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earth-based practices

Indigenous cultures have their own practices of stillness, silences, self-reflection, healing, and visioning.  The four-universal positions in mindfulness meditation - sitting, standing, walking, and lying down -  are present in earth-based practices.  The integration of these practices with the natural world is a paramount indigenous approach to mindfulness. Directly working with nature mirrors  the living beauty within one’s own nature.  This cultivation of understanding self through a relationship with the natural world invokes memories that ignite curiosity and wonder.

Earth Based Initiatives for Our Times

Intentional ways of being on our earth walk 

with Mbali Marais

 

Description

How do we practice in these times? The real question is how do we not? Amidst the chaos and conflict of the individual and collective fires raging around us, there is an invitation is to find our primary call to creativity and tend to the deep self.  When we realise we are not all there is, we awaken to the call to find our wholeness in the mystery and the greater earth story of who and why we are here. 

In this five part elemental series, we explore earth based practices to guide us in this time. These practices are grounded in the 5 elemental cosmology of the Dagara tradition - fire, water, earth, mineral and nature - and cross-cultural ways of knowing. We will draw from the wisdom of intergenerational circles. We will look to the past in order to support us in the present to move forward and leave a legacy of earth stewardship for the next generations. We will return to the age old practices of radical ritual, contemplative practices, reflection, storytelling, ceremony and the arts. 

 

5-Part Elemental Series

July 23, 2022 to July 29, 2023

9:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Fire 

July 23, 2022

Water 

November 5, 2022

Earth 

January 28, 2023

Mineral 

April 29, 2023

Nature

July 29, 2023

Teachers

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Mbali Marais

Elder Diviner & Medicine Woman

Mbali Marais is the founder Return to Origin NPO/PBO.

She was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  She is a descendant of the Khoi Khoi peoples, French Huegenots, Dutch, Portuguese, Bushmen, Shangaan, adopted into the Dagara tribe, and is an initiated stick diviner, as well as the Amaghebe clan of the Xhosa peoples.  At 3 years old in 1954, she was taken by her parents to live in London. Through her own challenges, which she now understands was her own rootlessness and a sense of homelessness, she developed a passion which became a mission and fascination in health and healing, via the “other route”.

Herbs, hands-on, and indigenous wisdom guided her to often heal herself and others. This led her to pursue an MA in Therapeutic Bodywork, and a chance encounter with a Dagara medicine man who introduced her to a profound indigenous technology with which she has been gifted and in which she is still deeply steeped. Mbali’s intrigue by the inner and outer connection to dis-ease, land and nature, and the broken links to origins, keeps her passions and her gifts alive within her.

She understands the importance of re-remembering our connection to Nature as a tool for healing the modern world, and thus Return to Origin was birthed. Mbali facilitates retreats and deep nature quests that draw from ancient African practices, Buddhism, and mindfulness work. In 2012 she returned “home” to South Africa to track her people and resided close to our home of Origin in the Western Cape. Since then she has traveled widely in South Africa; building relations and learning from indigenous peoples including the Bushmen and Baba Credo Mutwa.

Her diverse background in the healing arts, integrative medicine, indigenous practices and transformative guidance, provide a sound container for both modern and ancient healing modalities.

She is now living in the Eastern Cape surrounded by two rivers and the Indian Ocean.

Tending the Creative Fire of Our Life

with Mbali Marais and Carol Cano

May 21, 2022 

10:00 PM - 12:30 PM PST

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Description

In the Dagara Tradition 2022 is a double fire year. We are a culture on fire. At war (now literally) with ourselves, each other and nature. Consumption, disrespect, abuse and misuse of our  natural resources and wrong doings to animals are the remaining battle scars. When this is  mirrored back as a parallel process to which we are inextricably linked, we find that in the  aftermath of this we are left with unspoken hidden histories, separation, self hatred, a war on  women, and a value system where worthiness has no place. Any engagement in over consumption  or over production is an act of violence. Too much fire leaves us and our planet in severe drought.  Cooling down to tend to our creative fire, sees fire as an essential element of home,  transformation, new growth and purpose. The wisdom needed now is a radical self knowledge, where wisdom and tending our creative fire become acts of reciprocity to self and others and fire becomes a place of community healing, reimagining and new beginnings.

Teachers

mbali.jpg

Mbali Marais

Elder Diviner & Medicine Woman

Mbali Marais is the founder Return to Origin NPO/PBO.

She was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  She is a descendant of the Khoi Khoi peoples, French Huegenots, Dutch, Portuguese, Bushmen, Shangaan, adopted into the Dagara tribe, and is an initiated stick diviner, as well as the Amaghebe clan of the Xhosa peoples.  At 3 years old in 1954, she was taken by her parents to live in London. Through her own challenges, which she now understands was her own rootlessness and a sense of homelessness, she developed a passion which became a mission and fascination in health and healing, via the “other route”.

Herbs, hands-on, and indigenous wisdom guided her to often heal herself and others. This led her to pursue an MA in Therapeutic Bodywork, and a chance encounter with a Dagara medicine man who introduced her to a profound indigenous technology with which she has been gifted and in which she is still deeply steeped. Mbali’s intrigue by the inner and outer connection to dis-ease, land and nature, and the broken links to origins, keeps her passions and her gifts alive within her.

She understands the importance of re-remembering our connection to Nature as a tool for healing the modern world, and thus Return to Origin was birthed. Mbali facilitates retreats and deep nature quests that draw from ancient African practices, Buddhism, and mindfulness work. In 2012 she returned “home” to South Africa to track her people and resided close to our home of Origin in the Western Cape. Since then she has traveled widely in South Africa; building relations and learning from indigenous peoples including the Bushmen and Baba Credo Mutwa.

Her diverse background in the healing arts, integrative medicine, indigenous practices and transformative guidance, provide a sound container for both modern and ancient healing modalities.

She is now living in the Eastern Cape surrounded by two rivers and the Indian Ocean.

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Carol Cano, M.A.

Co-Teacher

Carol Cano, M.A., began her practice over 30 years ago at Wat Kow Tahm in Thailand and has actively engaged in building communities and teaching Dharma internationally.  She is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.  She is a core teacher and a former board member of East Bay Meditation Center. Carol co-founded Philippine Insight Meditation Community in the Philippines.

 

Her unique teachings are deeply grounded in Basque, Native American and Buddhist influences that braid the Dharma along with indigenous wisdom and Earth-based practices. Her psychology background gives her a unique view into the human condition, which helps her hold community in a compassionate and confident manner.  Carol reminds us to keep grounded in our hearts as we uphold spiritual ideals and encourages us to remain balanced within the demands of modern life.

Deep Renewal Women's Gathering

Way of the Council for Self-Indentified Women

January 29, 2022

4:00 PM - 6:30 PM PST

(Registration Closed)

Description

We are a community of women who commit to the journey toward self-awakening through indigenous and ancient traditions.  Together, we celebrate our diversity of varying cultures though song, dance, and communing with nature in silence.  We strengthen sisterhood by cultivating clarity in our minds, opening our hearts, and working with our hands to honor our Earth Mother and our beloved ancestors, hence creating a more connected and compassionate world.