I’m just back from two weeks of speaking events, workshops and an intensive conference, all with a common theme: how all of us can – and must – do our bit to change the world. It started with an extraordinary event in Washington Heights, New York, organized by my dear friend Jean Houston, who essentially invented the personal development movement.
Jean gathered together a batch of us – me, Jude Currivan, Duane Elgin, Jeff Vander Clute, Monica Sharma and José Miguel Román – to present at the United Palace, the extraordinary theatre/church that used to house Reverend Ike’s congregation.
Spiritual center of the East
The plan is to turn the United Palace – a glorious, recoco gilt birthday cake of a theatre – into the spiritual center of the East – much as Agape is the spiritual center of the West. This first event was an experiment, and besides speaking in front of an audience, we live streamed the event through the Palace’s state of the art streaming system.
The theme of our July 15 event was how all of us can be ‘social artists’ – agents of change. Jean, the event’s host, led off with ‘what social artistry actually is’ and the fact that we are experiencing another one of those ‘Jump Times,’ as she called it, which periodically occur through history.
I followed with the ‘psychological’ ‘jump time’ and the fact that our understanding of ‘mind’ has now greatly expanded. A growing batch of evidence shows that mind does not equal ‘brain’, but is a trespasser, able to extend behind our physical being to affect other people and things.
Perfect example of this? The Power of Eight, and our ability – indeed, our birthright – to heal each other and the world.
Duane Elgin and Jeff Vander Clute and Heather Shea gave amazing talks about the ‘mythic and symbolic’ elements of this image of ourselves, and Jude gave a wonderful presentation of her new theory of unity consciousness.
Monica Sharma, an extraordinary social activist, who has scaled up many social movements in India and elsewhere, talked about how each of us can play our part in starting these movements from the ground up.
The day was punctuated by the extraordinary voice of Anwar Robinson, a runner up from the X Factor, who is the musical director of the theatre. (to watch the full event, visit: https://bit.ly/2NV1ppV)
From there I held a wonderfully intimate workshop in a magnificent mansion in Rye, New York, where numerous of the attendees bonded and experienced some powerful changes during the Power of Eight sessions and our ‘retro-intention’ exercises.
Then it was off to New York, for a talk down in Tribeca, where Joe Carini, who makes beautiful artistic carpets, loaned us his copious space. An amazing healing effect got created in that room. During the Power of Eight sessions, we had numerous amazing healings.
One woman, whose voice had become distorted after contracting Lyme Disease, was speaking just about normally by the end of the evening. A fellow who’d just learned he had a brain tumor, felt an extraordinary sense of calm and healing while in his circle. A woman who’d lost two sons to violence felt psychically healed by the procedure.
The list of healings, to my continued amazement, goes on and on.
And then, on July 21, it was up to the Lac des Deux Montagnes (Lake of the Two Mountains) outside of Montreal, for our annual meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council. We spent five days immersing ourselves in lectures, one by Mari Smith, the extraordinary Facebook expert) and another by Carol Cone, who helps companies do positive outreach in the world, and two others by two 39-year-old twins who are including social conscience in their business plans.
Despite the busy schedule, we had a few moments of down-time connecting with some of our dearest friends, through relaxed evenings, and even a bit of unorthodox team-building (axe-throwing, believe it or not, and log-sawing).
My team, I’m rather happy to report, was hopeless at both.
Bryan and I also made time for some new photos too, taken by the extraordinary photographer, Carl Studna. Here’s just one of them.
A powerful time had by all.