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Deepening We Space in NYC ILP Group

Last post 06-08-2007, 9:18 PM by ralphweidner. 1 replies.
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  •  06-08-2007, 8:44 PM 24248

    • rosecpw is not online. Last active: 06-23-2007, 1:00 PM rosecpw
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    Deepening We Space in NYC ILP Group

    Hi Folks,

    Here in NYC, a group of 7 members of the local integral community have been meeting  monthly at my home for almost a year now. We are informal, but dedicated. We are currently evolving toward an appropriate balance of structure and free flow in terms of the content of each session.

    We use the ILP kit as a jumping off point and also as an infa structure that we can continuoulsy return to. We have done 321 of shadow work together as a group, and we have also  explored dialoguing with the Big Mind voices in our meetings.

    We have a rotating leadership, as group members come forward to lead sessions based on their talents and resources. A musician in our group introduced us to some chants and sound vibrations. One member created a pyscho-spiritual game and we gave that a try. Another member led us in an embodied experience of theater games that involved our subtle as well as gross bodies. Often a theme  emerges out of the needs of the group, and we follow that theme. We also have a Yahoo group which sometimes gets quite active between meetings.

    I have noticed that the group meeting acts as a resource, giving each member a monthly dose of empathy, encouragement and challenge to bring back into our day to day lives. In addition to empowering the individual members, our group is continuously deepening in authenticity. Our "we space" seems to grow thicker; we are becoming more and more aware of the field interpenetraing us all. This shared state experience helps us reveal ourselves more, helps us peel back the layers and show one another our vulnerabilities. Seeing one another's vulnerabilites has helped us feel closer and more loving and appreciative.

    Luckily for us, we are a psychologically savvy group with lots of insight. And we seem to have a deep need to be seen and met by one another. Most recently we conducted an experiment in addressing these needs for recognition and communion, while avoiding the pitfall of too much explaining and reporting or venting about "what happened to me this month."

    After a short meditation, I asked each group member to speak from the heart for 5 minutes uninterupted, simply stating what s/he was experiencing in the moment. Not necessarily using complete sentences. The idea was to use language in a different way, with more immediacy, to convey the living in-the-moment experience with as little explaining as possible.

    When one member spoke, the rest of us gave that person our full attention, listening from the heart. Not offering suggestions, not thinking about how to solve or soothe the issues of the speaker. We all sat and did our best to see and meet the person speaking exactly as s/he was right then. We were agreed that we were not changing, fixing or evaluating, but simply "being with" each person who spoke for 5 minutes at the level of the heart.

    The atmosphere in the room thickened, yet it felt very alive and energized. People's reports were diverse and there were many moments when it was hard to "be with" instead of giving advice or reassurance etc. The intensity grew with each speaker and we had to take a few intensity breaks, just laughing and shuffling our feet before we could go on. But as we progressed around the circle, listening from the heart, our we space deepened. The interpenetrating field intensified around and among us. It was a palpable support.

    At the end of the meeting, we did respond to one another on the level of the content of the reports just a little bit. But for me, what mattered was the context in which the meeting ocurred-- that living field we all tuned into together.

    I am interested in structures that create enough of a container to promote a deeper level of freedom. I have a background in Gestalt therapy that has proven very helpful.

    Last time we met, the group expressed an interest in coming together more often and I am planning to suggest we set that up for a Friday so people won't feel pressured to leave early. (We currently meet on Mondays.)

    I feel that we are expanding our capacity to be with one another and ourselves at a deep level. I am indebted to every single member of my ILP group for their courage and comittment to our process. And I am personally grateful for all ongoing their love and support.


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  •  06-08-2007, 9:18 PM 24251 in reply to 24248

    Re: Deepening We Space in NYC ILP Group

    thanks robin.

    i'm going to pass this on to the local ken wilber group i belong to.
    we just happen to be planning now for next year.


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