The Samyama Festival on August 31 was awesome. Words can’t describe the deep, heart-felt appreciation I have for Bach and Paola for the vision and hard work it took to pull this together in such a wonderful fashion!
Yes, the events and exhibits were great. But for me (and I suspect for many), the opportunity to meet and interact with other local like-minded people was the high point of the event. I felt, for the first time since Joy and I moved to the Dumaguete area two years ago, that there are many of us craving more.
More connections. More events. More opportunities for sharing, giving our gifts, and gaining from the knowledge and wisdom of others willing to give their own gifts.
I was literally lit up by the possibility of creating a vibrant, thriving spiritual community in this area. And the idea that what we create here might ripple out throughout the Philippines, thus contributing to raising the vibe of the entire country. I ended up creating a Facebook page “Negros Soul Tribe” (click to visit and like!) to start building the energy!
We could sit back and wait till next August, and let Bach and Paola carry the burden of organizing, preparing, arranging and et cetera for the second annual festival.
BUT… I hope there’s more excitement among many of us around the potential for a vibrant spiritual community, than to sit back and let a year go by before we all get together again!
I’d like to share my vision for what could happen – if those with passion around community begin organizing and planning now.
By the way, if that’s not you, feel free to remove yourself from the Facebook chat group I setup.
If you know others who might be juiced by this idea, feel free to add them to the chat group; and/or guide them to this page. (I created this page on a website I already own, just for the sake of expediency.)
This is just A vision (mine). It’s not intended to be THE vision for developing a spiritual community. I’m putting it forward as a conversation starter, but the only way this happens is if we develop a vision together; and then move forward with planning and organizing around the shared vision.
Create a weekly informal gathering for people to sit together in circle
Recruit a presenter to share his/her wisdom around a particular topic each week. (I’ll bet the people on the organizer’s Facebook Chat group could easily present on 15 different topics!)
Have a regular structure/format for the gathering – here’s one idea:
Start of gathering brief ritual to create sacred space
30-45 minutes of presentation, followed by 15-30 minutes Q&A
End of gathering ritual to release the energy of the sacred space.
Encourage everyone – presenter, attendees, etc. to bring flyers about upcoming events or gatherings
Light refreshments after the presentation will encourage attendees to stay and network/get to know one another. (Alternately, meet at a nearby restaurant afterwards for more interaction)
Promote the weekly gathering on Facebook, at Yoga studios, coffee shops, etc. And, of course, if it’s interesting, word of mouth will be the greatest means of growth.
Requires a regular weekly venue – may be a slight cost to attend to pay for use of space?
Create regular and frequent other events to build community – like:
Spiritual cinema night
Hiking / sightseeing trips
What’s the next step?
If there’s agreement that we should take action to build community; and several of us have organizing energy – let’s find a time to get together soon, and start planning.
Here’s one thing I know – this effort needs to have a Filipino leader. An old white American guy cannot be the face of this group! Though I’m extremely excited about this… and willing to devote a whole lot of “behind-the-scene” time, energy, resources. I will offer to present a few topics at the weekly gatherings; and probably facilitate some future gatherings around sacred intimacy, relationships, managing the mind, transcendent breathwork, and probably a few other things that don’t come to mind right now.