of Spirit: Using Dreams, Meditation, and Self-Awareness to Stop Insanity
and Help Humanity
The Genius of Spirit is a guide book for using the power of dreams, meditation, and awareness to activate the right and left hemispheres of the brain, to a place of greater balance and peace. Only by connecting to the right brained wisdom of soul or spirit, can we release depression, despair, and the insanity around us. Since over three billion people, almost half our world’s population live on less than $2 a day, we can only fix these global imbalances with a more enlightened humanitarian approach. A new understanding of genius is proposed, not just the realm of the mind, rather, a synergy of mind and spirit. Since spirit excludes no one, this includes all religions, spiritual believers, and non-believers, guiding everyone to activate their inner genius, and restore the world to a place much like heaven on earth.
In this workshop we delve into three key areas of the book: fear, visions and miracles, and meditation. Through group activities we’ll discover the countless things we needlessly fear in our lives, and with this new awareness we begin the process of eliminating unfounded fears and replacing them with faith. We often go through live believing visions and miracles are the exclusive realm of saints, mystics and gurus. Through group sharing we’ll discover most people have experienced the miraculous. But, we seldom discuss these sacred experiences fearing what others may think! We’ll also delve into the heart of meditation—single pointed focus, exploring enjoyable ways we can incorporate meditation into life: outdoors and in nature, through daily tasks at home, and through movement based activities.
Dr. Marina Quattrocchi is a former photojournalist, elementary school teacher, and secondary English teacher with a keen interest in dreamwork, meditation and spirituality. Her first book Dreamwork Uncovered grew from her doctoral thesis where she worked with secondary students and their dreams. In Dreamwork Uncovered the central thesis is that dreams are not cryptic or mysterious; they are gifts from spirit and we are all meant to understand their guiding wisdom. In her new book The Genius of Spirit: Using Dreams, Meditation, and Self-Awareness to Stop Insanity and Help Humanity she takes this one step further. Its central message is that the genius of the enlightened state, that place of complete balance and harmony is the intended destiny of everyone, if only we believe, and that dreams and meditation are the best ways to help us arrive at that place of fulfillment and peace. An avid dreamer, she’s been journaling her dreams and meditating on them for over 30 years. http://www.marinaquattro.com
Jennifer Forsythe graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University in 1998 and recently completed her Master of Education in 2012 from the University of Toronto. Throughout her teaching career, Jennifer has held a variety of teaching positions in an inner city school in Toronto. Currently, Jennifer is teaching Grade 4/5 and is actively involved in a number of leadership roles within her school setting. Jennifer has always been very passionate about teaching and is an advocate of holistic education in public schools.
Maria Karmiris is a teacher with the TDSB (Toronto District School Board). She has been teaching elementary students for twelve years (K-6). She just recently completed her Masters of Education at OISE (Ontario Institure for Studies in Education). She is currently teaching students with special needs. She believes that learning is a life long process, which involves being supported by and supporting others along their respective journeys.
Grant Minkhorst is an elementary school teacher with the Halton District School Board. With nine years as a classroom teacher, Grant has spent most of his time teaching in the Intermediate division. He is active in a number of areas with the school board, including the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) steering committee as well as serving as an associate teacher for new teacher candidates. While completing his Master of Education at the Ontario Institute of Education (University of Toronto), Grant focused his research on teacher education reform and student engagement.
John (Jack) Miller has been working in the field of holistic education for over 35 years. He is author/editor of 18 books on holistic learning and contemplative practices in education which include The Contemplative Practitioner, Education and the Soul, The Holistic Curriculum and Educating for Wisdom and Compassion. His writing has been translated into nine languages. Jack has worked extensively with holistic educators in Hong Kong, Japan and Korea and has been a visiting professor at two universities in Japan.. Jack teaches courses on holistic education and spirituality in education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto where he is Professor.
Kelli Nigh. As a professional singer and actor, Kelli Nigh developed a unique approach to mind-body inquiry in the drama classroom. This approach was introduced to students in a diverse range of educational settings, including community arts centres, public and private schools. Kelli recently completed her doctoral research at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She has taught holistic education and human development courses in teacher education programs and looks forward to further pursuing her research interests in ecology, youth and embodied learning.
Michele Irwin earned her MFA in Writing at Vermont College, and is currently finishing a doctorate at the University of Toronto. She has presented papers internationally on writing process and pedagogy, and has been teaching from the heart for eight years. She is at work on a Middle Grade series and a novel.
You and I we’re
The Shaman and the Clown.
We were looking for each other,
Now I am found.
If you listen
You will hear the sound.
If you touch me very gracefully,
I am found.
Participants will experience the live performance of four song meditations. Each song offers to the listener an opening towards a deeper experience. We will be able to share the experience with others in the workshop through an offering of a thought, a prayer, a poem, a word, a feeling, an experience, a glimpse, a story, a teaching, an observation, or silence.
F. Christopher Reynolds -- teaches French and is the world languages curriculum leader at Berea High School (28 years). He is currently hosting healing concerts that combine original music and the medicine wheel. His website is: http://www.urrealist.com.
Paul E. Royes -- holistic educator, music composer/performer, and professor of new media in the School of Design at George Brown College. Paul is also Founder and Director of THE NOTHING SCHOOL (2005).
Darrin Griffiths - Inclusive Schools
Inclusive schools require all participants sharing and believing in a holistic purpose of education that challenges the status quo and individual and systemic biases. This workshop will examine starting points for teachers and administrators on refining the school and classroom focus to genuinely include all students. As well the workshop will outline how to infuse a holistic purpose of education into the daily practices of a school.
Darrin Griffiths - is a practicing elementary principal with over fifteen years experience in the TDSB and HWDSB. He earned his doctorate from OISE with a focus on inclusive leadership to support students holistically in the school. Published a book in May 2013 titled, “Principals of Inclusion: Practical strategies to grow inclusion in urban schools.”. Currently teaching a course at Western University and working on his second book with OISE professor Dr. John P. Portelli.
Jackie Eldridge - Mindfulness and Pain
Mindfulness and pain - This session is an interactive presentation that will explore the connections between mind, body and spirit. It will examine the use of mindfulness in our daily lives when dealing with every day experiences and the more challenging experiences of stress, physical and emotional pain and anxiety. The presentation will include stories of experience and mindfulness practices. Several mindfulness tools will be introduced and practiced during the session.
Jackie Eldridge - is a teacher educator at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She has been involved in education for the past 35 years. Her doctoral work is grounded in the ethics of care. In her work with future teachers Jackie works to bring mindfulness to their practice as they are entering a profession where stress levels are high and burnout is common. Jackie first encountered mindfulness about 15 years ago when she was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Not wanting to take the allopathic medicine route she searched for a way to deal with her pain naturally. Her first experience with mindfulness came when she attended a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) workshop provided by Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. This workshop completely changed her life and her relationship to the pain. Since that time Jackie has developed a strong mediation practice and is able to live a fulfilling life without "suffering over the suffering.” Jackie is very passionate about bringing mindfulness practice to all areas of life particularly into the caring professions where relationships are paramount and connection to self and others can be life affirming but also life diminishing.
Arts Education is often said to be naturally holistic but is that true in the way that Music Education is taught in schools, conservatories, and private institutions? Explore, question and experiment with Matthew as he deconstructs the current paradigm of Music Education and re-envisions new possibilities for the future.
Matthew Tran-Adams is a Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at OISE/University of Toronto specializing in Holistic Education and Music Education. He is also a professional musician and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Visit his website: http://www.tranadams.com
an Embodied Approach to Writing
In this workshop we will explore the contemplative practice qigong as a method of creating “space” for creative endeavours, specifically creative writing. Qigong is a holistic system of movement, breath and visualization used to maintain fitness of body/mind. We will learn a short form of qigong and compose some writing afterward. Bring a pen and paper and wear loose clothing.
Sarah E. Truman is the author of Searching for Guan Yin (White Pine Press, 2011), a national magazine award winner, and an Ontario Arts Council Recipient. She is currently a PhD Candidate at University of Toronto in Curriculum Studies (OISE) & Book History and Print Culture (Massey College). She studied qigong in China from 2001-2003.