Archive for November, 2007

This concept of Choice

Monday, November 26th, 2007
“I was almost blinded by it – this concept of Choice –
that on Earth I could have left this place I had known…
that I could have taken any day and made my life different…chosen another way…
that I could have gone anywhere I wanted to.
And I wondered then, was it the same in Heaven as on Earth?
Was what I had felt was missing in Heaven the wanderlust that came from letting go?
I realized then that what I had been doing by watching Earth was taking the time
to fall in love – in love with the sort of helplessness, not of death, but of being alive –
to feel as you go, groping in corners and opening your arms to light –
and I realize now that all of it, everywhere, is about navigating the unknown.”
“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

Great rivers of gratitude

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Worthwhile reading and remembering!!!

Your body loves gratitude! Not a superficial “oh gee, thanks” but a deep, heart-connected appreciation that carries love and acceptance from a place of higher consciousness and well-being.

Your body loves it because it washes away the biochemistry of stress and insufficiency and replaces it with the alchemy of flow and emotional warmth. The resonance from gratefulness warms both the giver and receiver; it generates a field of appreciation sometimes referred to as limbic resonance. In the field of appreciation, we create a healing and reviving antidote to psycho-toxins such as “I don’t have time,” “I don’t have enough,” or “I am drained.”

...creating magic

Each trickle of gratitude blesses us with its affirmation that we have all we need in consciousness itself to gather our strength and honor life. Each stream of gratitude clears out the corrosive toxins of stress and anxiety in your body and becomes a gift to yourself and to others.

Now visualize great rivers of gratitude coming together as we turn collectively to face the hour in which we live. “With all of its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world,” wrote Max Ehrmann. Even in the face of war, violence, and severe climate imbalance, Christopher Fry declared, “Thank God that our time is now, when wrong comes up to meet us everywhere.” We can be grateful that we are here in this time of earth challenges with an unquenchable sense of hope and with a steadfast belief in our human capacity to heal, to renew and even to go beyond what seemed our most persistent limitations.

So I say let the gratitude flow. We are ready for the challenges that exist now and that lie ahead. Let these great rivers of our deepest intention flow towards a polarized and distracted world and cleanse it with the power of love. We come from all races, all creeds, all socio-political backgrounds with one unifying feeling of gratitude for life, for consciousness, and for a new evolutionary path forward. We come with gratitude for every being that came before us. We have been given an epic moment in the journey of life on earth to bring our greatest scientific knowledge together with our deepest spiritual insight to change the course of history. If you ever thought you were insignificant, consider how you are now needed in this great shift. And be grateful that you were given such a role and such a time to live in.

Thank you, thank you for what each one of you does to step up and to raise the consciousness of the citizens of this world. Thank you for feeding these great rivers, even in the face of wounding and denial. Thank you for being you.

In gratitude,

James O’Dea, President
Institute of Noetic Sciences

Harvest day

Friday, November 16th, 2007

In this last day we are coming to the deep harvest. Ravi started right after breakfast with doing interviews with most of us. He prepared with Rowan some questions going from the very broad like What is Art of Hosting? and What is the U-process? to more and more concrete questions about this specific gathering in this special, specific place.

Conscious Kitchen

Another Open Space session that was posted (and also happened) was about the Conscious Kitchen. This is a way to bring the Living Wholeness – what is really at the heart of Axladitsa – into practice, both on a day-to-day level and in consciousness about every aspect of our food, our bodies, the energy it takes, the waste that is involved etc. Purpose in the long run is to become totally self-sufficient with zero waste. Of course, this will take time, but it is good to be aware of the overall goal.

Other sessions were posted in the morning, but because of the video harvest and a neighbor friend that came to cook with us – sharing one of the Greek recipes – they never started. By five we finally could gather for the closing circle. This was also video taped, but I want to give a little reflection here.

We started with the sound of the Tibetan bowl. Then Ravi and Rowan – who had been ‘the witness’ we could talk to, instead talking to the camera – gave some reflections of all the stories and answers they heard during the day. They both shared that they heard the same story through the many voices. Ravi made the link between the three streambeds, which are on the land, and the three – Maria, Sarah and the land – that makes the readiness here!

The interviewees shared the impact it had to voice the learnings before the camera. It challenged and invited us to become clear and conscious about our ideas. “That machine creates clarity!” And the position of Rowan added to that – witnessing our learnings to the next level.

Wisdom from nature

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Third day of our gathering. We started our circle after breakfast in the Skyspace, the beautiful round shaped structure, build higher up than the house and the kitchen. Maria invited us to pass around an invisible ball of clay and shape it into a form that would tell the others about how we feel right now. It was fun!

We now had ‘a leg’ that grew out of our conversations: the Art of Hosting meaningful places. We really mean ‘places’ and not ‘spaces’, because we want to make clear that it is related to a physical place. Some people now had some clarity, others were confused. Of course, through all these conversations, our individual search for meaning and clarity was also going on.

So we decided to let nature speak to us, to sense into a deeper layer of ourselves and have a walk to the well, sit there for some time quietly, then walk to the highest point on the land and each finding our own spot there. The question we took as our guide on this walk was: What are we sensing that we are not aware of?

the power of the little stream

The first thing that really spoke to me was seeing how the water of the little stream had cut through the waterbed in one night, somewhere in October last year. It revealed the following sentence: “There is big power in the soft that is flowing.”, which repeated itself in my mind for some time. There is big power in the soft that is flowing. Indeed, the soft that is in flow can move a lot! It also reminded me of a poem that ends with the line: “In the end the soft powers will win.” Good to be reminded of that.

Coming to the well, with the poplar tree and the little open space where the little streams come together, we each found our own spot to sit and I started writing:

in the well

“The deep well next to the highest tree on the land, a symbol of connecting Spirit and Matter. Spirit reaching to consciousness, the deep layers of Matter trickling down to Source.

Can we hold the tension of creation? Can we hold the slowness of co-creation? The gentleness of ‘touch’ that is needed everywhere. Touching the food, touching the land, touching each other… can we keep the awareness of all the in-between spaces? Am I aware of the relation between this little insect in front of me and my self? And how we are related with all – all – all round and inside?

Can we love all and everything all the time?”

the poplar tree next to the well

The afternoon we spend on sharing our deep insights and messages from this walk and connecting with nature. It was incredibly deep, moving, inspiring and much more! It made us all aware how we all need this kind of knowing to really see, to sense, to listen, to really ‘know’. We videotaped this sharing and it will probably become available in a few weeks or months from now.

What I remember from it is that there was a sense of the masculine forces getting together, with a readiness to act; and on the other hand the letting go, which speaks more of the feminine quality. Combined together they can create!

Suddenly in this sharing I got the answer to one of the questions that was guiding us: What is the minimal, optimal structure of connecting? The minimal optimal is the natural!

Evening of the second day

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

The evening of the second day, at dinner it was tangible that something had happened; that we got some clarity together: the Art of Hosting Meaningful Spaces, as a diversification from the Art of Hosting meaningful conversations. A next level up on the spiral, but still very much connected to its roots. There was energy and laughter in the air…

We saw how a community is forming within a community. Which is after all a very natural step in evolution: making differences more clear – diversification – to be able to hold more complexity, or in other words, more wholeness.

Being the caller is really something different than being a host; we saw deeper into these differences. It is only the callers themselves who lived the experience who can really speak of it. Being a caller for a certain place takes a longer and different commitment than being a host, who can come and go.

greeting Mrs. Athina

The spaces we are holding in the learning centers, are the places where people and place can work together. Where there is place for conversations like this: “That tree is so happy that you all are harvesting it!” (said by Panaoiti’s mom when we were helping them with the olive harvest). Basically we are learning that we have to love the earth, the places we live in. Part of this learning has very, very deep roots. There can be much pressure around finances, but we take a stand in not let the land be prostituted.

Enough is enough!

When we gather in these places all aspects of life are welcomed; also the children. We invite this kind of softness in, even when it makes us vulnerable.

We are here to learn again the lineage and learn again about relationships; instead of ‘things’.

The Art of Hosting meaningful places

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

The conversation went on…
You will notice how the conversation ‘struggled’, until at a certain time we reached collective clarity on ‘The Art of Hosting Meaningful Spaces’, as a next level or a new branch in the overall Art of Hosting community. Here is most of what was said:

Nora planting...

* I’m holding a lot of resonance from the morning circle. We were touching into this heaviness… I feel called to speak… the strength of meaning is held outside… as if we are supposed to do the AoH in a certain way. Personally I am invited to step into hosting every moment! With real issues!
The AoH training is a doorway, and the Learning Centers is a new way. The community seems to value more the work in the world; but this is also the work! I don’t want to go into the judgment space. I live real emergence here. We are practicing the next level. The locations are inviting the integration. Hosting is huge! It is bigger than ‘hosting meaningful conversations’. If we don’t tend the fire, we are cold. If we don’t tend the food, we are hungry. It is in every moment. Learning Centers are a practice ground to send people to. For me it is a way of living. I want to find, to identify what is really going on here.
And there is something about the questions we each hold; they need to come to the front more.

* Here we have a good “f” product: the Art of Hosting; we have the best people, and the best places in Europe. Let’s start to walk, one step after the other! And yes, we don’t know where we are going!
How much are we really willing to put in? Are we scared?

* Are we feeding the wolf of fear? There is a difference in elder and steward. Who declares who is a steward or not?
A lot of consultants have taken the AoH training. Are they ready to deliver? Why are we crunching about the guru word?

* (To Maria and Sarah) You are now the elders of this place. Don’t look for others who are not here. Don’t wait for support from certain others. Be proud of what you do, and ask help from the ones who wants to offer. That’s the lesson we learned.

* Hierarchy – when it is good – it visualize who is most wise; something we have to pay respect to. Now hierarchy is mostly related with the one who gets the most money… How do we get rid of the burden… I think we need ‘to lift as a flock’… I’m asking for help here.

view left from the front door

* If this land (Axladitsa) is part of the community that we are all part of, then we can look deeper and support this place; as a learning lesson for myself too. If we talk about the not-present world, it doesn’t work. What is the gift here, beyond the AoH community? What are you missing here? What is here and now the significant question?

* The AoH training is not ‘wrong’; everything has its own place. One sentence was very strong for me: life as a metaphor; or life as itself. ‘Flow’ and the other AoH concepts stop to be only tools and metaphors. AoH is now becoming my life and now it has meaning and I can explain it to others. AoH is a tool and a framing for some people; Learning Centers is another doorway equally important. The AoH and my harvesting-gardening becomes integrated. Next year as I will be harvesting olives I will have learned a lot.

* The layers upon layers of AoH… this is a living learning center… it is a pallet that we are learning. AoH is upgrading to the next level; bridging the masculine and the feminine; and it are only the first steps! Keep inviting!

* In the Greek language – the indigenous people – the word ‘hieries’ means the ones who were committed and practice the mystery. The word hierarchy comes from that root. My personal purpose is to bring back the ‘mystery school’. I am a doorway holder. I am a ‘hiera’, I do it with reverence, … I am not “a door”, only a doorway holder. ‘Guru’ is an imported word, so I don’t use it. I do know what an elder is, it is the lineage holder; that watches and makes sure it is passed on.
AoH is only an element of that. I would love to talk about Axladitsa, the practice of receiving. How to you open and receive? Instead of: you ask and it then means you are weak. The underlying issue is: What are we really doing here? How do we do it in a capitalist context and still holding our integrity?
Now I am a guardian, not an elder yet. I will become that. I am a student of the land. I am fierce about protecting its pulse. This land and we are birthing something very important here. The friendship with our neighbor will grow, but we have to wait till the timing is right.
I did great work and have deep friendship with some of who are not here. My path is at a different angle, I had to work with that: to be a host of a place, buffing down my sharp edges.
The root of AoH is very strong. My deep desire is to look deeper into the connections between the learning centers.
Bob Ziegler asks the question: If the Learning Centers are as a mandala, what is the core quality of the different ones? Then we can see the wholeness of it all. Is there a structure that would help and support us all? What is the flow of income of this place?

the skyspace

* There is a song that sings about the different levels of love. The first is an attraction on a physical level. The second level is the sexual relationship. You could have it with different people. The third level is being, is living together. Few people still do it. This is the diamond in Axladitsa. The fourth is surrendering your self to one another. Hosting is about that level, in surrender to the field.

* We are now offering the Art of Hosting meaningful spaces – and not meaningful conversations alone. We will evolve this practice and train people in it etc. It is important that some people stand up as the masters of this. Hosting is like giving love to someone.

* My legs are trembling… we are speaking about the legs now!! The diversification is happening, the next level of the spiral, but still connected to the root.

* It is about hosting meaningful life!

* This is THE meaning! We have to be careful not to close in on the financial issue… money is just one of the energy forms. We really have to focus on making it bigger than one plus one plus one. We are dealing here with big matters.
I am one of two (part of a couple); I/we are asking for help. Let’s meet as much as possible in each other’s places and doing the things together. It brings out the best in people. Instead of talking, let’s do it!

* I’m wondering if the next thing we need to talk about: are there patterns in the learning centers to get it into the tangible… bringing in the patterns of the places.

* It would be really important to hear the story of the different places and what are the needs and the ideas. And just listen for the pattern and the learning’s. Can we sprinkle some water on the spider’s web?

* Isaac Mendelssohn talks about this fourth level: One thing that is specific in this pattern is the practice of offering. And he says: part of being human is the act of offering. Being able to speak where the need is, is making the offering possible.

* We have now seen the shape of the legs. It is good to close this circle, and maybe we come back to it…

Further conversations happened while others were preparing dinner…
later more conversations on the financial issue…
but too much from preconceived ideas…

Do: The Way

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

As we came back from the neighbor’s olive garden, the sun was still shining bright, so we gathered for the first time outside. Maria started with reading this:

Do: The Way

gate in the morning light

The Way, at the beginning, is obscure. Even the initiatory steps are wreathed in mist. The heights toward which the path leads apparently are closed within clouds, which seem, from a perspective below them, beyond penetration. And that is for the best, for to see too clearly what lies ahead would be altogether too intimidating. The sobering realizations come only in retrospect: the traveler on such a Way has left behind a familiar and comfortable place, he has entered a journey more challenging, more rewarding than ever he could have imagined at the start. Further along he comes to see that his Way is to a destination still utterly unfantomable yet intensely attractive to him.

It is not a physical transportation, this Way, though rare is the bugeisha who finds he can travel its length without leaving home. The Way is a journey of the mind and the spirit and, ultimately, the soul. The engineering of the Way is a contribution of the Taoists, those ancestral savants of China whose philosophy of the Tao – Do in Japanese – urged a life attuned to the currents of nature. Under the calligrapher’s brush, DO is written as a compound character. The stroke for “principal” or “main” are joined with those of the radical for “movement”. Hence, Do is an “important road”, a Way to follow in harmony and synchronization with the vicissitudes the universe provides, a path along which to discover for oneself the essentials of a worthwhile life.

In this sense, the traces of the Way are very old. It took form the first time an individual engaged in some activity with a consciousness beyond the utilitarian, past the restrictions of the ego. True, the Do may produce art. It may be of practical value. But the attainment of the Way is in the process. It is doing a thing not for the sake of doing it; it is doing a thing because the doing releases us from certain constraints of the limited self: narcissism, self-centeredness, preoccupation with the fears and worries and doubts that diminish us in daily life. The Way draws us into the domain of the potential self: self-realization, self-cultivation, and self-perception.

The Do is both singular and universal; it is open to all with the resolve and inclination to walk it. Those who do, however, take a variety of disciplines in approaching it, for the Do extrapolates from the specific to the general. Tea ceremony, flower arrangement, gardening – each is a route of the Way. The route chosen by the bugeisha is the martial Way. While the particular form the Do takes does not matter, the Do of the bugeisha bring shim into a most immediate confrontations with the elemental struggles of reality: life and death, pain and comfort, temporal matters and matters of the soul. The martial Way requires moral stamina along with visceral and emotional courage. It demands a social conscience as well as physical endurance. To be sure, each of these qualities will be tested on the journey. They may, as well, be purified and fortified in the process. But they must be present in the individual in some degree from the onset if he expects to journey very far.

Maria and Sarah

An individual embarking on the martial Way must be brave and virtuous. He must possess a sense of commitment and a sensitivity to the values of the past. In spite of having these laudable character traits, the would-be bugeisha will also have inner uncertainties, including a suspicion something is missing in his life, something vital. And so he sets off on a path to mysterious destinations. He does so in spite of observations by others that such a Way is naïve, outmoded, or idealistic. He goes because he knows others have gone before, because the unchanging direction of the Way attracts and calls to him. He goes because he is compelled. He has set out on a journey of a lifetime because he senses that, as the kanji for Do reveals, this road is the principal one for him. This Way is the one to lead him to a place very much worth the going.

Sword and Brush; The Spirit of the Martial Arts by Dave Lowry; Part One

Borders of identity…

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

This second day nobody stepped forward to be the facilitation team. I opened the circle with ringing the bell, and asking people to settle into the silence. Then I spoke about ‘listening to the middle’. Can we speak from Source, instead from our personality? Take the time so that you can speak from the unknown, the unformed inside yourself. Take the talking piece only when you feel the urge from deep within, and not for re-acting on what was said before by somebody else.

I give here the conversation more or less as how it was, without the names of who was speaking. (This might not be interesting for someone outside the AoH community…)

* How open is the space in the Art of Hosting community? What can be new patterns, or maybe beyond that?

* What if there is a structure, a hierarchy in the Art of Hosting that is holding it back? Do we need stewards, who wants them? There is fussiness about who are the stewards… maybe there is too much being held in order to keep its integrity… What needs to be held and what needs to let go?

no, woven from newspapers!

* I saw a cauldron – basket – container, a deep one; and the word ‘lineage’. I feel that at the heart of what we do is piecing back our lineage, stitching it together, stitch by stitch. It has to do with Europe; the ancient indigenous lineage. It was dis-connected from the land, and this spread all over the world, with capitalism and imperialism as its vehicles. What is it that we are stitching together? The Learning Centers are like the cauldron… the creating of these places, the sensing into what is going to happen here? This is part of the ancient practices.
If you have been to Tibet there you find a lineage that has not been broken. The Buddhist lineage is very intact; ours is not. Many ancient wise people were killed and many simple practices went with them. What is build in into the pattern of Art of Hosting has something about this stitching together, to do that in whatever way to manifest it together. It is a DNA-transmission thing. The dominant world still needs to know Who is the leader? Why do we need one person to be named, why can’t it be the community?
The lineage we stitch together is not the “one leader”, but the “all leader”. Learning Centers are the centers were that can be amplified, ‘baptized’… maybe I saw the font…

* I heard three things inside of me: the first was the fountain of love; it wants to come out in the things I am doing. The second …; the third: keeping the space open in my mind.

* What comes to me are two directions – movements. One is defining the borders of identity – the membrane… maybe that is what we are doing. The other one is opening up, letting come. Also something about speaking to the ghost – the elephants – there seems to be something unspoken. Maybe that is part of finding the identity… I think one of the ghosts I have to speak about is: not being quiet sure how I fit in here; having been only in one training… blocks me here… where is my ground? I see also the many possibilities in the AoH… it is just about being who we are…

* I am busy with the metaphor of olive harvest. We are shaking with the different branches… a little bit of confusion.
I don’t feel a hierarchy here in this circle… maybe it is outside this group… talking about something outside us, doesn’t speak to me… what about my personal leadership? the values I stand for?
The AoH is not a tree that has to be cut down, because it is just starting to grow – it needs to grow it’s second layer. What inspires me is Nature, and what we can learn from it… now it is dark inside, and the light is outside.

At that very moment the sun starts to come through the clouds, while it has been raining and a grey sky since the morning. Panaoiti, the Greek friend and neighbor calls that they are going to harvest some olives… we are almost ready to help him.

* I am at the edge of the AoH community. It was born out of the collective, and now some people get more jobs out of it… hierarchy?… Open Space has ‘elders’… What does ‘growing legs’ mean? More people… more trainings… more …??? Is something blocking this?

* Lots of stories and ideas while people were talking; but I wanted to speak from Source. What comes back is a grandmother story. She tells her grandson “There is a fight in my heart, grandson.” He then asks:” Who is fighting then in your heart?” “Two wolves are fighting in my heart.” “Who is going to win?” the grandson asks. “That depends on the whom I am feeding.”

* I am not here for Art of Hosting, for me it is about harvesting, about Learning Centers; about being here. AoH doesn’t define me. It is rich, useful and gives words to many things, but AoH is not the destination, but it is feeding us, as a way to go forwards. I want to visit the other centers and the other people… I feel it is right to be here, because something is happening…

* From the beginning of this conversation I had a lot of pain in my heart and it becomes heavier; and it is not only from me! I don’t want it to be ignored. We should do something with ‘the ghosts’, it is heavy and it is closing my heart… it is difficult. Maybe some kind of offering…

Judith and Lieven at lunch

Then we organized ourselves to help Panaoiti and his mom in harvesting the olives. We walked to the neighbor’s land, helped them a few hours, and then had a picnic lunch between the olive trees.

Start of the gathering

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Today was the official start of the Art of Hosting on ’growing legs’ for the AoH community. When we just drove back from the farmhouse to our little studios here in a local hotel here in Platania, the local fishing port, we could hardly imagine that this was just one day!

Total strangers shared some of their personal stories and we did all the other stuff that makes a good community: making and eating food together and doing some physical work together. We harvested the olives from the last seven trees. I will never complain any more, or wonder why olive oil is so expensive. If you want to understand make sure you know how they are harvested! For me it was fun to learn a new gardening art: how to use the long sticks with the least effort but with the maximum of result. And fun too to climb in these old trees, to be able to reach the highest branches. I loved it.

hands with talking piece

The check-in of this morning revealed how most of us, eleven participants, are ‘at the bottom of the U’; at a point in life where it is not so clear where to go, or when to move on. We joked about that this is why so many people didn’t make it to join us: they were probably sure about their lives and didn’t need to be here?!

Like in the Art of Hosting on Art of Hosting, in June in Belgium, we used the tarot cards after we returned from the physical work outside, and laid out a certain pattern that could inform us about the deeper meaning of our gathering.

At the center, at the heart, was Eight of Swords, reversed. It tells us about the letting go of any thoughts, realizing that we are not limited by them, as they are not the actual situation. “We don’t have to grow legs, we have to use them!”

it's beautiful fruit

North was Five of Wands, which tells us about: What’s present? What is visible to the world? What we show is the trying out, the creative energy. So maybe it tells about growing up, do something with what we already have?

What comes in our consciousness? The Night of Swords: about the personal level of this community. Showing the world what we stand for (values and principles) and taking action from there. The sword brings the clarity of mind.

What do we need to let go of (past)? Again swords: Seven of Swords: the nightmare of the perfectionist. The person is carrying already five swords, and can’t take the two others that are left. We related it to the many different ideas we had as we were envisioning this gathering and none of them came through. Maybe we have to look at what works and go with that.

Again more swords (Ten) came for the question: What is the near future? It spoke of letting go anything that pins us down. There is something that the world is ready for this resonance; not fighting the system, but show it to the world, because it is now ready. We can come out of the unclarity.

own harvested almonds

Maybe our harvest is being stewards of clarity, and also take the time to gain this clarity; to find the clarity in the practice.

To close our session we took another card as a piece of advice: the Wheel of Fortune reversed. The wheel of fortune is the real change, and it seems to point us in looking where something is stuck, or not aligned.

A last question was how to heal that? Knight of cups: finding your grail, your own passion. Taking action on what we love, guided by the heart.
Tova spoke once about ‘the Heart of Hosting’; and Chris Corrigan spoke in June about ‘the Art of the Open Heart’. Our own passion is so essential; in these days we need to act from there.

Of course conversations didn’t stop when we had dinner together afterwards. Personally I had the sense that we were still not touching the deepest ground. In one way or another we came to speak about it, because nobody was stepping up to do the facilitation for tomorrow. Here are some snippets of different conversations:
– needing more silence
– holding the deep feminine
– the power of giving birth and being pregnant
– not to take on the masculine projections
– using the law of two feet in regular life
– do the grounding of the place in the collective!

Growings legs for emergence?

Sunday, November 11th, 2007
...creating magic

We are in this cosy time after dinner, dishes are done, everybody gathers around the fire place (stove). One more guest – participant arrived just before dinner (Ravi) and two more are on their way, driving through the night (Judith and Lieven).

I had a wonderful day, for me like summer. Most of the people here went to Volos today, the nearby city – one and a half hour drive – to buy a lot of food and stuff, and to receive and send emails. Three of us stayed here; and I worked in the little garden – weeding – and clearing some more space from the brambles to have more place to sew and plant the vegetables. In the afternoon we went with Maria and Sarah’s Greek friend to a place to press the olives. Amasing when you never saw it. We had this time more than 1000 kg of olives; and we came home with 220 liters of olive oil; very nice, clear, green olive oil. Of course it is a totally organic oil, and the guy from the press – who analysed it – was really impressed by the high quality it had.

the local gold

So we had something to toast on! Grilled bread dipped – better say soaked – in the fresh oil, together with some locally brewed … (like Ouzo) as the starter for dinner. The Greek way of living, eating at the big table outside, lots of talking, toasting, some wine; funny if I realize it is November,..

Last part of the evening we looked into the design of our first half day tomorrow. Simple and elegant, diving deeper into the stories which led to this gathering. Asking ourselves what does it mean ‘to grow legs’ for our network of Art of Hosting practitioners? And then there is this funny, amasing, wonderful thing called emergence… How come four people of the original hosting team, and two of the participants couldn’t make it? And why did others showed up, even when it looked different than what was the original plan?

Are we growing legs for emergence?