Friday, January 13, 2006

Long dark night of the soul -- for facilitators

Facilitated an Open Space yesterday for a small group (11) that was hosted in a beautiful private home. We had enough space, three! fires, awesome food, and a singing dog named Darby.

What i noticed in this small group and relatively small space, was that it is a lot harder to be invisible. I worked extra hard not to be too large a presence in the opening, and then was very careful to be as unseen and inobtrusive as possible, while still being present. While i was busy not-doing (more than usual), i had lots of time to observe the inner activity.

Now, facilitation is not usually seen as a spiritual practice, but i think i can now heartily recommend it to any serious student of any spiritual path. If you are looking to come face to face with all your stuff, to engage with your own long dark night of the soul--facilitation is good hunting ground.

During the hours while everyone else was deep in juicy conversation and dialogue, i was sitting/standing/pacing around listening to my brain do a number on my ego by inventing all sorts of stories about what was happening with those gathered and the day. Thank Spirit that i know that it's not about me and that i have faith in the folks gathered to do the work.

I have got to the point now, where this aspect of holding space is as close to fun as it's ever going to get. It's kind of like when you know you are dreaming--you can go along for the ride if you like and try to learn something. I know what my head is telling me is utter fabrication--but, of course, faith is not real unless it has something to test it/challenge it--yes? So the voices are necessary to strenghten the faith. At least that's my story at this point.

So there i am, for hours and hours, watching this incredible dance inside myself--aware of the space i am holding, aware of the strength of my faith in those gathered, aware of my insecurities and frailities--present with it all. Just sitting with it all. How glorious. What another gift.

What is it about facilitating that in order to truly serve those we host, we must lose faith in ourselves and everything else except those who are on the voyage with us?

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