Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Afternoon at the 2016 "Coexist" Event

A few weeks ago, I learned of an event called "Coexist" that sought to "break down barriers and... create peace and unity within yourself and amongst others in the community." It was to be held today at the Illuminations Healing Arts Center in nearby Cedar Rapids.

I had attended a workshop with the agency's director, Michelle Stafford, last October at the 2015 Iowa City Metaphysical Expo and was curious to learn more about Illuminations. So I marked the event on my calendar and arrived for series of half-hour speakers.

Actually, I arrived a few hours late today so I missed a variety of speakers, including Jorge Pena (who spoke about Native American spirituality), Jonathan Chambers (who spoke about Bring Peace), Ashok Chawla (who spoke about Hinduism), Iman Hassan Selim (who spoke about being a Muslim), Marion Patterson (who spoke about Unitarian Universalism), and Zuiko Redding (who spoke on the Buddha's Four Noble Truths).

I arrived in the middle of a meditative workshop. So instead of disrupting the class, I decided to check out the store at Illuminations. They have a merchandise, including oils, stones, charms, and books. They also employ several healing practitioners who specialize in everything from Reiki, massage, yoga, shamanism, spiritual healing, and life coaching.

I've mentioned before that I've been told that I am a healer -- in the metaphysical sense. At least, I have that potential. Which interests me enough to look up shamanistic and energy healing material. But not enough yet to do anything about it. I decided today to purchase a book called How To Meet & Work with Spirit Guides by Ted Andrews. I will let you all know how this plays out!

I did end up attending a couple different speaker events featuring Sterling Hart on "Yoga and Evolution" and Gina Hamilton on "A Pagan Circle." Hart's partner demonstrated various yoga positions and transitions. He also discussed the benefit of using yoga for meditation and personal transformation. Hamilton sang some Pagan songs for us and then defined and discussed some basic concepts behind Paganism.

I then attended "Hybrid Spirituality" with Don Marlette. I met Don back in October when I attended a panel with him on connecting with spirit guides and departed loved one. I then ended up sharing lunch with him and chatting about his family and career. This discuss didn't have anything to do with his work as a medium, but instead spoke about spiritual development. He spoke about being a Catholic, but also about including various other religious and spiritual sources in his life. He noted four different principles that people need to incorporate into their spiritual development: 1. Prayer/Study, 2. Community, 3. Morality, and 4. Social Justice.

There was one final presentation with Michelle Stafford on Sacred Spiritual Activism, but I was starting to feel mentally exhausted and ended up not attending that presentation.

Overall, I was impressed with the event and with Illuminations Healing Arts Center. I picked up some materials about upcoming classes from the store. So don't be surprised if I end up spending some time there in the coming week and writing about them here.

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