FORMAT OF OUR MEETINGS
The format of the meetings attempts to create a balance by dividing our time into three segments: Study, Artistic work, and Decisions on Actions.
After a special verse that always opens our meeting, and – currently – a brief contemplation of one of Steiner’s updated descriptions of the precepts of Buddha’s Eightfold Path, we start the study with an aspect of Steiner’s writings that we have all prepared ahead. We’ve been attempting to carry this out through ‘Goethean Conversation,’ the aim of which is to allow the conversational interaction to create a living entity in itself. We’d like to say here that the emphasis so far has been on ‘attempting’!
In the past we have focused on esoteric studies, spiritual biographies, the three-fold social order, current cultural trends, and other topics inviting an anthroposophical approach. We were very interested, at one time, in taking turns giving individual presentations on special subjects. Some of our members have been very knowledgeable, and had interesting points of view. In addition, the challenge of preparing and delivering a presentation was good training for all of us. More recently, however, we have come to feel that lectures given by one person while the rest listen is not sufficiently active. So, for some time, we have chosen a series by Rudolf Steiner (mostly later works) and, after individually working on a lecture at home over the previous month, we bring the fruits of this to the meeting. Currently, this seems to be more engaging for everyone.
Through the years, we’ve been lucky to have artists in the Branch to act as facilitators for our artistic segment, although anyone can present an artistic session. The emphasis tends to change, depending on the skills of the current members. We’ve done painting, sculpture, music, eurythmy, poetry, mini-dramas, and nature observation and drawing. We currently have in the Branch a musician, a painter, and three people who are involved with eurythmy – so we’ve had lots of colour, music, and movement recently.
Lastly, we have a brief business meeting to address future action, practical logistics, and any financial considerations. Here we also share announcements about any local activities that are coming up.
We like to review how we made out with our goals for the meeting: How did we do? How could we improve? Sometimes we discuss issues of group dynamics. We are now attempting to apply the no-cross-talk / consensus process to our decision-making, hoping to avoid such passions as have
been aroused by seemingly neutral topics such as, ‘What shall we choose as our book-study next year?’ Flawed as we are, we’re still hoping to emerge from these sessions unscathed in the future!
The meeting closes with a repeat of the current month’s aspect of the Eightfold Path that had been contributed in the beginning.
After the meeting we all gather in the kitchen and dining area of Natura for coffee and cake and a chance to catch up on each other’s doings since last month, or for various extensions of the earlier discussion.
Newsletters, plain or fancy, have come and gone over the years. Currently we’re mostly sending out just the minutes, along with announcements of special activities around the Huronia region and Toronto.
We have worked up a set of bylaws, and would be glad to share them with any similar group to whom they might be helpful.
THE HURONIA LIBRARY FOR ANTHROPOSOPHY
The Huronia Library for Anthroposophy was initiated in 1996, and is located at the Natura Medical Arts Centre, 105 Toronto Street, in Barrie, Ontario. It contains books by Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophical authors, along with some other authors on related subjects. It contains about 600 volumes, not counting periodicals. Except in special circumstances, the books are available only to Branch members. We do not mail out books at this time.
‘Class’ meetings are held at the Natura Medical Arts Centre on the first Saturday of every month except July and August. Contacts: Werner: 705 424-3574, or Ute: 289 597-5616.
MEETING TIMES AND LOCATION
We’d be happy to welcome you at our meetings – either as a visitor or a member. Meeting sizes in the past have ranged from six to twenty six. Currently, we have about seven to twelve or thirteen people at a meeting.
We meet at the Natura Medical Arts Centre, at 105 Toronto Street, in downtown Barrie, Ontario. Barrie is located on the shores of Lake Simcoe. That’s the big lake north of Toronto and east of Lake Huron. It’s about 63 kilometres (40 miles) north of the intersection of Rutherford Road and the 400 Highway in north Toronto (Vaughan), and takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get here from there.
TO GET HERE
Coming north from Toronto on the 400 Highway, take the first of the two Dunlop Street exits after you reach Barrie. This leads right onto Dunlop Street going east. Continue on Dunlop for two to three minutes. Turn left at the fifth traffic light onto Toronto Street. Number 105 is on your right. On weekends there’s lots of free parking across the street by the park, and some beside the building.
We meet at 2PM on the third Sunday of the month. The exception is during July and August, when we usually have a picnic meeting in a country setting.
If interested, please contact Janine at 705 728-1443 or Janine.D.Sade@gmail.com
"I met Anthroposophy 42 years ago in Kelowna, B.C. It was as though a door opened and brilliant light flooded around me. I soon recognized that Rudolf Steiner was my teacher and that Anthroposophy would be my guide and path through life."
"I felt starved at university, and the Society activities provided much-needed nourishment."
"It’s right for me to help keep anthroposophy alive!"
"I became a member as a free gesture to uphold and support the spiritual work of Anthroposophy. I was an eurythmy student in England, and felt inspired by the older generation, John Davy, who had just passed away and Eileen Hutchins and others and wanted to be part of this community too!"
"I joined the Anthroposophical Society, first in the UK , when I was a student at Emerson College. It seemed to me then in 1967, and has done ever since, that this deed is both a modest gesture of support for the significant work at the Goetheanum and the least one can do to honour the karmic privilege of having anthroposophy in one's life."
"I wished to express my gratitude to those who brought this wonderful gift to my attention."
"I became a member to support the work of Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy in the world."
"Since I was born into an anthroposophical environment I've always been familiar with the most important aspects of it. But I only joined the Society after anthroposophy started to make sense. My wife, who came to anthroposophy through me, was also keen that we should join the Society."
"I always had an inner feeling that there was another world we have come from."
"I was already committed to anthroposophy. I wanted to support work being done."
"While a student at Emerson College, Foundation Year in the 1970s. I decided to apply for membership in the Society. Adam Bittleston was my study group leader and he encouraged me to do so. I have valued being a Canadian member of the society since then."
"When I joined I was living in an anthroposophically remote area of Canada and was looking to keep my anthroposophical connection alive. I was also ready to make a commitment to the Society and anthroposophy."
"I was encouraged by Paul Décarie after a year of participation in the study group."
"I was inspired by Rudolf Steiner's philosophy and the various initiatives that have a foundation in anthroposophy (TWS, Arscura School for Living Art, Hesperus Village, etc)."
"I wanted to be part of, and support, an organization that is spreading the spiritual truths so desperately needed in our society."
"I wanted to find a home for my belief in reincarnation."
"To contribute to anthroposophic impulses."
"To follow and be cued in, as to what’s happening within the Canadian anthroposophical movement. To support (financially) the Canadian scene and also worldwide."
"I began studying Steiner a few years ago. I did the first part of the Anthroposophy course with Hamo, and I made a trip to the Goetheanum. It then came to me that I wanted/needed to make a more formal commitment to the organization."
"For the moral support of being identified and included in the anthroposophical community."