Bryan and I are just home from the week-long Power of Eight retreat we held in a Tuscan villa. Twenty-nine attendees from the four quarters of the globe – from Vancouver and California to Dubai and Saudi Arabia and Australia, came primarily to heal themselves: of a medical problem, of grief, of an experience in their past – or to help them find a new path forward.
But as with most of our workshops, I was the biggest student in the room, trying out a little experiment that turned out to be one of the centerpieces of the week.
The week was a mix of teaching and touring. I taught a mix of advanced intention techniques, alone and in groups: how to neutralize negative intention, your own and everyone else’s, and also special ‘retrointention’ techniques to overcome past events that hold you back.
And Bryan elaborated on his three-selves model, and how the ‘psychological past’ is the bully of the three selves, taking over like an unwanted guest.
We placed all the attendees in four Power of Eight groups – appropriately named Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Garibaldi, and, in a nod to a notable Italian woman, Sophia Loren – and encouraged them to work and intend together throughout the week.
After the teaching on most days all of us would crowd into a bus to sample the delights of Tuscany and beyond: hilly San Gimignano, the medieval Manhattan of Tuscany, with its narrow cobbled streets and towers; the open museum that is Florence with its amazing Ponte Vecchio and Duomo; the fan-shaped piazza of Siena and charm of Montepulciano; and most of all, Assisi, with the tomb of St. Francis – all punctuated by delicious Italian food and wine.
During the first day, we tried a little experiment: one of the groups held the intention for one of our members in the Basilica of San Domenico, which holds the Chapel of St Catherine, considered the patron saint of journalists – an appropriate choice for Bryan and me.
The intention session was only 10 minutes, but it felt like a long and deep trance, with more energy between the group members than I had ever felt before.
As a consequence, during subsequent days I encouraged all the groups to hold a Power of Eight session in a sacred site. Perhaps the most profound was the day we went to Assisi on the day of St. Francis’ death. By some miracle the tomb of St. Francis was relatively empty (in preparation for giant celebrations the following day), and one of the groups held intention there, right in front of the marble tomb with its tiny altar, festooned with pink flowers.
The energy near the tomb was palpable, and especially magnified among the group members carrying out their intention.
This did not surprise me. Many scientists have studied the ‘linger’ effect of intention in sacred spaces. The idea of ‘conditioned space’ was explored by former PEAR scientist Dr Roger Nelson at sacred sites. Nelson was intrigued by these sacred spaces and whether their special purpose, or even some inherent quality about the site, had ‘charged’ the space with an energetic resonance that might register on a REG machine, those 21st century electronic coin flippers.
He had run a number of experiments suggesting that a ‘field consciousness’ in a highly charged atmosphere, such as an intense gathering, affected the machines and made them more ‘ordered’. He carried around a portable REG, to register any changes in the randomness in the ambient field at various sites: Wounded Knee, the site of the massacre of an entire Sioux tribe; Devil’s Tower in Wyoming; the Queen’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In every one of those sacred places, Nelson registered highly significant evidence of increased order on REGs, as if the location itself contained a lingering vortex of coherent energy, from all the people who had prayed or died there.
Regardless of our religions – and our Tuscan attendees held a variety of religious and non-religious beliefs – all of us surfed on that vortex of energy through the week, and the sacred theme was brought to fitting close when the local Francesco Coradini choir, which had revived rare choral music in the ancient castles and abbeys of Valdambra in Tuscany, offered an a cappella concert ‘to encourage reflection and meditation.’
The ‘charge’ of intention may have a domino effect on its environment, causing greater quantum order in empty space, which would enhance the effectiveness of its aim. The effect is like that of a laser; when waves of the ambient Field become more ordered, an intention may ripple through it like one powerful, highly targeted bolt of light.
To all my Tuscany attendees and all the rest of my readers who are continuing to meet: may your group intentions light up the sky and their aim always be true.