Classes ~ Workshops
Classes can be taught live in your community, for your church members, in a back yard or remotely on the zoom platform.
Gather the people, and contact Calm in the Chaos Interfaith Center to schedule.
Drumming ONE HOUR, optional several sessions
Drumming is the extension of our own heartbeats. In recent years, drumming has made its way into western culture as a spiritual practice and as a fun way to share something new! You need NO musical or drumming experience to fully participate in this class. Instruction begins at the very beginning. We will learn simple rhythm patterns that allow us to rise above the mundane plane of daily life. I bring several drums, but if you own a drum, please bring it.
Labyrinths, Walking Meditation ONE AND A HALF HOURS
Walking a labyrinth is meditation in motion. For some of us, sitting still just doesn’t do it, so we walk our meditations. Labyrinths have been built and used for centuries. In this class, you will learn the history of labs, view different kinds – from tiny finger labs to giant labyrinths in fields, and create your own take-away finger labyrinth. We will lay out, construct and walk a floor lab!
Praying with Color TWO SESSIONS, EACH ONE HOUR
There are so many ways to pray and so many names for the Holy Divine! Whatever your understanding of God, however you pray (or don't pray), you might find it interesting to not fold your hands, bow your head and close your
eyes. If you can hold a pencil, you can enjoy this new way to interact with the Sacred One in prayer. Come with an open mind and open heart. All materials provided.
Seven Female Mystics ONE HOUR
What is a mystic? Are there mystics among us today? And how do you become one? Join me in a one-hour introduction to seven female mystics spanning from 600 AD to the present. Each woman made a significant contribution to the spiritual lives of others, some continue to do so. The class is an introduction, with the hope that you will be curious enough to read more about one of these interesting women.
Faith Buffet of World Religions THREE SESSIONS, ONE HOUR EACH WEEK
Judaism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity – we will look at the characteristics of each faith tradition and notice how concepts, ideas and doctrine intersect and sometimes overlap. Understanding faith traditions other than one’s own can help a person appreciate and deepen their own spiritual growth.
Sacred Geometry and the Patterns of Music ONE HOUR
Topics from the musical Pentatonic scale to the swirl of a Fibonacci in a sunflower are included in this look at how God is the great Scientist Creator. We’ll play hand chimes and speak of ratios; we’ll discuss frequencies and how they are related to vibrations in the body. We will look at artwork that represents Sacred Geometry and draw patterns such as the Circle of Life.
Celtic Spirituality – an Overview and Introduction ONE HOUR
Celtic Spirituality grew from honoring the feminine, respecting all of nature as God, and connecting everyone directly to God, without need of a hierarchy of intercessory people. Meet St. Brigid, Alexander John Scott, John Muir and other significant spiritual leaders in the evolution of Celtic Christianity. Because the class will leave you wanting to read more, a reading list is distributed.
Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes BOOK STUDY ONE HOUR EACH SUNDAY IN ADVENT book by Cynthia M. Campbell
From the Amazon blurb: What would we find if we visited the homes of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John during the Christmas season? How might their homes look, based on what we learn from reading their gospels? We study this little volume with a Bible at hand to read the scriptural references. This way of thinking may shed a new light on our Christmas narrative. Part scriptural, part fantasy, but always a delight. Participants need a copy of the book.
EARTH: Our Original Monastery BOOK STUDY
ONE HOUR EACH WEEK for SEVEN WEEKS
book by Christine Valters Paintner
God meets us everywhere, but sometimes we're not paying attention. Share with me how living contemplatively with an appreciation for the natural world can make us more aware of the presence of God in every aspect of our lives. We will explore monks, mystics and saints who have connected with the Infinite Divine through nature. We will get outside! Maybe during class, maybe as a solitary during the week. Let's dig deeper into our connection with God's creation ... all of it. Participants need a copy of the book.
Vision Boards TWO HOURS
Minimum enrollment: 6, no maximum $20/person
Vision boards are a viable way to us the Law of Attraction to manifest what you really want in your life. They are so much more than a scrapbooking collage. Every time you look at your completed vision board, you will visualize your intentions. Visualization is a very powerful mind exercise, because as you gaze at your board, you will give off a tremendous amount of energy into the world. The universe hears you! At this workshop, you will learn how to set intentions and create a personal vision board. Bring several magazines and trinkets, photos, a ticket stub, a recipe - anything that reminds you of what you really want in this life. Glue sticks, scissors and poster boards are provided.
Circling ONE HOUR EACH WEEK for NINE WEEKS Minimum enrollment: 8; maximum enrollment 12 $75/person
Circling is a program formed by mystic and religious scholar Jan Phillips to raise each of us to a new level of creativity, even for those who believe they don’t have a creative cell in their body! Through activities in a community of like-minded others, your heart may open and you might let go of a burden you’ve been carrying. We build a community of support and new-found insights over the nine weeks. Because the program depends on the energy formed by the group, we ask that participants commit to all nine weeks of the workshop. Each group member receives a notebook, with poems, guided activities and blank pages for notes, journaling and projects.
Balancing ONE HOUR EACH WEEK FOR SIX WEEKS Minimum enrollment 8; maximum enrollment 12 $60/person
Balancing is a six-week program to find and create balance in your life. Only you know what your soul needs, and we will explore some new ways to feed your soul! Setting intentions, fitting self-care into your Post-Covid life…it’s all about what your soul needs. Balance is the third leg of the stool on which a good life rests, joining Respect and Responsibility.
Because the program depends on the energy formed by the group, we will hold the program only if there are at least eight people interested. Open yourself to new possibilities! Create your own finger labyrinth, collectively drum your way into the heartbeat of the earth, learn how focus on what you need. Each group member receives a notebook with poems, guided activities and blank pages for notes and journaling.
I Pronounce You TWO HOURS, ONE SATURDAY $85/person
A training course to become a wedding officiant. So, you've been asked to preside at a friend's wedding, and you have no idea what to do? Questions and doubts surround you and, sure, you can get a paper and advice from the net, but what you really need is a Wedding Fairy Godmother. Well, here she is, to help guide you through the entire planning and officiating process. Rev. Darla has planned and officiated at many, many weddings, was the New York State Director of the National Association of Certified Wedding Consultants, and is now going to help you to be a confident, knowledgeable Officiant. Upon
completion, you will become an ordained member of the Calm in the Chaos Interfaith Center.
What's in a Name? Women of the Bible ONE HOUR
We know Elizabeth and Mary Magdalene, Eve and Ruth. We know Esther and Delilah and Rachel. But did you realize there are over one hundred Bible women who are nameless? The writes chose to not include the names of the women, only that they were integral to the story for being present as someone's sister, wife, mistress or accidental acquaintance. They are all a pare of our history, or should we call it HER story? Join us to remember and honor several of these nameless women at the one-hour workshop. Have paper and pencil handy.
Payment for Classes
All classes are taught by Darla Bair, Interfaith Elder. Some of the classes have a charge associated with them, but for one-time classes, there is no set fee. Should you wish to show your appreciation with a monetary donation, you will be thanked and applauded.
Why no fee?
No fee because I have no idea what economic state your group is in at the time of our class; I have no idea what value you put on each item in your yearly budget. Your group might be in a comfortable place, with grant money falling from the sky, or your group might be in a slump, wishing you could do more, but have no money right now.
Your heart and the Spirit who guides it will show you what is right for you at this time. In our western culture training, it is difficult to think that something really could be outside the box of transactional behavior, that you pay a fee and receive a service. We have been taught that "you get what you pay for," "there's no such thing as a free lunch." Well, by contacting Calm in the Chaos, you are stepping outside that box.
For one-time classes, Calm in the Chaos offers the Dana (donna) principle of giving. Dana is the Sanskrit word for generosity. Spiritual leaders whose paths we have come to value, did not, and do not, charge or expect payment for their spiritual lessons. There is no painting of Jesus surrounded by an 'audience,' all of whom paid for his lessons. Same with Buddha, Muhammad, the Dalai Lama, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Calcutta, on and on. We do not purport to be in such great company, but are only following their lead on spiritual lessons and Dana.
There is a fee for multiple-week classes because of materials and commitment of time.
Call, text or email to reserve dates for your church, spiritual group, prayer gathering, women's group, book club or potluck night.