The Diocese of New Westminster is a long-respected leader in Vancouver’s Interfaith community. Our leadership continues, advances, and even deepens with the Ecumenical & Multifaith Unit (EMU) and St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Vancouver partnering on “5 Ways of Engaging the Heart: Experiences in Inter-Spiritual Practices”.
Open to the public, “5 Hearts” is unique in the history of Vancouver’s Interfaith community. With a focus on the heart, not the head, it invites participants to directly experience and sample spiritual practices from a selection of the world’s great faith traditions: Islam (Sufism), Judaism, Hinduism, First Nations and Christianity.
The series’ emphasis on the heart is more than symbolic. The heart, referenced in all major faith traditions, offers mystics across traditions with a Divine-opening:
“5 Hearts” offers five separate Tuesday evenings within one integrated series in the welcoming and sacred surroundings of the Labyrinth Hall at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. This series is intentionally designed to be experientially-based, learning-centred, and cumulatively-approached to help move participants from their head in to the hearts in inter-spiritual practices. The intention is for participants to experience all five nights as a way to purposefully create a sense of community for mutual learning and spiritual growth.
The series launches on October 25th, 2016 with Islamic Sufi spiritual practices. Under the theme of "The practice of sacred turning", this first evening offers participants a visual and direct experience of whirling (sema) meditation, a spiritual practice introduced 750 years ago by Sufi saint, mystic, and poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. This night is facilitated by David Coskun and semazens of the Rifa'i Sufi Order.
The second evening of “5 Hearts”, on November 15th, 2016, focuses on Jewish spiritual practices. Themed “The Joy of Hebrew Chant and Niggun”, this night is facilitated by Lorne Mallin and members of the Chanting & Chocolate Band. Participant’s will engage in sacred Hebrew chants and wordless melodies called niggun, which can be both contemplative and ecstatic. Lorne, long-active and respected in Vancouver’s interfaith community, leads monthly evenings of sacred Hebrew chanting at Or Shalom Synagogue.
“5 Hearts” third night, on January 17th, 2017, offers Hindu spiritual practices. Themed “Give Peace a Chant - Unity in Diversity - Peace Through Kirtan and Mantra Meditation”, this evening features Sandra Leigh of Vancouver’s popular "Give Peace a Chant Kirtan". Participants are invited to enter the sacred through call and response chanting and devotional songs called Bhajans from the Indian tradition of Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion). Sandra, a respected leader in Vancouver’s interfaith community, is additionally a celebrity Yoga instructor through her Shaw TV show, “Yoga Moves for Every Body”.
The fourth evening of “5 Hearts”, on February 21st, 2017, we will experience First Nations spiritual practices. Themed “xwaythut - to wake oneself up", Audrey Siegl (sχɬemtəna:t ~ St'agid Jaad) from Musqueam, a prominent First Nations presence in Vancouver life, will directly connect participants to the spiritual practices of those welcoming first peoples on whose lands Vancouverites now reside. Audrey will use her Musqueam language, songs and truth to open hearts and minds of participants for soulful re-connection.
“5 Hearts” final evening, on March 21st, 2017, brings the focus to Christian spiritual practices. The theme of this concluding night is “Sacred Walking - Holy Contemplation: Inner Journeying on the Labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican Church” and is facilitated by both Amma (Mother) Jessica Schaap, rector of St. Paul's, and members of the parish’s Labyrinth Guild. Participants will learn about, explore, and “inner journey on” St. Paul’s labyrinth, a full 13-metre permanent replica of the medieval labyrinth laid in the stone floor of the 13th-century Chartes Cathédrale in France.
$75 is the inclusive registration fee for all 5 nights of this “5 Hearts” series.
Click here for more information, including to register online and pay via Paypal.
To register over the phone and pay via cheque, please call: 604.685.6832, ext. 10.
With thanks to EMU Committee members for this 2016-2017 year for developing, planning, and organizing this series: The Reverend Deacon Steve Bailey, the Reverend Father Robin Celiz (Chair), Tom Esakin, Fernando Esté, the Reverend Deacon Christine Magrega, and Donna Wong-Juliani.