Archive for January, 2008

We are the system

Sunday, January 13th, 2008
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“We are the system
– the system is not outside ourselves –
it is our own broken relationships that need to heal
– my relationship to myself, to life – to this earth – to the others – to the world –
that is how systemic shifts happen.

I am the need in the world – we are the system – we are the solution.
Meaningful conversations and real learning space heal our relationships.

We are invited to enter living from the heart….
From disrespect to respect,
from I know better to curiousity,
from judging to understanding each other,
from fear to love.
This is what we need to host now between us,
this is part of the Work of anyone who wants to help the world at this time.”
Collective insight during Art of Hosting training in Brazil, December 2007.

In March ’08 there will be another Art of Hosting training in Belgium, to which you are invited! Look at the website for invitation and registration form.

Inclusive perspective

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Below is the prologue of a book called: Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview. It is written by Umeek, and the story is from his great-grantfather Keesta. ‘Heshook-ish tsawalk’ means: everything is one, a perspective that is inclusive of all reality, both physical and metaphysical. I referred to this story in a previous blog entry – as I recalled it – but here is the right version:

Every protocol had been observed between the whaling chief and the spirit of the whale. Keesta had thrown the harpoon, and the whale had accepted it, had grabbed and held onto the harpoon according to the agreement they had made through prayers and petitions. Harmony prevailed, whaler and whale were one, heshook-ish tsawalk.

All of a sudden something went wrong, some disharmony arose, some disunity intruded, and the whale turned and began to tow Keesta and his paddlers straight off shore. Keesta took inventory. Everyone in the whaling canoe remained true to the protocols:  cleansed, purified, and in harmony. Prayer songs intensified. Still, the great whale refused to turn toward the beach, heading straight off shore. Keesta and the paddlers had kept true to their agreements, and now there seemed nothing left to do except to cut the atlu, the rope attached to the whale.

Keesta took his knife, and as he moved to cut the rope, Ah-up-wha-eek (Wren in English; Winterkoninkje in Nederlands) landed on the whale and spoke to Keesta: “Tell the whale to go back to where it was harpooned.” Keesta spoke to the whale, and immediately the great whale turned accourding to the word of Wren, the little brown bird, and returned to where it was first harpooned, and there it died.

After the whale had been towed ashore, Keesta discovered, as he had suspected, that the disharmony and disunity had intruded at home. When his wife had heard that the whale had taken the harpoon, she had roused herself and prematurely broken away from her ritual in order to make welcome preparations. At the point when she began to go about her life in disharmony from the rest was exactly when the great whale had begun to tow Keesta and his paddlers off shore.

Two energies integrating

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Recently I wrote some thoughts and experiences about the question I was holding for a long time: What am I doing when I am holding space?
Quickly it become a much deeper quest, involving the concepts of Spirit and Source. I’m trying here to uncover the core qualities and core functions of each in our daily life. More precise: to unearth what this could mean for the world that we all wish to come into manifestation.

This is not an easy task, as so many concepts and ideas in our language are made to separate. Using them to convey meaning about wholeness make me look for other – for myself more familiar – tools, like making drawings or reside in contemplation, but the level of share-ability is quite low here. So back to language and writing and making the best out of it.

I tend to see Spirit somewhere high out there and I experience Source as something deep within. Watch my words here: I see’ Spirit and I ‘experience’ Source. Maybe this is only valid for me, but other people tend to go with it. So, let’s stick to it for a while.

If we draw them on a blank sheet of paper, Spirit sits on top of it, and Source takes the bottom position. Then what is in the middle? I name it ‘the real world’; the world in space and time that we see as the manifested world with its three dimensions. Then draw a circle connecting Spirit and Source, because somewhere they are One. That is ever harder to express in words and I leave that to others. Remember: my inquiry is about understanding ‘holding space’.

For me Spirit and Source is like the first couple that came out of the One. The first paradox was created with them. Related are: light and darkness, yin and yang, inward and outward, masculine and feminine, …
But back to holding space, and more specific within the context of facilitating or hosting a group conversation. I wrote recently: “When I am holding space, I connect in my body with the unmanifest potential of this person, this group or this place. It asks for an emptiness and a deep stillness inside to be able to carry this potential. Maybe it is better to say to be a container for it, and I mean it in a very physical way. I open my body to be this container in service of something that wants or can become manifest.” In short: I hold the energy container in my body, in which the potential can unfold. But much like many failed experiments with non-authoritarian education, something is missing if we want to see the unfolding of the potential in ‘real’ time. Holding Space asks for its counterpart of keeping the intention or the focus. But this focus or intention can’t be closed or fixed, otherwise there is no room for unfolding. So I suggest to use ‘Stay in Inquiry’.

In my drawing I write now:  Stay in Inquiry below Spirit, and Holding Space above Source, and I connect them also with a circle.

Looks good, but I am not satisfied. The distance between the two circles is too big for me. How does Source becomes Holding Space? How does Spirit becomes Stay in Inquiry? What is Source providing when going in the direction of the real world? What is it’s first level of manifestation (that I can distinguish)?

When I put myself in the shoes of Source I experience unlimited Potential. That makes a lot of sense to me. What is then it’s counterpart on the side of Spirit? How shows Spirit itself to the real world? I am inclined to name that Inspiration. Now we can draw the third circle within the two previous ones.

For me it was highly revealing how this map – so far – fits together. Because later on I want to dive deeper into the lower part of these circles, which hasn’t been receiving much focus, as most of us pay attention to the real world and the real phenomena. But there is more!

The ancient and contemporary spirituality practices give you a quiet detailed map how to go on these different steps towards Spirit and up to Oneness. But my whole focus of exploring this is to get a sense of the lower part and its different steps, to finally see a more full picture. And we will see that it tells us more about the collective than the individual.

In trying to write this article I had to blend the two different energies also in myself. This is not a theoretical writing. I am somehow used to write ‘from inside’, to access my inner wisdom, through writing, regarding important questions and issues. This means that my mind doesn’t have ideas before the words come on the paper. But now, here, I want to convey some of its wisdom to you, to others. So there is now knowing in my memory, and still I want the freshness of accessing new inner wisdom too. Can I stay in touch with the inner wisdom and still write a coherent piece, understandable for people who want to?

It seems like mixing oil and water. Being an inward person, the integration needs to happen – first – in my body, in my energy. Writing from inner knowing has no time delay, I only know it when it is written down, not before. Writing from memory goes the other way round: first knowing, then writing. Difficult mix. But women are known for being good at multi-tasking, so there must be a way!