On 12 - 14 January, 2018 a mixed and diverse group of people met in central Germany to discuss possibilities to develop human potential for change on a global level. The weekend was organised by IofC Germany.
The weekend started with an introduction to the main theme by presenting IofC's preamble to the participants. They were equally invited to reflect on the following guiding ideas:
The search for inner wisdom is central. When people listen to their inner voice they often reach conclusions that can lead them in unexpected directions. The silent search for serenity can become a source of truth, inspiration, renewal and power.
Start with yourself - Listen to others - Act purposefully.
As Germans we have a reputation of being top-heavy at times. Therefore it was pleasantly surprising to see how diverse and creative the participants were, presenting the weekend's main theme through music, poetry, art and drama. Creativity is inspiring and opens the way to new perspectives which otherwise might have been overlooked if only dealt with in theoretical discussions. It is a means to build trust and help people become open as they try out different ways. As human beings we have multiple facets: we can be top-heavy, practical and creative.
The question "Why is a time of silence so important?" was approched in a graphic way and personal stories were shared. If we retreat into silence, armed with the right questions, complicated and deadlocked situations can be changed. Understanding and recognising gridlocked attitudes can become a means for solutions and new direction.
During the weekend regular times of silences were held to help integrate new ideas, take stock of our personal circumstances and give each other the necessary space and time to explore new insights and possibilities.
Last autumn IofC's International Association invited its national teams to discuss and reflect on three different questions:
- What is the inner voice saying about the purpose of my IofC work and that of my group or team?
- To what degree is personal change at the heart of IofC work in your team/national work?
- To what degree are you able to practice silence and inner listening for guiding your personal lives and in making important decisions pertaining to IofC work?
Our personal conclusion: We cannot find answers to all these questions. But they were good starting-points for interesting discussions: What is a team? Are we a team? Or are we just a circle of friends?
Personal change kept being a central challenge during our weekend. We realized that all participants had come because the question of personal change was at the core of our meeting. This realization meant a lot to us. Our discussions made it clear that we might not be a homogenous team and very often only some of us actually work together. But we do all feel the importance of regular meetings which enrichen and strenghten our friendships. We also realized that many of us are very much interested in inviting participants from our neighbouring countries (including those from the East) and interesting ideas for future meetings were discussed.
It was fascinating to see how much music and singing, accompanied by instruments, enables hearts to open up and connect people. A meeting without music wouldn't be possible for us!
As a conclusion one participant said it all: "We are like a compost heap which enables new things to grow!"