May 212015
 

By Cathy McNally

Gifts, Growth, and Gratitude

As I look back on my week at the Centers Gathering on the Pelion Peninsula in Greece, I have a sense of much personal deepening and growth. I am also returning to Canada with a sense of significant expansion of our resource network. Christine Lines from Findhorn summarized: “By sharing all we have, each one of us has access to everything! Here is true prosperity.”

Hot tip: On the Centers Gathering website, www.centersgathering.org, Christine has added a new interactive map showing all the ‘transformational centers’ around the world. I invite you to take a look and be inspired!

We closed the Gathering with a wonderful morning of harvesting the value—personal and professional—each was leaving with. Then moved into generative thinking about how to describe the group we are. The result was a felt sense of being “A Planetary Family of Transformational Centers.”

 

Final group photo

Final group photo

In this final group photo, three key individuals coordinating the event are: sitting on the ground…Adam Reisling—logistics (Kalikalos); directly in front of…Christine Lines—website and notes (white shirt, from Findhorn); arm-in-arm with Adam’s sister…Dorota Reisling—inspiration and host (blonde hair and pink shirt, also Findhorn).

[Back row far right, wearing the blue shirt, is James Kellycreator of the Miracle Choice game, who donated a game to The Haven. More about James and this amazing game in a future post.]

Julie, Jock and Deborah

Julie, Jock and Deborah

 

On the final night I was lucky enough to get this photograph … showing (L to R) Julie Williams—my post-gathering Athens sightseeing buddy, herbalist Jock Mullenson—co-founder of Kalikalos, and Deborah Benham—my wonderful roommate for the week.

The thank yous I shared with one and all cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel for the opportunity to be in Greece, and receive the gifts from each person.

And in this same context, I will be forever grateful to: Rachel, our ED, for inviting me to attend the gathering and represent The Haven when work demands prevented Dennis Marriott from being able to go; and Andrew Bing, Assistant/donor/Board Director, for donating the flights and hotels to get me there and back. Thank you both.

I am truly blessed!

 Posted by at 11:11 am
May 192015
 

By Cathy McNally

Mid-week Adventures: Wednesday May 13

The Greek village location of Kalikalos-Kissos

Mid-way through the week of the Centers Gathering we had an unexpected event: the whole mountain lost electricity starting around 8am.  Happily this occurred just after the kitchen had finished heating our water for morning coffee and tea!  It also meant we needed to change our morning plans – which had focused around a Skype conversation with Sean Feng in China, where the next Centers Gathering will happen in October 2015.

With news that we were unlikely to have power resume before 4pm, we took the opportunity to go up the mountain to visit two of the three campuses of the Kalikalos Network, a co-host of this Greek gathering.  We wandered over the rustic Anilio-SKT centre in its beautiful forest setting, and lunched at Kalikalos-Kissos, which is nestled in a picturesque Greek village.

 

Nigel performing.

Nigel performing.

Returning to our sea-level base in the Damouhari hotel, we closed the day with dinner at a different cafe in the local area.  The lovely meal was prepared from scratch by the café owner’s family…and included home-grown entertainment by participant Nigel!

The Tree and Lost Unicorn: Thursday May 14

On the final night of the Centers Gathering in Greece, we were told to prepare ourselves for a very special treat.  We then embarked on a journey far up the mountain to an amazing location.  After parking we were guided to a large courtyard area adjacent to a beautiful church.  As we approached, the central focus was clear:  a HUGE, gorgeous tree!  We were told that this tree is estimated at well over 1000 years old!  As you can see, many were drawn to climb the tree and connect with it in a variety of ways.

Antje resting against the tree

Antje resting against the tree

Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we could drag ourselves away from this ancient presence, we enjoyed the best meal I have had in a very long time at the Lost Unicorn.

The Lost Unicorn

The Lost Unicorn

As well as providing amazing meals, the owners of this remarkable place have gone out of their way to preserve the building, grounds, elegant furnishings, and even collect a large library of books.  A special treat indeed!

 

 Posted by at 9:50 pm
May 122015
 

By Cathy McNally

The bay off the taverna where we eat breakfast each day.

The bay off the taverna where we eat breakfast each day.

This morning is the second day of the International Holistic Centers Gathering May 2015, held at the Damouhari Hotel in the only natural port on the coast of the Pelion peninsula in the north east part of central Greece. This was the location for the filming of Mama Mia with Meryl Streep. Our taverna, where we have breakfast each morning, faces the site of the movies’ beach scenes. Every taverna in the village has signed photographs and press stories displayed proudly on their walls!

The 18 participants at this gathering come from India, Hawaii, Germany, Poland, France, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, and Canada – Quebec and BC. My experience is of a very understated group of highly skilled and wildly creative human beings. Two are creators of inspirational growth and awareness games, everyone has distinct qualifications in professional and/or health related fields, almost everyone serves on one or more boards of organizations focused on making a difference in the world. A rich resource of experience and knowledge being shared in each session.

A morning conversation group.

A morning conversation group.

Happily, this group of busy and committed people is also very relaxed and focused on including self-care this week. As can be seen by this photo of one of our morning discussion groups held in the hotel garden.

 Posted by at 11:53 am
Apr 302015
 

By Rachel Davey

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Morag in Thunderbird’s new entrance foyer in the making

Work on the Thunderbird dorms has been underway for a month now, and we are all very excited at the progress made and the opportunities this new style of accommodation will offer. Recently, we identified ‘the art and science of living well, together’ as part of the essence of programs at The Haven. As we get further into the Thunderbird dorm project, it’s becoming clear that this also encapsulates the essence of what the dorms will be.

This project looks both to the past and the future. It has always been a feature of Haven programs to share accommodation space with others. This was more common in the past than now, and we still have a significant number of participants who share a room with someone they have never met before. We know that lifelong friendships have sometimes been the result, and sharing has always been a great opportunity to practice the Communication Model, if nothing else! For David Beckwermert, who donated the funds to create the dorms, his experience of having to share a room was an unforgettable (and not entirely comfortable!) experience, rich with learning. Whereas Haven rooms have to date allowed two or three people to share, the dorms will hold up to six people in one space.

The future aspect of the dorms is the focus on micro living, making the most of a small space. A great deal of thought has gone into making the space comfortable and as private as possible. We can’t control the human beings involved of course, but we can consider issues such as heating, light, noise, storage and privacy and how that might support the idea of living well together. Rather than building one huge dormitory, we have kept the idea of three separate spaces (formerly rooms 135, 136 and 137), each with their own washroom. Given the limited amount of space, we are also ensuring that shared spaces, like the Satir (TV) and Bugenthal (Games) rooms in the Orca building are fully equipped to be used more often than now.

The result will be a cozy and comfortable place to sleep, and an affordable accommodation option that we are fully expecting to become one of our most popular buildings to stay in. We look forward to welcoming our first guests at the end of June.

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Centering for the Gathering

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By Tina Boehm I recently had the good fortune to attend Experience Week at the Findhorn Foundation Community in Scotland and want to share a little of my experience. My hope is that it may encourage others to venture overseas and have their own experience of a truly magical and unique spiritual ecovillage and learning […]

Living Alive Phase I: What's in it for you?

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By Susan Clarke. This article originally appeared on Susan’s blog susanbclarke.com A while back I wrote a blog requesting others to share their Ultimate Result from taking a Living Alive Phase I program at The Haven. I loved hearing from so many people, and decided I wanted to share some of the responses (without revealing […]