Student 1= “We all have obsessions and enthusiasms, but ‘passion’? Something I could not live without? I am not sure if I have ever been stirred to that.”

Student 2= “The word ‘passion’ to me is deep, personal, meaningful, and powerful.”

Student 3= “Inside, passion can make you warm, overwhelmed, excited– and bring you to the brink of tears.”

A new friend — a fellow lover of duende [deep song] in Flamenco music — says that in Spanish, it is more accurate to speak not of the noun ‘passion’, but of the verb ‘passioning’; and then he added that it also has the suggestion of an inspiration outside and other to us which seizes hold of us powerfully, rather than something we choose or that just wells up from within, thus ‘impassioned.’

In its truest, passion is self-giving for the sake of what is most at stake; thus we are impassioned to forget self and finally to transcend self, to be staked to the world for love.

Our passioning is the process of self-giving for what we love.

First Person= “The passion session brought me to life.. I learned about myself, but instead of being disheartened, I was inspired. The exercise we did stopped me in my tracks and was a breath taking moment. Once I started talking about what I am passionate about, I shocked myself at just how passionate I was, on a much deeper level than I had at first considered. While I was talking I could feel my passion making me tingle and bringing tears to my eyes. It was amazing that something so simple could affect me this way. Yet in spite of this what impacted on me the most was seeing other people witnessing my passion on the same level as me, and connecting with them on that level when they revealed their passion. I don’t know what this connection is, but it comes over as a shared journey through some difficult but gratifying level of existence that mostly we ignore. Without passion, life becomes superficial and meaningless.

Second Person= “The fifth week provided a huge learning curve for me. Since a young age I have learned to distance myself from what affects me, by being in control of the affects. At this point I received a huge awakening as to the value of and human need for passion. Through the task, I not only discovered just how deep the passion was that I kept locked up inside me, but I was also shown the benefit of sharing passion; not only how it impacts on you, but can lift a person and initiate a deeper connection with other people, not on a surface level. I witnessed this benefit first hand; as I was speaking and the passion that mattered for my life flowed in me, I started to shake slightly and my voice became very affected. Similarly, when I finished talking, one of the group members spoke of how she had been tingling when I was speaking to her. This was strange for us, as I had a similar sensation when she had spoken. I have really struggled with how best to explain what it was like to know someone else had understood and experienced the meaning from my speech. It was reassuring to realise somebody else was on the other end of it and being moved in the same way you were. It sounds over the top, but it really was breath taking.

Third Person= “For this session we were required to reveal our passion. It was greatly honouring and touching to have someone expose what was most treasured and precious to them. It spoke of trust, and respect, and something else so deep that I have no name or description for it. I only knew that I was, and still am, touched on another dimension which has given me a new regard for them as persons.