Thursday, June 17, 2010

Intensive Retreat

There we are, the students and Deans of The New Seminary's Class of 2011. This was taken right after our initiation (relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, especially in light of the previous night's cleansing ritual). We are the largest class for TNS, I believe, and I'm very proud to be a part of it. The ceremony was very touching, and included our singing a couple of songs and participating in a ritual of initiation.

For the cleansing, we were required to wear white outfits, and so that's why everyone is dressed in their pretty whites. It was really amazing to see everyone in white. It isn't something  you really know how to look at, in a way. There were people from all over the United States, plus one lady from British Columbia, and four from Australia. We represented many religions: Islam, Wicca, general pagan, Hellenic polytheism, Nordic reconstructionism, several different flavors of Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and even agnosticism. I am still coming down off the high of last week's retreat and celebrations. I'm honored to have taken the steps of my journey with these people.

One of the close friends I made while in NYC for the retreat was Suren, pictured here with me. He went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a bunch of us, and he and I meandered off to the Indian and Vedic sections together. I learned more about Hindu, Islamic, and Buddhist beliefs in the two hours we were there, than I did in the two months we spent learning about those religions. He's a wealth of knowledge, and a handsome guy to boot. He's also an accomplished photographer. I enjoyed spending the time with him, with Sarah, with Judy, with Andria, DiAnna, and everyone else (there were 60 or so of us and I'm not going to name them all!).
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