Spirituality

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From little things big things grow, from big things little things manifest: An indigenous human ecology discussing issues of conflict, peace and relational sustainability 2012

This essay reflects on synergies between macro cultural and philosophical aesthetics or values and practical everyday social processes; namely, between a North American Aboriginal cosmology as expressed in Mi’kmaq ceremonial practice and related epistemological constructs that sustain social wellbeing and the everyday encouragement of conflict prevention and resolution through practices based in principles of peace and balance. These principles are rooted in ancient and contemporary spirituality and cultural practices. From a narrative and Indigenous standpoint method, the essay suggests that one of the essential components of nurturing peaceful relations in any social context is supporting beliefs and values that enable sustainability within complex human ecologies. These reflections draw from an Indigenous integrative and holistic model of eco-psycho-social-spiritual methods for maintaining right relationships within human and natural systems.

Letter to the Dalai Lama from Dr Bowers 2007

Microsoft Word – Place_Artistessay_final5Jan10.doc

PLACE: Beyond an Indigenous critical analysis of fine art practice, discourse and culture and the contested nature of minority identity in the mainstream – Articulating an Indigenous aesthetic

This essay arises from reflection on a recent exhibition hosted by the Cape Breton University Art Gallery in which the author’s paintings as a Canadian Indigenous visual artist were brought together with the works of two Australian visual artists, Dwayne Wannamarra Wyndier Kennedy and Elder Grace Kennedy. These works came together in “PLACE: Three artists. Two countries. One heart. – Australian and Canadian Indigenous paintings.” In an essay reflecting on the writings of Indigenous curators, artists and scholars this narrative provides another layer of analysis to augment and complement the exhibition. The intention of this essay is to offer a critical analysis on the wider contexts in which the exhibition of PLACE is constructed, and to situate the exhibition in a socio-political and cultural landscape by foregrounding the problematic of ‘post-colonial’ practices, discourses and cultures. By critiquing the mono- linguistic and cultural flatland of mainstream scholarly and arts discourse and practice, the essay challenges mainstream spaces to open up to become truly public and generative. The essay then moves into a more generative and positive space through articulating an Indigenous aesthetic based on a reflective praxis undertaken during the exhibition of PLACE.

A Psychotherapist’s Response to Lumen Fidei 2013

In response to Pope Francis encyclical letter to the faithful of the Roman Catholic world that was published during June 2013, Dr Randolph Bowers brings over thirty years of community based practice, reflection, and advanced studies to this interfaith and inter-religious dialogue. His response to +Francis provides insight for Catholics, non-Catholics, and secular people, while casting notions of faith into a broad psychological perspective that relies on attachment and developmental theories, as well as Indigenous perspectives. Written for the layperson, Light of Faith by Dr Bowers is an accessible, enlightening, and provocative reflection on contemporary social, political, and spiritual issues. Of tremendous value to counselling psychotherapists, and to clients who wish to explore issues and questions of faith, this document is a primer that may encourage people with their therapeutic pathwork.

Shieldwolf and the Shadow: Entering the Place of Transformation – A Mi’kmaq and Celtic Perspective on Metaphor and Therapy 2005

This paper speaks from a poetic voice and briefly discusses the untamed nature of metaphor and narrative. Then the story is shared. The tale relates to how healing of identity, after eons of raCism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of social isolation and internalised sorrow, reqUires deep abiding patience. Situated in transpersonal or spiritual space, the story suggests how Indigenous narrative crosses thresholds between realiry and fiction. These are united in an “ontopoetics” of soul, a uniquely postmodern Indigenous sensibiliry that is also nothing terribly new. The story of Shieldwolf and the Shadow is a contemporary Indigenous tale of the place where transformation is undertaken, without fear, and with every intention that life itself will change beyond our reckoning. It may be possible that past bloodlines can be cleansed and our future restored to justice and peace – at least in some personal and contingent way. What we see in contemporary story is a potential for transformation that has eluded us for generations, and this is an echo of the wisdom of our elders.