Spiritual advocate finds inspiration in the 'ordinary'

THE post boxes along Ballarat streets “enchanted” renowned spiritual advocate Esther de Waal when she arrived in town this week.

“I have a photo collection of post boxes,” Ms de Waal said.

“You’ve never noticed them much? This fits in with what my talks are about, ‘It might be a good thing to open one’s eyes and see’.

“See things with fresh eyes and enjoy them. Not take anything for granted.”

Ms de Waal’s writings on wonder, attention and awareness has established her as a world leading advocate on spirituality and balance in a busy world.

And Ballarat, in particular, intrigues the Welsh-based Ms de Waal, a passionate history buff.

She could hardly wait to explore the city’s industrial legacy, Victorian architecture and gold mines.

Ms de Waal is guest of the Ballarat Anglican Diocese and will lead open discussions for people of all faiths and traditions at the Anglican Cathedral of Christ the King in Lydiard Street South last night.

Her guidance for a balanced life draws on Benedictine and Celtic traditions, drawing on life experience.

Ms de Waal picked up the practical Benedictine rule while living in a 13th century monastic house when husband Victor was Dean of Canterbury (1976-86) and rich Celtic religion from life on the edge of Wales.