Salon Participant Interviews
CHRISTINE VALENZA & KAREN KUDEBEH
Karen's Notes of Christine
#1: The experience of the Great Story is NOW. Since her husband died in Jan,
she experiences everything differently. Experiences shifting consciousness
-- looks like craziness as we go through this shift, but it's natural. The
essence of the evolutionary spirit is a willingness to be MOVED by it. The
condition that made the experience possible was the loss of her husband, everything
changed -- it's a whole new life, just BEING rather than living a structured
existence. Christine has always trusted the Universe. Re: philanthropy: How
we love would be redefined, and how we open to things coming to us would be
different. What is given, expressed, what money means would all be open to
#2: Christine is a careful listener, understands what people are saying, can
synthesize and create imagery for others to easily see things. She is perceived
as non judgemental and displays gratitude. Her visual language breaks down
boundaries. Because change is very easy for Christine to flow with, people
who might otherwise feel "stuck" can -- with the help of Christine's
presence -- become unstuck.
#3 and #4: Christine feels VERY strongly that an envisioning process
is needed at the Salon, rather than processes that are "talking about..."
Christine's Notes of Karen:
Karen has always felt that she is a bridge, a connector between disparate
groups. She can present complex information so that people are empowered,
not confused or afraid. She has always been open to and appreciative of many
She shared with me a story that she had written about an experience that mirrored
Listening to Mountain, to Self, to Cosmos.
The sections are titled
Day #1 Allurement: attraction
Day #2: Transmutation: power to change the self.
Day #3: Emergence: creativity
Day #4: Radiance: communicating magnificence
Basically the same themes that were coming up for us in our conversation.
In that moment in nature she became cognizant of how her sub-conscious orders
her awareness and experiences. She also saw how everything is unfolding, in
a state of creativity/ creation... that life is a meditation and revelation/reveal-ation.
She creates time spirals and programs for groups and places. Their purpose
is to affirm that we are all joined together with common ground (the earth)
and have the potential to create a common vision. These time spirals also
hold in them a sense of sacred ground and sacred time.
What would facilitate a sense of sacred ground and sacred time at the Salon?
Understanding each other's experiences of the sacred.
Another theme in our conversation was Gratitude -- Gratitude for life is at
the source of all reverence. It is the highest form of prayer. How not being
in gratitude is limiting to the self and others. So...what keeps us from being
in gratitude all the time? Judgment rather than discernment. When you are
withholding judgment any experience can be used as a gift.
Karen looked up the definition of philanthropy as we were talking. In short
it is love for humankind and being of service to humankind. She felt that
the forms could be endless; putting your dollars where your heart is; putting
your time where your heart is; connecting with others to make things happen.
Any of us who are giving our gifts on behalf of the ongoingness of the universe
- What if we opened up the whole concept of philanthropy -- to enable networks
of people to do great things with $$ as only a piece of it -- with the heart
out front and the $$ strategically placed?
- How can we create something that others can be inspired by?
- Can we inspire others with possibilities?
- How do we embrace all people's gifts and create a vision in which we all
have a place?
- For traditional philanthropic organizations... what networking can open
up? What is possible for them? What new possibilities can they seed?
- How do we make our vision big enough that it encompasses all of human kind,
that it encompasses all of life? A vision to be in service for all of life?
- Can this group be so excited about a vision that each of us takes a place
in making this happen?
- Her hope for herself is to create products and processes to help us all
see reality in a new way.
NANCY ELLEN ABRAMS ON JEFF GROSSBERG
Jeff is using philanthropy as a lens through which to study much larger
issues, like business, human community, and the purpose of life. I
always thought of philanthropy as being a way to support the arts and
other innovative ideas that can‚t stand financially on their own, or to
support new ways of helping people. But Jeff says that business was
originally supposed to take care of people, but it has lost all sense
of community and now exists only to make money, while philanthropy is
so mired in bureaucratic rules and procedures that it doesn't take the
long view to see where we want society to be heading. He is optimistic
that some businesses are beginning to understand that they don't exist
in isolation and that success is not determined exclusively by the
bottom line. "If the CEO has to hide behind a locked gate and worry
about his kids going from home to school, is he really succeeding?"
Despite the distance between what he envisions and what he sees, Jeff
is nevertheless more optimistic now than he ever was before.