Community And The Art of Holding Space

Imagine yourself sitting in the very centre of the Ashram’s Temple of Light, in the centre of the lotus. You are experiencing the sound of one hundred and thirty beautiful voices singing in a way that touches your heart. It brings a feeling of gratitude for being present in this sacred space, for being part of a rich and joyful experience.

In early November the Ashram offered space for three amazing youth choirs to come together—Corazón, Kokopelli and Carson Graham choirs. They travelled from Nelson, Edmonton and Vancouver to prepare for a concert in Nelson.

“Holding space” for the choirs was an intention that came forward for the Ashram community as we entered into the experience, asking— how do we hold space in a way that brings our ideals of service forward?

To host such a large group we also drew on rich experiences of the past four years collaborating with director Allison Girvan and the remarkable Corazón choir. These have included yearly visits by the choir and last spring, the creation of a choral concert that moved through the Ashram grounds Ripple Effect.

The local East Shore community extended itself in many ways to help host the choirs—by offering extra accommodations, mattresses, dishes and by happily shuttling the choir members to and from the ferry. The weather cooperated and the Kootenay Lake ferry ran at times needed, even in the midst of strike action. Clearly there was something bigger bringing this all together.

It became apparent that all of us—the Ashram, local community and choirs—were engaged in that perfect balance of giving and receiving. The Temple of Light became a symbol for working together in harmony, no matter what our age or background. It invited us to open our hearts, to give back to life and receive the gifts that come in return.

Alison confirmed that we had met our goal when she wrote to say, “Thank you for holding all of us so beautifully for our time there—for your grace, care, compassion and enthusiasm.”

It was truly our pleasure!


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