European Tour – A heartwarming end of the tour

June 12. Monday into Tuesday.

The last day of the training began in the morning with Yoga again, thanks to Mark. Then the complete gratification of our final insight-sharing period and closing circle, so heartfelt, so moving, so loving and, most important, witnessing the changes that have taken place in people’s lives, especially in those who have been doing these trainings with me and us before.

John, who had to leave early, a miracle, completely off the charts, sending in an email letter that Sheela read to everyone.

Sally, also off the charts after her lifetime addiction to alcohol, feeling so much more self-confidence.

Holly, feeling and looking so solid now—so beautiful to see.

Richard, having come through all his pain and now feeling so much more grounded (he achieved a very prestigious award in Sweden for his accomplishments in music, poetry and more).

Amanda, who showed up only for the last day, but showed her enormous, almost unbelievable resilience after her house burned down and she lost everything.

Michael, moving from his prior continual questioning to becoming very grounded.

Katja, who used to live her life in fear with all kinds of ailments, now a healthy, inspiring teacher of the Principles.

I could go on and on. To a person, everyone there, even those for whom this training with us was the first, said they loved this training retreat, and everyone seemed to have insights and got so much out of it for themselves. So humbling. These people are truly wonderful.

And I can’t even tell you how inspiring it was to work with Gabriela again. She’s the best. And to think I came into this new (for me) topic with trepidation. And then it was over—except it wasn’t. Because after going to the beach, and after I got a massage from Amanda, we all went out to dinner together in the beautiful little town of Altea, up to the outdoor balcony of a restaurant with its spectacular views. Then we said our heartfelt good-byes.

After that, I packed up late into the night, had to get up again almost immediately at 2:50 AM to catch a 6:30 AM flight from Alicante, caught a cab with Richard and we both ended up on the same flight to Stockholm, where we bid each other farewell. I had an almost 4 hour layover there—way too long—and then a 9 hour flight—way too long. And I flew back across the ocean to home, getting almost no sleep. My son, Dave and his girlfriend, Josie, picked me up at the airport, we had a nice dinner, then I drove home getting in around 10:30 PM, completely exhausted. I can’t believe I’m home. And thus I end another European Trip and blog. Another incredible trip. I’ve got the greatest job in the world.

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European Tour – Last training day

June 11. Sunday.

Last full day of training. Hard to believe. It has been a spectacular trip. Really couldn’t have been much better.

The day began when I woke up and knew the direction we had to go in the training today; how to focus on the formless/essence/Oneness end of the spectrum. And when I told Gabriela about it, she concurred. And it did work out wonderfully.

I love going in this powerful direction, and it is a direction that, in my view (and in the view of research), is often not focused on enough in Three Principles teaching and coaching. This is a very close-knit group, and it is a pleasure to be around these people.

But before the training day began, I had asked Michael, who runs a gym, if he would give me some hints about how to use the small weights I had bought at home, because I had never lifted weights in my life, never got any instruction, and realize in my old age that I’d better start, as I can feel myself getting weaker every year. I looked for him in the morning and found him in the little gym at the hotel. While assessing me, he saw what I’ve known for the longest time, that my hamstrings are inordinately tight. I knew I was in trouble when he asked me how my pain tolerance is. When I said something like, “Not bad,” he had me lie on the floor face down and proceeded to rip every fiber of my hamstring muscles apart. Whoa that hurt! I had to do La Maz breathing just to get through it. But I felt lighter when I got up (after I punched him in the faceonly kidding).

That afternoon most of us went to the beach again, and I took another 20 minute swim in the Mediterranean. Gorgeous!

The two other beautiful things that happened were that everyone had signed birthday cards for me and Sheela, jumping the gun for me by 8 days (and Katja said in Germany it is really bad luck to open a birthday card early, but I ignored that superstition and we’ll see if I make it to the 19th), and people wrote such nice things to me in that card it really moved me. They brought it out in our evening session with candles stuck in ice cream, and my favorite flavor here at that: Straciatella, along with Sheela’s favorite, Limon sorbet, which we shared with everyone.

The day was capped off with Lise singing to us, and talk about being moved! Lise is one of the best singers I have heard. Such incredible talent. All I can do is shake my head.

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European Tour – Up on the roof and in the sea

June 9 & 10. Friday and Saturday.

Yoga Mark began the day with Yoga on the roof. Beautiful up there in the morning overlooking the mountains. Wonderful way to start the day. Mark ran it both days, in fact, but for some reason I thought he was skipping a day, so I missed Yoga on Saturday. Instead I decided to walk/run up to the lighthouse and back. We then met for the training day.

On Friday we spent a day longer than I’d anticipated understanding what the personal is and why it subtly and insidiously has such a grip on us. The group itself went in and out of personal thinking themselves, and we could watch the ebb and flow of the feeling in the group, accordingly. Mostly, everyone seemed in a good feeling. This was helped immeasurably by the structure of the retreat, as again most of us spent the afternoon at the beach. I took a dip in the Mediterranean; the sea water felt great.

On the way to the beach that day, Richard, Holly and I stopped for some gelato and had a really lovely conversation. Then Friday night, after our evening session I went to dinner with Gabriela in a restaurant by the sea with the gorgeous full moon rising over the still-blue sea. We were supposed to be planning, and we did—at little. Delightful.

Then Lise led us through one of her glorious singing workshops. This time I took the plunge and sang a wonderful song a friend of mine wrote called Children So Long. I was amazed that I had felt so confident singing it on the beach in Florida away from everyone, but as soon as I got up to sing in front of the group, the personal crept in and I got really nervous. But I made it through, with Lise’s assistance. She is so good at what she does; everyone left Lise’s session feeling wonderful.

The next morning in the training retreat came my favorite part of the retreat thus far, as we talked about insights that people had, which lead to a spectacular with a beautiful feeling.

After the break we talked about what transcending means, and again didn’t get as far as I would have liked. During the very long afternoon break I talked with one of the participants who needed extra help, then we joined the others on the beach, where I took a long swim. How great is this!

Then we all went out to a new Japanese Restaurant and I completely pigged out, and as I write this I am terribly full. As of this moment I am also baffled about what to do tomorrow. Gab and I figure we’ll start with their insights again tomorrow morning and hope something comes to us, because I’m not sure that what I had planned earlier is still relevant.

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European Tour – Transcending the Personal begins

June 8. Thursday.

And so the Transcending the Personal Retreat begins. It is really heartwarming to be in the presence of these wonderful people.

It feels a little tricky with half the group coming back from other trainings of mine, and half being new. But a beautiful feeling developed in the first morning. Then Gabriela and I felt a little drop in the afternoon. I’m not exactly sure why—it don’t think it was because Richard and Michael showed up in the afternoon and missed the opening circle; it might have been because I had the group jump into a deep listening activity before we had fully processed the morning small groups about reckoning with exactly what the personal is and what it does to us.

I love this retreat format; we all had the afternoon off and came back together from 6:00-8:00. So a few of us went to the beach. It was so sunny and beautiful, and not too hot (although Sayed thought it was). Gabi and Fredrik went swimming. I fell asleep on the beach after talking with Lise, which I really needed, because I woke up really refreshed.

That evening Gab and I broke off from the crowd to debrief and plan for the next day, ate at a restaurant overlooking the sea, with the near-full moon coming up and the beautiful blue colors; it was truly gorgeous. It’s tough for us to attend to the work we need to do because we keep catching up on personal matters, since we haven’t seen each other for six months and are real good friends. Got to bed later than I wanted to. A bunch of our group was still at the bar partying.

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European Tour – Gabriela

June 7. Wednesday.

It is truly wonderful to see these people again coming in for the training retreat: Gabriela, Sheela and Katja, of course, Holly and Sally again so soon, Lise, Fredrik, John, Dr. Angela from Italy again, and new people for me Declan and Eimeer from Ireland, and Carelyn from Utah. Sayed, Michael and Richard, and new person, Steen from Sweden will be coming in tomorrow. Gives me a really warm feeling.

I got quite a shock earlier in the day when I found out from Sally and Lise that we begin tomorrow instead of the day after. Then when Gabriela arrived, after she and Sheela heard I was a day off in my calculations, they decided to tell me that we were really starting at 4:00 that day, and I was wrong again. Uh oh! I couldn’t believe I’d been so wrong and wondered what in the world I would do for those first couple of training hours today because I was not yet prepared—but I was cool on the outside. Then they told me they were joking. Gullible me. I’ll get back at them somehow.

Gabriela and I went down to the beach by the sea to prepare, sitting and lying in the sun. What a way to work! We spent much of our time catching up. I absolutely love being and working with Gabriela; she is a true friend. I am so honored to be working with her again. Co-facilitating with her is so easy, even though we sometimes see things a little differently. We are so open to learning from each other. She had some big insights that I am really excited about hearing more.

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European Tour – Preparations for retreat

June 6. Tuesday.

The first people have started to trickle in for the Retreat. Sally and Lise arrived this morning and we had lunch with Sheela. That was after I walked up toward the lighthouse again and took a different route down to the sea to sit again by the peaceful blue water splashing against the rocks. I really need these few days to recover before doing this big retreat again. While on my walk, after talking some planning into my voice recorder for the retreat, I bumped into a voice audiofile I did about 4 months ago that I’d forgotten all about that has everything to do with the retreat, and it was great, if I do say so myself. Now I’ll use that, too.

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European Tour – Monday and yoga at the airport

June 5. Monday.

Wow, the accolades are coming in for the “Solution to All Problems” training. So wonderful to hear!

In anticipation for my 3:30 AM wake-up time, I woke up at 2:15 AM, and found myself unable to get back to sleep. Had to catch an early flight to Spain. Sue graciously drove me to the airport, where, as soon as I walked in, my senses were blitzed by total stimulated confusion. I kind of walked around in a daze trying to figure out where I was supposed to go, but finally did.

When I landed in Alicante, I expected to find Sheela waiting for me, but instead one of my favorite blokes, Yoga Mark Jones picked me up instead. I was happy to spend the hour or so drive up to Albir.

I met the wonderful Sheela for lunch, had no choice but to take a short little nap, then took my first walk in Albir up to the lighthouse, and then way down to the gorgeous blue sea where I sat on the rocks, took in the sights and sounds of the waves splashing against the rocks, and became one with the moment.

On my way walking out, my first ideas started to come to me about how to run this Transcending the Personal retreat. Then I had to stop and eat some scattiatella ice cream, picked up some mailing envelopes, ate dinner, and had a very relaxing day for an exhausted boy.

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European Tour – The solution to All problems

June 3&4, Saturday/Sunday.

Okay, so I skipped a day, but it’s only fitting because this was a two-day training retreat. I admit to going into it with some trepidation because after my other two days, readers will remember I said I was totally exhausted. I also felt like I didn’t have enough to say and hadn’t planned enough what we were going to do. But the night before it started, what to do started to come to me, and I finished up enough planning that first morning to at least get me through mid-day. I wasn’t even sure during it how it was going until the very end of the first day when Naila and another participant could not come back the next day, so before they left I had them share what they got, and it was pretty amazing.

Then Sue and Gillian, the two hosts for the retreat with their organization Frocks and Minds, and I went out to eat with Cherie and another participant who had come a long way and had to stay overnight in the area, and we had a wonderful Indian dinner. The trouble was the other participant somehow managed to drink an entire bottle of wine during dinner and we did not want her to drive. Sue talked with her and tried to get her to give up her keys and said we would drive her, but she insisted she would not leave her car. So we weren’t sure whether we were ever going to see her again, but she arrived chipper and in good spirits the next morning.

The other thing that had happened that night was another horrific terrorist event in London on London Bridge, so I began the next day with silence and said I did not know what was going to come out of my mouth, but I began to talk about it. And the feeling in the room was palpable, and that feeling continued to grow all day, and, wow, the training ended up fabulously. Nearly everyone saw something for themselves.

The training was titled The Solution to All Problems, and as presumptuous as that sounds I distilled the Three Principles down to its crux of the meaning it has for our lives, so we spent the first day on seeing problems through the eyes of “creation of illusion and the second day through “essence and Oneness,” and I couldn’t believe how well it went. It was the simplest training I ever did.

The other really nice thing that happened was Rachel told me she had bought Amy’s and my book, What is a Thought (A Thought is a Lot) for her 9-year-old son, Teddy, read it to him, he loved it, then read it himself about 6 times. Then some kids in school had some kind of altercation with him, and he was really upset about it, and then he stopped and said to Rachel, “That’s just my thinking isn’t it, mummy? Just like the book said.” Rachel told me about it the first day, and that made my day. The way the training ended up made my day the second day.

Rudi also showed up at the training today, I was happy to see. But at lunch time I had to take an nap in Sue’s car, and I woke up in a sauna. I was absolutely dripping and by the time I got out of there Rudi had left because he was looking for me and didn’t know where I was. Then at the very end when we were leaving Teal, who had helped me out with my first European Tour, showed up to say a quick hi. Nice all around.

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European Tour – Friday beyond the wall

June 2. Friday.

I finally hit the wall. It usually happens to me at about the one month mark on the road, overseas. I just felt totally and utterly exhausted and spent. So luckily, I had a very low-key day, where I didn’t have to think much. Except as the day went on, more things cropped up, but they were good things In the early morning I began my (leisurely) preparation for my upcoming 2-day training in Colchester, which isn’t really in Colchester but in a town or village right near it called Mt. Bures. Sue Pankiewicz lives in Bures. It is very peaceful there, which I needed again. But late morning, I knew Gillian (Fox) wanted me to see the village she recently moved to, so Sue and I drove to the very old and very beautiful Medieval village of Lavenhall. Many of the buildings here were built in the 1500s and are still livable. I was really glad I went, especially to be walking around with the only two people who read this blog (okay, maybe there are twice as many of you). We ate lunch in a lovely little tea house, and then they had to take me to a lovely little ice cream shoppe. Everything about Lavenhill is lovely and little, and I can see why Gill loves it here.  We drove back to Sue’s and I fell asleep in the car, which is a good thing, because it gave me enough energy to see Rudi, who came over. Rudi and I had one of our usual great talks about relationships—this one was one of the best. Then Sue made dinner and I turned in early. Just what the doctor ordered.

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European Tour – Thursday’s train trip

June 1. Thursday.

I can’t believe it’s June already. That means I have 12 days left on this trip. I admit to getting weary, and my two biggest trainings are yet to come. When I woke up I took a long walk around the very large park near the Windmill Hotel. Very active park—people all over the place engaged in all manner of exercise.

Came back, had breakfast, took a luxurious bath, checked out, lugged my bags to the underground (subway), and took the train to Oxford Circus, where I met Naila for lunch. Only she forgot she was fasting for Ramadan. I was very happy to have just had one of my Isagenix shakes, because she brought down the shaker I had left up at the training, but she brought a lunch for me even though she wasn’t eating. How sweet was that!

We sat on a blanket in the park in the sun and talked, which was very nice, and then it was time for me to lug my bags back onto the underground, then took a train to Marks Tey (next to Colchester)—for some lucky reason, I didn’t see where to get a train ticket, so I just jumped onto the train, and nobody checked it by the time I got off, so I got a free ride. Sue Pankiewicz picked me up and brought me to her and Peter’s new house in the country. By this time I am totally exhausted, and cannot wait to just lie down and do nothing. Luckily, tomorrow is a day off and I don’t have to do anything.

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