Programs for Children
Thomas Berry grew up in the western part of Greensboro, North Carolina, which he always referred to as the foothills of North Carolina. In his book, The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future, Thomas recalls a “moment of grace” in his childhood:
“At the time I was eleven years old. My family was moving from a more settled part of a small southern town out to the edge of town where the new house was being built. The house, not yet finished, was situated on a slight incline. Down below was a small creek and there across the creek was a meadow. It was an early afternoon in late May when I first wandered down the incline, crossed the creek, and looked out over the scene. The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass. A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my thinking at a more profound level than almost any other experience I can remember. It was not only the lilies. It was the singing of crickets and the woodlands in the distance and the clouds in a clear sky...”
In this “moment of grace,” Thomas entered an inner place of belonging where he was at one with the universe – a place that brings with it a knowing that life is meaningful and whole.
The Center’s programs for children are intended to provide today’s children with their own “Meadow Across the Creek” moments that can serve as touchstones for their lives.
Center programs are based in a threefold practice of Being, Beholding and Belonging:
- Being: bringing ourselves into stillness, quieting the chatter of our own minds
- Beholding: engaging in practices that bring us into relationship with the natural world
- Belonging: feeling a sense of oneness with the source of our own being
Through these practices, a feeling of connection to all living things arises within the children. New eyes and ears awaken. The selfhood of the child comes into being within the creative heart of the universe. Words of peace make themselves heard. Seeds of service to the world are sown.