What are the aims of an Appleseed course?
We aim to create and hold a safe, supportive space within which you can explore your own many and varied aims and objectives for spiritual and personal exploration and development. You will arrive with your own unique starting point and expectations. Our role is to provide stimulating intellectual materials and inspiring creative materials that will encourage and empower you to expand your spiritual, personal and creative understanding in your own way. We also aim never to ask you to do anything we won’t do ourselves; thus we engage with all the activities and in the worship sharing sessions that follow them, offering our artworks and our personal reflections in the same manner as any other participant.
I can’t draw/paint/do art. Will I enjoy this at all?
Don’t worry at all if you feel you cannot do art. The process allows your natural creativity to become present to you.
Here’s what one participant said: “Thank you for helping me understand that as well as wondering at, loving and being inspired by the beauty I find everywhere in the world around (and ‘outside’) me, I also have the ability to create beauty. This is a new realisation for me and very profound…especially as someone who was put off art more than 30 years ago at school.”
Why should I think about coming on this course?
The Appleseed method of gentle, creative spiritual reflection and self-discovery through simple arts-based response activities is unique. It offers a particular blend of food for mind, heart and spirit that is highly distinctive, and, we believe, unlike any other arts and spirituality course (not better, just different).
Appleseed courses attract people for a variety of reasons.
- You might come because the overall subject matter draws you and you want to engage with the ideas in an imaginative way.
- You might be attracted by the idea of art-based activities that require no particular previous knowledge or skill, that are “serious play” and “kindergarten simple”; this particularly appeals to people who live with the idea that they are “no good at art” but yearn to unlock their creativity.
- You might already have a regular art practice of some sort and be drawn to the idea of combining this with spiritual and personal development.
- And, similarly, you might have a spiritual and/or meditative practice that you wish to deepen through a new type of creative exploration.
What will I gain from the experience?
This is unique to each participant, but some of the possibilities include:
- Opportunities to explore our inner and outer worlds in a unique, sometimes challenging and almost always rewarding way, in the company of like-minded people
- Time to experiment with art, to play with an extensive and inspiring array of materials and a variety of perhaps previously-unencountered techniques, such as spontaneous painting and word collage
- A chance to unlock a creativity that may feel stifled or cut off
- Encounters with writers of poetry and prose that may be old favourites or may be new discoveries
Do I need to be Christian/Quaker/religious?
Not at all. The Appleseed process and our inputs are in what might be called spiritual territory, but there is no dogma, evangelism or requirement of belief. The venues for our courses welcome everyone, eg Othona describes itself as being for people of ‘all faiths and none’.