FEEDBACK on the Contemplative Network 2018 SURVEY: Overview

We wish to express our gratitude to the 93 network members who completed the online survey late last year. You represent about 20% of the total number of people on our database and spread right throughout . Responses came from people in many parts of New Zealand, urban and rural, as well as from Australia.

We have been doing preliminary survey analysis since November, 2018 and then spent 2.5 days together as a Coordinating Group in February - sitting with your expressed desires, yearnings, and generous offerings. Our purpose is to discern next steps for CNA. We have been deeply moved by your expressions of gratitude for the offerings to date of the Network, as well as the clear desires expressed to deepen our relationships with one another and our contemplative work in this land.

We acknowledge that we are growing and maturing as a network, which is reflected by the fact that people are ready to do the work in their own areas and more widely. There is an expressed need for teaching and practice at an ‘introductory’ level, as well as teaching and practice for those people with a long-established contemplative practice. Many individuals who responded are already teaching or are willing to be teachers.

The key themes coming from those who responded to the survey are:

  • A keenness to be linked with one another locally, through local practice groups (ideally face-to-face but also online)
  • A desire for retreats / wisdom schools to be offered by NZ teachers, supplemented by intermittent retreats / wisdom offered by international teachers;
  • Some of you are already taking leadership locally, by holding the post for practice groups, and many more of you are willing to do so for a range of contemplative offerings;
  • Some of you are seeking to be linked into local practice groups for the first time;
  • There is a strong desire expressed to broaden and deepen in current practice, through doing short courses and creative contemplative workshops;
  • A strong affirmation for expressing the spirit and people of this land in diverse ways.

Here are the actions were are undertaking, in response:

  1. We have established a key contact person in many parts of New Zealand. Thank-you to those people who have agreed! An article about CNA contact people is here.
  2. Over the next year, we will be inviting the creation of ‘circle groups’ to link members who have expressed a shared interest in a particular avenue of contemplative practice.
  3. We are in the process of developing templates for use by members (e.g. for learning or teaching centering prayer, for organising a one-day contemplative workshop, for organising a short contemplative retreat). These templates can then be adapted for your own use, in your local situation. The templates will be made available on the CNA website. We’ll keep you posted!
  4. In the survey we noticed many people with the skills to teach creative arts contemplatively as well as reasonable interest in creative contemplative practice for the Network as a whole. We are in the very early stages of planning a retreat focusing on sharing and practicing creative contemplative practices, to be held at Tauhara Retreat Centre (Taupo) in October 2020. We’ll be looking for a coordinating group for this retreat, so please contact us if you’re interested in helping with planning.

We are working towards posting a more detailed summary of the survey results, by each question, on our website soon. We’ll let you know when it’s available.

Posted on 06/05/2019 by Pat Neuwalt