Abwoon Interspiritual Leadership Program
All modules were offered from 2007-2014 in the United States, UK and Germany.
Information on new inter-spiritual leadership programs will be posted at this site. If you are interested in organizing one in your country or area, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
with Dr Neil Douglas Klotz
A program to develop leaders in interspiritual practices for peacemaking and service,
in ministries of spiritual direction, counseling, teaching, and ritual.
Who will benefit from the program:
- Students, teachers and ministers of Sufism, Kaballah, and Christian spirituality who, to strengthen their work in interfaith and interspiritual service, would like to experience a personal spiritual practice that draws from a larger range of Middle Eastern spirituality, from the most ancient earth-based traditions, through those rooted in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic languages;
- Therapists, counselors and individual spiritual directors who, for their own spiritual development as well as to help others, wish to deepen in breath, body awareness and counseling practices that stem from the native spiritual tradition of Jesus, the Hebrew prophets, Sufism and the Native Middle Eastern traditions;
- Interfaith ministers and leaders who wish to add practical experience in the meditations and body prayers of Middle Eastern spirituality to their theoretical work in comparative religion, in order to share a wider ministry in ceremony, counseling and ritual;
- Spiritual directors in any tradition who wish to learn to lead practices, body prayers and meditations inspired by Jesus’ Aramaic spirituality and use them for counseling, mentoring and retreat work;
- Retreat guides and teachers of meditation who wish to learn to lead body prayer, spiritual practice and guided meditation that arise from Kaballah, Aramaic Christian spirituality, Sufism and the earlier indigenous traditions of the Middle East.
Overview of the Program:
- Seven leadership modules correspond to the major ministries and spiritual practices offered by Abwoon Interspiritual
- At least two 3 day leadership retreats will be offered each year, approximately six months apart.
- Retreats will be limited to 40 people each.
- At each retreat, participants will learn body prayer, meditation and spiritual practice that can be integrated into their
daily prayer or meditation practice for six months.
- Preference for enrollment will be given to those who commit to the entire three-year program. Spaces will then be
available for those who wish to attend individual leadership retreats.
- Individual spiritual direction will also be available, if desired, to be agreed separately with a mentor/guide.
Each module of study and the associated retreat will include the following basic and advanced tools specific to each body of work. Students will
naturally gravitate toward and select the tools most appropriate to their own community and work. Not everyone will wish to master all the tools, but
we hope that all will become familiar with them and enter each with a willing heart. Participants will be expected to read and listen to the published
materials associated with each leadership retreat prior to the retreat itself.
Basic Skills and Leadership Experiences:
- Leading body prayers and body awareness practices for use in group work
- Leading walking meditations
- Leading Dances of Universal Peace
- Leading Basic guided meditations and contemplations
Advanced Skills and Leadership Experiences:
- The background of the published work and its relation to current social, scientific and cultural research
- Work with the voice and leading chants
- Leading advanced meditations and contemplations
- Psychospiritual exercises and practices (for instance “Depths of the Self” from Desert Wisdom, and “Hokhmah’s
Table” from Blessings of the Cosmos)
- Mixing and blending material and practices for use with specific group
AILP Modules of Learning and Leadership Experience:
- Module 1: The Aramaic Prayer of Yeshua / Aramaic Spirituality I (books: Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel; audio: Original Prayer ). Introduction to the program; leading the body prayers and dances associated with the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus.
- Module 2: The Native Middle Eastern Roots of Western Spirituality (books: Desert Wisdom; Genesis Meditations; audio: Native Middle Eastern chants and dances). Included: meditations on Depths of the Self, Sound and Embodiment, Simple Presence, Heart Awareness, Gratitude and Celebration; the Native Middle Eastern chants and dances.
- Module 3: The Aramaic Beatitudes of Yeshua/ Aramaic Spirituality II (books: Prayers of the Cosmos, Blessings of the Cosmos; audio: The Healing Breath, Blessings of the Cosmos); Included: the body prayers and dances associated with the Aramaic Beatitudes.
- Module 4: The Creation Spiritual Traditions and Practices of Early Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sufism (books: Genesis Meditations, The Hidden Gospel, The Tent of Abraham; audio: Genesis Meditations and Beginnings). Included: the Genesis cycle of dances/chants; the Genesis daylong retreat.
- Module 5: Yeshua in the Gospels of John and Thomas / Aramaic Spirituality III. (books: Desert Wisdom, The Hidden Gospel, Genesis Meditations, Blessings of the Cosmos). Included: the Aramaic “I Am” dances; other body prayers and dances associated with Yeshua in the Gospels of John and Thomas.
- Module 6: Sufi Spirituality; (books: The Sufi Book of Life; Tent of Abraham). Included: the Service of Elemental Peace, the Elemental Heart Healing Meditations, leadership of Sufi chant and meditation.
- Module 7: Integrative Retreat: Leading Interspiritual Rituals and Creating Retreat Models. For the leadership group, a final, integrative retreat in the fourth year of the program.
Munira Elizabeth Reed administers the AILP program through the nonprofit organization Shalem Center
and is pictured here with Neil Douglas-Klotz.
USA – UK – Germany program:
The first module was held in July 2007. Three groups were run in the USA, the last finishing in spring 2014. A group was held in Scotland, UK (now completed) and another in Germany, which completes in 2014:
USA Group 1:
This group started in 2007 and completed the program in May 2010.
USA Group 2:
This group started in 2008 and completed the program in May 2011.
USA Group 3:
This group started in 2011 and completes the program in May 2014. See the Calendar for details of the final Module.
This group started in 2007 and completed the program in Oct 2010. It was held at Wiston Lodge, Edinburgh, Scotland.
This group started in 2011 and completes the program in May 2014. It is held in Germany. See the Calendar for details of the final Module.
For further details, please contact us:
Shalem Center and Abwoon Resource Center
881 High Street, Suite 206
Worthington, Ohio, 43085 USA