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Finding the Sacred in Stories

A workshop led by Doug Lipman and Pam McGrath

Pam McGrath and I both love telling spiritual stories. Mine are primarily Jewish (with a few Buddhist and Sufi tales as well); hers are primarily Christian (with Jewish and others, too).

When we decided to offer a workshop on spiritual telling, we realized that the source of a story is NOT what makes it spiritual. In fact, the story's subject isn't even what makes it spiritual.

We believe that what makes a story spiritual is a combination of theme, intention, and the context you create as you tell.

So we designed a workshop to help you find the sacred everywhere: in your self, your life, and your stories. We've put together a series of activities designed to put you in touch with your own vision of the sacred. The workshop is limited to 16 participants, so you'll get individual attention. In fact, you will have the chance to be coached, to help you draw the sacred from your stories. And, as usual, you will learn as much or more from observing the progress of the other participants as we coach them.

The workshop will be a combination of the theme of sacred storytelling, on the one hand, and Pam's and my complimentary coaching skills, on the other. She's the best coach I've ever worked with. She has mastered what I teach about:

  • believing in your abilities,
  • helping you discover your strengths, and, when requested,
  • giving suggestions that go to the heart of your path: clarifying your goals and assisting you in your struggles.

At the same time, Pam has developed her own distinctive approach that adds a new dimension to the coaching experience. And, in three previous workshops together, we have developed some pioneering ways to coach in tandem, giving you more insight and support than we could provide separately.

We are both tellers of spiritual stories. Pam tells Christian, Jewish and other stories. In fact, she recently premiered her commissioned story about Mary Magdalen (once more revered in France than Mary the Mother). To create this transformative story, she went on pilgrimage to the shrines holding Magdalen's relics in Burgundy and Provence!

I have told my award-winning, two-act Jewish mystical adventure story, The Soul of Hope, on three continents. I also run the Hasidic Stories Home Page, and have performed and recorded Sufi and Buddhist stories as well.

Because we believe that spirituality is not something unique to certain stories (but rather requires finding, developing, and drawing out), the workshop will include a chance to explore, discover, and present.

One of our goals is to form a supportive group that will be a responsive audience for each other's stories. Part of finding the sacred, we believe, is discovering a connection to the spirit of your listeners. Telling to each other, we'll all have a chance to learn about the "sacred response" of an audience - how to encourage it, allow it, and deepen it.

For our next scheduled offering of "Finding the Sacred in Stories," check out my upcoming workshops.

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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman