Summary of OS Learning Workshop, Melbourne, 11-13 July 2003


This was not only my first workshop, it was also one-on-one. I was encouraged to do this after hearing Lisa Heft at OSWorldORG:OSonOsinOz talk about her successful one-on-one OS Learning Workshop.

As it turned out, the person who attended was 'the right people'. And the circle of two people turned out to have just the right amount of open space for us both.

I modified the originally advertised structure of two and a half days into three three-hour sessions on consecutive days to meet the mutual needs of the participant and myself.

Closing circle

I'd like to share one of the several valuable insights I gained during this workshop.

I was incredibly tired after the second session. On reflection, I realized this was because I had played the dual roles of facilitator and partipant without being consciously aware of holding the two at the same time. I then (synchonicity!) came across this quote from Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now, that I think expresses the facilitator's role in holding space.

"Doing nothing" when you are in a state of intense presence is a very powerful transformer and healer of situations and people.

In contrast, because the facilitator is holding the space, the participants have room to engage with their own passion and become deeply involved in the situation. Sharing this insight with my participant on the final morning enabled us both to have a deeper understanding of what an OS facilitator is doing and to distinguish it from a more traditional facilitator role where the facilitator has a stake in ensuring that all reasonable avenues are being explored.

Congratulations, Justus! ChrisCorrigan and I have been talking for some time about what we have called the i/we experience, meaning that (when facilitating) we are aware of the mind/space of the whole group AND also walking around participating if even as just another person in the buffet line at lunch, having people ask questions like "how do you come to do this sort of work?" and the like. In open space and now more and more in everyday space, I am pulsing more and more between the my individual mind/space and the larger collective mind/space. Glad to hear of this experience of yours noticing some of same, i think. I hope you'll continue to post your notes from future workshops. --MichaelHerman