#4618 - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Editor: Anamika and Jerry Katz
- #4618 - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Editor: Anamika and Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
A report of the Science and Nonduality Conference 2012, Europe
Anamika and I attended the Science and Nonduality Conference 2012 in Doorn, Holland this past weekend along with about 250 other nondual types of people from all backgrounds and interests, from Thijs, a charming young seeker who wore broken glasses to a man from India who happened to be the inventer of the super computer. There were teachers such as Jeff Foster, Unmani, and Rupert Spira who reminded us to stand as awareness and others who brought people to tears by means of their openness alone.
There were many young people, those under 40. They are simply curious, or studying for advanced degrees, or working in a field whose expansion requires a knowledge of nonduality.
The movie Kumare was a heartfelt experience for everyone. It is about an Indian man who impersonates a guru and attracts a loyal following. His attachment to them is genuine but his persona is false. In the end he must expose his true identity. The story is full of reality and warmth. I think anyone at the conference would recommend it highly. After the movie and during the following day many were talking about the movie.
But that wasn't the end of the fake guru drama. On Saturday morning the guru Madhukar was scheduled to talk. Afterward, Zaya Benazzo, one of the organizers of the conference, said that she understood Madhukar abused a number of women. Madhukar handled the situation as coolly as possible. What actually transpired may one day be available on video. The interaction was powerful and direct and shows that the SAND conference, and nonduality such as we know it, has a built-in way of weeding out those are are not making a genuine attempt to come from a state of presence.
As with any other conference, so much valuable interaction happens in the lobbies, the bar in the basement, outside on the winding paths through the countrside. The feeling of community here in Holland was very strong, maybe ever more so than the California conferences, and that's saying a lot.
I also want to mention the entertainment. David Ellzey is a brilliantly funny and poignant mime who touched us and made us laugh with stories he wove using skills that stunned the audience. Watch David here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3_rP74VLUo
Jarrah was unbelievable. Here she is peforming at a Gangaji retreat:
She's the only singer songwriter I know who can write nondual lyrics and not sound contrived, corny, or overly spiritual.
There was a duo who played the cello and a harp and they received a standing ovation from the large audience. I don't have their name handy, however.
Maya Gheiman also did a Hang (drum) performance that was hugely enjoyed.
DJ Shanto took us into party mode with great dance sounds.
There was so much more, more movies, Puppetji, singing and art classes, Yoga with Ellen Emmet. Dozens of speakers of fine quality and many of them younger than we typically see.
An important event was the World Cafe led by the Dutch writer, educator, entertainer, Paul Smit. World Cafe is a method for facilitating conversation. The event was so well received that Maurizio Benazzo, the primary organizer and charismatic leader of SAND, thought that the California SAND could begin and end each day with a World Cafe, which would allow attendees to intimately discuss and explore burning questions of the day.
Finally I want to mention a few of the awesome and beautiful people with whom I spent some one-on-one time: Annamarie de Haan, Odd Ness, Kelly Kilrae, Jeff Foster, Thijs, Kees, Vera de Chalambert, Danny, Rupert, Unmani, Peter Fenner, Paul Smit, Gino Yu who crashed on our couch one night, Pamela Wilson (who I wish crashed on our couch one night), Sophia, James Murray, Tim Freke, David Ellzey, Liesbeth, Nick Day, Julian Noyce from Non-Duality Press, Susan Blackmore, Jeannie MacGillvary, Florian, Madhukar, Isaac Shapiro, Menno, everyone at my World Cafe tables, Hans Tibbe the photographer who was more than a photographer; he kept an unnoticed presence, but I noticed, And there were so many others but I didn't get everyone's name so I'm sorry.
Mostly I have to thank Anamika who did everything to make my trip exciting and worthwhile. She picked me up at the airport, allowed me to stay in her flat, showed me around Amsterdam and part of Holland, and shared meals with me at the conference. You can get to know Anamika through her blog at http://noname-allthereis.blogspot.nl/
But the event could not have happened without the leadership and organizational power of Maurizio and Zaya and especially Menno who organized the volunteer team which was tight and flawless. Finally, what a great hotel! And the food was excellent. The food in Holland is impressive. Wherever you eat you will say how good it is. I can't wait until next year. I urge everyone to attend and to visit Amsterdam and Holland.
Stay tuned for details on registering for SAND Europe 2013.
Register for SAND California here:
See you at SAND.