NYC Integral Salon Gathering
March 15, 2006 19:32
I am on the plane back to Denver. Yesterday was a great day. We hung out with Larry and his family before breakfast and during the morning—I continue to be struck by how much I like them, all of them. Larry and Karin divide their time between San Francisco and Chicago (where his family is), and on several occasions I have made plans to go to Chicago and just hang out with all of them, and our time together here in Soho just reinforces that desire.
Then Becca and I headed uptown to have a few hours of a “real” Manhattan experience. We didn’t have time to hit museums or such, so we went to Barneys, looked around, walked up and down 5th Ave, stopped back and had a late lunch on the top floor of Barneys. It was really great, and the type of experience that we don’t often have given my schedule.
Then we went to a gathering of some of the integral folks in NYC. I wanted to do two events, one for a larger gathering, and one for a smaller group of more dedicated students and practioners—due to time constraints, we settled on the latter. Lynne Feldman helped organize it, and it was held at the absolutely beautiful home of Robin and Barron Reinach, who did an extraordinary job of hosting. What was meant to be an hour or two long afternoon gathering, ended up lasting six or seven hours. We got there at 4pm and got back home at midnight. I think the following emails explain it best.
So many people have been asking about how the ‘Integral Salon’ gathering went, I thought I would forward a few emails about it. I don’t think those involved will mind me doing so (I’ve deleted any personal material). The simplest way to summarize it is to say that we all thought I would speak for an hour or so; I was picked up at 4pm and left at midnight. What happened is that it turned into a pure transmission of nondual consciousness, because this wonderful group was really ready and we were all so wonderfully open in the “we” space that developed. All
relaxed into the pure luminosity and open infinity of the endless depth of this moment; the room was drenched in it. The first session lasted about 4 hours. We took a break, did more work, had a fabulous dinner, did more work. Robin and Barron did an extraordinary job hosting this; everybody just slipped into unconditional love—and then we did a great deal of intellectual work within that nondual state (especially on 8 perspectives and their relation to… well, this and that and everything).
The rest of the trip was great—I’ll tell you about that later (and many of you have heard about it on concalls). Grand openings are always a blast, and this was a fantastic crew.
Wonderful trip all around, and the first mini-vacation I’ve had in a year. I’ll be going to SF soon, so we can set a few things up there….
Sending much love and light, Ken
Here are the emails… and please, I am not sending them along because they say nice things about me (although who minds that?), but because they indicate the shift in consciousness that is increasingly occurring as integral takes hold and opens not just the mind but the heart…. Some of you want to relate to me as pandit and partner, and that is fine; some of you tell me that you want to relate to me more as spiritual adept and respond with devotion, and that is fine, too. This is a big universe, plenty of room for both, in whatever ways you are comfortable with…. Ken
How to begin...so much lit up last night and in the preceeding days. No one wanted to leave after you did. I bailed out after midnight. You were, as usual, extraordinary. They all were elevated by your presentation. You certainly hit the right note; this crowd lapped up the theory. It was such a joy to listen to their awed reactions when they realized what impact their participation can have on what they desire most. People left sated, welcomed, charged by your words, and gratified to see how many other extraordinary souls were on the wave with them.
Now that Robin, Joanne, Barbara and I have formed a tight and efficient team, NY can enter a more mature phase
Our challenge will be to maximize the potential you saw last night. I'll also coordinate with Gail and fill her in.
Safe flight, hug Becca (first time I got to get to know her), boundless gratitude and love.
Everyone who responded to me about their experiences last night reports the same feeling---something beyond awe, beyond intellectual stimulation, or LL resonance. I don't know what you received from the event last night, but it left us all in the presence of Mystery.
I can't even begin to tell you how taken in I was by Ken. And it wasn't his words that captured my heart, dazzling as they were. I was stunned and dazed by the spiritual power that emanated from him during the guided meditation and thereafter. I expected the brilliant mind and the cutting humor. What came as a wonderful surprise was the luminosity he radiated. That was my innermost impression of Ken, not as pandit but as Buddha.
After the meditation it was hard for me to maintain my waking mind. I kept on wanting to slip into a deep meditation. Each time I made eye contact with Ken I felt like melting further and further into myself. I came with few expectations and left with an indelible gift. I thank you for helping make the event happen and the Kosmos for making sure I was around to participate in the moment. Last night was a turning point.
To say that this evening was “magical” brings the tears to my eyes. For no language can express the deep gratitude and love I feel for the opportunity for the experience that was generated here on the “full moon, lunar eclipse” on Tuesday March 14. This experience will live in Robin’s and my hearts forever. We were expecting you to speak for maybe an hour. That no one took a bathroom break for three and half hours is amazing. This only begins to capture the “pure love and light” that I know everyone in that room felt. We were literally “blown away” by your presence and dedication and true “simple feeling of being”. You do radiate the love and truth of the” presence of god.” I, for one, was in awe of the “we space” that was created that night.
I thank you from the “bottom of my heart”. I really appreciated Rebecca’s presence as I felt the awesome “we” space that you two create for yourselves, and that radiates out and profoundly touches anyone in that space.
Needless to say our space and hearts and souls are forever yours. We thank you, and with the fullness of love and joy, we wish you everything that is “good and true and beautiful”
With more love than words can express,
Barron and Robin
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for forwarding us Ken's impressions of his visit to NYC.
You can't imagine how curious I was to know if we were the only ones feeling as if something truly magical had transpired on Tuesday night! Ken's words warmed my heart & they brought back beautiful memories of our time together.
And Robin, I can't thank you & Barron enough for being such gracious and wonderful hosts for this event. You two were so kind and generous to open your home to us and to provide such a wonderful atmosphere for all of this to unfold & to blossom.
I also wanted to apologize for being a bit out of the loop these past few days, but as luck would have it, I came down with a touch of the flu! I've been laying in my bed for the past few days (a bit feverish might I add!) thinking back to the time that we spent together & wondering what we can do as this inspired sangha, to keep the spirit of Tuesday night alive.
I actually had a long heart to heart conversation with Joanne on the phone earlier this evening and we both agreed that the past few days have been filled with not just awe & admiration for Ken & what he created, but also a deep reflection about this new sense of meaning that seems to have permeated our lives. I feel hesitant to say that a shift in consciousness occurred for me, but in my heart of hearts, I know that is what has happened.
I was telling Joanne that although I am still interested in Integral Politics & Integral Psychology, I now realize that no matter what we do & no matter where we do it, this essence of "spirit" needs to be invited in and embraced by each & every one of us. What was so wonderful about our time with Ken is that he managed to create this profound and sacred we-space simply by standing before us with this unique blend of integrity, wisdom and humility. I suppose the integral community had existed before Ken's visit, but somehow his presence lifted us to a higher consciousness and it felt so spacious and liberating for me to be basking in that environment. For me, it is almost as if we arrived at this higher & more profound level of awareness by sneaking in the back door.. (as opposed to coming in and trying to hit people over the head with it as we normally tend to do!). What Ken did was so subtle yet so profound and my only hope is that I can someday learn from him how to embody that pure feeling of Is-ness so that everyone can experience it and carry it forth wherever they go & in whatever they do.
I'm not sure how I could go about doing that just yet, but I do know that my understanding of my role in this community has shifted in that I'm now looking for (and yearning for) a sense of openness and spaciousness, rather than this feeling of contractedness. It seems as if a desire for beauty and lightness has re-permeated my entire being and this is what I hope to carry forth in this world.
I'm not sure how the rest of you feel about how we might go about co-creating a community for those who wish to truly embody this integral spirit, but I did want to take a moment to inquire about the possibility of creating an Integral Spirituality Affinity Group. I imagine that this is probably something that you guys already considered & if so, I would like to come forward & say that I would be honored to be part of such an endeavor. I suppose what I am craving right now is to form a circle of kindred spirits who would like to read Ken's upcoming book together (i.e. Integral Spirituality) as soon as it gets released. I would also appreciate having the ability to tap into I-I's wisdom & support as we embark on this endeavor, if that is a possibility of course.
So I guess that's where I'm at right now my integral sisters!
I suppose that I will close this by simply thanking you again for allowing me to be a part of this historic occassion. I truly felt that a great healing and transformation took place in the space of our coming together & to that I am very, very grateful.
With much love & admiration,