22 September 2012 a post by Bruce Stanley

Forest Church Group Meditation for Autumn Equinox

I’m just about to start my third Autumn in the Cambrian Mountains and I’m now convinced that we need to mark – along with nature, tradition and even the solar system – this time as a significant moment of pause, balance and reflection, even more so than mid winter. Vive l'équinoxe d'automne!

autumn fallen apples

When I lived in the city and my work was on a desk rather than on the land, I noticed autumn coming only in passing. Now I live surrounded by nature a mile or so from the nearest village and it is hard to miss the convergence of four major themes (explored within the mediation) at this time of Autumn Equinox, especially if you’re deliberately trying to tune into nature on a regular basis.

The following meditation comes from Mid Wales Forest Church and is for a facilitator and participants but can be used by a small group or an individual. It can take from half an hour to a couple of hours.

Download the meditation PDF file here.

Notes about facilitating this.

This meditation is site specific and uses the simple idea of zones found in Permaculture thinking (read more about zones here). You need to be able to travel between a domestic garden, a working green space further away from a home such as an allotment, park or working field and somewhere wild and unmanaged. This correspond to zones 1, 2 (or 3 or 4) and 5 from the Permaculture theory. You may find these three zones clearly delineated within a single large garden.

If you are leading this, the delivery is more natural if you can talk directly with the participants rather than reading this, script like, off the paper. So feel free to learn something about the introductory sections and find your own wording – reading the questions and prayers that end the three zone sections seemed okay to me. You may simply want to visit three locations and find there representations in nature of balance, harvest and wild, finding your own words to introduce these – and only use the questions and prayers, that is the crux of the meditation. The questions are for people to reflect on silently but you may want to invite people to share their reflections if they, and you, want to.

If you print the attached PDF (you just need one copy for the facilitator) you can cut the A4 pages into A6 pages and sew or staple them into a mini book. I used some decorated cardboard I found in our recycling bin to make the cover or you could decorate some plain cardboard. Or you could put the pages into an existing small book with a sacred or arcane looking jacket – this is all part of the theatre of creating the right atmosphere. If you need to take paper into a Forest Church setting, these approaches are better than an A4 printout on a clip board.

hawthorn haws

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