Inner Work, Outer World
April 19-22, 2012
Spring Valley, NY
This year, twenty of us gathered together and we found our shared time delightful! We chatted and painted, did collage and pastels, worked with a couple of tough topics, experienced triptychons, had a movie night, and more! It was very full and yet had an easy pace (for the most part). As with last year, we sought to develop and present the conference collaboratively, and we feel we succeeded (again, for the most part). All attendees played a role: from baking bread to presenting exercises to offering enthusiasm. We hope next year more will come, share, and enjoy!
We began each day speaking aloud this verse:
I am here.
I stand facing you.
Facing you I take interest in you.
Taking interest in you, I see you.
Seeing you, I participate in your becoming.
Seeing you enables me to become.
In seeing each other, we bless this space and this work.
We sang together:
Be ye lamps onto yourselves/Be your own confidence/Hold to the truth
within yourselves/as to the only lamp!
We set out to nurture ourselves over our days together. We created amazing soul collage cards and found entire life stories within them,as well as the “I am”—simple and powerful. We included triptychon exercises not only for their personal value but also to expose our circle to this unique work, that of Rinke Visser and Josien de Vries of Holland (more on this may be found on Center’s website). A masterful pastel exercise moved us through life’s true archetype: from creation to destruction to restoration to dissolution to recreation. For many of us, this was a deep and affirming experience. Painting together, we actually contributed to one another’s work, ultimately found something true, beautiful and/or good in the color, and sought to bring it, with both struggle and light-heartedness, to a fuller expression individually and as a group! This painting exercise became a living experience of the bridge between inner and outer.
Between inner and outer there is play: On Friday evening, we grabbed a bag of popcorn, got cozy, and watched Young @ Heart, a hilarious and moving film. We chose this beautifully composed documentary for pure entertainment value and because of its resonance with our research project, 63 & Beyond. We all agreed that having a movie night was just what we needed.
We’ll meet again in 2013. We hope to see you there!