Council of European Grandmothers –
Summary Report on the third Council Meeting
held 22th till25th of June 2017 in Trondheim
THURSDAY, 22ND OF JUNE 17
After a welcoming coffee we walked to the river with glistening sunshine. In the opening ritual we collected grain from every country in a backing bowl. From there we walked to the city hall where teenagers and their two teachers waited for us. After a very cordial welcome by the mayor we learned about the school projects that the young people had worked on – the topic was: Relationship between youngsters and their grandparents. Then we walked hand in hand in a long row to our beautiful meeting room, where we had the chance to chat with the teenagers while sharing a meal. With our song “There is no time but now…”, we said goodbye to the very open-minded teenagers.
Under Helga’s lead first of all the new Grandmothers could present themselves. Then the former members of the circle told about their projects. After that we had an exchange about relationship in the widest sense. Swami Nitya summarized the results and added some clarifying thoughts. We enjoyed a well-deserved lunch break in the sun. We opened the next session with a heart meditation with Swami Nitya and worked in three groups to find our personal summarizing sentence, which we want to share in the open meeting. In the folk-museum we met our old roots, with an old stone mill we could grind our grain to flour. With a wreath of flowers on our heads we experienced the celebration of midsummer with a wedding, dance, music and bonfire. As pilgrims we drove or walked back to the city.
Out on the square in front of our meeting room, the senior choir gave us four of their songs as a gift. At the beginning og the public meeting every one of us presented herself in her mother tongue and shared their sentence with the public. After that Sabina (Italy), Sofia (Greece), Helga (Germany) and Vibeke (Norway) presented the projects they had started after the last meeting in 2016. During the exchange with the public, Sabina presented the next meeting in Florence in 2018 by interpreting a performance with dance and words. A fine vegetarian lunch closed the morning session. In the early evening we met up in the wood. The rain directed us into Vibeke’s house. In a meditation each of us connected with a creature from nature. Through us, these creatures told their stories and about their relationships to the humans. The family cooks Ellen, Martina and Vibeke had prepared wonderful food, that we could enjoy in the house and outside on the terrace in the sunshine.
Also today we opened the session with a body awareness meditation. Martina took over the lead for the following points:
- The topic for the next meeting from 06th to 09th of April 2018 in Firenze. Sabina proposes the topic “wisdom”.
- For the meeting the year after we agreed on January/February 2019 in Lithuania.
- Organization of the council: many questions came up concerning the group size in future, how to handle guests, the procedure for welcoming new members, inner and outer circle. Personal experiences from this past weekend were shared. Many questions are still open and need to be discussed before the next meeting in Florence.
The last part of our program brought us out into the garden. Vibeke brought our “European Bread”. Breaking and sharing this bread was the closing ritual of the “Trondheim Council”.
Thanks from the heart to Vibeke and the city of Trondheim for their hospitality.
Council of European Grandmothers – Summary Report on Second Council Meeting held 15th – 18th September 2016 at Hof Rose, Altenmedingen, Germany
Thursday, 15th September 2016
We began by sitting in a circle and sharing where we are at, now after a year. We were aware that the most important aspect of our 2nd. Meeting was communication amongst ourselves, so quite a bit of time was spend in relaxed chatting and ceremony (energetic communication).
Friday, 16th September 2016
For our first big ceremony Inaqiawa led a Welcoming Ritual outdoors, where we stood in a circle around Earth, Water and Fire and each Grandmother expressed her gratitude, longing and blessings. We welcomed water, soil and fire from our individual home countries. Each Grandmother was welcomed in the circle by one of the grandmothers. Those who were unable to attend were included at least by name.
In the afternoon Helga Langer led a Workshop “Leading to our Intention. We worked hard on the formulation of our Intent. We took time to meditate, sitting in silence turning inwards, waiting for our inner wisdom to become known. Each one present then had time to express their thoughts. We collected “buzzwords” and “ideas which were discussed in depth. It was agreed to “sleep on it” and review the situation the following day.
In the evening, we shared a wonderful and powerful Workshop on “Building Community with Helga’s voice/choir/ bodywork teacher, Imke McMurtie. We enjoyed relaxation exercises, touched each other’s bodies, connected and communicated – eventually beautiful through three songs.
Saturday, 17th September 2016.
We had an Open session to which the people of the communities around the area had been invited, and also the local press. Helga had prepared the ground, having been very active in publicising the event via a newspaper article, a radio interview and sessions with children in two schools
There was a very proactive well-prepared journalist, who asked important questions. It was clear to everyone that this type of session is very important, both for the public and for us. It confirmed for us how much we, as “grandmothers”, are needed; how important the work is that we have set out to do.
There were many very emotional moments. Much gratitude was expressed by those present and special links for the future were made! It became clear to us, that opening the circle to the world is necessary and should proceed; but slowly, in stages. This was a beautiful start of this process!
In the afternoon, our effort was directed towards the future of the circle. There was no doubt we want to continue as a Council. Having finalised the a draft of our “Intent” (See Appendix 1), we moved on to discuss how long would be required for the gestation and birthing of the next meeting. Following a voting process, we decided it should be 9 month.
Everyone was delighted when Vibeke our grandmother sister from Norway invited us to Trondheim, Norway. A date was chosen: 22nd – 25th June 2017. Publicity and finances were then discussed. It was noted that we need a website, it costs money! Irene, our grandmother sister from Switzerland very generously offered to pay for the creation of a website, to honour a legacy of her parents. Honouring the ancestors was a theme that cropped up again and again.
In the evening Monika Abendroth gathered us around a sacred fire, outdoors and we expressed our gratitude and asked for blessings of the power of Transformation… Monika accompanied us on harp and created Divine sounds.
Sunday, 18th September 2016
We had a voluntary open session with Guests presented by Helga at her home. The Theme was “The Importance of the Grandmothers in Family and Community Life.” Comment from Swami Nitya.
Many people expressed how this second meeting differed from the first. It resembled a family meeting; – getting together with people we had shared/lived with over time. There was a great feeling of familiarity with each other. We did achieve our aim of becoming closer. We are knitted together closer. We have become a true Council of Sisters, and that includes those who were there, “only” in their subtle body! With confidence we continue.
Swami Nitya / MaryAnne Gosling
1st November 2016
First Draft Intent of the Council of European Grandmothers
- We come together in the shared understanding of the Oneness from which allcreation stems
- We are aware that we live in a world that needs the life affirming values of Compassion and Love re-awakened
- We intend to re-discover and retrieve the timeless wisdom that resides deep in each of us and to share this wisdom with our world, especially with the next generations
- Our aim is to contribute to revive the awareness of the deep relationship with Nature
Click here for full length video of council meeting: full length video
First Council Meeting of Council of European Grandmothers
Brief Report on the Weekend held at the Yoga Shiatsu Zentrum in Merano Italy on 25th, 26th and 27th September 2015
In attendance were Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim, Chairperson, Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, and her daughter, Grandmother Nadine. There were also a number of ‘companions’ along with a team of very helpful Translators, Facilitators, and Catering Staff. The weekend began on Friday, 25th September 2015 with an Informal Gathering. A short welcome speech by Swami Nityamuktananda and a Blessing from Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim, the Guest of Honour from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, was followed by a scrumptious Vegetarian Buffet Dinner.
Saturday, 26th September 2015
Day 1 began with a Time of Stillness, Turning Inwards and Meditation. An Opening Ceremony centred around the Lighting of a Lamp, representing the Fire of Knowledge was followed by a Talk on the Feminine Principle by Swami Nitya, which was well received and provided lots of ‘Food for thought’ for what was to follow.
A lot of planning had gone into the event and an excellent team of facilitators led Group Sessions with the dual aim of helping people to get to know each other and work on fundamental questions relating to the Hopes and Expectations of all present. The focus was on Points of Special Interest to be incorporated in the future of the Council. After lunch, a Plenary session presented the results from each of the groups with the intention of establishing foundations to become the base for the council. A second Group session discussed a possible Vision for the Future of the Council of European Grandmothers recognising that Creating a New Way Forward involves transforming the past as against forgetting it. Before going to dinner Sabina Cesaroni and Giusy Merli treated us to an excellent display of Goddess Dancing – demonstrating the Female Wisdom flowing from one generation to the next. The day ended with another period of Stillness, Turning Inwards and Meditation.
Sofia Foteina spoke on Relating to the Next Generation Grandmother Agnes spoke on Relating to the Environment as it is our own body Swami Nityamuktananda spoke about Relational Reality.
We then had a Plenary Session about the Future of the Council to determine should it continue after this first gathering and if Yes, How this could happen.
After lunch, there were more Group Sessions on Projects and Activities which could get an added value through the Council. This led to another Plenary Session with Presentation of the Ideas from the groups for general discussion.
A brief Closing Ceremony involved the Displaying of Aspirations from each of the Grandmothers. Rather than attempt to include all the discussions, the reports from the various group sessions are attached as an addendum, as follows:
What do we want to Achieve? / How Do we Do This? / How Can We Work? / For Whom Do We Work? / What Can We Do? / How Can We Co-operate? / What Do We Need? / Who Do We Want to Reach? / What Possibilities Do We
WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE
Vision: Respect and treat equally all living beings. A happier, healthier, peaceful and grateful humanity.
Work local and see global
- Green perspective
- Sharing/teaching: good will. Network connected to other networks
- Sharing stories
- Strengthen the circle/make the circle visible: communication campaign, film, spot (inspirational)
- Build local circles to support the GMs
- Collection of key messages
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
- It needs to be done, it speaks to me, I should do something
- We feel ready for responsibilities
- Simplicity and harmony, trust in intuition and ability to create a more harmonious space for ourselves and others
- Love, warmth and generosity
- The way of the heart, through the friendship/teaching of the life process
- Having confidence in the inner voice and be with the people you should at that time
- Trust the present moment with respect to the ?
- For life. To make a difference.
- The female energy should do it (for men and women) to rebalance
HOW CAN WE WORK?
- To challenge people to think in a new way
- Teachings from the heart, but arguments from science
- We teach people to rest so they can go beyond brain and habits.
- Groups should not be closed, yet stable
- We need to be inspired
- We have to promote tolerance (in ourselves and others) (all kind of tolerance).
FOR WHOM DO WE WORK
- For the next generations
- To create culture that includes caring
- To be aware of what influences us
- For Mother Earth (nature)
- For the children of the Earth
- For empowering the balance of feminine/masculine principle
WHAT CAN WE DO ?
- To think first about our actions. i.e. what I am buying, eating ,creating, education
- To change our actions
- To share it with others
START WITH YOURSELF
- Be an example
- Ask fundamental questions, wherever we are and who ever we meet
- Raising awareness
- Introduce mindfulness: meditation
- Meet people with your heart and learn to deeply listen
HOW CAN WE COOPERATE
- We need to know/understand what the other want to do, need
- We need to know each other and build trust
- List of what I can offer to other Grandmothers and what do I need
- Listen to Grandmothers step by step.
- Support list of skill sets and experiences to support each other
WHAT DO WE NEED
- Truth and trust/compassion
- Enthusiasm and Love
- Listen to our own intuition
- Total integrity
- Self confidence
- Self Esteem
- Willingness to let go and to receive
WHO DO WE WANT TO REACH
- Reach out to each other and beyoned…
- Seek each other’s skills
- Amplify objectives with trustworthy women
- In harmony with myself, I reach all others
- Sharing our gifts with women / all ages who wish
- Regional circles – one/two/ persons to send reps
- Fundraisers – to give and to receive
WHAT IS THE FIRE WE SHARE
Work with – be a voice for
- Children, young people (values, education)
- Women (initiation), Menopause
- Other groups who have no voice: e.g. refugees, nature, elderly, sick people
- Response to crisis at the community level
CONTACT / STARTING FROM OURSELVES
- Inner voice
We need to be human and an example for the surroundings.
Have to listen to higher guidance to solve problems of today
Find true love and peace through meditation, stress the spiritual life.
Collect rubbish from the seaside to help waters and animals (whatever happens to the earth happens to us as we are a part of her).
Become who we are (respecting the 5 elements)
We are the voice of the voiceless.
We want to serve humanity to balance female and male qualities.
Whatever we do we radiate by it and do it with love.
Trust and remember the Spirit.