OSONOS-my struggles,my viewpoint

Barry Owen barryo at bellsouth.net
Tue Nov 24 05:39:03 PST 1998

Birgitt, Thank you so very much for all that you have said in the 3 emails you
have sent. My perspective is very similar to yours throughout the OSONOS. My
last email to the listserve indicated that there was MUCH to process, and thus
my reason for not elaborating on my experience in Monterey any more than I did.
I was very aware of the silence and knew the importance of this silence. I was
not at a place to speak my truth as you have . . . and am still processing . . .
but then again, I am also living much more in the NOW today than yesterday than
the day before etc . . . much of this is thanks to all that OSONOS was for me.

As I flew to Monterey, I felt some unease and I think part of that was that I
have working, working, working and was somewhat off my center. The first
evening, I had a wonderful conversation with Michael Pannwitz mostly centered
around what (at that time) the Global Open Space Institute was . . . The two
things we knew for sure were that the 2 words "Global" and "Institute" were
simply "all wrong" for the essence of what we thought of such an important and
worldchanging "association." I am reminded of a consistent message that I have
heard Birgitt say: "I believe that the more Open Space that is happening in the
world brings us closer to world peace" (Birgitt - This is probably a misqoute .
. . but it is the flavor).

And so for me, I started OSONOS excited about the potential for what Michael had
called "Worldwide Open Space." Things were not going so well at the event . . .
I could feel tension all around me . . . the energy was a struggling kind of
energy . . . as if everyone was struggling with something very large and no-one
really knew who/what the beast is/was. I'm not sure the struggle was all about
the inner/outer circle thing . . . or the "taker thing" (People coming as
sponges) . . . my belief is that all of that was there as a sort of "birthing
pain" for a new level of Open Space work in the world. There was discomfort and
pain for sure - and many people left Monterey in a dazed state . . . but then I
think there is always a period of recovery for everyone after midwifing a birth.

I am excited for all that is to occur . . . I agree that the invitation for
OSONOS be more carefully constructed such that it not be an orientation ground
for people who have had no experience with Open Space . . . but to be a place
where Open Space facilitators can find safety in learning from each other . . .
and then to consider that other dynamic I had not even considered . . . That
perhaps the training session lost several people to the OSONOS . . . hmmmm . . .
I truly believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Those are my thoughts this morning . . . be well all,

Barry Owen
The Owen Group
5518 Kendall Drive
Nashville, TN, 37209
Phone: 615-356-2888
Fax: 615-327-3248

Wordwide Open Space

Simply living the FourFold Way in Open Space

>From  Tue Nov 24 09:37:50 1998
Message-Id: <TUE.24.NOV.1998.093750.0600.>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:37:50 -0600
Reply-To: jbenesh at rush.edu
From: Julie Benesh <jbenesh at rush.edu>
Subject: Re: OSONOS-my struggles,my viewpoint
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Birgitt, et.al;

While you were at OSONOS, I was at the National ODN Conference in New
Orleans, where some were upset that an Affinity Group hosted what it called
a "SageExchange"--this offended some, even though the "sages" were
self-selected, not chosen by others, and the group was inclusive, open to
all.  I think the "offense" may have been about the "sages" seeming in this
session to be setting themselves apart and somehow hoarding their wisdom,
instead of sharing it *only* with those with less experience, who may have
felt they needed it more. This reaction seems naive and short-sighted, if in
a sense understandable--surely there is a place for both kinds of sharing!
In A Basket of Fresh Bread, Rumi says "look for a generous teacher, one who
has absorbed the tradition he is in".  A later line says "You are the source
of milk/Don't milk others!"

To me, Harrison is the soul of generosity, and generosity is the essence of
Open Space.  Hopefully, one day those who, knowingly or unknowingly, seek to
exploit that generosity will be in a position to give themselves, knowing
that the wisdom is within, and only grows by being shared.



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