The past weeks I have been busy writing about my experiences in the Desert. I was there for 12 days, four days of fasting and three days solo on top of a mountain.
I wrote it in iBooks Author. It’s great how easy it is to add video and photographs. The only hickup is to upload it on iTunes if you want to have a few euros for it. Margaret offered to do the editing and now my first booklet is almost there. The second is already in the pipeline.
I’ll share the second chapter:
I just transferred the money for the quest so it seems that I can’t go back anymore. When I read Synchronicity by Jaworski, I thought it would be wonderful to do a vision quest. Over the years I romanticized it and now I am registered.
Last night I dreamt about the quest: I am walking up a mountain. At the top I find my fellow participants. Then I realize that I forgot to take a tent with me. I descend the mountain on my wheels. I don’t have feet but wheels. Having wheels is something I take for granted and doesn’t surprise me while dreaming. Coming down the mountain, my wheels have some problems with the cobble stone road. When I am in the outdoor shop in the village at the foot of the mountain, they try to talk me into a one-person shelter. It’s brown and green with only one pole. I can’t stand up in it and it looks ugly. In the back I see a great orange and yellow three person NorthFace ‘dome’ tent with several light weight, beautifully colored poles and I guess that I can even stand up in it. That’s the tent I’ve always wanted to have and now is the opportunity to buy it! I wake up.
Every two weeks I skype with Jim Marsden. I met him several years ago in a retreat of the Presencing Institute. For that retreat Otto Scharmer invited ‘seasoned Theory U practitioners’ to deepen our mutual understanding of Theory U and share our experiences and practices.
Jim introduced another nature to me. He asked us to go outside on our own and feel where nature was pulling us. That assignment surprised me. Nature is pulling me in a certain direction? But outside a huge tree was ‘calling’ me. When I came closer I saw that it wasn’t one, but three trees: ‘Ho, it’s my family. My wife and two children.’ I started a dialogue with them while they showed up in front of me. I was impressed by the debriefing that I had with Jim. We felt deeply connected. He used to be a program manager for HP outsourcing the development of printers to Singapore. But his passion is: guiding nature quests. He decided to leave HP to follow his heart. He now is a guide and consultant. His presence brings nature into a room, even in a business environment like MIT. Last fall, Jim and I organized a solo experience for the Theory U Masterclass on Cape Cod. Every morning during the preparation of the masterclass we talk about our dreams. Now we call each other every two weeks to share them. It’s my turn. I tell him how excited I am to have found the opportunity to buy the tent I always wanted to have.
‘Awesome Hein. Have you read the background information about the quest?’
‘No, I just applied and filled in all the registration forms. You won’t be responsible anymore if something terrible is happening to me,’ I add with a laugh. ‘Silly Americans with all your waivers,’ I am thinking.
‘Ok that’s good news, because you are not supposed to take a tent with you.’
‘In a quest it’s important to stay in contact with nature. A tent disconnects you. You have too much privacy. I suggest that you take a tarp.’
‘What’s a tarp?’
‘I’ll send you a link. This is a great one. I’ve got it myself. It weighs only 350 grams. You will like it. It’s made of Spinnaker cloth. With some imagination you can see yourself sailing in the desert,’ he smirks. ‘You can immerse yourself fully into nature and you won’t get wet when it’s snowing or raining.’
‘What do you mean? Snowing or raining?’
‘Last year there was snow on the mountains. Not exactly at the place where we were, a few hundred meters higher.’
Ok, I am always in for something new, but this could be something I actually get nervous about. I start to read the background material: I need to bring my own lunch: raisins, nuts and some tea. Really hard avocados are suggested and some dry sausages if I am craving meat. I am only supposed to take enough for the days I am not fasting. Okay, I can lose a few pounds.
‘And Hein, the good news is, is that you’re paying me for this!’ he ends the call with a chuckle.