Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Stephanie Dowrick Event

Last night we were fortunate enough to host an event with the one and only Stephanie Dowrick. We have a long history of events with Stephanie and each event is a highlight on the Shearer's events calendar. Stephanie also enjoys coming here and described Shearer's as "open, enthusiastic and welcoming." Last night's event was about Stephanie's latest book, Seeking the Sacred, a spiritual memoir that contains wonderful stories from a whole range of people.
Stephanie's talk was full of fascinating insights into her life, work and beliefs. She is constantly questioning how we can live alongside each other in an inspiring way. She certainly inspired the audience last night, and here is a brief summary of some of the points she covered:
  • On the weekend Spectrum mentioned the event and that there are lots of 'soul searchers' out there. Stephanie defined 'soul searchers' as people looking for another dimension to existence, be it God, a soul, or meaning.
  • Stephanie said that we are seeking in a time that is unlike any other. We do not have to follow in the footsteps of grandparents or parents and the difference between generations in terms of spiritual thinking is profound. This is a potent moment in history because we can look at other belief systems and not feel that we are stealing, and we have been shaped by several decades of psychological analysis.
  • On spiritual journeys these days, people want to find things out for themselves. Seekers aren't beholden to anyone's dogma and concrete ideas are suffocating. Spirituality is an experience involving prayer, meditation and conversation.
  • You cannot act without influencing and affecting the people around you. The bleakest moments are aloneness, the brightest are connections. "No matter how lonely I feel, I know in some part of myself that I am not alone."
  • In seeking the sacred we are "setting our sights on the soaring. However, we also have to come back to the ground where we live."
  • We cannot afford war and need to break out of old ways of thinking. 
Stephanie's works are always full of quotes from great people. Here are a few quotes from Seeking the Sacred:

  • "Only spiritual consciousness...can save the world." - Paramahansa Yogananda
  • "The modern world is desacrelising. That is why it is in crisis." - Carl Jung
  • "I believe in the essential unity of all people, and, for that matter, all that lives." - Gandhi
  • "I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty." - Gandhi
 Stephanie was asked by the audience about how she writes. She responded that she writes morning, noon and night. She said that Seeking the Sacred and In the Company of Rilke took a long time and that the work doesn't stop once the book is finished as there are still workshops, tours and events to deal with.

Stephanie was also asked about how to overcome spiritual ups and downs. She responded that things get better but that doesn't mean that things don't hurt. She said it's important to think about what stands between us and our happiness.

Last night's event was wonderful, as have been all the events we have hosted with Stephanie. We hope to have the opportunity to work with Stephanie whenever she next writes a book, and would like to thank her and the audience for coming along for an illuminating evening.

 Buy Seeking the Sacred and other Stephanie Dowrick titles online at Shearer's Bookshop

1 comment:

  1. So lovely to see this account of a terrific evening. When Jung spoke of the world being desacralized, he meant that we no longer see it (or ourselves) as holy, precious, to be cared for - but mechanistically, to be be used, used up & perhaps abused. More personally, when I spoke of writing "morning, noon and night" I don't want you to take this literally! I write when I can, in among the piles of admin which I deal with rather inefficiently, and all my other work including my ministry at Pitt St and elsewhere. Also, this decade and ever onwards, I am resolved to spend less time working and far more time reflecting, seeing friends and family and chilling out! I am getting over over-work!! Thanks again to the splendid Shearers and all readers for a beautiful evening together. LOL.