OSONOS- my struggles, my viewpoint

Jody Orr jorr at worldchat.com
Mon Nov 23 20:48:35 PST 1998

In response to Birgitt's comments re: OSONOS:

Thank you, Birgitt, for operating out of heart and with great courage...I
had to respond  to affirm and honour what you just did on the
listserve...others who were in Monterey will speak of their own sense of
what happened, but for those of us who were not present the continuing
silence to date spoke volumes...thank you for inviting us into community by
speaking your truth... For those of us who “waited” at home, the continuing
silence was a touch alarming and e-mails and meetings could not fully
explain the chasm which widened beneath our feet...your courage in naming
what you experienced goes a significant way to encouraging a discussion
driven by what has “heart and meaning”...

When I trained with Harrison (some time ago now), our closing day in Open
Space included a small group session which focused for a wee moment on a
discussion of Open Space as a technique in contrast to Open Space as a way
of being...metaphors for “form” and “essence” I think. At the time, only a
few of us suggested that Open Space could either be ongoing in an
organization (I had the advantage of having watched the story of Wesley
Urban Ministries unfold first hand) or could, in fact, be a way  of living
(or at least trying to live)...the technique is a quick study but the
essence is not which is why, when fear emerges,  we freeze up and tend to
want to move into control. To hold space with honour - in an Open Space
event, in the ongoing life of an organization and in one’s personal journey
through life - requires one to act without reference to fear...the essence
is, in many ways,  a lifetime commitment and the moment we believe we have
found even a particle of wisdom is the moment we will be reminded how
little we know...so what are the implications for training? and what are
the implications for OSONOS?

I was unable to get to Monterey for financial reasons (I also learned, as a
brief tangent, that “whoever doesn’t come is the right people” because the
not being able to go led to a wealth of synchronicities here, but that’s
another story)...I wanted to go because of the need I had to be with other
practitioners, to share learning about practice, to laugh and maybe to
weep...if I had encountered what you describe I would probably have been
terribly frustrated...how can we, in the future, continue to welcome
newcomers and still respond to the needs of those who are eager to share
from their experience...I’m interested to hear what others have to say
about this.

It seems from your comments, although you do not linger on it nor describe
it, that the opening was unconventional - it wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t
“pure” (I’m a purist as well, as you  know)...clearly the space was opened
and things took care of themselves, but what were the implications for the
space being held? What were the implications for “modeling” for newcomers?
>From your second message, it would appear that we need to have a passionate
discussion about what Open Space is and what Open Space isn’t...I know it
has been an item of discussion on the list in the past, but it is a
discussion which may need to be resurrected. While there are a myriad of
things which need to named and discussed, I would be interested in knowing
what the impacts are on the usual energy in the circle when things are done
in a manner which could be termed unconventional...has anyone done enough
observation of energy in Open Space to offer a comment about this?

Finally, I am distressed at  the comments you heard about Harrison’s
absence being a “good" thing. I have believed that amongst practitioners (I
hesitate to call us a community, although I hunger for one) we are striving
to operate out of a set of precepts/values which, while evident in many
spiritual traditions with which I am familiar, are summed up in the Four
Fold Way: showing up and being present, following what has heart and
meaning, telling the truth without blame or judgement, and being open to -
not attached to - outcome. I too would have hoped that, by operating out of
these precepts/values, we could have been a community which could grow and
develop with the “guru” present, active and participating...Harrison gives
this away, over and over...are we frightened of something which is not
being named? or perhaps it has been named, but many of us do not know that
this has happened?

Thanks once again, Birgitt.

Love and light,


More information about the OSList mailing list