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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Through the gates of loving inquiry : where the heart opens into relationship Shira, Ahava


I am an artist, arts-based researcher and healthy relationships educator. This dissertation documents my engagement in the creative and contemplative research practice of Loving Inquiry while living at my home on Butterstone Farm. After many years of teaching about healthy relationships in the classroom, and writing poetry and essays about my experience of relationships with people (Shira, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009), I moved to the farm and discovered a new place of learning. Walking through the gates on the farm is a journey of encounter, marked with a tone of sacred possibility. Attending to the ongoing sensual, visual experience of opening and closing the gates, I attend to the relationship between self and other. Through the arts-based research practices of poetry, narrative and photography, I learn to pause, attend, breathe in and open my heart. Sounds, smells, visual cues, sensations as well as images, metaphors and linguistic resonances all invite me into connection. Through the Gates of Loving Inquiry communicates a transformative vision of loving relationship as an ongoing artful and heartful practice of attending to the generative and joyful possibilities of moment to moment engagement with self, other and the world. There is always another gate to open, another opportunity for the heart to open into relationship.

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