"Great night out in the Camino Alto Open Space! Our main intentions for the night were fun (especially in the wake of last meeting's intense solo time), space to process what happened at our last meeting and attention to our relationship with nature...
We hiked up from the parking lot, taking in the beauty of all the flowering plants and wide vistas of the whole Bay. The boys found us a good dinner spot and we played some warm up games to help transition from the school day to our group time. That's something we are being transparent about with the boys - that sometimes we need practices and activities that get us out of our minds to help with the transition from one kind of environment to another.
Over dinner (thank you C!) we brought the group back to where we left off with our last meeting and asked the boys how they were doing. About half the boys have been stirred deeply by their "new religion" that came from the solo sit. These boys are asking questions about what God is, the meaning of life, and the mysteries that follow hard to answer questions. As leaders, M and I want to make room for these boys to voice their stirrings and share with the group what they are feeling and thinking. We also want to create space for the boys who aren't especially occupied with these themes to voice that side of the conversation. It was a great moment to notice and validate the diversity in our group's relationships to spirituality.
After the conversation we headed up the hillside for some more game playing. Camouflage continues to be a favorite game of our group and is a great example of one of the ways we relate to nature. Hiding and running through the high grasses and trees is undeniably fun - all the boys tap into their nature connection selves when playing this game. We circled up after the play time and M and I introduced the boys to the concept of temporal Earth Art (in the vein of Andy Goldsworthy). We spread out on the landscape collecting pieces of fallen leaves, rocks, logs, moss, etc. and put them together in a group creative process. It's really nice to see how easily the boys can drop into a calm and meditative place, which they were in as they searched for items that called to them.
We concluded our meeting by putting our found pieces together and sharing a council about what we each find important and meaningful in our relationship to "nature". Many echoed each other in reflecting upon the peace and calm they find when outside, one boy said simply, "nature is everything", other boys shared how they feel the Earth will always let them be who they are and forgive them for any mistakes. It was a beautiful circle that we tied into our upcoming backpacking trip which we want to be both mentally and physically preparing for.
Happy full moon, Prince celebration, Earth Day & Passover!
D & M"