Imagine a women’s gathering that is a mix of an Indian Temple ceremony with ecstatically dancing women fully surrendered in devotion, a Bedouin oasis in the desert with fresh figs, cooing doves and huge marble tubs where the women bathe and scrub each other clean, a contemporary meditation/inquiry group with practices guiding us into the vastness of our true nature, and an African grieving ritual where the painful parts of our lives are honored, danced and celebrated. Now you begin to get a taste of the kind of feminine space we rest into in Women’s Temple.
In Temple, we dive deeply into practices that open us to the inherent source of vast wisdom within. We connect with the bliss of devotion and with the truth in our hearts. We align with the dignity and grace of the feminine warrior; we touch infinite compassion, silence and beauty beyond measure. We meet beyond the personal, from the feminine essence.
That which we are longing for is who we already are ~ this insight is the basis for our spiritual exploration in Women’s Temple. Our practice is not towards a goal of attainment in the future; it is a process of melting, of unraveling the wisdom and beauty already inherent in each woman. There is no more powerful place to do that than in a circle of conscious women.
Instead of enforcing the status quo by focusing on our problems and personal shortcomings, Temple practices connect us with truth beyond our fears and limited self images. From this deeper place, we can navigate our lives with Presence and inner guidance, instead of exhausting ourselves in trying to be leaders from a tense, competitive and disconnected state of mind.
In order to live and embody feminine brilliance, for real, we are creating a conscious women’s culture which can awaken and nourish us in the deepest sense. We remind each other of who we are, in an on going way.
Women’s Temple is not a therapy or a support group. It is a space where we come to mirror, celebrate and empower each other. A space where we can drop our masks and let the beauty of our authentic face be seen in all its glory and pain, passion and vulnerability.
Women’s Temple is based upon being present in the body, so a lot of the practices are interactive and include movement, as well as respectful touch. The feminine touch has an inviting quality to it that softens, opens, and invites deeper presence into our bodies. All the numb and cold places, the unmet corners of our body can be visited with gentle awareness as we cultivate a greater capacity to allow feelings as energy to flow through our bodies. This part of the practice is most women’s favorite part.
The Origins of Women’s Temple
Women’s Temple was founded in 2005 by Chameli Ardagh and Helena Montelius in Nevada City, California, when they gathered together to explore a new form of women’s circle less based in the personal, and more in connecting to the essence of the divine feminine. The Nevada City Women’s Temple Group in California is still active 12 years later, meeting every Monday night.