Learning to become Whole
What is a we-space gathering?
No agenda, no programme, no defense against the difficult. An unfolding sense of purpose, revealed in real-time through raw courageous personal work. We know this work – which arises through silence, which is learning how to wait forever and to speak into the cracks which were not there; the work we do for each other because it is each other’s, because we are revealed and undone every time we step deeper into our pain and unknowing, and are remembered there, whenever we come upon an astonished place in ourselves for the first time, and recognise home.
Stephen Busby, On We-Space Bornholm, February 2019
Explaining we-spaces is always tricky since they are emerging processes and, as such, difficult to pin down with words. Definitions tend to be evanescent and slip away as soon as words are put together. The quote above captures something of the ever-unfolding experience of being together in a particular way.
From our previous experiences of organising and being in we-spaces, we have teased out some of the key principles that comprise the gatherings as they are currently being carried out.
Principles and main ingredients
A gathering of people (from 2 to 25 people) who feel a strong call to be together at a set date and for a duration of 5 to 7 days, in a location not too isolated that allows quietness and stillness
A loose structure with no agenda other than being and coming together as a collective
A light programme mainly around practicalities where contents and topics of inquiry can unfold organically as the group coheres and becomes a We
A commitment to hold the space and to allow everything that arises in the space, remembering that everything matters, everything is allowed, even the most edgy and unloved aspects of ourselves
A continuous practice in noticing and presencing movements of holding back and moving forward, and in sensing the We as a living collective organism where each individual component matters and is part of the Whole
A commitment to meet the shadow of We, i.e. undifferentiated merging and dependency
A continuous practice in renouncing the need to help others or heal
A practice of being rather than doing, and better still a practice of un-doing the old and obsolete structures
There is so much to say about the nature of we-space experiments, what happens and what becomes available for more awareness. Each experiment has its unique and special flavour which may need to be voiced or not. We believe in letting the experiences speak for themselves, in their own time and format.
Our experiences in holding we-spaces
Since 2018 Yggdrasil Living Wholeness has regularly been taking part in we-space experiments with Stephen Busby as part of the development of the European field of practice.
During summer 2019 and until the end of the year when our new facilities will be completed, we will be holding mini we-space experiments with small groups (3 to 5 people) over a short period (1 to 2 days). No fixed dates for the time being. They will emerge spontaneously with people who feel drawn to come to Bornholm and to stay in our house. We would like to bring together our guests and the local people living on the island who are keen to take part in such a gathering.
The mini we-spaces will be experimental welcoming creativity and playfulness for exploring the above principles. The signposts will all point towards graceful and inspiring unfoldment, and stepping aside from striving and efforting. This feels crucial for opening up to new ways of gathering in groups where we will be invited to presence ourselves and to listen to transformations wanting to come through the We. For Yggdrasil Living Wholeness it will provide a vibrant terrain for exploring new forms of hospitality, spiritual welcoming and experiences of being received within.
Past and future We-Space gatherings
Below is a list of the we-space experiments hosted with Stephen Busby in collaboration with other partners in Higher Consciousness Work. Links either recount past experiences or provide further information for upcoming events.
19 – 28 June 2018, Findhorn, Scotland
November 2019, Ireland
Spring 2020, Bornholm, Denmark