In Damanhur, the World Summit on Birth was held on May 5 – 9, 2010, with the participation of people from 16 different countries: midwives and doctors, healers and artists, coming together to share experiences and cultural perspectives around childbirth, building a unified movement to create world of peace through the sacred act of birth.
During the five days of the Summit, there were sessions dedicated to: exploring birth in the world, getting glimpses of child birthing conditions in Africa, Asia, Australia, America and Europe, delving into the sacredness and ritual of birth, creating a Spiritual School for the Art of Birth, and defining the role of the doula. Workshops were presented on a wide range of themes: from yoga to facilitate childbirth, to the importance of the placenta, to the psychology and sexuality of birth. Damanhurians shared about the traditions and practices around childbirth and education at Damanhur. An international commission was formed to define objectives and build bridges of cooperation in this area of work.
The speakers and workshop leaders of the Summit included: Ibu Robin Lim, Rev. Amanda Edwards, Antonella Marchi, Chiara Sozzi, Clara Scropetta, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Elsa Del Bo, Fiorella Rustici, Faye Read, Gino Soldera, Hanna Ojus, Jeanice Barcelo, Julie Gerland, Maria Pia Pandolfo, Marianne Littlejohn, Marta Campiotti, Stephanie Dawn, Tiziana Valpiana, Vitor Varela, and Damanhurians: Daina Albicocca, Farfalla Vitalba, Formichiere Carota, Giancarlo Fiorucci, Iride Pistacchio, Orango Riso and Wallaby Pulsatilla.The atmosphere was increasingly infused with nurturing feminine energies. Participants honored the elements and made sacred circles of connectedness. Some offered tearful testimonies of gratitude for the reawakening of sensitive and spiritual aspects of themselves that had been overshadowed by everyday life and institutional contexts. Reflections from some of the participants.
The collaboration continues with developing the structure and curriculum for the Spiritual School for the Art of Birth, and furthering the international commission.