Fostering the life of the soul
Bringing an ethos of the highest possible regard for human autonomy, we believe that lasting and life changing bridges can be built to from one human being to another through fostering the emergence of the true Self within the life of the Soul.
The Oasis and Building Bridges models, derive their content and modular form from the ‘Foundation Stone Meditation’, given by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, to the members of the newly created Anthroposophical Society. The Foundation Stone Meditation describes a triad of spiritual capacities, and forms an archetype for the development of the organisation’s work: Spirit-Recalling (past), Spirit-Mindfulness (present) and Spirit-Beholding (future).
Melanie Taylor, founder of Oasis, Elysia Health
Melanie grew up in England in the wilds of Cornwall and rural Gloucestershire, later moving to the foothills of the French Pyrenees with her artist family, where they founded an arts studio and pottery.
Initially training as an artist and teacher, Melanie moved to Kent in 1980 where she started her own family and did further training to become a Therapeutic Counsellor. In 1997 on a visit to Park Attwood Clinic and while recovering from a serious illness, the seeds for Melanie were sown for developing Oasis groups firstly in 1998 by founding retreats known as Building Bridges. These highlighted the spiritual significance of illness in our time and became havens of healing and community building, where people could come and discover their inner creativity and spiritual resources.
This was a significant moment in my own life, a destiny moment, a health crisis, encountering anthroposophic medicine and Park Attwood Clinic, meeting others on a healing journey of discovery and personal karma recognition.
In 1999 Melanie joined the therapeutic team at the Blackthorn Medical Centre in Maidstone as a counsellor, where she and Bons Voors were asked by Dr David McGavin to start a support group for cancer patients. Bons brought her considerable knowledge of human biography and Melanie her work with Building Bridges on the spiritual significance of illness. The name ‘Oasis’ came from one of the first participants of the Maidstone group, Caroline Saunders who, running down the stairs one sleepless night, stopping half way down and whispered to the sleeping household, ‘I know what we must call this group. It is Oasis!’ She told us the very next morning! What better name could describe this place on the journey where you could meet fellow travellers, drink from the well, find nourishment and shade under the trees before moving on replenished]? In their first meetings Melanie and Bons used to take an umbrella and put it up in the hall where they worked, as a symbol of the Oasis, rain or shine, Summer or Winter, heat or cold. They ran Oasis together at Maidstone from January 2001 until the Summer of 2003.
Melanie then moved to the West Midlands and renewed her friendship with Karin Jarman whom she had met on her pilgrimage in 2001. Melanie and Karin developed and co-facilitated the Oasis project in Stroud at St Luke’s Medical Centre and the first Oasis group began there on April 19th 2004. They focussed their work there on the inner and outer journey. Karin’s pilgrimage and Melanie’s health crisis had given them deep insight into the relationship between these two paths of healing which they developed through art and biography. The Foundation Stone Meditation for both was a significant guide to their work.
After starting a new Oasis group at Park Attwood Clinic, Worcestershire on 27th April 2006, at the invitation of Dr Maurice Orange, that year Melanie reluctantly but gratefully handed her Stroud Oasis work over to Pauline Marksteiner who thereafter co-facilitated the groups with Karin Jarman.
The group begun at Park Attwood Clinic ran for a further three years, first co-facilitated with the Rev. Pearl Goodwin and later on with Lucy Trevitt before the Clinic officially closed in 2009.
In 2008 Melanie was invited to develop trainings for health care practitioners to learn more about the Oasis method. The first training began in 2009, completing in 2010 with 17 graduates and a second began in 2011 successfully completing in 2012 with 15 graduates. The faculty consisted of Dr James Dyson, Lucy Trevitt and Melanie with adjunct faculty, Anne Welsh and Karin Jarman. Several graduates from these trainings went on to found new Oasis Groups in Aberdeen, Devon and Hereford. Lindsey Garner guides the flourishing Oasis work in Hereford with three colleagues.
On 23rd July 2010 Park Attwood Clinic was finally sold after 30 years of profound, excellent anthroposophic medical and therapeutic work.
Having worked hard to try to save the Clinic, Melanie and close colleague and social entrepreneur, Sebastian Parsons, co-founded the Elysia Therapeutic Centre in 2012 in the heart of Stourbridge with a group of partners where not surprisingly Oasis sprung up again. Here Oasis is co-facilitated by Melanie and Laura Ridolfi, a Therapeutic Art Practitioner.
Melanie finds that a lot of her inspiration comes to her through music, being in dialogue with nature, in painting and with her creative, musical and entrepreneurial family of 3 grown up children and 6 grandchildren. She has one sister, Penny Taylor, who is a novelist and writer.
Melanie is very committed to working with the relationship between the inner and outer journey. She feels passionate about helping people discover their creative potential through working with their biography as a narrative and in art, using these as valuable tools for finding health and wholeness out of their own inner resources