Monday, 26 October 2015

Refugium Newsletter - October 2015

It's been a while since I posted an update on the goings-on at Refugium. Recently we marked a full year since the place opened, and with some recent changes there, I thought it was time for another Newsletter.

Refugium has moved just a bit further north, to a parcel in Norgaard Village. It's by the ocean now, opposite the chapel. To visit, follow this SLurl.

Earlier today, at midnight SLT, we had our first meditation session at the new location. Unlike the previous building that served as our meetinghouse, this one is more sturdy and not at all draughty. It's a small place, with a very warm feel to it. I could easily live in it, especially during the cold winter months.

If you're not familiar with Refugium, it's a meditation group in Second Life. I started it with the intention of extending my meditation practice into SL and sharing that quiet time with others inworld. Meditating alone in RL has often been a challenge for me: either I wouldn't do it at all for extended periods of time, or I would be too distracted to do it properly. Meeting regularly inworld with a group of friends has been very helpful to me in that respect.

The format is quite simple: we sit in silence for 30 minutes; towards the end there is a closing inspirational quote and the bell sounds the end of the session.

Initially, I envisioned it as a place for the practice of meditation in the Christian tradition, especially given that there already is a number of meditation groups and places inworld, which are more New Age-y or Buddhist. However, our sessions remain open to everyone; there is no particular religious or denominational teaching involved. Bible is a frequent source of the closing quotes I select, but so are the writings of poets and philosophers, ancient and modern.

All of this may sound serious, and in some sense it is, but we definitely love to have fun, and sessions are often followed by pranks, jokes, and funny gestures. We don't take ourselves too seriously. Most often we spend some additional time after the sessions chatting casually, as we did earlier today. Topic of the day: eating pigs' feet!

I have some plans for the new projects, such as organizing monthly lectures (I had to postpone those due to a busy RL schedule) or offering additional sessions, at least once a week, for people who can't possibly join us for the regular ones because of time zone differences. A lot will depend on my RL obligations, so I'll keep you posted on any new activities.

I'd like to thank again everyone who's been part of the group. Your presence and support means a lot!

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