The Centre for Spiritual Living celebrated its 15th anniversary since opening up in its original location on Quadra Island. The centre is now located on Dogwood Street in Campbell River.

Spiritual leader speaks at 15th anniversary celebration of Campbell River Centre for Spiritual Living

When Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon found himself paddling for his life on a harrowing kayak trip between the Broken Islands, he knew there were only two things he could rely on: his compass and his map.

Gordon spellbound an audience of 50 members of the Centre for Spiritual Living Campbell River Friday as he revealed how this idyllic trip turned to terror when fog rose up and he, along with his then 16-year-old daughter and three other family members realized they were in trouble.

“You couldn’t see your hand in front of you. It was a terrifying feeling,” he said. “And if you gave up, you couldn’t turn around and go back. You had to keep the pathway, and you had to keep turning to things that you could trust – our chart, and our compass – in order to see where we were going.”

Gordon is the Spiritual Leader of Centres for Spiritual Living, which has more than 400 communities around the globe. He was here to celebrate and acknowledge the 15 years since his student, Spiritual Director Rev. Jill Brocklehurst-Booth, founded the local centre on Quadra Island.

Gordon used the kayak trip to illustrate how we can choose to navigate difficult situations in our lives, including the current climate of violence, environmental uncertainty, and political upheaval.

“There comes a time that you can’t see the beach that you’re leaving, and you can’t see where you’re heading either,” he told the audience. And as the swells came up, the three kayaks struggled to stay aright. His sister was in a single-man kayak, without anyone to help paddle.

Gordon said he could hear her cries that she couldn’t do it. Her husband followed her voice and turned his kayak around, as did Gordon, and they tied their kayaks together, finally paddling to safety.

“We all know people like that, and we can’t abandon them, and we can’t afford to stop. We manage it through the use of the sangha – the spiritual community that comes together when we are lost in the fog,” he said.

Gordon said his compass is his faith, and the work is to keep paddling despite appearances, so we can get to the other side.

“The world right now, with all the injustice, the inadequacy, the violence – we are between islands. We are in a fog,” he said. “I allow myself to do the work, and my work is to keep paddling.”

Gordon thanked Brocklehurst-Booth for being among those who keep paddling, who provides a vessel that helps others get to shore.

Marilyn McPhee is one of those people. A Quadra Island resident, she’s been coming since the beginning.

“I remember having the realization that being happy is a choice, and once I chose to be happy it just opened everything up,” she said. “Today, I’m actually creating the life that I choose. I’m doing my life’s work because of this teaching. I live where I live, because of this teaching. I am filled up and overjoyed with beautiful people in my life because of this teaching.”

Gordon co-pastors the Kelowna Centre for Spiritual Living along with his wife, Rev. Dr. Deborah Gordon. She shared how Brocklehurst-Booth also underwent her own transformation, changing from a “sometimes unhappy” rebellious single-parent into the happily married successful spiritual director she is today, having helped hundreds of people over the years.

“I’ve known her as someone willing to do what it takes to grow personally and manifest a community of her dreams,” Gordon said. “She sees her stuff, owns her stuff, clears her stuff, and then imparts that same gift to you.”

Brocklehurst-Booth thanked her teachers for the knowledge they shared with her, and in a brief ceremony used a rose crystal to remind everyone that its refracted light symbolizes the diversity of light that each person is, and it is this light within that carries everyone through the fog of life.

“You created this rainbow of activity that is here today,” she said. “We can’t plan this. And yet here it is.”

Just Posted

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Limits on chinook sport fishing to cause economic ripple effect in Campbell River

DFO says policy needed to prevent collapse of wild stocks, but concerns raised about economic impact

Clothesline Project in Campbell River is a choir of voices raised against abuse

‘It brings up a lot of emotions for people and starts the conversation about violence against women’

Fisheries Department announces conservation measures to protect chinook in B.C.

Urgent protection measures include closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stock

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

TSB issues two safety recommendations in probe of fatal B.C. train derailment

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

Vancouver Island cat jumps from fourth floor to escape fire

Blueberry was missing after the fire but has been found

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Short-circuit likely caused Notre Dame fire: police official

Investigators made an initial assessment of the cathedral but can’t yet search charred interior

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Contaminated soil to stay at contentious Shawnigan Lake site?

Reaction: “The community would lose their minds if this plan proceeds.”

Most Read