Feedback sent in by participants following attendance at one or more of the M100 retreats
It's felt as if I've had to go through some sort of grieving process over the past six weeks since leaving the camp. The first two weeks were like being in denial - I just came home and got on with my life. But when looking at photos from the camp, I realised I was grieving - I wanted to be back there, sitting round the campfire, collecting hugs, or witnessing 3, 5, 7 hours in AllTing!
I do feel we had an effect on the world. Not necessarily on specifics - all the positive energy raised goes into the 'positive energy pot' and helps rebalance the positive-negative energy imbalance... Earth healing, for me, is not just something one does one month or one week of the year - it's about living it every moment of your life.
I loved AllTing, the sharing of joy, fears, pain, dreams and visions; taking my space, being a witness to others, the sense of community with the conflict, sharing and love it brings up; I have done groupwork before, but never in such a powerful way.
Part of the evolutionary process is to stick at it when things get tough, boring, murky - and to see how we can grow from that. I found that my bladder, my nicotine addiction, aching knees and sore bum all went on hold when I was in AllTing!
(Diane Manning, London)
It's impossible for me to say whether or not we had an effect on the world. Yet I feel it must have. It certainly profoundly affected me. The sense of shared purpose is the most powerful thing. I now feel a greater sense of connectedness, interpersonally, internationally. I think this came from: 1. the overall camp atmosphere; 2. the AllTing and meditation; 3. my own commitment.
The meditations were important, deeply meaningful, even when I didn't 'get' anything in particular. I valued the feedback from others about theirs - though we need lessons in conciseness! This was a very significant factor in making the connections. I feel I've been around the world and really met so many.
The other especially meaningful bit was the farewell hugs. Words cannot express the value of mega-hug therapy - my heart is changed, opened, immensely. I've made a hundred friends and mean to keep in touch. And it's not a closed circle. Unless you can alter the fact that there are but 24 hours in a day, I doubt we could do much better than we did.
(Helen Swan, Darlington)
On the last morning of the camp we did the Dance of Life in the rain. I am not a natural believer in the proposition that people can change the weather, but what I saw as the dance reached its completion was a perfect circle of blue opening the clouds immediately above us. And I mean circle - a perfect round O with a clear rolled-back edge in the thick grey cloud. This is not a particularly important effect, but for me it is significant. It is a demonstration that the focused energy of people can have effects on the subtle life-energies that course through us all. If this energy is always dedicated to the highest outcomes then it can do only good - and that, for me, is a great reassurance when working in areas of such power. We cannot know how the work we did during this week will play itself out, yet we can trust that the effects are beneficent.
The camp was life-transforming. I feel honoured to have been part of it and to have shared it with a set of amazing ordinary people, being given the gift of living in the heart for more than a moment in time. I came with some notion of doing service in the teeth of the disabling helplessness I have felt about taking effective action in the world, and came away immeasurably empowered and hopeful. Although I did not come for personal growth, it was given in generous measure. The week was such fun!
We created a multi-dimensional symphony during the week, organically, with thematic continuities rising, soaring, resolving, from meditations, through AllTing, through groups, through the space between groups, through people coming together and parting, through the day, through the night. I can't track it or lay it out in words, but I know that every moment of every person's existence was significant in the patterns that we wove. (Sian Dodderidge, Leeds)
There was a sense of loosening up from beginning to end: 'must finish for lunch' on the first day changed to 'it's going to be a long session, so come prepared' by the last day. I was also aware of how blurred my images of 'men' and 'women' became - we were all contributing what each of us could do, regardless of stereotypes. Hundredth Monkeying gave me a new, broader, more embracing view of what freedom is - a sense of power, an ability to choose, a recognition of every other individual (from a blade of grass to a dictator) and how what I think and do affects all and is affected by all. Whew! (Caroline Melody, Durham)
I spent most of the week being physically uncomfortable in a variety of ways, crying regularly, beset by the shadow aspects of myself - and in the best company on the planet! The quality of energy generated, the lessons learned as individuals and as a family are of incalculable value. It worked! (Tim Stimson, Flamborough, E Yorkshire)
After I returned home, the first few days flew by in a blur of animated conversations with family and friends. They all wanted to know "What did you do all week in the middle of nowhere?"! How could I recount it all? People came together as strangers and left a week later as very special friends. All the hugs, sincere and compassionate eye-contact, the helpfulness of people you didn't really know but you were on life's road with that week - that was the only qualification needed!
Somehow, discomforts were insignificant compared to the buoyant energy of the camp. Morning AllTing sessions were moving experiences, sometimes emotional, always profound. The content, however, was a sincere, personal response to crucial world issues. After the camp finished, news bulletins spoke of negotiations towards a peace settlement in Bosnia. I would like to think our contribution with our heartfelt concern may have assisted in some way.
One may never know what was achieved by our efforts. One can only know what has changed within oneself. I will never be quite the same again, nor do I wish to be. I have a feeling of inner fullness, of a rising tide of energy and inspiration to take to the workplace, and a sense of the oneness and wholeness we shared at the camp.
The afternoon groups were very rewarding. I was in Roger's group, working with psychic energies and inner journeys. He allowed people to spread their wings and fly out into cosmic fields to witness other realities. I found myself taking part in an ancient Egyptian initiation ceremony within an innermost sanctuary. I helped to bring through the cosmic power for the initiation process. There was no 'being blessed by the bishop' in those days... this was hot stuff! Priests and priestesses worked together at a very intense emotional and spiritual vibration to create the powers that we, in the twentieth century, are just beginning to rediscover. (Pauline Thelwell, Trowbridge)
When I applied to come to the camp I was unsure why I was doing so, other than having a feeling that I was meant to be there. During the first day's meditation I had a knowing that the camp was right for me. From then on everything was giving me a message: to be totally with whatever was going on. The conflict surrounding issues of peace on earth is within me, not outside myself. I cannot run away from my shadow, for it will follow me wherever I go until I recognise it as a part of me. (John Rook, Shrewsbury)
AllTing was a collective learning experience for sure. We were experiencing future politics. In a free- will universe individual liberty offers the greatest opportunities for growth. Too many rules are not only an imposition, but also they deny people the value of learning through experience. Interestingly, individual liberty is of value collectively: through personal growth the individual comes to recognise we are fundamentally One, and we can realise this through cooperation as a species. Cooperation is of equal importance to individual liberty. I often hear the slogans 'follow your own path' or 'do what's best for you' - yet how different in spirit is this from the anarchic individualism we see in capitalist societies? Still, this is a learning experience in itself, and in time people will realise a balance needs to be struck between the individual and the whole. When this is achieved remarkable things will happen - the boundary between the individual and the collective will dissolve. This is what AllTing is really about. (Leigh, Birmingham)
It was great meeting people from all over the world and from different walks of life and backgrounds. All of us were equal at one level - the trappings of society, of our cultures, money and possessions were left behind. All equal - the words and knowledge coming out, but the academic papers and qualifications left behind. The skins can be shed, the senses attuned to get to the natural core.
A community quickly formed, full of relationships, love, drama, some conflict, laughter and tears, bridges mended, bridges made, walls knocked down, conflicts resolved. I was amazed how conflict, differences, separateness were so quickly sorted out, to regain harmony. Every process at the camp was at warp factor ten.
Isn't it wonderful not knowing people's surnames and titles? They are just them. The fireside togetherness in the round - except for that side where the smoke was blowing! The awe-full accentuated feeling that all that is said and happens is significant to the nth degree! Perhaps it was.
Perceptions get enhanced - you see even more of the beauty around you, in nature and in people. A veil is lifted on reality. To be able to hug, shout, roar, chant, sing! The poetry and concert of AllTing, the gentle talk, the shouting, the singing, the dancing, the silence. Valuing everyone, taking on board any views expressed. Allowing people time to express themselves.
The efficient site crew created a firm base to work from. The children gained so much from grown-ups too. It's a tricky balance to strike, between helping people to be safe and secure and allowing them the challenges to grow and move forward and be creative. Hundredth Monkeying is multidimensional, non- denominational, practical, spiritual, physical, psychological, behavioural, social, psychic, clairvoyant, cosmic, healing. Without dogma. Everyone contributing their own bit of the potential solution to the cosmic puzzle. All of equal value contributing to the whole. Achieving with great ease the outcome of being greater than the sum of our parts.
Being able to say what you feel, silly or not. Accepted because it comes from the heart. Taking away the borders of thought and being, words and deeds. The flow of growth, development and forwardness, all reflected in each other and in the camp as a whole, and the outer bit attached to the universe. (Bryony Glass, Westbury, Wiltshire)
It was a very rewarding camp! I enjoyed the AllTing sessions a great deal. There's so much emotion, passion, feelings from each participant! Through these sessions everyone puts in their part for a better tomorrow, regardless of which nation is in focus. On the other side of the coin, many would have experienced the 'mirror effect' - seeing the weakness of oneself. It is really worth it for some to check to identify weaknesses and make an effort to discharge them. I, for one, had this experience. An enormous ray of light shone not only to parts of the world that needed it, but also to individual participants! This was a project well carved out! (Cyndy Lim, Singapore)
It's like the workings of a huge machine that's been unused for thousands of years. Old, dirty and covered in cobwebs. No one sure how it works, no one sure if it will work. Then gradually there are flickers of movement and activity around it, as it slowly becomes aware of its workings. The machine is being dusted down, the cobwebs are being swept away - it's all becoming cleaner, clearer. Then slowly an understanding of how the machine works sifts through, and it is curiously set in motion. It gathers momentum, which shows more clearly how it works, which in turn gives a deeper insight into its workings...
I think Hundredth Monkeying is very important, a great responsibility and even a bit daunting, as to all the work that lies ahead. But now it has started I think there are a lot of people wanting to do more. I've really grown in all directions. Everyone came away with something. I hardly noticed things were being run, which usually means there's some pretty nifty organising going on. I have at last done something really worthwhile, and I met some wonderful people and had a great time too. (Sarah Soden, London)
Within any group of people there is a polemical diversity of experience. One person will walk from AllTing having had a revelation, another with boredom. The challenge is to find arenas in which people come together within the polemic. I understood the need for right/wrong, good/bad, to be risen over - people need to be fully aware of their actions, and thereby be response-able. I understood the principles of homoeopathy for the first time in my life: the less you have of a substance, the more energy there is. Suddenly the T'ai Ch'i principle 'invest in loss' made sense.
I feel strange about this monkey-business! Sometimes I felt out of place, as if I didn't speak the same language - as one does in a circle where everyone else gets the joke. Yet I am fascinated by the whole thing, and my heart lies right within the heart of it. I'll remember some AllTing moments for ever - and the cabaret, campfires, showers, eating dinner with everyone. I made wonderful connections. I know how much energy it takes to organise this sort of thing, and anyone who sets up anything like this is just fantastic - forces of inertia are huge, and you overcame them with flying colours.
As to whether we had an effect in the world, of course we did, because many people walked out into the world with new hope and a lot more love. I wanted to see a map like the ones in jumbo-jets where a dotted line lights up to show the flight path, to show each person moving away from the camp, and to see where we all went to - we went a long way, with a lot of light in us. We had an effect on something larger - the universe - because we had integrity and our hearts were in what we were doing, which the gods and fairies see. (Sue Palmer, Glastonbury)
When Palden put out his cosmic call for the Monkeys, my antennae twitched and my heart missed a beat. Wow! This is something Really Special! Being a 63-year old female, and having had a fairly busy life, I had never been camping. So, off I trotted to get the necessary items. So the great day arrived: Jess and I had far too many things - not exactly the kitchen sink, but not far off! So I set about getting my tent up. Soon it was looking like home. We then went to the gate for our welcoming cuppa. It felt like visiting a long-lost family.
Sunday morning we were awakened by a flute, and we did the Dance of Life with Ivan. This Cherokee dance and chant is very beautiful. It deals with energies, unseen energies, being focused and sent all around Planet Earth. This early morning dance seemed to balance our bodies and steady our minds for what lay ahead.
Each morning we covered a different country or situation that was causing pain and conflict to humanity. Palden gave a talk first and explained the history of the country and people, so we all had a feel of how these things had happened. After that we had a twenty minute meditation, which I found quite astounding. We had been asked to go to the country, feel ourselves as someone there, then to get a feel of a seed of change, and finally to help resolve the problem and move it forward. I had some very profound experiences - things I did not know about before. It was like going there and seeing at first hand.
They were all 'big' experiences, but the one that stands out most for me was in Nigeria. I found I was a little boy, 7 or 8, with bloated stomach and ribs sticking out, no home, no-thing. I was uneducated, so I couldn't really even think - just hopelessness. I found a starving dog, and we were friends. The heat, the flies, lack of food and water were making us both weak, but there was a certain joy in having the dog close to me, giving some hope. We reached the edge of a wood, and my friend laid his body down and died. I lay there with him till night - there was a full moon - and I too died. It seemed the only resolution. By dying, I felt I could go back to The One, where all things are possible.
To experience these emotions, and death itself, is good - it alleviates fears we have surrounding death.After the meditations we had AllTing, when everyone could share their experiences or just sing or recite a poem. It would seem everyone was affected to their roots. This magical camp had the feel of one big family - unconditional love everywhere. The camp was safe in every sense. All this made the camp have a feeling of oneness.
During the afternoons there were groups dealing with different aspects of life. I chose to join the 'shadow' group, working with aspects we don't like or choose not to see. In one session we had a confrontation, yet it was a language problem, easily resolved. It made us realise that misunderstandings 'at the top' - in politics etc - can go wrong and start wars if there is no love and caring. A great lesson.
To talk about the camp without mentioning those wonderful souls stocking our bodies with tasty food would be a sin - everything we had was nutritious and delicious, there was plenty of it and lots of good humour from them. So thank you all in the cafe! The toilets were a great laugh - beautiful blue-painted toilets with silver stars and moons, which rocked like a baby's cradle. Oh well, when I was young all of this didn't exist. This was a wonderful chance to commune with nature. It all seemed so natural to take showers together - we all seemed so joined at the 'spirit' level that nothing seemed out of place! The week just flew by. This was the life: to live the emotions of other people, to be given an understanding of greater things, to be in a family where we are safe, trusting and helping each other - and still have fun! While we, one hundred monkeys, were busy dipping our yams in the water together, unbeknown to us, other monkeys around Planet Earth started to do the same thing... and so there was light. (Daphne Thurley, Essex)
I remember one thing Palden once said to me: "Someone has to speak up for the quiet people!". I didn't really think it concerned me, though I was a quiet person. How could I make myself heard? Nobody ever listened to me - then. Thirty-four years of being a quiet, stupid shadow with no self-confidence has given me a lot of experience of what that's like. Now I am learning to be heard. The anger I've been holding back for a long time will help me - I just have to be careful I use it in the right way. What will come of all this? I think it's something good.
There is one thing I would like to say to everybody about the meaning of the word AllTing. It is a Nordic word. AllTing means everything. It means anyone can speak of or do anything they find important. Different things are important to different people. I was bored sometimes. But one of the most important things to learn is patience. I think the word AllTing is a very good choice.
I get a little worried when I read people's proposals for making a lot of rules in AllTing. A lot of rules will not make it easier. Hasn't it always been loud-speaking people who have made rules? We quiet ones have always just followed those rules. I want us to have a chance - we have something important to say. We have been listening for a long time. I would not be the same person today if I hadn't been at the camp. I like the person I am now. With the energy that we created, how could the rest of the world avoid being affected? (Anna-Karin Johanson, Hälsingborg, Sweden)
This was the most wonderful experience of my life. I loved every minute of it. I learned to fly! I loved AllTings - the diversity of knowledge and learning from everyone. Half-way through the week I experienced a great sense of peace, a universal love. On the last day of the camp, after the hugs and farewells in the circle, I was graced with the most amazing experience of my life, where I felt total bliss. I felt I was floating a foot above the ground, and my body was surrounded with love and warmth.
I really didn't want to leave the place! I felt sad, yet joyful that I could spread to others the things I had learned and experienced. The people made the camp. I met brilliant people, fun people, lovely people, many of whom will be friends for the rest of my life. There was so much kindness, it made enough love to change things in the world. (Brenda Meech, Berkshire)
Things I learned: 1. to have trust in the process; 2. to create the space, rather than telling people how to correct things; 3. the process must be kept dynamic for it to last; 4. as a single father, I need more knowledge of Goddess energy, to understand the needs of my daughters; 5. to remain grounded - Murina was a wonderful education in this; 6. an awareness around methods of creating a sacred space; 7. that I have previously operated as a loner speeding into the unknown. It is now imperative for me to move within a group, which will make things happen faster - this feeds back to point two.
Did we make a difference? I liked what Claire said - it's like a homoeopathic dilution going out into the world. In Chaos Theory, the beating of a butterfly's wings in South America eventually has an effect on weather in Europe: I feel we cannot fail to have made a difference.
AllTing was the most meaningful activity. I particularly enjoyed Wednesday's session on Nigeria - it was beautiful. Sometimes AllTing was painfully slow, but people had the space to learn - it is a credit to Palden's wisdom that this was allowed to occur. Perhaps AllTing needs to be done another hundred times before any major understandings can be developed. Different groups, different sizes, different structures, but always with as few rules as possible.
My kids were not too sure when they arrived if they were happy to be there. By the end they did not want to leave! (Simon Fenley, Singapore)
In the mysterious way of these things, the energy generated may already have had an effect on the world. The depth of emotion and range of awareness will have left everyone stirred in some way, so I am fairly confident it will ripple out far and wide and for years to come. AllTing was a revelation - constantly refreshing itself and acting as a microcosm for wider world problems. It moved abruptly from theatre to philosophy, from therapy to poetry, from the banal to the stunningly original, from fear to love - and it managed to hold conflicting energies in balance. As a first attempt to organise such a unique event it was astonishingly successful. (Charlie Guest, Dumfries, Scotland)
It is gradually dawning on me that the whole experience has had a much more profound effect than I could have imagined in advance. Very important was my feeling of being safe - even in the dark. Many of us commented on how rare it is for children to be able to run about as they wished, unlike in the outside world.
I don't feel it is possible to guess if we were successful in our intention - only time will tell. It was good to hear first-hand accounts of life in other countries - Mahmoud talking about Nigeria, Murina about racial prejudice and Michal about Israel. The best of it was being with like-minded people. I had much in common with so many, though I didn't click with everybody. It was a good experience which I feel sure is having important repercussions. We can only trust we achieved something of our objective. There was an abundance of goodwill, and all the crew worked very hard to make it a success. It was certainly worth all your efforts. (Jess Cormack, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)
It was a wonderful event for breaking down barriers and coming together. Unity in diversity is a phrase which springs to mind. I began by hating most of it and ended by wanting to continue. It was hard to return to a house, although the bath was bliss! The programme worked well - it pushed buttons perfectly. At the meditations, the guidance was just sufficient, leaving plenty of scope for individual interpretation. My personal experiences during meditations were powerful confirmations of being connected to all that happens on the planet. My joys, conflicts, hangups and desires are mirrored and reflected in all humanity, and vice versa. I shall continue to heal myself, to be of use in planetary healing, opening to the realisation that I am one with everyone and everything. Dark, light and all shades in between must be embraced.
John and I have my three kids, aged 19-24. They stayed at home. Usually, when we return from being away, the house is not at its best, even a real mess. However, this time is was wonderfully tidy, even the garden. I found they had built a fire surrounded by stones. They had spent four nights sitting round the fire, talking about many things that mattered. To me, this was a sign that Hundredth Monkeying works and is alive and thriving. The airwaves carried the message. (Jenny Brooke, Shrewsbury)
Even though I have my doubts about supernatural intervention, I have no doubts about my experiences. There were genuine expressions of love and understanding which will continue to affect my life forever. I hope and wish the entire human race will embrace the good teachings of the retreat. As the saying goes, the ocean starts from a droplet of water. It was very meaningful to see a group of people ready and willing to look at their individual caprices and prejudices, and to seek a sensible, peaceful and workable way to deal with them for the betterment of each individual and all of nature in general.
As an African, and for a Hausa boy in particular, I consider myself privileged to have gone to school first, second to come to Europe and continue my education, but above all to have found myself in your midst.
"Righteousness is to believe in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels and the Books and Prophets, and out of the substance you cherish to give to your kin, to orphans and the needy, to wayfarers and beggars and to the freeing of slaves, to observe regular prayers and give tithes, to keep your word once it is given and to be patient and resolute in the face of adversity and peril and throughout periods of panic. Verily, these are the righteous and God-fearing." Holy Quran, 2, verse 177.
[In Italy] all blacks are seen to have criminal tendencies. I am living in a society where I can count not more than two Italian friends, because one is classified by the colour of one's skin here. So you can imagine the shock I had when I was with you people. You are all the embodiment of righteousness that the above verse is teaching me. I have never encountered anybody like you before in my life. I hope and wish to be able to practice even one aspect of your teachings and uphold it all my life. I don't know how to express my immense gratitude. Wishing you, as you say, 'buckets of love'! (Mahmoud M Mahmoud, Bologna, Italy)
We were looking for the site along the country lanes when we saw a kite jauntily flying against the clear blue sky. "That's where it is...!" As we came down the track we espied a small, low sign: Monkeys. This led us to the gate keeper, a wonderful soul named Ivan, dressed in a blue sarong and a pale green velvet top hat bedecked with feathers and badges. He invited us to sit down on comfortable armchairs placed around a fire on which a kettle sat between two logs. Everyone was setting up and settling in. We grouped in village circles around a fire.
On Sunday we met around the midfield shrine to do the Dance of Life. A very large circle gathered. At the end, as we stood, arms open, an enormous bowl of energy was held in the centre space. At the end we each spoke one quality into the centre, took a deep breath in unison, then jumped round 180° and let it out to the world.
The Sunday group meditation was on the underground nuclear explosion then due to take place on a Pacific atoll. The AllTing afterwards showed that this has generated a great deal of emotion and compassion. The theme for the Monday meditation was Bosnia. Someone, on receiving the 3,300 year old talking- stick, asked us to stand up and sing for Bosnia - what wonderful experiences to be part of!
On Tuesday, at the meditation and AllTing about Nigeria, it felt as if all human life and drama was being acted out in that circle of souls. Mahmoud and Kevin walked hand in hand round the circle, and Kevin did a dance to honour Mahmoud. We held hands, and held our hands high together, then bent and collectively touched the earth, then stood up and hugged each other. I felt as if I was experiencing all human emotion - it was incredible.
Already I had the impetus to do more with my life. I felt different from the old me - lighter, but a bit scared too. I looked out of my tent and saw Christopher walking on his hands, and felt my world was turned upside down too!
Wednesday. The meditation was on Israel. In AllTing we collectively dug deeper into the carousel of life. What a privilege. The whole world drama came to that tent in that field, and was played out before our eyes. Mid-week - the yam. At this point we did not know the answer. This was what the camp had been leading up to, and now we were in unknown territory. Where shall we go from here? It's not out there! There was a shift. Maybe we all changed our perceptions, getting in touch with who we were. It brought a lot of emotion with it - emotion can shift energy. We had to keep moving and trust it was in the right direction.
Thursday. After AllTing I thought of our planet like a rejected child that wasn't listened to and wasn't given what it needed. What we were doing was listening to the world's feelings and pain. Perhaps that was all we needed to do.
At Peter's afternoon group we talked about initiation at puberty for girls and boys, and all the problems surrounding lack of instruction and information. We did conflict resolution, which I hadn't done before. I learned a lot from that. I found the idea scary at first. But 'rewriting the ending' - I'm all for that! Then on to Linda's Arabic dancing - great being in the desert and dancing like a camel's hump. On to Essential Peacemaking, where I learned how to improve my relations with my husband. Then to the AllTing tent for the Shadow Dance. We were in cosmic time - how else could you pack all that into one day?
Friday. I got so much out of that day's Dance of Life. To stand in that sacred space and look out over the hills was just magic. AllTing - the future. We did transmute it - unconditional love. Our group soul will make a difference to the world. I have never felt anything more strongly. My life purpose has led up to this moment, and the joy is overwhelming. (Jay Anderson, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex)
"Oh dear. I don't know if this camp's for me!" I hid in my tent with menstrual blues for the first two days. I felt irritable and withdrawn. But they didn't give up on me. "Are you alright? We're with you..." So it was down to me. "Life's what you make it, so get out there and give it a chance!" I willed myself out of my pit. I have often felt despairing on seeing wars and troubles on the news - I pray for peace, but I wonder if I make a difference. To be surrounded by one hundred people, all willing to pray for peace, gave me heart. Peace begins within oneself yet, at first, at peace with myself I was not. I don't know what brought a change in me. Perhaps it was those who helped me remember I can be loved, even when I'm a grumpy, cynical old boot!
The forum theatre was great. I was quite proud of my impersonation of my dad! The other lifeline was being able to teach and perform Arabic dance. For years I warred with those around me - parents, teachers, bosses. But dance has brought me great inner harmony, joy and positive expression - dancing from my soul. I was so happy to pass on a little of this to others. It was especially encouraging to teach four of the children, who came asking "Can we do some?". They are our future.
The consideration of the Shadow was really helpful. Time and again I try to be spiritual and nice, but my other parts seem to backlash. Now I accept my darker side with compassion, turning it into something positive. It was the most unusual camp I've been on, but very valuable. I've since been able to spread that to people in my daily life, and hope it will spread on outwards. Just after my return I heard of the peace proposals for Bosnia. Perhaps the Hundredth Monkey is there. (Linda Blampied, Bristol)
Everything you set out to achieve has been more than successful. I know we brought about an effect in the world - my knees are still a little wobbly from it! I am a hands-on humanitarian aid-worker operating in Eastern Europe. Consequently I have little patience with people who spend so much time in the 'etheric' when their neighbours have to suffer in appalling conditions. Please forgive me if I am over-critical, but I came away with a great deal of anger - my only mistake was not to express it. I believe time was wasted in AllTing dwelling on emotion and personal issues, and not working with the fabulous energy we were brought together to direct. However, we achieved much collectively. Mahmoud and I connected and agreed to work together and try to bring some practical help and relief to his people through my organisation. Many, many thanks for the joy and happiness you brought to me and many others, and every success for the future. Have you heard the latest on Bosnia? Wow! (Harry Roberts, Macclesfield)
· As a member of the crew I really enjoyed the camp. Working in the shop I came into contact with most people, and I would say 90% were very happy with everything and the other 10% were not quite sure. All seemed very happy with the group workshops, so three cheers for your choice of facilitators - they did a great job. I think Sheila and you, Palden, deserve a pat on the back - so give yourselves one! (Anji Clarke, Pershore, Worcs)
After the camp things changed quite a bit for me. My youngest daughter (Alice) started school and I became a student again. I have been extremely busy, but that's just an excuse really... I needed time to assimilate what happened for me at the camp and put it into perspective.
Obviously, as one of the central members of the crew, I wasn't able to attend all the AllTings and at the time I felt I missed quite a bit of what went on. Although other people talked about what had happened, it wasn't quite the same as actually being there. I think at the next camp I would probably like to come as a participant.
It was interesting for me in that I was one of the very few people who actually left the camp during the process. Sheila or I went off site each day to pick up and take back the two wonderful ladies (Sylvia and Annaneia) who were staying in bed and breakfast accommodation. Although at the time I didn't really mind (and I wasn't too sure I agreed with the reasons behind nobody leaving the site), I realise now that it was a very important thing because of the change of energies and the feeling of vulnerability in people who were emotionally very open. I think in future it is important that all participants actually stay on the camp. So this, for me, made me feel I was not quite part of the process.
Everything I have said so far sounds negative, but this is not at all how I experienced the camp! I actually had a wonderful time. For me there were many blissful moments: the evening in the hot tub with other crew members and the many laughs we had there; the times around the camp fires at night discussing all sorts of interesting things (and many more laughs!); the wonderful food in the cafe; the evening when the drama group did their forum theatre (I wished at the time that I had been in that group!); meeting many old friends and making lots of new ones.
Another wonderful thing about the first Hundredth Monkey camp was that it was a first camp for may people. There's nothing quite like the magic of a first camp. I remember my first camp (the Glastonbury Earth Mysteries camp in 1985). I was completely overwhelmed emotionally by that experience... I'd never been to anything quite like it before and hadn't known that such a warmth of feeling could exist between a group of people. I was on a 'high' for weeks afterwards and it changed my life in that I left my job and my home and got involved in, helping to organise camps. The Hundredth Monkey Camp 1995 wasn't quite my hundredth camp (in fact it was my 43rd!) but the magic is still there!! I could feel it in the glow of excitement that surrounded us all, especially those for whom this was their first camp. (Chrissie Ferngrove, Whitchurch, Hants)
Well, here I am, several months on, and still Hundredth Monkeying! Experience lives with me like a warm glow. It almost seems like a dream that something like it could happen. But it has. Palden is perhaps feeling the extraordinary weight of people's responses - so if your back gives in Palden, there is no shortage of healers! I have been amazed by the quality of friendship that I have experienced when meeting up with some of the London monkeys after the camp, and from reading the cards and letters that I have received from others. I love you all! Diane Manning and I have discovered that we have for some time been nurturing a common vision of organising a World Earth Healing Day, and we've decided to do something about it. However small this may start out, we are not afraid to think BIG! We hope to fix a date for 1996 very soon.
In her contribution, Anna Karin said that I was possibly the quietest person in he camp. Well, if that's true then I am glad. It means that I will perhaps be working harder to apply the principle of community, and that's good. I'm totally devoted to the idea of community. I appreciate the idea of community all the more for being the person I am. Perhaps I am also getting to grips with the collective sense of alienation that people in the world are feeling, with the aim of working through it with them. We are each others' mirrors.
I understand the frustration that some felt with AllTing. Participants mentioned such things as slowness, self-indulgence, impatience, and disempowerment. Yet, like the toxins that we must flush out if out bodies are to become healthy, these things are all part of collective evolution and shouldn't be suppressed. Why not work through them rather than give our responsibilities and freedoms away to a rule book or a second talking-stick? Politics is really a state of mind. The AllTing 'problems' are something that we have to work through together, and not dodge by creating bureaucratic structures to take care of them for us (which they rarely do anyway). I see before us a test. If we pass it, then our achievements and realisations can be provided to the world, via personal communication, or via the world energy-thought field. How soon we are ready to take this test will be revealed at the next camp. (Leigh, Birmingham)
About the exciting, bewitching, tantalising AllTing. I really enjoyed being part of the struggle to achieve something. To be given the talking stick from the person beside me was a gift - I didn't have to go into the middle to take it - just wait until it arrived - until it was 'my turn'. To be given that space, that wholehearted attention was an awesome thing. Frightening because I was the centre of attention, liberating because I had been given that space - as much as I wanted or needed. For me it was a very validating experience. I am aware that I sometimes used the time that was given as an offering to the whole and that I abused it for my ego's sake at other times. I thank everybody for accepting what I offered with love. I hope I will know the difference at the next camp and AllTing.
I want everyone to have that experience. I want everyone (including the focalisers) to be given that space. Many people could be perceived as 'taking too much time'. If that was their need - their opportunity to grow - why should we deny them that? We each know within ourselves whether the time we took was in service to the whole or an ego trip. I am learning through making mistakes - I don't want someone else telling me I've had enough time. I need to learn that for myself - developing a sensitivity to the energy of the circle so I can contribute effectively. (Caroline Melody)
As a detached bystander, it was so good to get the 'AllWrite' from M100!. M100 being M to the power of 100 - wow! I love all the things you are doing with M100 and love to read about the camp and the letters from those who join in. What a revelation it is to read all those comments! A real education for me. I would love to have been involved with what you are doing but I have been dragged off, often by the scruff, to do other things. Who is dragging whom? There are so many pearls of such deep wisdom among the afterwords of your camp's participants. I am amazed.
But what you say is right: others are trying to influence the noosphere [Teilhard de Chardin's term for the world psyche] but in more simplistic atmospheric way rather than your correct amplification way. What is felt by them (the Fountain Groups for instance) is that, as with Creation, Mind overcomes Matter by its higher position in the scheme of things.
But there is much paradox in these matters. Higher Beings, Angels and, perhaps, the Nine are trying to improve us and tidy us up - rather like socialists do, by putting us into a manageable form. Angels naturally abhor the mess that the world has got itself into, and harmony is to be sought at any price. But might it not also be true that God needs the mess?
I'm interested in looking into 'God's hidden agenda'. Books like those of El Daoud (The Gospel of Simplicity, 1959), The Winds of Truth (of the Lord Mikaal, 1950s) and Only Planet of Choice give us a vision of the way God has had to set about preparing the ground for His Dearest Agenda. He has had to use His Children, who work and understand [things] within His Holistic Atmosphere [planet Earth] to prepare the ground for His other children from outside that Holistic Atmosphere, whom He hopes will grow too. This is in order to achieve the radical self -programmed Self who is the result of chance and disobedient (unobedient, really) living, in a very complicated and richly-endowed human soup.
This agenda leads to enemies of Creation and of Himself [what the Nine call 'the opposition'] - yet it is the only way to engender real friends of Creation and of Himself. Friends who, unlike devotees, have independence and 'cheeky' self-valuing to live from. By cheeky, I mean that unafraid directness of the child when it is 'in trust' with someone - it asks leading questions and questions the answers. As I see it, devotees and obedient helpers cannot take the extraordinary step of friendship and the strong independence and freely-given affection that makes this work. Only friends can relieve the loneliness (and even incipient boredom) that I feel God suffers from. Praise and devoted affection won't relieve it!
I hope I am not engendering incipient boredom in you by all this! But it comes in the nature of the blessings we want to bless the world with - it may not be quite the same as the blessing we want to bless God with. Can you come and eat cake with me again? All good things, Bill. (Letter from Bill Arkle, artist, philosopher, elder and monkey-watcher!)
I've just read the spring newsletter. Palden's words of 'expect the unexpected', and breakthroughs are ringing very true for me: as you were previously informed, I am at present swanning around somewhere in Europe. Well, I'm not! I left the country in February after a few pleasant delays, hitched across the channel, down to Paris and then down to the Pyrenees where I stayed for a week with some friends. The tug of warmer weather then took me down to Tarragona, just south of Barcelona, where I discovered a dreamy beach and pitched camp for a bit. Armed with the Tao Teh Ching and A Course in Miracles I had set off with the intent to go where the wind blew me, exercising my free will with no restrictions, doing what my heart told me - and in this way to experience the world.
So what happened? Despite my idyllic surroundings and lots of friendly locals, I suffered an enormous feeling of separation from all that I loved - I missed everyone. I was miserable! After a week things hadn't changed, I hadn't settled into my environment as I thought I might, and I started to wonder whether I really wanted to be doing this after all. This was quite a battle with my ego - everyone knew Christopher was having an adventure travelling the world, so how could I give up? Just pack it all in? What would everyone think of me?
Another concern was that I might be addicted to the energies of those around me - hence my feelings of separation and loneliness. If I gave in and came home what was I giving in to? My ego, or my sense of lack? Then I read some words in A Course in Miracles: God likes a happy learner. Breakthrough! I wasn't happy - I certainly wasn't doing what my heart wanted me to, and so I wasn't exercising my free will. I was living within the limits my ego was imposing on me. It was easy from there. Pluto conjunct Moon went retrograde, there was a full moon and I decided to hitch back home the following day! Freedom!
Three days later, after some pretty cosmic rides, I was back in the country, feeling blissful. Finally I had followed my heart!
I have learnt so much from my experiences in the past month or so - my travels have been shorter than I ever imagined, yet so intense. I have discovered that it is not 'out there somewhere', but it is all within. My world is a reflection of what is inside me. And as I continue my journey I am finding this is true for all my perceptions.
Egos create illusions. Live from your heart, for this will make you happy. Everything that is real is inside you, you lack nothing. You are perfect love, because you are part of God. (Christopher Grist)
The last months have been crazy. The line between joy and pain is very thin. There have been days when I felt ecstasy - like the day of Rabin's funeral when all the world's leaders came to Jerusalem. And days when I was in agony, grief and deep pain, like during the recent terror activities. I have no doubt that the planet is changing!!
We have also had some great spiritual teachers coming to Israel and encouraging us, as 'light warriors', to keep up with our work (it can be pretty easy to give up sometimes...)
It sounds very possible that you found me 'glowing and happy' [This is in response to a dream Palden wrote to Michal about.] Even though I'm Jewish I choose not to suffer!! It does not mean I don't feel pain and compassion, but I try not always to get caught in the drama, and look at events from a different level. Reading the 'Kryon' books help me a lot.
As you know "Big Things" have happened during this time, 'things' which have touched the whole world, the whole country [Israel] and every one of us, personally. The last week [after Rabin's assassination] was so intense, it seems like a year had passed. The country is now recovering, and going back on track, just with the hope that the track is going towards peace and oneness. It is hard to explain what happened, on all levels. But I will try to share with you what I went through. But please remember my 'new-age' view is not really representative of my country.
At the time of the murder, I and other 'spiritual' friends were in Tel Aviv meditating and sending light to Israel and the whole planet. And then we heard the news. We were shocked. Totally shocked. It was like watching a movie, not believing it is reality. The world is changing!!! Hallelujah. And the people are going through a purification, the tears that are dropping are helping our hearts to open. It was amazing to see all our politicians (men of course) - the softness and humanity coming out of them. And the light in the eyes of the youth, who have 'come out of the closet' and showed their support and caring in the peace process. They are our hope. I hope you get the intensity and polarity of this event. What I do hope is that we don't need this kind of pain every time we need to grow!! And let's hope we will grow.
The day after, the whole country was in grief, in agony, starting to digest what had happened. Everyone was crying. Men, politicians, youths, children and, of course, me. The murder touched everyone of us in a very deep, genetic memory which is hard to define. One of my friends said to me "I don't remember feeling like this when my father died".
And the following day, 6th November (my birthday), was one of the most exciting days in my life. It's amazing how joy and pain come from the same place: one minute I'm crying in pain and another minute tears of joy, seeing all the leaders of the world arriving one after the other, all coming to Jerusalem. This was watching history happen in front of my eyes. I felt that this has all been meant to happen, it is part of a bigger plan which is hard for us to understand. And what has happened is a great opportunity for the whole world to grow, and of course Israel. We are now shifting towards a new era.
All the Monkeys seem so far away now. Sometimes I feel so lonely - there are not a lot of people with whom I can share what we have all shared together. I miss the small talk, esoteric talk, jokes, funny and stupid games we had around the fire - it all seems so far. (Michal Paran, Jerusalem).
I'm glad I was a Monkey in the Malvern Hills
I learned to wash a yam or two among the thrills and spills
I learned communal showering and star-gazing on the loo
And the hot tub - what can I say? - I got addicted to.
We sent out love and light to all
We really did have quite a ball
With meditation, Alltings, dance and shows
And talks round campfires' rosy glows
With hugs and blessings free for all
And flute to wake us at the dawn.
I got a new name for the week
People always did for the Angel seek
They got a blessing for a hug
(I really think I got the bug).
On reaching home I found the bag
of blessings - still quite full!
If there's a Monkey gathering next year
This addicted Monkey Angel will be there!
(Christine Storm, Bradford, W Yorks)