26 Aug 2010

Retreat: deeper into life, not further from it

At the beginning of this month I was lucky enough to be a part of a weekend retreat – 24 hours away from the usual bustle and buzz of life in London, in the beautiful setting of the Quadrangle.  LIFE (Local Initiative for Faith and the Environment) is a group, working with women in Lambeth, to bring them together over inter-faith dialogue and the environment.  The Quadrangle is a farmstead in Shoreham, Kent – lovingly restored, and sitting within the peaceful and quietly stunning Darent Valley, it provides a perfect space for community activities.

Rebecca Brewin and Saadat Yusuf of LIFE coordinated this 24 hours ‘LIFE-giving retreat’, taking a group of women from the usual busy-ness of their lives, and bringing them to the beauty and tranquility of the Kentish countryside.   The weekend allowed each of us to experience life in a way we maybe forget too often, with the responsibilities and duties that we often  need to attend to, before being able to attend to ourselves.

We were led in sessions of yoga, introduced to foraging, and walked together, surrounded by beauty and kissed by the sun.  We cooked and ate together, had a sewing circle where we learnt to make something practical and pretty, and even sang together.  And throughout the weekend, the warmth of true, heart-driven sharing permeated all that we did.  In the reflections on Qur’an and eco-poetry session that I held, I was warmed to hear people really speaking honestly and reflectively, and this authenticity and genuine interest was something recurrent throughout our time together.

‘Together’ – I keep using this word to describe our time away, and really for me, it sums up so much the feeling that the weekend left me with – a feeling of having really shared and learnt from these women in a way I could never do alone, or even when surrounded by people, but without that openness and naturalness.  ‘Warm glow’ became my default setting for the time there, and I carried the tranquility and happiness from the weekend forward with me when I returned again to the buzzing of London town.
Here are a few pictures from my time at the Quadrangle with this lovely group of women, and a link to some others.  I look forward to the next time I can experience such a warm meeting of hearts and minds.

23 Aug 2010

Islam & Climate Change ~ A Call To Heal: Online Booklet Launch

We are delighted to announce the launch of the online version of our long-awaited colour booklet: Islam & Climate Change ~ A Call to Heal. It is available to download for free from our main website.

We've been dedicating our time to this for quite a bit longer than we had originally planned - a few months longer in fact! - and whilst painful at times, we managed to patiently work through the difficult parts to experience the joys that follow, and which come from working within a great team. And yes, we are pleased with the outcome as well! We invite you to take a look.

The Wisdom In Nature team

From a small team of faith-inspired community activists...

This picture guide outlines an Islamic perspective on one of the most pressing challenges of our time. In simple language and with pictures, it introduces the following themes:

Disturbance of the Natural Order; A Call to the Fitrah; Unnatural Disasters; Islam: A Religion of Harmony; Fulfilling our Role as Khalifah; A Revival towards Wholeness; The Power of Many…

Climate Change is a signal that humankind has lost its course. By drawing on spiritual wisdom, we can respond to this call - this call to heal. This booklet was produced by a team of community activists to educate, cultivate reflection and inspire holistic action to help build a fairer and more sustainable world for all.

Download for free from here

The booklet was produced through voluntary efforts by a team of committed activists along with design support as we neared completion.

Financial help needed, to support our work and make print copies available: As soon as we are able, we would like to have print copies of this booklet to offer and distribute for free to the wider public. In order to help us to further our work and to make these copies available, financial contributions are invited and gratefully received. (More details are on page 12 in the booklet for anyone who might like to support us in this way).

With thanks from the Wisdom In Nature team

10 Aug 2010

Sun 26th Sept: Islamic Community Food Project (London)

Awareness, Grassroots Organising, & Action..

Organised by Wisdom In Nature (WIN) with Spitalfields City Farm

Registration details below

Date: Sun 26th Sept 2010
Time: 11am to 4pm
Venue: Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, London, E1 5AR. (Nearest tubes: Whitechapel (Hammersmith & City / District Lines), Aldgate East (Hammersmith & City / District Lines), Bethnal Green (Central Line); Buses D3)
Includes a hands-on practical.

As more people organise from the grassroots, community food initiatives are on the rise. These small steps not only empower, but offer alternatives to the globalised food system that favours multinationals. At the same time, within Muslim communities awareness is growing that Islam offers ecological principles that extend beyond the term 'halal'.

With a deeper food ethic waiting to emerge more fully, there is much that spiritual traditions can offer and Muslims and others can do, to contribute to a more holistic paradigm - one that empowers individuals, helps build resilient communities, and genuinely draws us towards a sustainable and more compassionate world.

When we come together with our different life experiences, skills, and backgrounds, we can achieve so much more than when we work in isolation. This day is for anyone who wants to work with others to help culture this new paradigm. It is for those who want to hear and share ideas & stories, reflect on what is possible, and take small, vital steps to make the imagined real.

The programme will include: A workshop with Wasi Daniju & Muzammal Hussain, from Wisdom In Nature;
& a practical on the land with Naomi Glass, from Spitalfields City Farm.

To make the most of the day, bring an open mind, a team spirit, and the yearning of your soul to create something wholesome for all. This is a first event, and for those who want it, can lead to further opportunities to connect and organise with like-minded participants.
Please dress for the weather and bring sturdy footwear. A vegetarian soup meal and refreshments will be provided. Feel free to complement with any small snack to share.

COST: £2 donation per person will cover expenses including food.
REGISTER: To reserve your place, please send an email titled 'Register', with your full name, to: (replacing _AT_ with @ ) ; Note that registration is for the full day. and will only be complete once you receive a clear confirmation from us. We cannot guarantee registration received after midday on Thursday, 23rd September.

For more info: :
Wisdom In Nature - Islamic Ecological & Community Activism: ; tel 0845 456 3960 (local rate)
Spitalfields City Farm: