on January 9, 2006
I am so glad that I heard of Joan Borysenko, PH.D. Ms. Borysenko is a well renowned cell biologist and psychologist from Harvard Medical School. She is a pioneer in the mind-body alternative medicine field. This CD collection "A Woman's Spiritual Retreat" is very informative. It is the first introduction I had towards the concepts of the feminine life cycle as a guide towards understanding women's passages and development stages. She borrows the imagery of the Triple Goddess (maiden, mother, and crone)and connects it to a woman's blood mystery to illustrate women's life processes. This information was instrumental in changing my view of womanhood.
I truly enjoyed her discussion on designing sacred space, creating rituals, and using the expressive arts (journalling, poetry, etc.) as a pathway towards healing and wholeness. And she also discusses several women's stories that demonstrate what women go through - the myth of Inanna, Adam/Eve/Lilith, and Sarah's Circle.
The myth of Inanna is the story of a woman's initiation and descent to the Goddess. This is the typical experience of women - the dark night of the soul. It's when a woman has been stripped of all her outward image, stands naked and accussed, then gets nailed to a peg on the wall. The story demonstrates that when a woman comes up out of the dark night, she isn't all sweetness and light. Something has happened that changed her. Certain things must change in her life and that includes "cutting away the deadwood". She's not nice anymore but she understands something that is really deep.
The Adam/Eve/Lilith story is the myth of women's struggle to be themselves and to be treated as human beings capable of making a choice. This demonstrates a different view that women can refuse to submit to men's desires or their outdated attitudes of what a woman should be.
And, Sarah's Circle reminds women of the synchronicities in our lives and that we often see patterns in certain life events. Men are the ones that have to climb the "ladder", the linear path of more and more. But, women - by virtue of our blood mysteries are accustomed to understanding the birth, death, and rebirth "cycle" as represented by the Triple Goddess and the moon. Endings are just as natural and necessary as a new beginning.
These stories and information is relevant for women of all stages in life and in all cultures. I say this because, every woman will have to come to terms one day with aging - and the greatest lesson here is that it just gets better for women. The older women, especially those 40+ are getting ready to go through the most powerful transformation of their lives. Borysenko breaks it down in the "retreat" when she discusses that as women move towards menopause they get that "extra" something that turns them into powerful and confident women. Take a good look at the women (especially the older women) who know themselves and you will see a "fierce, confident, and knowing" look on their faces. Borysenko can tell you why.
on June 4, 2011
The seller was quick to get it to me...and I found it very interesting and looking to see how I can use it in my groups. If you are a teacher, leading a group of women, you can easily intigrate some of the great teaching in this selection. Heck...get it for yourself! Sit down each day to a tape...there are 12...(6 with two sides). Make your own retreat for yourself.