Back from the Crucible

Rejuvenated.  Renewed.  Re-energized.

One weekend in Minneapolis with my spiritual clan and I feel like a whole new person.  My god!  I had no idea how much I had put my head down and slogged through the last few months.  Think Little House on the Prairie snow drifts with gale winds and biting cold.  Think numb limbs.  Think hypothermia creeping up the spine to whisper, “Just lay down and sleep.”

Suddenly, I could see colors—the waxing, gibbous moon silver against the gray-blue dusk.  I could smell the lilacs and the worm-thick rain.  I could wrap my arms around my friends and feel their very different bodies—Karen, slim and athletic; Richard, vibrating and solid; Tina, enfolding and lithe.  I could taste the glorious, healthy smorgasboard prepared by folks who dig the energetics of food.  And the chorus of their voices, their laughter, rang me like a bell.  Conversations ranged from “The End of Days”,  to the artificial satellite in orbit around Mars, to theosophy, to prophets and channelers, to the quality of the sunsets in Puerto Rico.

Then, there was the Work.  This session we discussed the book Spiral Dynamics, a study of the development of cultural complexity.  The book presented different cultural “memes” or ways of seeing and responding to the world.  We study these materials to learn how to be better spiritual teachers, to help us develop sensitivity to the many different ways human beings are unique in their development and cultural anchors.

With our teacher, Melanie, beaming to us via Skype from Pennsylvania, and our colleague, Ken, joining us similarly from New Jersey, we listened to lecture, broke into work groups, and gave mini-presentations.

For me, the intellectual stimulation was exciting and challenging.  After attending so many sessions in total brain-fog, I actually grasped the material and contributed to our group efforts.  I could feel my brain humming, clear and bright.

But what we do at Teacher Training is much more than participate in classwork.  The group acts as a crucible, forcing us to watch our reactions as we become triggered by each other.  All the little irritations, joys, hilarity, and deeper feelings like insecurity and pride that pop up in any group setting become fodder for our personal work.  We get to see what we’re attached to and how we use up our energy focusing on those things.  And because everyone in the group is doing this work, we can go to each other with our process.  “I need to check something out with you…”

And then, there’s the love.  The connections between us come from respect, honoring the vast and amazing Work each person seems to have found, and standing together through triumphs and tragedies.  We don’t all like each other, but we love each other deeply, and we choose to keep coming back together for more of the alchemy.

This time I brought packets of my handmade cards as “favors” for everyone—a token of my gratitude.  The group responds to my art the same way they respond to me—with delight, appreciation and wonder.  They hold those cards so gently, but I know they will slap stamps on them and send them out in the world.  That’s what we’re all about.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JAPLM
    May 16, 2011 @ 13:43:07

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Glad you got so much out of it and feel rejuvenated!


  2. Fiddle gal
    May 16, 2011 @ 13:46:19

    I so enjoyed your post today. I can feel the joy in your heart.


  3. Josh
    May 16, 2011 @ 13:56:34

    So glad to hear about your wonderful experience!

    Josh… 🙂


  4. Sherry
    May 16, 2011 @ 17:59:10

    This entry made me cry – I’m still crying. I am SO glad to hear your voice again and feel the thrill of your excitement through your writing. It is all good.


  5. Kathryn McCullough
    May 16, 2011 @ 22:00:25

    Sounds like an amazing weekend, Sandy! Congratulations on growth and renewal!


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