Fill your spirit, nurture your soul, and connect with the divine. The Lynn Valley United Church has issued an open invitation to the community to be part of a “soul spa” on Monday, September 16, from 7 to 9 pm at the church.
Shauna Grinke, a church member, says the idea is to offer a spiritual respite for those who may not have a regular faith practice. The soul spa is a spiritual getaway, the same way people go for a relaxing massage, or a walk in the woods, or an evening with friends. Only here the idea is to ground yourself to feel the divine in your body and mind, however you may define the divine to be.
“The idea is to feel a deep sense of calm and peace and to feel a connection with others. It enables us to deal with the messiness of life in the same way that yoga or a walk in the nature does,” she says.
The soul spa offers 20 stations where you can meditate, reflect, and pray along with others. Guests will be offered warm, scented towels on arrival, after which they gather in a circle and check in with their name. What follows is a two-hour spiritual journey that includes walking meditation, reiki, energy healing and other activities that help you centre and seek the divine.
There is nothing formal about the event, Grinke says. “We have 20 spiritual stations but it is a very much a self-guided journey into whatever is calling you.”
At one of the stations, you will have Grinke offering a healing touch based on the Healing Pathway program, a Christian practice that enables energy healing. Another friend of Grinke will be offering reiki at another station. Participants can also write a journal or card to someone to express their gratitude.
There will be several stations that allow for movement prayer and those who want to meditate can do so with a number of self-directed pilgrim cards that will have ideas to meditate on. There will be a poetry station, and a station to listen to and rest in God for a more personal reflection in a sacred space. There is also a water station where people can reflect on the importance of water and meditate on its preciousness.
A 20-minute walking meditation in a labyrinth in the church allows people to go on a brief self-guided spiritual journey.
New mom Emily Zuidema took part in one such soul spa in August. “The church was lit by candles with soft music playing. It was so calming and centering. Ollie (eight-week-old infant) was alert and calm the whole time. We walked the labyrinth together and looked at the candles, and at the end he looked at each person as they shared the moment that stood out for them, and it seemed like he really listened,” she said.
The soul spa was a “truly magical and soulful evening” for businessman Neil Fancourt. “I feel I am still glowing today from my “spa treatments”, and so look forward to my next appointment.”
The soul space is a by-donation event. Doors open at 6:45 pm and people are welcome to stay and share their experience after 9 pm. The spa will be offered the third Monday of every month. Everyone is invited, irrespective of your gender, sexual orientation or faith.
“We are inclusive and welcoming because having a rich spiritual practice is open for the wellness of the community,” Grinke says.