TJT Heart & Soul Group
Minutes from meeting: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Place: Susan’s House
Present: Susan, Kathy, Steve, Karen, Eva, Cynthia, Michele, Cregan, Klaus
Facilitator: Cynthia Minutes taker: Cregan
Meeting called to order
Aim statement read
Centering exercise led by Susan
Treasurer’s Report: After collection of donations from current meeting, Cregan reports that we have $71 in the H&S Group treasury.
Approval of minutes: Cynthia noted that the review of the sub-committees’ guidelines was missing from the last minutes. She remembered to add it to current agenda.
Steve demonstrated the Yahoo group via computer.
- The URL is groups.yahoo.com. Group is called “heartandsoultjt.” Steve will resend the invite to everyone in case anyone still needs to join.
- The primary focus of the group is the library database. We can see who currently has each book, and all details about the book itself. Always let Steve know who has books. Members can email other members to exchange books.
- Give Steve info on new books to add.
- We can also post photos and links to interesting websites on the group.
Michele presented digital copyright issues.
- It is illegal to make unauthorized copies of dvds, cds, audio books and ebooks. Bottom line is that we can’t share ebooks because there’s not way to insure they are not copied.
- Eva proposed that we do not put ebooks or any downloadable material that have been paid for in the Group Library. Group came to a consensus on that proposal.
Michele share the first draft of the eblast.
- She will email everyone a copy for feedback. All feedback welcome!
- Michele is the designer of the eblast, but she requests that other contribute to writing. Suggestion that we form a subcommittee to collect and write the content for each quarterly eblast.
- Goal for first eblast is June.
- Eblast includes photos, info about recent development sessions, upcoming dev. Sessions. Link to TJT website / HS page. Could potentially post eblast on website too.
- Also include a contact email. Eva’s email address is volunteered.
Karen reported that the presentation to the pot luck was successful. People were especially interested in the Mandala.
Eva and Kathy reported on the conflict resolution process.
- They created an aim for the process. Structured the session into 4 phases, including an “active listening” phase.
- There was a suggestion to add “active listening” as a future development session.
- Eva and Kathy felt that the goals of conflict resolution were met. Congratulations!
- Eva will email the process outline (4 phases) and the aim to the group. Steve will upload to Yahoo group.
- Cynthia suggested that for next conflict resolution session, either Eva or Kathy could do it paired with someone new. Always create a new aim specific to that session.
Review of guidelines for conflict resolution requests tabled to next meeting. Please review individually before the next meeting, and include as a bigger piece of the agenda.
No new business
Group Norms List – Susan and Kathy
- Kathy led the group in an exercise to reconnect with the purpose of the creating group norms.
- There was a suggestion to have a subgroup wordsmith and finalize norms list, but discussion led the group to an agreement to allow it to be a living document.
- We discussed potential new group norms that came up during the exercise.
- Steve suggested we read the current norms at each meeting, along with the aim. We will read at next meeting and experience how it feels. Keep in mind it’s a living document and we’re always open to someone’s input and changes.
- Discussion around how to orientate a new potential member. How to “bring them up to speed” in a personal way. Someone from the group can act as a mentor.
- Agreement to table discussion concerning new people and group norms.
- The general feeling is that we do not want to be too strict or become too set or static.
Action Items from Meeting:
- Steve resend invite to Yahoo group
- Michele send draft eblast to group (DONE)Eva email their conflict resolution Aim and 4-phase process
- Members send feedback on eblast to Michele
- Cregan email guidelines for conflict resolution process
- Members review before next meeting
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 30th at Boxo house. Bernard will lead a development session in body mapping.
H&S Minutes April 18, 2013
Place: Boxo House
Present: Bernard, Eva. Kathy, Susan, Cynthia, Michele, Cregan, Steve, Karen
Facilitator: Bernard Minutes taker: Steve
Meeting called to order: 6:04 PM
Aim statement read
Centering exercise led by Bernard
Treasurer’s Report: After collection of donations from current meeting, Cregan reports that we have $62 in the H&S Group treasury.
Approval of minutes: We discussed that minutes are approved via internet and that no response indicates approval.
Action Items: 6:15PM
Steve reported that a new Yahoogroup was created for H&S and that all active group and IG members were invited. The Yahoogroup contains the lending library database but can also be used for meeting announcements, archiving of minutes and other information. Michele requested a demonstration of the Yahoogroup at our next meeting. Michele will research copyright regulations regarding lending of digital materials.
Michele will have a draft of the monthly e-blast available for the next meeting.
Old Business: 6:25PM
A request was made by Eva to rearrange the agenda by moving the item regarding the Food Group to after the development session.
Karen will report on our offerings for workshops and assistance to other TJT working groups at the TJT Working Groups potluck on April 28th.
New Business: 6:35PM
A discussion of starting the meetings at 6:30 and having shorter meetings was tabled to an unspecified future date.
Susan proposed a development session for the second meeting of May on Klaus’ Constellation work. Discussion took place regarding scheduling conflicts for the third Thursday in May with Jill’s permaculture demonstration. There were also other conflicts with availability for dates in May. Susan volunteered to host a workshop on the Constellation work outside of H&S but to invite group members.
We will then review the possibility of H&S presenting the workshop at a later date.
Development Session: 6:50PM
A team building exercise was led by Eva with participation by all present. The exercise involved being blindfolded and working together to identify objects of various shapes and colors to determine which items are missing. The group was successful in doing so within the allotted time limit and everyone seemed to agree that it was a very enjoyable and effective exercise.
Old Business: 7:35
A discussion took place regarding a request from Jill for assistance in resolving a conflict between the IG and members of the Food Group. Eva distributed copies of the questionnaires that were filled out by parties involved and also by other members of the Food Group.
Some members of H&S expressed the feeling that we were rushed into utilizing our conflict resolution process before it was fully refined, but Eva expressed that this seemed to be an urgent situation that provided us with an opportunity to assist and that the process was sufficiently developed to be ready to use.
The questionnaires were reviewed and discussed. It was decided that assistance would be offered and that Eva and Kathy would act as a conflict resolution panel. It was also decided that as a separate issue, all services of the H&S Group would be offered to the Food Group.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 9th at Susan’s. Susan & Kathy will lead continued development of a Group Norms list.
The second meeting in May will be Thursday, May 30th at Boxo House with a development session on Body Mapping.
Meeting adjourned: 9:10PM
H&S Minutes 4.4.13
Place: Susan’s home
Those Present: Cregan, Damian, Karen, Michele, Kathy, Bernard, Susan, Eva
Facilitators: Susan and Kathy
Minutes Taker: Eva
Time Keeper: Michele
Centering exercise – Bernard
Treasurer’s Report: $53 presently in kitty
Approval of Last Minutes: done online, no comments
Action Items To Be Completed Before Next Meeting:
- Approve minutes online
- Michele will create the first monthly e-blast.
- Eva prepare an experiential exercise related to our development
- Yahoo group for H & S: Steve –tabled to 4.18
- Send Steve books or DVDs for library – tabled to 4.18
- Subgroup on recommendations for guests with issues tabled to 4.18
- Next development session will include a discussion to clarify the purpose of our development sessions. We will also do further work on Group Norms.
- We will separate our contact list into the actual working members and “friends” of H&S. Michele proposed a monthly e-blast and will take it on.
Kathy & Eva: summarized and asked for reflections on last development session. This really was just and intro. It is a big topic that we will return to many times. The learning process has to be experiential. How to give feedback and methods of conflict resolution are just some of the areas we want to focus on.
- Susan brought up the question of rotating facilitators. She talked about her process in doing it – one of moving from fear in the beginning to having fun at it now. She highly recommended the learning opportunity. Bernard volunteered to take it on for the next (number?) of meetings.
- Karen volunteered to represent our group at the Working Groups pot luck on Apr. 28th.
- H & S contact list – It was proposed and agreed after discussion, that we should separate the contact list into the actual working members and “friends” of H&S. Michele put forth the idea of a monthly e-blast for the “friends” that would let them know what was happening in the group and perhaps encourage them to come to meetings. The group thought this was a great idea and Michele said she will take this on, and that the first one will let everyone know about the separate lists. The consensus was that because the agenda and minutes of each meeting are available to the public on our web page, they don’t need to be sent to the “friends” list. Bernard talked about having guidelines for the minutes – i.e. that sensitive issues are only described generally and with out using people’s names.
Summary of Development Session:
Kathy and Susan lead a discussion on the purpose of group norms, which include:
- To provide clarity about common expectations
- To serve as guidelines to which we can refer
We then brainstormed the following:
- Personal information stays confidential
- Start and end meetings on time
- Let people know what you need
- Put our aim before our egos
- Don’t interrupt each other
- Listen completely
- Everyone who wants to be heard, is heard
We ran out of time and will continue at the next meeting
Susan and David then lead us in a session of Energy Play in which we practiced generating energy ourselves and then played with it with partners.
New Biz continued:
The next meeting will be at Boxo House on April 18. Bernard will facilitate and the development session will continue work on our group norms.
- Enjoyed the pot luck, but glad it is not every time as it uses valuable meeting time
- The energy work was great!
- The e-blast is a great idea!
- Observation from our visitor – we operate very differently from other groups he has attended.
H&S Minutes 2/7/13
Place: BOXO Projects
Those Present: Susan, Karen, Michele, Bernard, Eva, Jill, Tom and Jim
Minutes Taker: Jill
Treasurer: Cregan (not present)
Bernard read The Aim of Heart and Soul
Treasurer’s Report: tabled
Approval of Last Minutes:
Action Items To Be Completed Before Next Meeting:
Susan – ask Cregan to buy 2 copies each of Starhawk’s 2 books and reimburse herself through the kitty
Susan – send Dev. Session cheat sheet to Sequoia, Steve and Cregan
Jill – resend digital mandala attached to Minutes
Processing the dev. Session with those missing:
Jill – Sequoia
Susan – Cregan
Bernard – Steve
Susan – ask JTopia for clarification on their indoor smoking policy
Karen – will post all past approved Minutes to the website
Jill – will move Unsubscibe to bottom of message when she sends out Minutes and will make font smaller.
- Eva and Kathy will run next development session on Facilitation
- Old Biz agenda will include review of current past development sessions. We should mind making comments on most current sessions so that we don’t get bogged down in the past.
- Susan will be next Facilitator. Meeting will be Feb. 21 at Boxo Projects.
- The group will purchase copies of Starhawk’s “Empowerment Manual” and “Truth or Dare”. All will read.
1. Report on use of Jtopia for our meetings – Susan – Thursdays are open. Joe asks for small donation towards utilities. Susan smelled cigarette smoke in the room. Will check with him on his smoking policy.
- Susan proposed that we make review of current past Dev. Sessions an agenda item each week. Need more feedback. Consensus achieved.
- Bernard proposed that we move the email Unsubscribe text to the bottom of our emails and make font smaller. Too much in your face the way it is. Consensus achieved.
Summary of Development Session:
Balancing the Wheel – presented by Karen and Susan.
We began by facing the four directions and getting a feel for the meaning of this kind of mapping. Susan described the importance of the axis in the center of the mandala – the axis of learning and the axis of action. The mandala is all about balance. We balance speech and silence. We shift from trying to win to trying to learn. This builds trust in the group. We then paired up and each person told the other which of the 4 directions she/he felt most applied to the other followed by discussion and feedback. We then came back together as group and discussed our experience.
Feeling that the experience of hearing from another person about one’s place on the mandala was very enlightening and surprising.
Loved the experiential nature of the workshop.
Really deepened understanding of how group members can move between roles as needed by group dynamics.
Kudos to Susan and Karen.
Next meeting – Feb. 21 at Boxo Projects, Susan facilitates
H&S Minutes from 1/24/13
Place: Eva and Kathy’s house
Those present: Sequoia, Steve, Jill, Eva, Susan, Michelle, Karen, Bernard, Will, Cregan
Minutes: Jill Giegerich
Time Keeper: Michelle
Treasurer’s Report: $90.50
Approval of Last Minutes: Yes
Comments – Steve asked that Minutes and other documents be sent out as a .doc not .docX file.
Action items to be completed before next meeting:
Eva will delete two subscribers from email list and resend list to us
Susan will check with J-Topia to see if we can have our meetings there
Jill will send Starhawk’s Transition U.S. audio file to us. All will review it. See link for this at the end of the Minutes.
- Self regulated side bar snacks allowed at meetings with the understanding that we will be sensitive about breaking the circle to snack up.
- Karen and Susan will run next development session on Starhawk’s Mandala of Groups
- Next meeting will be at Bernard’s (directions will follow)
- Bernard will be the facilitator
Summary of Development Session:
Steve handed out an info sheet on the Four Agreements. Sequoia talked about it as a tetrahedron – one of the most stable of geometric arrangements. He brought a cardboard tetrahedron as a talking stick that we each held as we talked about our personal experiences with, thoughts on the Four agreements. People gave each other feedback. A lively discussion ensued.
Eva asked if the four agreements could be its own workshop. It was generally agreed that it would be better introduced in a workshop as a one of many tools in a toolkit. Steve mentioned Non Violent Communication and Zegg. He also suggested looking at the New Culture website. Sequoia suggested that we could ask the other working groups for feedback about what kind of workshops would be most beneficial to them. Susan asked if we want to adopt the four agreements as our Operating Principles. Generally agreed that we would like to wait on that and let all this information percolate. Better perhaps to use them personally first.
1. Proposal by Susan
That self-regulated sidebar snacking be allowed at the meetings with the understanding that people be sensitive to timing if they wish to go to the snack table.
Pros and cons discussed. Consensus achieved on the above proposal.
1. New meeting space? – Eva
Because our numbers are growing, do we want to find a larger meeting space? J-Topia was suggested. Discussion. Decided that Susan will see if J-Topia is available. Next week we will meet at Bernard’s.
2. Email list Unsubscribes – Eva
How to deal with unsubscribes on the email list? Decided that Eva will delete them and then send out the new email list to us. Steve asked that documents get sent out as .doc not .docx files. He can’t open them.
3. Next Development Session? – Susan
Group looked over the list and came to consensus on Starhawk’s Mandala of Groups. Karen and Susan will lead.
Understanding of Four Agreements was deepened. Thanks expressed to Sequoia and Steve. Thanks to Susan for facilitating. Session was challenging and engaged deeper parts of the self.
Links for next week:
H&S Minutes Jan 3, 2013
Date: Jan. 3, 2013
Place: Eva & Kathy’s
Those Present: Jill, Sequoia, Eva, Susan, Steve, Kathy, Karen
Minutes Taker: Karen
Treasurer: Eva substituting for Cregan
Time Keeper: Eva
Treasurer’s Report: We now have a total of $78.50
Approval of Last Minutes: yes, see comments
Comments: Per minutes from Dec. 6: it was decided to approve the minutes by email from now, with a 2 day window for any revisions.
Action Items To Be Completed Before Next Meeting:
- Eva will send out our latest proposal to H&S members present
- Susan will update Cregan on this meeting’s events and status
- Sequoia and Steve will develop 4 agreements development section of next meeting
- New AIM statement formulated and agreed to (see below)
- Heart & Soul Event to be scheduled when we have skills to teach other working groups about group process
- Heart Cognition will be a part of each meeting. An exercise to bring words generated by the heart not the brain will take place at some point during each meeting.
Project Groups’ Reports:
Sub-committee offered draft AIM statement. Agreement reached with minor adjustment.
Leading the presentation of the sub-committee, Susan opened with a centering exercise creating the environment for heart-based discussion, which followed resulting in consensus of new AIM statement:
The aim of the TTJT Heart & Soul Working Group is to be a source of heart-based tools that enable individuals and groups to develop inner strength and wisdom, so that we become a supportive and sustainable community during and beyond transition.
Sequoia: “Greatest samurai does not need to lift his sword”-swords is an anagram for words and emblematic of the solution to conflicts.
Discussion followed about group and interpersonal dynamics. A power imbalance will result in a power struggle. 180° from “what’s-not-working is still not working”. Mandala or circles of revered core values will put all points of view equidistant from all others giving consensus an opportunity. We will be unlikely to get conflict if consensus comes first.
Priority for development will be acquiring the skills to offer help to other Working Groups. This help will take the form of teaching facilitation, elements and use of group dynamics and aims, the consensus process, CPR, communications and housekeeping within the group. We crafted a proposal for moving forward, which Eva will formalize and send to others present for final approval. We will begin by learning the 4 Agreements. Steve and Sequoia will present the next Development section on Jan. 24th.
Meeting Evaluation: We have worked well and accomplished much tonight.
H&S Minutes 12/6/12
Place: Eva’s house
Those Present: Buck, Cregan, David Z, Eva, Jill G, Karen T, Kathy J, Laura H, Sequoia, Susan J, Tim D.
Minutes Taker: Eva
Time Keeper: Susan
Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm and we did our check-in.
Treasurer’s Report: We have total of $52.50 in the kitty.
Minutes from last meeting were approved with no changes or comment. It was decided to approve the minutes by email from now, with a 2 day window for any revisions.
Agenda Review and Additions:
1. Jill – Using the new Minutes Form
2. Cregan – our website
3. We added time frames for each agenda item
Development Session Summary:
Susan gave a presentation on the subtle energy body and ended with some Tai Chi energy exercises. Reflections from those present indicated that we all felt our energy shift as we went through the exercises. Susan noted that the information we get from the subtle energy body or the heart mind is experiential. She shared that the planet has a subtle energy body also and that we can access it with ours. Some of the people she has been reading on this subject are Brian Swimme, teacher of Evolutionary Cosmology, Bruce Lipton, who is best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs., Carl Jung and Carlos Castenada.
Action Items To Be Completed Before Next Meeting:
1. A sub-committee consisting of Cregan, Susan and Eva will meet Dec 17th at 6 pm at Eva’s house to work on a draft Purpose Statement for our group. Cregan will solicit input by email prior to the meeting. This draft proposal will be submitted at the next meeting.
2. Cregan will take a look at our web site and assess it.
3. Sequoia will lead the development session at the next meeting.
4. Jill will email the new Minutes Form.
1. The development sessions of our meetings for the next several months will be devoted to the teaching of skills such as non-violent communication, conflict resolution, working with the 4 Agreements and learning to use Starhawk’s group manual so that H & S members become skilled as resources for other groups.
2. We will meet twice a month for the next few months, beginning in January, so that we can speed up our learning process.
3. We will drop the potluck and limit the business portion of the meeting to 1 hour, allowing 2 hours for the development session.
1. Further work on our AIM:
We were not able to make much progress on the Aim, and Eva proposed that we form a sub-group to create a draft Aim to bring to our next meeting for discussion. This was agreed upon and Cregan, Susan and Eva volunteered and were accepted as the members of the sub-group.
2. Discussion about the urgency of developing ourselves as resources for other working groups:
Eva led this discussion. We are in agreement that this should be our priority right now, and that we all want to become more skilled facilitators. It was proposed that for the next several months, we will devote the development portion of our meetings to the teaching of skills such as non-violent communication, conflict resolution, working with the 4 Agreements and learning to use Starhawk’s group manual, so that H & S members become skilled in assisting other groups through their growth process. The proposal was agreed on, and it was also decided to meet twice a month for the next few months, beginning in January, so that we can speed up the learning process as conflict has already come up in working groups and in personal lives.
The meetings will be streamlined by dropping the potluck. We will limit the business portion of the meeting to 1 hour, and allow 2 hours for the development portion of the meeting.
3. Proposal that we all read Starhawk’s downloadable “Five Fold Path of Productive Meetings”: Jill shared her thoughts about the consensus process in Starhawk’s manual and suggested we read the part on facilitation also.
4. Discussion about organizing our email list: We agreed that we want to keep anyone who has ever expressed interest in the H&S group informed of what we are doing, in hopes that they may be attracted to become more involved. It was decided to put the following at the bottom of all our emails from now on – “If you no longer wish to receive these emails please reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.”
- Discuss when we will start to work on our Operating Principles – Sequoia suggested we might start with the “4 agreements”. We will discuss this next meeting during the “business” portion.
- Do we want to meet 2x’s a month for a while? Yes – see above (#2 under Old Biz)
- A discussion about keeping our main meeting to the 1st Thursday of the month – yes, this is what works best for the majority.
- Jill proposed that we try the new minutes form and we agreed to do it. Jill will email it.
- Cregan offered to take a look at the Transition web site and assess it. This was met with enthusiasm and gratitude.
- The next meeting will be January 3rd at Eva’s. Sequoia will lead a development session on conflict resolution
Reflections on the meeting:
Very useful, loved the Tai Chi exercises, got a lot done
Heart and Soul TJT Group Meeting Notes – Nov 1, 2012
Present: Cregan, Eva, Jill, Sequoia, Steve, Susan
Location: Eva’s house
Minutes taker: Jill
- Meeting date – The first Thursday of every month works great for everyone present, except Steve. We discussed moving it to the fourth Thursday, however we agreed to keep it on the first Thursday during this holiday season and consider changing it for the new year at the next meeting.
- Jill brought up the importance of deciding on which Decision Making Process we wanted to use in H&S meetings. She outlined options and we discussed them. A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Susan, and the vote was unanimous to adopt the “Consensus, minus one” process, with the option of “blocking” as long as the blocker has an alternate proposal to present. This means that our decisions will be made by consensus and will be effective as long as there is only one “no”. If the person who disagrees feels very strongly about it, he or she may “block” the decision (this should only be used rarely), in which case the issue will be returned to the floor for further discussion along with the person’s alternate proposal.
- There were several comments about the need to clarify the purpose and role of the H&S group, and Eva put the Aim that was developed at the first meeting up on the wall. There was a consensus that it wanted further development, that something as important as a purpose statement should always be open for development as the group grows and that the process of creating it needs time and reflection and should be inclusive. There was a discussion about intentional and aware inclusivity. Some other thoughts that surfaced with regard to the purpose and role of H&S were:
There was a discussion of the webinar with Starhawk about how to sustain collaborative groups. Eva gave a recap. Summation of Starhawk’s “Mandala of Group Roles”:
At this point we discussed the importance of writing a set of principles by which the H&S group will operate, and Sequoia mentioned using the “4 Agreements”.
The group members present represent much valuable life experience, knowledge and understanding of group process, which will be an important resource for our group and other groups. Sequoia suggested that one of the ways we can be a resource for other groups is by offering a mediation process.
More New Business:
The next meeting will be Dec 6, at Eva’s house
Heart and Soul TJT Group Meeting Notes – Oct 3, 2012
Present:, Karen T, Kathy J, Buck B, Susan J, Eva M, Steve F
5:00 Transition Heart-Mind-Circle webinar
6:30 Potluck, agenda modified, check-in
Old Business: none
- We will consider whether to suspend meetings next summer due to people leaving for those months. It was a factor in the lack of attendance during August and September this year.
- A motion was made and passed to change the meeting date to the first Thursday of the month to avoid conflicts with other Transition meetings.
- It was agreed that the personal development portion of our H&S meeting is an important part of the meeting. Next meeting it will center on ways of maintaining healthy groups, especially at they apply right now to our H&S group. Eva will extend the invitation to group members to listen to the Webinar prior to next meeting so we can discuss it and where we want to go from here. There was a consensus that we do see our group as a resource for TJT, but that we need to better clarify who we are and what our role is.
- Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 1, from 6 pm to 9 pm at Eva’s House, with the potluck being at 6 pm and the meeting starting at 6:30.
Proposed Agenda November 1, from 6 pm to 9 pm
7:00 Development – Sustaining a healthy group and discussion on who we are, what our role is, and where we go from here.
Heart and Soul TJT Group Meeting Notes – July 3, 2012
Present: Bernard, Beth, Katie, Klaus, Jill G, China, Eva, Karen S, Laura H
Location: Boxo House
6:30 Read H&S Aim
Check-in – themes:
- Grounded, now that I’m here
- The sense of community here is a real treat
- Up and down, aware of saying “get over it” to self
- Been reflecting on Cynthia’s exercise since then
- Going through inner transitions and felt I needed some Heart and Soul work
- Am going through a big shift – just moved here
- Have come out of a difficult space and am feeling really great now
- I feel buzzed on gratitude – my vision is really happening
Minutes were approved
- Our kitty had $31 in it prior to tonight’s donations
- Eva brought Joanna Macy’s book, “Active Hope” and recommended it as something to read and suggested we might do some exercises from it at future meetings.
- Eva had checked out some other H&S groups on the internet and found some material which she will send out, along with some links to a couple of webinars (one which Jill had forwarded to her). She mentioned that some groups had adopted guidelines for meetings, such as what is considered confidential or not at an H&S meeting. Jill talked about the importance of developing guiding documents/principles for the operation of a group.
- Eva talked with the minister of the United Methodist Church in Joshua Tree with regard to reaching out to interfaith groups in the area. There are a couple we could contact, but they are on hiatus till the fall. We discussed the importance of connecting with those with whom we disagree – that sometimes we learn the most from the most difficult encounters we have.
- Eva asked if we wanted to keep all the people on our email list, even if they don’t attend meetings. We decided that we did and that we would add an “opt out” phrase at the bottom of our emails.
The next meeting will be Aug 7, at Laura Hamilton’s house (see directions in email). Laura will facilitate and will share a tape with the English version of the Japji, a universal song of God composed by Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith.
Bernard and China, the artist-in-residence who has been doing the research on meditation and the creation of energy fields at Bernard’s, discussed their experiences with us and then lead a group meditation with a similar aim of creating an energy field.
Bernard – Feels that his residencies are being informed by the community and vice versa. He was very attracted by China’s proposal – moving toward non-material based artwork and attempting to create energy fields. The original idea was to get together twice daily with a group of people and observe the results.
China – I have felt an increasing difficulty in dealing with material – I see such waste everywhere. I believe we can harness energy and introduce it into the context of art – make it more accessible to a wider audience. It feels like the last frontier to me. Some questions I have are: What does this mean in terms of community and what we think of as a creative medium – human energy as an art medium? Our culture is competitive and separating, but I have found greater strength when working in community with others.
Bernard – It was challenging getting 10 people together to meditate that often and we ended up with Susan, David and Klaus. We met 2 evenings and we had some powerful breakthroughs in creating energy that we all felt. We created an energy field and I learned there are specific things we can do to amp it up
Klaus – talked about “Constellation” work and how they work with people to perceive the energy of others. It is an interesting question to explore – what to those who enter an energy field experience when they enter?
We then meditated for 30 minutes on bringing awareness down to our hearts and finding a simple association with an experience that is specifically joyful for us, and allowing ourselves to fully connect with that joy. In this way our group could became a container for joy. Several people reflected afterward on an awareness they had of expansion and even feeling heat.
Heart and Soul TJT Group Meeting Notes – May 1, 2012
Present: Bernard L, Cynthia H, Eva M, Karen S, Karen T, Kristen L, Laura H, Tim
Location: Laura’s home
6:30 Started with our H&S Aim
Check-in - themes:
- Glad, curious, eager
- Relaxed and happy to be with “my people”, this is my community
- Frazzled, good to let go of it all for a while
- Looking forward to being nourished spiritually
- Our Aim is not hypothetical
Minutes and Agenda approved
- Full Moon Drum Circle: Like to be better organized next time. Could have used more greeters. Karen S will contact the photographer and ask him to send pictures to Karen T. Want to do a better presentation about Transition at future events. All donations went to Garth.
- Ideas for Future events:
- Vipasana for kids
- Connecting with other spiritual communities in our area
- Check out other H&S web sites
- Group Belly Laugh movie nights – focus on just getting together to have a good time and see great films and old favorites that make us laugh. Laura offered her home and will pursue with the help of Kristen L.
- Body Mapping – Bernard will present it for one of our meetings and then we will decide if we offer it as an H&S event.
- Whoever facilitates a meeting will contact Eva to create the agenda for posting on our web page prior to the next meeting.
- Important to clarify whom we are targeting when we are thinking of an event.
- Had a discussion about our identity – we are a resource for the community as well as a group working on our own spiritual growth. No one owns the group.
Eva’s note – Check out our last minutes, because this came up then too: “We see ourselves as a resource and an umbrella for spiritual activities and events in our Transition community. And our meetings are a place for us as a group and as individuals to develop. It is important to set aside enough time in each meeting for that personal development. We needed to stay connected to our AIM/Purpose and revisit it regularly to see if it needs to evolve.”
Development of Ourselves as Resources:
Cynthia lead us in a guided meditation, then shared her aim in designing this session: To create an experiential design process for the H&S meeting; in a way that fully engages my creative essence; so that a positive contribution is made toward expanding our capacity for personal & community development.
She then asked us to reflect for 15 minutes on the following question: What is the nature of personal development and how is it important for the Transition movement?
- Confusion about the question
- We need a basis of solid people who are on the same page in times of stress
- The essence of personal development has the aim of bringing a person into deeper alignment
- The nature of personal development is one of conscious evolution, which is also inherent in nature and vital to the process of transition – resilience and adapting to change
- The word “and” in that question is a fulcrum point. Are we being changed because of this movement or has this movement begun because people have changed? – it is both/and…
- Personal development is complex, multi-leveled, multi-dimensional. It is a life force system, a spiral of evolution
- This question has been on my mind for over a month – it is fascinating to see it on my wall
- What does transformation take – it means giving up a fixed point of view
- I can’t see myself being an effective resource for Transition if I stay in my present state of being. I am trying to evolve me so I can be a vehicle for greater evolvement.
Cynthia then gave an introduction to the use of “Living Frameworks”. They are not models, but evolutionary, dynamic structures that help us build consciousness and enable us to hold complex ideas in our minds. Applying a framework to a situation or activity can help me get enough distance when I might otherwise get hooked. She then presented 4 frameworks as tools for personal development, which are based in the work of Gurdjieff and some of his pupils, M. Nicoll, J.G. Bennett, and P.D. Ouspenski. Eva will type these up as a handout and email it to those who attended this meeting.
There wasn’t enough time to finish, so it was decided to continue at next month’s meeting. Cynthia will facilitate again and it will again be at Laura’s house. Cynthia asked us to think about the following questions before the next meeting:
1. What is this group’s purpose and whom does it serve?
2. What capacities as a group do we need to develop to best support this purpose?
3. What do I need to develop in order to make a contribution to this group’s efforts to achieve its purpose?
Reflections on the evening’s process:
- Great, gave me different ways to think
- I applied it to my life
- It triggered lots of things and activated some processes I had forgotten.
The next meeting will be June 5, at Laura’s house.
We will meditate first next time.
Bernard will hold the July 3rd meeting at his house and will facilitate the Body Mapping experience.
Heart and Soul TJT Group Meeting Notes – April 3, 2012
Present: Bernard Liebov, Carolyn, Cynthia Heaton, Eva Montville, Karen Soriano, Laura Hamilton, Stephanie Dashiell, Steve Fuji
Location: Karen Soriano’s house in Morongo Valley
Facilitator: Karen Soriano
6:30 Meditation: Lead by Karan S – Quigong movments focusing on white light driving out negativity
Be careful what you ask for – wanted community and now experiencing almost an overload!
The importance of keeping up my practice in the midst of life. Realizing there are lots of different ways to practice.
Realize I want a balanced life and that I have choices.
The manifestations I am experiencing are both big and small.
Seeing a psychic surgeon and opening my mind to a new healing process.
Overwhelmed by reading “The Long Emergency”.
Conflict provides possibilities.
Announcements: Event at the Retreat Center - Spring Insight Meditation Retreat with Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman and others, April 18-27. Locals are welcome to join the dharma talks in the evenings, around 5 pm in the Sanctuary.
Old Business: Preparations for Full Moon Drum Circle at Garths on Friday.
Signs- Cynthia and Eva will make. Karen and Eva will meet at 2 pm and put up signs.
Send out an announcement about car pooling and bring chairs and instruments
Eva bring sign-in sheets and donation box, Karen will do the sign-in
Will see how much we take in and then decide on a % for H&S, if there is enough for a decent donation to Garth
Karen will conduct a one-hour OM circle at 4 pm and will send out an announcement with a reminder of the event to everyone.
Decided to have the H&S meeting on the first Tuesday of every month. The next meeting will be May 1st, at Laura Hamilton’s place. She will send directions to Eva. Need to bring chairs. Eva has a bunch of “Crazy Creek” chairs and will bring them. Cynthia will facilitate.
Attendees at our meetings will put one dollar in the kitty at each meeting, as they are able. Laura will be our Treasurer.
Eva will take the meeting notes and send them and other H&S announcements and information to Karen Tracy for posting on our TJT web page.
Steve talked about the Networking Group and how they want to have a festival linking all groups. We talked about the “Great Unleashing” being a vehicle for that.
Steve also talked about the Kid’s Group, how he would like to see each group do something for kids.
We then talked about ideas for other events and activities that our group might like to do, eg. Body Mapping, using the wilderness setting for an event, a Valery Eagle Heart workshop, the Whole Being Weekend in Idlewilde, chanting.
We see ourselves as a resource and an umbrella for spiritual activities and events in our Transition community. And our meetings are a place for us as a group and as individuals to develop. It is important to set aside enough time in each meeting for that personal development. We needed to stay connected to our AIM/Purpose and revisit it regularly to see if it needs to evolve.
Development of Ourselves as Resources:
Karen Soriano lead us in 15 minutes of OM chanting, with reflections after.
Present: Cynthia Heaton, Eva Montville, Karen Soriano, Karen Tracy, Savia Lee, Stephanie Dashiell, Susan Jordan
Meditating, Journaling, and Smiling are important
Hug from the heart
Allow people to be themselves
Follow the law of loving allowance
Don’t try to change people – it doesn’t work
Be free, be open
See the humor in things and know that everything passes
Send out love
Meet approximately once a month from 6-9 pm
Have the pot-luck from 6pm to 6:30 pm, at which time the meeting will begin
Have the meeting place shift among member’s homes who are able and want to host
Have a member facilitate each time and send out “loose agenda”
Have a member design the personal/spiritual development segment of each meeting
Have a member take notes/minutes at each meeting
For now, Eva will be the contact person with the TJT IG.
Cosmology Group – meeting Monday, March 19th at Susan Jordan’s home, at 6 pm with a vegetarianpotluck. Susan will be sharing the movie “Quantum Activist”.
Sitting Group – meets Wednesdays at Susan Jordan’s at 10 am. They usually listen to a Pema Chodron tape and then meditate.
Drum Circle - April 6th at Garth’s in Pioneer Town. Karen Soriano will send out a flyer with further information. Suggested donation – $5 – $10. Carpooling is important.