Birthing Our Conference

Jan 27, 2017

By Esther Veltheim

"Heart and Soul," the Theme of our 2017 IBA Members Conference was inspired by John's latest course, The Soul's Journey: Exploring the Mind and Three Brains.
 
Before we jump ahead of ourselves in providing you with more conference details, we thought you might enjoy hearing about our remarkable experience thus far in bringing Course and Conference together.
 
A Life of Its Own
 
Most of us on the IBA Team are now old-timers when it comes to putting together a Members Conference. This time, however, we must say that we have all been in awe at how the Conference and its preparations have been taking on a life of their own. The Theme and Vision for this year's Conference evolved quite organically.
 
First came the Theme: "Heart and Soul" seemed self-evident and came almost immediately. IBA staff member Alex Swincicki played a big role in this choice, bolstered by John's love of the old ballad by the same name.
 
Then came the Vision: The Conference Vision arose, at first, unformulated and more as a spontaneous collection of wishes than a clear, collective vision. We must admit, our first wishes were focused towards the form that our Conference Party would take. We will keep you in suspense for that big reveal. Our next wishes were for the joyful reunion of so many friends and the wish that the Conference would feel happy, nurturing and fun. Of course, we also wished for speakers whose unique backgrounds and teachings would complement John's new course and help deepen our own self-inquiry as well as our work with others. As a team, we came up with many wishes, but somehow a clear sense of the whole picture of Conference eluded us. Undaunted, we set about following the usual steps and just waited to see if we would gain clarity along the way. This might not sound very professional, but it just felt right.
 
Putting feelings and trust ahead of tried and true professionalism, we waited to see what would reveal itself. When we requested your suggestions for Speakers, people whose work felt very in tune with John's new course emerged almost immediately. To our delight, when we approached these wonderful teachers, they embraced the Soul's Journey concept. It turns out they were very keen to collaborate with John and explore how best each of them could enrich and deepen the other's work to bring about a symbiotic dissemination.
 
These meetings of hearts and minds and enthusiasm, for the opportunity of interweaving and enriching each other's perspectives, so beautifully demonstrated the power and alchemy that comes in supporting the Soul's Journey of our fellow human beings. It has been incredibly powerful to experience the principles of John's course so overtly expressing themselves in the organic birthing of our Conference. As a team, we are increasingly realizing, "This Conference knows exactly how it wants to be."
 
In the unfolding of our Conference, these words from Osho come to mind, "If there is any solution, it will come through experience, it will come through living. Nothing can be decided beforehand through logic, because life is greater than logic."
 
When the consensus decision happened to hold the Conference by the seaside, it just felt right: fun, nurturing, beautiful, offering us all the spaciousness and peacefulness we could dream of.
 
And so, it has been that quite organically--borne of a question, a collection of wishes and innate impulses--the vision for the 2017 Conference has given birth to itself. If you haven't guessed it already, the Theme, the Vision, the Speakers, the content, and the location all have as their purpose the support of our collective and individual Soul's Journey.
 
The one wish we all have now is that you will join us.
 
"Your vision will become clear only when you look within your own heart. Who looks outside dreams, who looks within awakens."
-Carl Jung

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