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About Chahat

Chahat Corten is a Holland-based spiritual teacher and one of the founding members of the Venwoude Integral Practice community, Her expertise and passion is especially strong in sacred communal living and modalities of spiritual practice including gentle, holy, and ecstatic creativity merged with penetrating wisdom.

A Report from the Summer of Love Festival

By Chahat Corten

An update from this great place Venwoude in collaboration with the Center for World Spirituality, our Summer of Love Festival.

We are creating a mystery school of LOVE here.

Working the first day with our Holy yes and letting ourselves be seduced to give up the habits that keep us caught in small self. And instead letting us be seduced by our Greatness.

After Falling in Love deeper and deeper, going through the Separation and finding the Sweetness after we do the Work of LOVE.

The Practice is that we all see each other through Gods’ eyes.

Each day we ad a new level of that practice and you see people sitting in couples all day, doing the Practice.

This morning in a with Grace filled Dharma-talk everybody realizes their Unique Puzzle Piece.

Wich of course already quickly appeared in a piece of Art from the Art class.

In more and more and more trees LOVE-tokens are appearing……….. and we are only half way through the festival!!

All LOVE from the Festival of LOVE ate Venwoude, ‘We are Loving our way to Enlightenment’

I’ll have pictures to post very soon.

Notes from the Venwoude community days event (part 2)

Holland

By Chahat Corten

Hello friends,

First pardon my English. I will do my best to share with you what wonders happened here in the last two weeks at Venwoude, our world spirituality community and center in Holland.

The visioning process at Venwoude Integral Practice Community at first presented itself as an impossible and complex painful challenge, which we really did not think we could meet. This was a key moment in our community in which things might have begun to go down and the community would begin a slow downward process or maybe just maybe a miracle would happen. But no one knew how it would happen. It truly did not seem possible.

And it happened!!! Wow did it happen!!! These last two weeks have been an enormous succes! What Grace how all of our paths came together in this way. The miracle has many parts to it but at the center of it all it had a name: spiritual teacher and artist Marc Gafni.

To many of us it occurred that it had to be precisely Marc that wove the magic of these days. When Marc walked in it seemed that there was really no way out. The complexity of the personal issues, and financial issues and emotional structural issues just did not seem workable. We had worked with other people and tried ourselves to work this and it just seemed impossible to come to a major breakthrough. But we were sure ready for one.

What happened here with Marc in a period of two weeks is really difficult to describe but I think it is fair to say that he almost worked a miracle. His tools were a brilliant clear mind, what he called loving outrageously, deep skills at facilitation, beautiful dharma talks and many individual meetings and deep listening. All of that was woven together in a kind of magic weave that — truly and absolutely transformed the community at some very deep levels in these two weeks.

A structural breakthrough was set in a legal form: a board and wisdom council were created, working for a committed period of three years. And it is now clear in a way that was totally unclear two weeks ago that this will be able to sustain this community to be here another 25 years.

In the first night Marc had everyone state their intention and what special medicine had to be given to the process. Everybody’s intention and medicine was hung on the wall. And all gave their commitment in the first evening to holding this intention during the proces.

It seemed like a simple start, but many times my commitment, to submit and serve, to stay on track those days was of staggering importance. The amount of goodness in the room allowed for blunt criticism of all leaders, which is of course in the end is always quite relaxing :)

In day two Marc led a four hour process  in which the room would talk and he would listen to all the voices and then from the voices he would express a core value with each time woven perfectly all the voices in the room, each time he wove the voices into a core value and it happened almost twenty times the whole room would just sit back and say Wow!! Yes Yes Yes!! The Core values are formulated!

A miraculous process in depth and subtleties, like clear, clear, clear … in one extended morning session! This usually takes places weeks or days but it was like Marc has brought a clarity, light and transmission to the process that just opened everyone’s heart and mind.

A lot of old issues appeared, were touched and fell off the table, right in the heart to be held in the process, where each contribution appeared to be exactly the right one…..! There was a lot of grace available at the time.

And Marc in his obvious and clear mediating role between the worlds, picked up the expression of all necessary contributions, no matter how covert and we phrased it accurately and precisely in words that reflect the depth, the heart and the clarity that we looked for. So we formulated the most wondrous core values, both in English and in Dutch. Then the very next day — in a two hour process that Marc created we chose a board of directors who would be responsible to those core values.

So just to see the whole trajectory. Marc did two days of deep teaching with the whole community, then one day of individual meetings with communal leaders and then four hours of core values and then two hour of elections and it was done. There is a sense of deep breakthrough and elation in the community now. What is so amazing is that Marc did it in a way which increased the autonomy of the community. He poured deep love and light and wisdom into the community without in any way moving to take it over. If I never believed in second-tier consciousness I do now. Marc was deploying, as it seemed in a very relaxed way, a range of intelligences — from emotional intelligence to social intelligence, to dharma intelligence, to systems intelligence — all woven like an art form. I guess this is what people mean by second-tier. When you really see it in action it is quite amazing.

deep deep bow

Then we concluded last night with a festive and ecstatic evening with the wider community in wich the Wisdom Counsel was initiated and held by the whole community. From there the wisdom council invested the board members and they gave there commiment for three years.

Marc in his awesome dharma talk and story telling-mode invited us to create a community of ‘Messiahs’ or ‘9-cow-girls’. It was a beautiful talk on what it means to create an evolutionary WE space based on wisdom and outrageous loving. He talked about the Unique Self of the Venwoude community and how our work with sexuality gave us special gifts and special respsonsilbity and special ability and how this will probably become THE major and important technology in evolutionary WE-space development in the next age on this planet :)

An invitation to LOVE each other outrageously! There is magic, pure magic on the threshold of Venwoude’s 25th year of existence!

Thank you, thanks to our founder Ted Wilson, thanks to all patriarchs and matriarchs, thanks our world spirituality teacher in residence Marc Gafni, thank you all loving supporters, thanks all participants.

Thank you beloved friends,

Chahat

Greetings from Venwoude’s community days event

Venwoude SquareBy Chahat Corten

Hello dearest friends,

Sending you all love and blessing from Venwoude in Holland. This is the first blog post from the Venwoude community days in Holland. In the first couple of days, we had an ecstatic evening with chanting, a teaching on chanting and storie-telling. Ecstatic and passionate ending!

Simply said Marc Gafni has been working round the clock since he got here. First he created a new World Spirituality process which he called “Growing Up,” which was four four-hour sessions in which he guided the community a brilliant and beautiful exploration of what he called Evolutionary We Space.

The process guided people through seven levels of consciousness in which Marc would describe the level and then put us in the voice of that level of consciousness and have everyone talk in first person about they experienced god, community, love and integrity from that level of consciousness.

It was awesome to see, how Marc used this process to kind of surprise everybody into engaging and enacting all the issues on surviving, belonging, power, rules and the great topic of autonomy and community. All the hidden issues were surfaced in away that inspired everyone, made no one bad and gave great honor to each person and the whole community. It was really awesome awesome to watch. It reminded me again of what Center for World Spirituality is so precious.

We have been recording the whole process and there will be some great clips coming from this!

Tomorrow Marc will have a day of conversations (and some students in between) and then Monday-evening diving in 3 days of visioning process, with the leadership group of our community….. I have the sense that something really will shift these days…. :). It also awesome to watch Marc’s love as he makes the issues and dynamics of our community “his issues” and holds everyone with so much care and love and with firmness and direction.

I’ll have another blog post for you soon.

Sending Love,

Chahat