The field is set. One hundred and twenty-five humans from all over Europe and the world, all hearing a call, all converging to a small city in southeast Sweden for the iconic AoH Karlskrona 2017. We gather around the calling question at the centre, "How might we reach across the deepening divisions in society?" Fresh and rich compost has been mixed into our field with the months of dedicated groundwork performed by the organising team. Today we prepare to plant our seeds of curiosity. We gather in circle to check-in around the questions, "what brought you here, and what are you bringing?" Answers are jotted down, music comes on, and we all begin to weave through the Rotundan in silence reading the story of others. I see you. The music stops and a trio is formed. We deepen into the question "why I said yes?" The music comes back on, we continue to walk, seeing those who cross our path. Again the music stops, a trio is formed. This time, "what is my gift?" A popcorn harvest of what we heard. The field is already beginning to connect. We have arrived.
Next up, Fika, the Swedish tradition of coffee break and cinnamon buns! After a short and sweet Swedish cafe, we step into the World Cafe. In what way are we all division makers? What do we have to give up/add on for a most connected life? What do we dare to dream is possible now?
Three rounds, three questions. We weave in and out of conversation, cross-pollinating ideas, sharing stories, exploring the tensions between division and connection. Draw the future you think is possible - circles, hearts, ying and yang, a blank page.
Time for a teach. Let us learn about the foundational practice, also known as the 4-fold practice. Host yourself. "What do you do as your practice to be present?" It is a joy to be hosted." When do you allow yourself this joy?" Find your mates and host others. "How do I host conversations that have my name on it?" To be in a community that hosts itself you are willing to have a mirror held up to you - that can be painful. "Who is your community?" Integrate … And so the spiral continues.
Step-up, commit, learn, deep-dive - the sign up matrix is open. An abundance of opportunity presents itself. Where do you feel the call willing practitioners? Maybe a little too willing. Wait my friends, first we check-out.
The container is brought back into form. We stand in circle. We reconnect to ourselves and each other. The breathe of day 1 is almost over. A rain storm comes and goes, adding moisture to our field. Spring is in the air. Our seeds are cracking open, seedlings and saplings emerging. As these plants grow, they may seem separate and individual. Yet beneath the surface, root systems reach out to one another to connect, communicate, and create symbiotic relationships of growth. Thank you all for this first day, a day of connecting.
Question 1: In what ways are we all division makers?
Question 2: What do we have to give up/add on for a more connected life?
Question 3: What do we dare to dream is possible now?