We are exploring the questions:
What does it mean to be there for each other?
What would it take to be solidly present in each others’ lives, responding flexibly and with love to the needs that emerge?
What might we do right now to be there for each other?
What role does commitment play?
The deep truth is that each person is fundamentally alone. Yet at the same time, there is beauty and skillfulness in interdependence. During childhood, sickness, disability, and old age, we cannot simply take care of ourselves. And beyond merely meeting needs, we can find delight in co-creation, and in the many ways we can support each other in greater joy.
At this 5-day community journey, we will open these explorations in a field of love, curiosity, and compassion.
Morning Circle – Daily
Every morning at 9:00 AM we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection.
Going Deeper – Multiple presenters
Over the years we’ve been building a culture that supports intimacy by teaching skills for healthy boundaries, handling painful emotions, holding space for others’ process, and so on. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. When the need arises to give difficult feedback or address something that’s getting in the way of getting close to another person, many times we still let it go, not wanting to ruin a happy moment or create a rift. But in reality, we’re keeping ourselves from intimacy when we could have it. When we’re willing to tell another person what’s keeping us from getting closer, we actually get closer.
In the “Going Deeper” spaces, we’ll have a chance to share difficult truths, intimate appreciations, and vulnerable parts or ourselves. Let’s get beyond this kind of sharing being an extraordinary experience, to where it’s an ordinary everyday thing. Every day we deepen our connections. Consider the possibility that we have no idea who our closest friends could be once we start sharing at this level. We have no idea what could happen when we really give our relationships our deepest attention.
ZEGG Forum – the Forum Team, Daily
Forum (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml) was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members. ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all. In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community. Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding.
The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw.
One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community. We tend to think that events leading to painful experiences and conflicts are bad, because they feel bad in the moment. However, when we open ourselves and compassionately witness what is happening for everyone, these experiences can be gateways to greater closeness, understanding, and love. When conflict emerges, whether or not we are in a formal Forum space, we can choose to listen in this way. This deep listening sustains and nurtures community life and relationships.
Boundaries – Sarah Taub
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback. How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” Sarah helps us practice finding that sweet spot of mutual “yes” through a series of juicy experiential exercises.
Authentic Relating Games – Dawson Driver and Indigo Dawn
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we’ll find out more about the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of everyone present. We’ll explore curiosity and transparency as attitudes and practices that support healthy relationships, whether with lovers, friends, co-workers, or community members. We’ll have some short, fun exercises where people can try out sharing about themselves transparently and asking questions based on curiosity. Our time together will develop our empathy, deepen our relationships, and help us connect as our most authentic selves.
Sensual Space Orientation & Opening – Sarah Taub and Harold Kornylak
The Sensual Space is a warm and inviting space to explore connection and intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools – the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere. Sarah will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.” The introduction will take place in our main meeting area and is open to everyone.
After the Sensual Space Orientation, those who wish will proceed to the Space for its official opening. All are invited to explore the Space – the opening activities will be sensual but nonsexual, and there will be a clear transition when the space becomes open for sexual connection.
Conscious Dance – Indigo Dawn
“If you have a body, you are a dancer.”- Gabrielle Roth. Conscious Dance is a movement practice that leads us to open places in ourselves. It is a collective journey that sheds the layers of stress, judgment, and restriction to make space for inner clarity. Stillness. Motion. Intensity. Release. We invite all modes of expression and being.