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CWS workshop – May 2015

Thirty brave souls stepped into the first Crazy Wisdom School event without much idea what was going to happen.

What was promised was a day of magic with Rafia Morgan, one of the Crazy Wisdom School conspirators and one of the world’s most experienced facilitators.

He started by explaining his background – a student radical in Berkeley, California in the late 60s, who dropped acid and then decided the protests were just a continuation of the same anger and division the authorities were doing in Vietnam. He then went on a spiritual journey that led him to the indian mystic Osho in Pune, India, and the community that grew up around him. He bacame a facilitator leading and creating groups and workshops in the middle of the largest and most powerful transformational community the world has seen.

Using his experience of the process of opening, he structured the day around exploring two different elemental drives – the desire for freedom and the desire for intimacy and connection.

IMG_7075The first exercise was an inquiry process. It’s a dialogue between two people with a difference. The key, as Rafia explained, was to find the place in oneself that doesn’t know the answer and wants to find it out – to inquire into the question at hand and drop the usual stories and regular narrative we usually tell ourselves and each other. So the inquiry should be an alive process of discovery rather than a simple retelling of what we already know.

The first topic was around freedom. What freedom means to us, and what keeps us from freedom.

Having brought up the subject of restriction – all the blocks between ourselves and freedom, the group was led on a journey to experience it in a physical way. To feel the restriction – embody it and then – RELEASE – lift off into a full on sweaty dance party. Many people realising they made a mistake in not bringing a change of clothes…

From freedom the group was led into an exploration of intimacy and polarity. The men and women were separated as Rafia described the different essences of the feminine and the masculine. As is perhaps appropriate with exercises around polarity – the effect was polarising – some people really liked it, others found the description of masculine and feminine qualities too simplified.

IMG_7079For context – Rafia would say that he’s not saying ‘all women are feminine and all men are masculine’ – more that we each have an inner masculine and inner feminine, and that the balance is different in each person, however, that we are all fundamentally aligned with one or the other. He created a much longer workshop called ‘Inner Man, Inner Woman’ at the Osho community, which takes both men and women through an experience of their inner masculine and feminine, and the exercises here were a simplified version of that.

Polarity work is one of the most interesting and powerful transformational areas – but it does challenge some modern ideas around gender, and many of those who work within the field say they are often misinterpreted. If you are interested – this polarity work was popularised by David Deida, and an examination of his work, and the controversies around it, is here.

After the polarity work there was a final comedown inquiry around intimacy and connection where the group was able to unpack what had come up for them in the exercises.

The day was a triumph – finishing with a much greater sense of community and togetherness. Many thanks to Rafia for facilitating. It’s fair to say that everyone was taken out of their comfort zone at times, but that they were glad they were, and look forward to the next stages of the journey.

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