To be in the Red Tent, even if only once, is to absorb an atmosphere of safety, daring, community, space and time to just be, and invitation to examine the truth of your life and feelings. My own actual Red Tent experience is limited, but I have been so captivated by this atmosphere that I have nonetheless stepped wholeheartedly into the movement.
It is because of this that I have been thinking about how Red Tent consciousness may be more than just something that exists during a once a month meeting. What gets carried forth when the women walk out into the night? How do women who do not live close to a Red Tent and are not yet able to create one connect to this movement?
Is it possible to live Red Tent consciousness in such a way that it becomes inseparable from the activities and thoughts of every day?
I believe that symbolic action, intentional space, and sacred objects help to change and shift consciousness. If you want to learn more about a particular quality or aspect of life, surround yourself with what evokes that quality and in so doing enter into dialogue with it.
Red Tent, Palo Alto, CA. Photographed by Lynette Penick of URMyArt photography.
For me, it was the level of authenticity in the Red Tent that most drew me in. I feel an excitement: here is a place where I can talk about things I thought I had to live alone with. I associate this excitement with the Red Tent as a place I can go to be immersed in this authenticity. But I also know that I can surround myself with this quality in my daily life.
What images, objects, words, quotes, etc. genuinely hold for me the same quality of authenticity that I sense in the Red Tent? I can collect these things in a place I visit often and that is in some way set aside from the rest of my living space. Perhaps I will choose to carry some of these reminders with me on a regular basis.
I pay attention to what happens next, even if it’s not what I expected. I apprentice myself to authenticity. I honor it. I begin to live and radiate it not as an abstract concept but as a felt reality that is in sync with the ways in which I first perceived it.
When you first heard of the Red Tent, what drew you in? What sparked your continued engagement? Working with these qualities, you can start to build your internal Red Tent space. Think of it like a temple inside you that you carry with you wherever you go.
I believe our experience is strengthened when we know that not only is the Red Tent what happens when we gather, but also what happens when we each become living Red Tent Temple space.