Reflections on our first Conversations on the Edge of Silence programme, Yasnopole Ecopark, 22-24 October 2016
Our first 3-day Conversations on the Edge of Silence programme held in the new Yasnopole (Clear Field) Ecopark, two hours south of Moscow, 22-24 October, was extraordinarily fulfilling for me personally. Just when I was looking for renewal in my work, and felt ready for a new phase or level, here it came, bang on time, and in the best possible way.
The programme started gently, as we settled lightly into silence, flowing into a clear and simple introduction, around the metaphor of the human hand. This helped participants grasp the key elements of the process early on, both for the conversations we would have, one-to-one, and in the group as a whole. Participants had a sense of all the elements that would be in play, without needing to labour any one, while the focus of the programme unfolded each element in more detail, as the sessions flowed over the three days.
At the same time, we began to enjoy silence with growing comfort and confidence as a natural backdrop connecting all the conversational threads to each other and to those present. All this happened in a way that allowed deeper facets of the issues people touched to surface spontaneously. As individuals honed in on questions of importance to themselves, answers emerged connecting the person exploring to the matter at hand, to their deeper selves, and to the group as a whole.
In the process, we enjoyed a pleasantly flowing mix of one-on-one conversations involving the trainer and members of the group, attention to the kind of processes these conversations mirrored and expressed in the group as a whole, some cognitive support to the learning process, and deep conversations among the members of the group in pairs.
And it all happened delightfully, unplanned, as if going by itself. I was surprised at how beautifully just what needed to be in the foreground followed naturally from what had gone before.
“The pauses seem like a bridge with the two people having the conversation on opposite banks of the river, and when they speak again, they cross the river.’
– Erling Kagge, Silence in the Age of Noise
Fulfilment of a Long Process of Development
For 30 years, in my work with people, which I have called first ‘Open Heart Learning’ and then ‘Re•Patterning’, I’ve been struggling with two things. Firstly, I have been striving for my own sessions with clients to unfold in way that is elegant, natural, and profound, touching the core of what we are. Second, I have been seeking how to share with others, in a training context, where things unfold linearly in time, a process for working with people whose varied facets all need to be present at once.
I feel enormous gratitude that over these three days, both these aims were fulfilled in an extraordinarily satisfying way. Firstly, I felt that the four or five key facets of the Re•Patterning work – the client’s cognitive map, the flow of energy in the body, the connecting metaphors holding old patterns in place, and the client’s deep assumptions about life – were all in play in the most amazing fluid, and dancing way.
At the same time, the subtle awareness that is so influential to this work and so hard to communicate was present and shareable as never before. Both individually and as a group, people opened up to insights arising from the non-dual field, as well as pointing to it. People understood clearly how conversational content comes into relief when illuminated by the silent field beyond it.
Secondly, the training process itself, also flowed in an effortless way. Over the years, in trainings, I’ve experimented with many formats, from short presentations to long trainings, evolving complex algorithms, giving an overview, building the process up, phase by phase, and so on. With each attempt, I’ve learnt some things, and a lot about what didn’t work.
Perhaps it was all the years of preparation, perhaps it was freshness from a deep retreat. Perhaps it was the lovely new venue with its inspiring vision of harmony with nature and wholesome living, and its eccentric menagerie of friendly beasts, llamas, goats, donkeys, horses, dogs, and camels, all getting along famously and enjoying visitors. Perhaps it was the ripeness of the group that gathered for this unusual theme: Conversations on the Edge of Silence. But I had a feeling for the first time that all the important threads wove together naturally, satisfying both me, and, as far as I could gauge, the group
It is very fulfilling to realise that this programme can serve both as an introduction and preparation for those interested in transformational work in the longer two-week full Dynamics of Deep Transformation, as well as an invaluable follow-up to that programme for those wanting to integrate their learning on that programme in an easy and flexible way.
It feels as if, finally, after so many challenges and gifts, what has been slowly coming together has done so as never before. It’s as if, finally, I have found my way! I’m so grateful for that and look forward to sharing this work with those who are interested in enjoying conversations that truly matter, conversations on the edge of silence.
Peter Wrycza, PhD, PCC, 26 October 2016
Infinite gratitude to Lusia Karkle and Alena Loktionova for promoting and organising this programme. And to Dmitry and Regina Sherepkov for hosting it at their wonderful Yasnopole eco-retreat, www.yasnopole.ru.