutes over three quarters of the teaching time, with the remaining portion dedicated to the Analytical Content.
The Practical Content
The practical exercises and investigations have been formulated by distilling archetypal elements of creative and spiritual practice from multiple traditions, including those originating in Africa and Asia, Europe and the Americas.
They therefore inherently encompass the artistic attributes of diverse faiths, including Zoroastrianism and Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as multitudinous local mythologies and their indigenous creative ventures.
The Training thereby retrieves the foundational common ground shared by disparate theologies, releasing them from the doctrine of specific religious ideology, harnessing their transcendent power to precipitate hope and healing for those of all beliefs.
These universal and inclusive practices, which are taught on the Training, fall naturally into the following seven spheres of activity:
1. Silence and Stillness
2. Breath and Voice
3. Gesture and Movement
4. Rhythm and Melody
5. Lyric and Verse
6. Story and Enactment
7. Picture and Portrait
Every sacred tradition of spiritual practice places a primary emphasis on Silence and Stillness. For absence of sound and motion is everywhere identified as the requisite first condition for both hearing and responding to spirit.
The pursuit of this condition also epitomises the endless road to spiritual healing and insight. For even when we seek Silence and Stillness with unrelenting dedication, it is never perfectly realized. Sound and movement are always present, as our blood and breath flow in fluid and fluctuating symphony with our thoughts and feelings, to create an interminable orchestral dance.
Yet it is through the search, not the attainment of Silence and Stillness, that we discover much about ourselves, and come to acknowledge the transcendent schema of which we are a part.
The Practical Training in Sacred Arts introduces techniques for exploring this pursuit of Sacred Sound and Silence, synthesising methods from multiple traditions.
The people of every culture, across time and territory, have evolved techniques for making conscious the commonly unconscious process of breathing. For the earliest among our species perceived breath as the vehicle upon which spirit travelled, entering us as we inhaled, and departing upon release of air from deep within our breast.
We subsequently discovered that the sound of our human voice depends upon making audible this flow of breath. Consequently, breathing techniques evolved into vocal methods intended to assist the free flow of spirit through us, animating our imagination, stirring our heart, and filling our soul.
Furthermore, spirit was soon conceived to enter us not only upon inhaled breath, but also by passing into our ears upon waves of sound. Thereby, those of all cultures recited sonorous compositions using the full range of their voice, giving acoustic form to the presence of spirit.
The Training introduces this Sacred Art of Breath and Voice, drawing techniques from diverse cultural contexts.
Conscious breathing and vocalizing leads organically to impulsive and authentic bodily movement, by which all humans communicate with each other, through the inference of subtle gestures, and the declarations of exuberant physical animation. And those of all spiritual traditions have refined these spontaneous somatic expressions to cultivate complex choreographic vocabularies intended to communicate with a spiritual presence.
From delicate genuflections of fine fingers and subtle turns of a gaze, to ebullient dances of embodied ecstasy, all peoples have used the choreographed expressivity of bodily motion as a means by which to convene with spirit.
The Training teaches the fundamentals of Sacred Gesture and Movement, extrapolated from myriad times and territories.
In exploring the Sacred Arts of Breath and Voice, Gesture and Movement, the first peoples of every continent discovered how Rhythm and Melody are inherent in the world, and integral to human nature.
Night and day, waking and sleeping, seasons and storms, living and dying, all transpire according a rhythmic score invisibly inscribed upon the biological templates from which life proceeds.
Meanwhile, every rhythmic phase of sensate experience is accompanied by ambient melodies, as foliage rustles, water gushes, and creatures great and small sing in delight and danger, creating the symphony that accompanies an evolution without end.
The earliest among our kind heard the language of spirit in this accompaniment. And this inspired them to create musical instruments that have enabled us to speak to spirit in the language that spirit speaks to us. Thereby, the music of Rhythm and Melody occupies a cardinal place in all spiritual traditions.
The Training introduces techniques for creating such Sacred Music.
The primordial elements of spiritual practice, which emerged from the Sacred Arts of Silence and Stillness, Breath and Voice, Gesture and Movement, Rhythm and Melody, were established before our species acquired a codified language with which to speak and write.
Yet, when later able to articulate words, our ancient ancestors from across the globe applied this new-found vocabulary to creating verses of lyrical eloquence intended to invoke spirit, and communicate with its presence.
Thereby, primordial humming and intoning, along with calls and wails, exclamations and outcries, developed into mantras and meditations, prayers and devotions, hymns and psalms, which still today provide a source of strength and sustenance, hope and healing for so many among us.
The Training teaches you techniques for composing and reciting such Sacred Lyric and Verse.
The coming of spoken language enabled early peoples everywhere to tell stories that communicated the essence of human character and depict the tribulations of its plight. And upon the foundation of this practice, tales about adverse misadventure, originally told to entreat help from human listeners, became myths and parables that importuned spiritual visitation and assistance.
Furthermore, these narratives were often not only told but also enacted, through festive procession and ritual performance, as telling led to enacting.
Subsequently, the drama of storytelling remains incorporated into the formal religious ceremonies of all faiths, through which the personal becomes collective, as every participant celebrates their part in the grand narrative of life.
The Training provides an opportunity to experience the healing power of Sacred Story and Enactment, drawing from the creative endeavours elemental to diverse spiritual traditions.
Amid the awe-filled silence following inspired creative activity, our ancestral soul-searchers sought to be still and silent, whilst creating an undying record of their intense and profound encounter with a spiritual presence.
Thereby, in charcoal and ink, oil and pigment, upon rock and stone, parchment and papyrus, humans have left an eradicable trail of pictures and portraits that dare to formulate the formless, and give shape to what cannot be named.
Every formalised form of faith is characterised by such illustrations, which possess a graphic identity unique to its creed and community. And in creating and viewing these art forms, we have forever found the deepest of healing. For they bring permanence to the eternally ephemeral nature of spiritual experience, serving to support us in times of doubt and dire need, when spirit seems absent, even though it is always known to be.
The Training introduces the process of creating inspired pictures and portraits, using techniques assimilated from a spectrum of epochs and environments.
No Previous Creative Experience Required
There is no need for any prospective student to be discouraged by their perceived lack of artistic ability in any of these seven modalities. You need not have danced or painted, authored or sung, made music, or even spoken aloud to a group before.
Over the past thirty years, I have taught hundreds of those who began a course by confessing lack of confidence in their artistry, yet proceeded to uncover an innate creative potential. Furthermore, all of the Sacred Arts explored on the Training were formulated long before any formal methods or techniques were established.
And many of the clients, students, or patients with whom you will work as a facilitator also may feel intimidated by the notion artistic endeavour.
Yet every day, in hospitals and homes across the globe, those people discover rapport with a spiritual presence by modestly setting word to paper, softly reciting verses and lyric, or gently gesturing as an expression of faith in the healing that spirit brings.
The Training will show you how to precipitate and support that process.
Analytical Course Content
In addition to teaching practical techniques relating to seven spheres of activity that characterise Sacred Arts, the Training also provides a coherent theoretical framework for understanding and interpreting spiritual experience and development.
This framework comprises sixteen universal dimensions to a life orientated around the pursuit of spiritual inquiry. And it provides a dependable way to help others comprehend processes and events that might otherwise seem incoherent, distressing, or overwhelming.
The framework is thereby applicable by all those who offer spiritual guidance, therapeutic support, psychological therapy, pastoral ministry, or educational mentorship.
Every individual undertakes a distinctive life journey, following a unique route, because spiritual development unfolds in a way specific to our matchless character and life story.
Nonetheless, there are universal dimensions that characterise this journey, through which we all pass while developing an increasingly sophisticated relationship with spirit. For, beneath our highly personal quest is a collective foundation, upon which we navigate our way along a primal path in pursuit of shared aspirations, which include freedom from anguish and a sense that all will be well.
There are sixteen of these archetypal dimensions that most people experience during the course of their journey.
The Sixteen Dimensions
These sixteen dimensions provide reliable perspectives from which to consider any given period of our lives. And to many people, their sequence reflects a recognisably staged journey of spiritual inquiry.
However, the sequential mapping of these dimensions is not intended to infer that spiritual development unfolds along a linear trajectory.
For our journey along the way of life never proceeds logically in a single direction from phase to phase, point to point. Instead, we take a few paces forward and a step to the side. Another step forward and then a few steps back.
We move through phases of transformation, and we make progress along a progressive route punctuated by significant landmarks and junctures. However, our progression is oblique, and we often find ourselves passing through multiple phases at a single time.
Furthermore, we may often return to places previously visited. Our path is one of stepping-stones, but they are not set in stone. They spread across shifting sands in ever changing patterns.
Nonetheless, we all benefit from a map, so we may gather our bearings, even when the atlas does not exactly resemble the terrain.
The Training in Sacred Arts synthesises principles drawn from multiple analytic methodologies to provide the means by which to understand this map, and relate it to highly personal and profound spiritual experience, for yourself and others.
The demand for spiritually insightful and resourceful practitioners is growing rapidly as increasing numbers of people uncover a core of bewilderment and emptiness beneath their full and busy lives.
Additionally, with a growing population of older people, and extended mortality, we are becoming more likely to consider the ultimate purpose of our life, and ponder what lies beyond the known.
Furthermore, whilst short-term clinical interventions often help people manage common difficulties, such as anxiety and depression, many nonetheless usually face the deeper challenge inherent in steering their direction towards a fulfilling purpose, characterised by a sense of authenticity.
Meanwhile, for those who encounter a major disruption, with accompanying mental distress or emotional trauma, a spiritual perspective is often the only way to make meaningful and hopeful sense of events. In education and teaching, spiritual development is also of increasing importance, as teachers help students face a pressing assessment of values in relation to occupational intention and vocational calling.
Analysis of current trends suggests that, during the forthcoming years, spiritually focussed practitioners will be in increasing demand, as further clinical, corporate, and educational organizations integrate the principles and practices of spirituality into their programmes.
Spiritually oriented practitioners presently work to nurture and support development and discovery with individuals and groups in multivariate environments, including schools and seminaries, hospitals and hospices, health clinics and rehabilitation centres, corporations and community services, as well as in private practice.
However, the current provision for training in this field is sparse, and existing programs tend to focus on a single theological doctrine, artistic modality, or clinical model. Such a segmented approach is suitable for those seeking to specialize in providing a narrowly delineated field.
For example, graduates of such specialized trainings may dedicate themselves with informed commitment to a specific form of Mediation, a distinct method of Mindfulness Practice, a single medium of Expressive Arts Therapy, an exclusive modality of Psychotherapy, or a denominational coda of Spiritual Counselling.
However, this exclusive singularity is less suitable for those with a matured outlook and eclectic perspective, who seek to expand their knowledge and skill within an inclusive and integrative approach to facilitating insight and rejuvenation in their students, patients, or clients.
The Practical Training in Sacred Arts answers to the needs of such practitioners by offering a paradigm of principles and practices applicable to guiding deep inquiry, and illuminating pathways to an authentic life of hope and healing, meaning, and purpose.
Personal and Professional
The Practical Training in Sacred Arts thereby offers you the opportunity to be part of an expanding and satisfying field, whilst fortifying your work and life with crafts that complement existing resources.
In addition, the Training provides a safe and secure environment in which to explore the nature of your own spiritual evolution, enriched by a comprehensive menu of methods for stimulating and supporting intimate private inquiry and creative expression.
It is thereby personally enriching in addition to offering significant professional benefits.
Given the depth of the content taught on the Training, its immersive nature, and evocative effect, it is important to be emotionally experienced and somewhat familiar with the challenges of psycho-spiritual processes. With this in mind, places are limited and available only to those who have completed the Online Course.