Living Circle Camp

Living Circle Camp
Joy Based Living

Cathi Nile and Brian Steere

Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September. (Extending option to Wednesday 19)

Camps I have joined with or held over the last decade and a half have always held the same call for me: freedom and joy in being. This might seem a luxury to attend to after sorting other priorities. I hold this is the sanity in which we can prioritise truly. If ‘the world’ seems to be collapsing around us it may simply be that we are neglecting joy.

Joy is also the context in which I share circle dance. As an invitation to and expression of simple presence. A felt connection expressing directly through us.

I heard on the radio a while ago of some young Rwandans who had been directly involved on both sides of the genocide. These few had joined to make music for dance as an expression of desire for their own and their people’s healing. Their need was great. In this music they engaged wholly and presently. And in that participation they found clean clear joy. And in joy they discover their essential humanity renewed.

Does this resolve the past in terms of grievance addressed? - No.

It does express willingness to let the past go in embracing life as a shared participation. From the mind this awakens in us we may discover how to live as expression of an unconflicted life.

Few of us have had to rediscover a sense of worth, meaning or reason after such extremity, but the example serves to shine a way for any who want to release joylessness, whatever its seeming justifications.

I hold joy as the treasure of life now - not an idea of now - but presently in my day - come what may. Have I attained anything? I have not attained any state or power that is not already the case for everyone. Have I allowed it to be uncovered in me? Yes.

Accepting joy expresses as increasing unwillingness to abandon it for it is the spirit connection that reaches to the sleeping mind. I feel joy in the heart. ‘I’ does not make it, nor mentalize or modify it in order to support a sense of a special self. This is work because the mind-habit that does do these things is of a hidden wish we have held for a long time to be as we are not. Yet that choice expresses conflict in the guise of protecting from conflict. This undermines our joy. We become distrustful and confused and resistant to seeing clearly.

Regaining joy is the desire of your joy. This expresses as willingness for a present relatedness within our own mind, acceptance of this experience without adding layers of judgement or reaction, and allowing a freedom of desire to move as the judging mind is quietly passed by.

Ego is a sense of self image. A rigidity of mind around an eddy amidst the flow. In our identification with it we are resistant to joy because ego represents a wish to become what we are not - and defend it over and against the truth of what is. Because it is a choice as to how we use our mind, we always have a choice to ignore ego in our mind, by engaging our attention in what we truly desire instead. This can only be felt and found within a silence or receptivity because we hide it in distraction. Discovering our true desire and its fulfilment is simply not the result of trying to think our way - but of feeling our way.

The thinking mind has its role in the way of things as servant. As our guide it is surely the blind leading the blind - and leads to activating defence for everything it trips over in the dark because life does not fit to its concepts! This does not engender joy. It engenders fear, distrust and conflict. This applies equally within the individual mind as with the world at large or within our music! Joy needs expression for us to remember or wake up to the truth that we love. In this is our freedom from fear.

The world’s nature is ever a flux of change. The retreat into fear is the same old game, and has its own perceptions and justifications, not unlike an addiction. But what does that really offer you? And do you truly want it?

We invite this camp for being with ourselves as whoever we find ourselves to be, together, with our own live music and dance that express a spectrum of feeling but also grounds us in silence. An expression of joy as a common inspiration. That our minds are joined may be argued - but in the experience of joy such argument is irrelevant.

Joy is conscious alignment with inspiration of true desire. It is not the masking of joylessness in temporary relief. We invite this camp to embrace the former to be free of the need to undertake the latter to the degree that you are willing to accept. Please don’t bring alcohol or so called social drugs to this camp as we find that they do not aid receptivity or clarity of attention.

We camp and live as one circle and will run for the weekend, but extending until Wednesday if there is support to do so. In that case campers can choose how long they stay. Starting together is good if we can do this. The nature of joy is a gift and we do not charge for the camp. If you want to support the work we welcome whatever is given but doing so is not necessary to be welcome.

Be in touch if you are interested in coming or finding out more. If you cant make this camp but are interested in other events then let me know.

I have resources that are whole for sharing live music song and dance - but there is opportunity and welcome to join in singing, rhythm and music making.

I have more information at: http://www.livingcircle.net

In Peace


Brian Steere and Cathi Nile. 84 Northfield Crescent, Wells-next-the-Sea. NR23 1LR

01328 711142


PS - I have cards and prints available for some of my photography here: