Albert Wong's blog
Where: The Big House at iThou
When: Sunday, November 22, 2009, 10 AM (Pacific Standard Time) / / 1 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
What: Book Party celebration and discussion of John Callahan's "Manual of Gestalt Practice in the Tradition of Dick Price"
You are all cordially invited to attend a Book Party celebration on Sunday, November 22, 2009 in the Big House in honor of our very own John Callahan and his great accomplishment of bringing to fruition his book: "Manual of Gestalt Practice in the Tradition of Dick Price." John has worked tirelessly to put together a fantastic summary of some of the main practices of gestalt, and his work, hopefully, might provide a way of preserving some of the legacy of this very valuable work.
Many thanks are due to Roberto Gerola, one of the patron saints of the site, who helped fix the audio issue yesterday. Roberto is a wonderful guy, who is extremely dependable and competent. We're lucky to be able to have him to help us out when we have troubles. Three cheers for Roberto for fixing our audio! ... And thanks to all of you, including Roberto, who are part of the life of the place.
PS. You can also read about Roberto's past help with iThou here.
Inspired by some conversations that Steve and I have had about the site, I thought we might begin to open a dialogue with you all about what our collective intentions and aspirations for the site might be. You are, each and every one of you, deeply important in determining how this site grows and develops. And although Steve and I have thought about some possible aspirations and intentions for the site, they are not set in stone -- nor are they mandated by us by any stretch of the imagination. This list, is in part, informed by our own experience of living and working in the Esalen community. Like most aspirations, we are humbly aware that we ourselves often are not living in alignment with our own intentions.
So here are Steve and Albert's aspirations for the site (heavily borrowed from Steve's work in group facilitation with communities):
We want to encourage responsibility, cooperation, and honesty.
Long-term Esalen community member Montgomery London is currently in the ICU due to health complications.
Those of you who are moved
to light a candle for her,
for her husband Josef,
or for any of us
who are in need of health, hope, and healing
are invited to do so.
With love and blessings to you all,
Hello, everyone. This is a New Year's "check in/weather report" -- of me and the website -- or at least my take on it. Forgive me for being absent from many of the threads. My dominant work has been to try to create the right kind of technical holding environment so that the site might flourish. The year has been very full for me -- personally and with respect to the site -- and always a great learning.
This is, basically, a third-year anniversary of the site, and I am very pleased with the community and friendships that have formed on it. People who know Esalen, people who are connected to spiritual practice, or just good, kind-hearted people have gathered in this virtual space and are sharing, and that is good. There is camaraderie, laughter, shared spirit, raw honesty. All of these things are important for community. I'm glad that they're here. There are so many things about the site that are working well.
After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Natalia Rae has passed away today.
I will always remember her as a light. As one who always supported the underdog. As a dear friend.
For those of you who knew her and loved her, there will be a ceremony for her at her home in Larkspur for the next couple of days. Chris Price has been organizing this and I am taking the liberty, with her permission, of reprinting her letter here:
From Chris Price:
So, we're planning on doing the interview with Jeff on Wednesday June 27 at 1:30 PM Pacific Time [3:30 PM Central Time / 4:30 PM Eastern time] in the Big House. I know this means that some people can't attend, but it was challenging trying to find a time that could work for everyone... sorry about that! [Note: Jeff is still finalizing some stuff with the IT group down at Rice, but hopefully it will work out!] [The direct link to the meeting is here: http://fm-openlearn.open.ac.uk/fm/index.php?pwd=aa62cf-613 . Or you can get there through the Big House: http://www.ithou.org/Big_House ]
So, we're planning on doing the interview with Jeff on Wednesday June 27 at 1:30 PM Pacific Time [3:30 PM Central Time / 4:30 PM Eastern time] in the Big House. I know this means that some people can't attend, but it was challenging trying to find a time that could work for everyone... sorry about that!
[Note: Jeff is still finalizing some stuff with the IT group down at Rice, but hopefully it will work out!]
[The direct link to the meeting is here: http://fm-openlearn.open.ac.uk/fm/index.php?pwd=aa62cf-613 . Or you can get there through the Big House: http://www.ithou.org/Big_House ]
I just got a note from Jeff Kripal, and he needs to reschedule our webcast interview. He's a really busy guy -- we're lucky to have him at all --- and he has just booked a couple of big radio shows for the book that got cancelled and then rescheduled for the Tuesday morning, the 26th.
So, as we think about rescheduling it looks like another possibility might be Wednesday afternoon, June 27th... 1:30PM Pacific Time / 4:30PM East Coast time... which could work for Jeff and myself... and we could possibly reschedule then, if this worked for people.
So, would this time work for y'all?
Alternatively, Jeff suggests that we might shoot for after July 16th sometime when he returns from a two-week family vacation, tho' I know John Callahan will be at Esalen then and it would be really great to have John's wisdom, I believe, on the webcast, as well.
I am thinking about organizing a FlashMeeting WebCast Interview with Jeffery Kripal, the author of the recent book "Esalen: The Religion of No Religion". I imagine something kind of like the Wednesday Evening Program... or possibly a more intimate "Visiting Teacher" program in which all of the members of the iThou community could participate, and actively dialogue and ask questions.
I have been in preliminary contact with him and he has been enthusiastically affirmative and generous with his time.
I am thinking about scheduling this... but first, would this be of interest to you guys?
Let me know! Thanks!
[Ed. Note: Appreciation and credit to Dorothy T for her hard work in crafting the majority of this notice.]
The Big House meetings have been a great success, and it has been wonderful to share spirit and heart with all the many people who have stepped into the circle. Over the course of the past several months the 'work' and 'group field' have deepened for a core group of regular attendees. A number of this core group are either gestalt practitioners themselves or have had extensive training in gestalt facilitation.
That group has decided to begin meeting in 'closed session' to experiment with actual online facilitation with one another.
To that end, due to time restraints on all involved, we are going to continue the OPEN weather reports on the FIRST Sunday of every month (please come!) and limit the other Sundays to the facilitation group.
[Ed. Note: Many thanks of appreciation are due to John Callahan, Dorothy T, Mindy, and Steve Harper for their invaluable assistance in this new meditation schedule and experiment. :-)]
Over these past months since the Meditation House has opened its doors, hundreds of people have entered and practiced awareness, compassion, kindness, and love. The Meditation House is one of the central wellsprings of spirit on this site. It is, I believe, part of what has become part of the lifeblood of the place.
Many of us have been meditating in the Meditation House at different times -- whenever we are able. Our common practice of entering into the meditation house and "declaring our practice" has been a thread that has connected each of us to each other across the span of space and time...
Thanks everyone for your ongoing support of this crazy project....
I've finally got a semi-functional new front page design.... It's still very much a work in progress... so if you have any thoughts or input... please feel free to let me know...
See the new design here: www.ithou.org/front_page
[Note to self: turn baths more stone / earth colors. Increase contrast on Talking Stick... special thanks to Steve for these suggestions.]
There are a number of parts of the site that are still under construction...
The Art Barn
The Fire Circle
Please let us know what you would like to see in these parts of the site... or if there are other parts of the site that you would like to see added...
This offering is being given to the iThou circle. The person that feels they want/need to receive this can contact me here at this entry and say something of why they are receiving this from the iThou circle (not personally from me).
Second, the recipient can send me a private message with their address and I will send this to them. You must be a member of iThou and no money is exchanged.
Third, the only “obligation” for the person receiving an object is to find something that they would like to give to the iThou circle in the same manner and spirit of this “offering”.
Hi there... everyone...
In response to some of the requests for a site "redesign" I'm currently experimenting with a new layout... instead of the "fluid width" layout that I had been using before, I'm experimenting with a "fixed width" layout width. A "fixed" width might allow for more precise and aesthic placement for graphic design elements... which is what some people had been asking for...
Additionally, in response to a couple of requests, I've narrowed the top banner so that there is more room to see the posting content below.
Hopefully, these layout modifications will work for people... But, let me know if you have any thoughts or feedback on other ways to help improve the design of the site.
NOTE: you may have to clear your browser "cache" or "refresh" to clear out the old images from your browser...
I've been doing a little bit more thinking about vision... and direction... trying to language everything... though prose seems quite inadequate to the task... At any rate... some more clues are here, I think... it's about coming together... and the connecting across difference... and weaving a thread through us all... This is from Spring 1997... during one of my early years as Coordinator of Friends.
It was also a wonderful surprise to see...
...that also in this newsletter are some of the usual suspects...
... who would have thought it... but I suppose that is not to be much of a surprise...
been sitting with this vision-for-the-site thing...
it is coming to me only partially
and mostly in the form of incomplete pictures, not words...
poetry, not prose...
so hard to capture life-love-spirit
and put it into a bottle,
so here is a picture of sorts...
an imperfect beginning...
that itself is only part of what is...
and not even...
but here we are simply
trying to ride the wave
is to be...
I was driving on the 10 heading east on my way from Santa Monica College to teach my afternoon class when I heard on the radio the good news:
The FDA has approved the drug Tykerb for approval: FDA Approves New Breast Cancer Drug
i've been doing some thinking
about the vision of the site
and how to speak it
without constricting it
how to name
what has no name
and 10,000 names
to speak in plain english
about this space
we are in the midst of creating
tagging a name to spirit
to that common heart in us all
i do not yet know how to speak it
this common intent
but if i were to put it to music
it might go something like this
love streaming through
Sorry to everyone who got hit by a spam bot this morning between 5:30AM and 5:39AM today... There was a "robot" that snuck onto the site [username:m4vr1k1n] and got kind of trigger happy with posting some pretty unsightly spam. :-(
The spam protection mechanisms that I had put in did a pretty good job of cleaning up the spam so that the spam comments got erased after they were posted. However, some people still got email subscription notifications of the spam originating from the ithou.org site before the comments could get deleted. Sorry about that! :-(
I'm instituting a new [answer a math question] filter upon registration that should hopefully keep the robots out... :-( and I think I might actually eventually shift this to a [recognize these letters pattern] upon registration... to make sure that the spam robots can't even get onto the site...
Just found this and thought it might bring back some memories for some of the old-timers...
I remember my own days sitting on the lawn and watching music, Joan Baez, Baba Olatunji... what a history to be a part of...
Much love to all...
I'll probably be submitting this later on today to the Friends of Esalen Newsletter... don't know if it will get in or what form it would actually take, but if anyone has any thoughts or comments on it before I submit... please feel free to let me know!
Inspired by Dorothy Thomas....
I was speaking with Dorothy the other day and she was thinking about posting something, but was wondering if there was a way to post it so that it didn't show up on the "front page" of The Latest. So inspired by her thought, there is now is a way for people to do just that. You can now post something so that it actually will show up only under your personal page rather than under The Latest.
It's pretty simple... and it applies to anything that you want to post --- but which you don't want on the "front page" of "The Latest" :-).
Step 1. Compose your entry. So, go ahead and enter the information for your blog entry (or image, etc.) as usual. Don't hit "Submit" just yet.
Nancy Worcester... the gal who inherited my job at Esalen :-) ... has asked me to put together a little blurb about the site for the Esalen catalog [and eventually also the Friends Newsletter] and I thought I'd run it by you guys first to see what you thought.
Any ideas or suggestions for modification are welcome.
An Unofficial Website for the global Esalen Community: iThou.org
When you leave Esalen, you will probably look for it everywhere until you realize it is you. You are the messenger....
Take something with you to give to the world.
--- Melanie, former Esalen Gate Guard
In an effort to provide ongoing support for individuals who have lived, worked, and/or studied at Esalen, an informal collective of former Esalen staff, workscholars, and seminarians have joined to form the seeds of a global grassroots Esalen Alumni Group.
Just saw this and wanted to share... nice little reminder of the spirit of the place...
Peace and love,
Greetings everyone... I just wanted to take a moment to give thanks and gratitude to one of the "patron saints" of this website... a wonderful brilliant computer guru, named Roberto Gerola.
A month ago, I was having difficulties with some of the performance issues for the site, and having little system administration experience myself, I was quite honestly at my wits end and did not know how to make things work right. I posted a call for help and Roberto jumped in and has truly worked wonders for the site. He has helped solve some of the most nagging performance issues and is truly a godsend.
He has been enormously generous with his time and his talent. Truly. As a small gesture of my appreciation, I bought him a book that Tobias had mentioned to me [and which was on his Amazon Book wish list], The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.
The day that Roberto received the book, he actually sent a picture back to me of the book and this inscription on one of the pages! I was deeply touched by how graciously he received the gift and I thought I'd share this with you.
So... a bunch of people have asked me how to do this for the site... i.e., how to add YouTube video to the site easily.... so I've finally figured out how to make this work! So... here it goes... Ta da...
So... upon recommendation of Dorothy Thomas and Seymour Carter, I've gotten John Heider to say yes to coming onto the site for an interview and was curious if anyone had any questions they'd like him to address....
For those of you who don't know John, he's an *amazing* human being who was a remarkable trendsetter in the vanguard of truth-speaking. Author of the "Tao of Leadership" and one of the original members of the early Esalen "Flying Circus", John is one of the most respected and beloved teachers to have ever come out of Big Sur.
So... if anyone has any questions to ask John, you can write them in here and I'll see if he can address them.
Oh... and if there's anyone else you'd like me to interview, you can let me know that too. And I'll put them on the list.
PS... If anyone wants to *conduct* an interview, as interviewer, I'd be happy to have you join the "iThou press corps" :-) ... In couple of months or so, we might even be able to broadcast stuff live over the internet... who knows... we'll see how that goes!
a quick note to say that steve and abby... are currently in labor... their second child... and that we are all wishing them all safe passage into this new world and new life...
welcome to you treya with love...