The Anchor and the Sextant

This weekend I spent 24 hours (I’m excluding sleeping time) with 300 people in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 1440 Multiversity for the first On Being Gathering. There is so much to say about this experience, but I am still processing it and making meaning.

What is most striking was the ability to connect with people almost immediately. Conversation flowed so easily, with virtually no small talk or empty “filler” chatter. There was a dearth of electronic devices — the community spent the weekend with intention to connect.

We noted how open and accessible people were. We dove into deep conversations with complete strangers, who quickly became very familiar and knowable. The conversations rambled all over — spiritual upbringing and the impact on our current lives; the gathering clouds of fascism and its impact on the vulnerable; the importance of difficult conversations with “the other.” I met some of the most fascinating people — people who are doing incredible things.

I was inspired. I was nourished. I was accompanied. Mostly, though, I learned.

One theme that kept coming up for me was the notion of exploration and navigation. If I look back at my posts over the last few months — with a longer lens — that seems more obvious. I seem to be searching both internally and externally.

Yet, there is a tension in my life between the anchor and sextant. Of course, life is made up of stillness and movement, between reflection and action.

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