Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Grassroots Conference - Spring 2009

It was an honour to be invited to the Grassroots conference in Ottawa this spring and an occasion for me to remember my brother Dan Huston who lived in Ottawa at the time of his passing on June 20th, 2004. The Grassroots conference is mainly a local event created to bring the people who work with anthroposophy in the Ottawa-Gatineau area together. It is an excellent opportunity for individuals to share areas of interest with others and at the same time, create a space to work together.
Friday evening began with a short talk from each of the presenters in order to enable people to choose their workshops for the next day. Maggie Nadelle opened the conference with a talk on "Where am I” which created a very good imagination of the progress of anthroposophy over a period of many years. The circle was then opened to a conversation which was really lively and full of inspirations. To close the evening, Part IV of the Foundation Stone was read in French and in English.
To open the conference on Saturday morning, Part I of the Foundation Stone Meditation in French and English was read. Following this, James Brian gave his talk on forming and working in groups, entitled 'Practicing Moral Intuition, Moral Inspiration and Moral Technique together'. He did an amazing job of quoting The Philosophy of Freedom and applying it to the working together of a group of people. The challenge to create a common mental picture: the moral imagination and how to realize or carry out the mental picture were just two small considerations which were reviewed in this presentation. After this enlightening talk, Part II of the Foundation Stone was read.
Then everyone divided into two groups. Cameron MacInnes offered a workshop on practical thought training exercises. I attended Barbara Schuster's workshop on the Challenge of Thresholds and Global Initiation. Where do we meet the Guardian in our lives? At what point, do we leave the comfort zone and move into a new consciousness? Many people made worthy contributions which brought us a new understanding of this topic.To open the afternoon, Part III of the Foundation Stone Meditation was read in French and in English. There were then two workshops for people to choose from. Hilde Paz offered clay sculpture which worked from the horizontal to the vertical. Simultaneously, I gave a talk on the relationship between the Rhythms of the Christmas conference and the seven Occult Seal pictures. The afternoon was brought to a close as Sylvie Richard led us through a series of eurythmy exercises. Passing rocks and balls from one to another helped us to be more aware of our neighbour as well as focus on giving and receiving. At the end of the exercises, all of us came together for the bilingual reading of Part IV of the Foundation Stone Meditation.
It was a very fulfilling conference which succeeded in its goal of bringing those together from the Ottawa-Gatineau area. I am sure that my brother Dan gazed down in love from the spiritual worlds and through the inspirations which we all received during the conference, we "wove together in the Spirit where human thoughts are woven." M.Huston

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