This last Friday Craig & Patricia Neal from the Minnesota-based Heartland were here for September’s Thought Leader Gathering, the every-other-monthly invitational event that I help produce with the Neals & Firehawk & Pele of Resonance.
The conversation starter, Mal Warwick of BSR and SVN, was wonderful as each and every one of them have been since we started these evolutionary dialogues back in 1999, but it is immediately clear that the TLG experience goes far beyond the specifics of any given conversation starter.
What is happening at these gatherings is ‘presence’. The TLG calls us
to Presence… to be here, in this moment, with ourselves, with each
other, and within nature.
The methods are deceptively simple, as these things tend to be (after
all, Presence is our natural state), but profoundly effective. How many
of us regularly take the time in our busy lives just to ‘be’ together? To turn off our email and cell phone and tune in to the messages coming from our own inner being? How many of us have the deep pleasure of a community of peers where we have the opportunity to listen deeply to each other. To feel the fundamental connection between us as fellow meaning-seeking creatures, and the inspiration & catalytic impetus we can be to each other as a tribe of humans committed to making a difference in our world?
We sit in circle and speak our words, and listen to the words of others, and all the while alongside this profoundly satisfying level of connection and interaction, something else is happening. Our hearts are opening, and we are experiencing a deeper rhythm, a silent resonance between us. There is a calming of our everyday concerns and a re-alignment with the larger patterns that have a sense and reason that gives meaning and direction to the actions that will arise from our time together.
At the center of these gatherings, quite literally as well a metaphorically, is Beauty. Each time we gather, Firehawk and Pele bring abundant expressions of beauty – candles & fabric, stones or feathers or other ‘medicine’ materials from their cupboards & trunks, and flowers & plants & the all-important clippers with which they bring the outside in – and gather the elements into a beautiful patterm which is laid in a place of honor in the center of our circle. This ‘beauty in the middle’ is our anchor. We don’t have to speak it, it just is. Beauty calls us to presence, and shows us who and what we are at an essential level.