Small Group Evaluation

Small Group Reflection and Mindful Sharing

The participants were divided into small groups of 8-10 persons. Each small group reflected in silence with a facilitator in a quiet space for a 10 minutes period. Then the participants were asked to focus on the day's proceedings and consider how they felt. Each individual was given a chance to share his/her feelings in a non-judgmental way in an atmosphere of mutual trust as the others listened mindfully. A stone was passed from one person to the next to the person's left and the only the person with the stone had could speak. The person with the stone could merely pass the stone to the next person in case the she/he so choose.

The first round of sharing was then followed by another round in which the participants were asked to consider "what impressed me as I listened to participants’ experience of the conference" and "what energy, wisdom, insight, etc. is emerging in in the small group that is bigger than the sum of us". At the end of the second round of sharing, the participants were given a slip of paper to write briefly the topmost feeling in their hearts in one word, a phrase or a sentence and return the slip to the facilitators. The following is a listing of what emerged:

  1. Impressed by the way that I can see some of the suggestions (from participants) happening already in my school.
  2. Peaceful listening.
  3. Deep transformation.
  4. Aware.
  5. I have learned that not only are there individuals trying to make a difference; there are also organizations like SHEN and URI which are moving to a greater good beyond the boundaries of religion while still respecting individuals’ right to their beliefs.
  6. Being with just 6 others in a small group is very satisfying and gives me a sense of warm connection with all present.
  7. Great feeling of connectedness with diverse souls.
  8. Open up your mind, get out of your cube, feel the fresh air, then the whole world is yours.
  9. To be here is simply to be in a world of oneness of the heart and mind.
  10. Bliss!
  11. The synchronization between head, heart and hands is a must for happiness. This is what I understand today.
  12. Opening of minds.
  13. Sharing from your heart reality.
  14. Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. Spiritual education does not necessarily lead to enlightenment; spiritual awareness has its own value.
  15. It is a great way to open up. Learnt many things from the small group also. Very informative, enriching, enlightening, energizing! Hope we can put things in practice, reach out like URI.
  16. I notice the people here are different from typical people in community. “Normal” people offer superficial conversation: ”Hi, how are you?”… “Just fine, thanks.” People here are more peaceful, honest, accessible, and interested in sharing what’s important, valuable and meaningful. Not at all like billiard balls…thanks!
  17. Grateful for time and space to connect with others at the spiritual level – mutual sharing.
  18. We are all one and the diversity we see is superficial.
  19. Encouraged, impressed, challenged.
  20. Spiritual.
  21. We are all having the same conversation, even if using different words.
  22. Absolutely love the phrase: saying the same word, but in various languages; although we have different paths of spirituality there are commonalities.
  23. The desire to grow and to know.
  24. Realizing and respecting the uniqueness in each individual.
  25. I was happy that in the FIRST ROUND some of us were able to share our fear and pain.
  26. Self-realization = Oneself – (Ego + Hatred).
  27. Teaching to let the ego go a bit (giving the self a breather), so we can listen more carefully to ourselves and others.
  28. Accept and respect.
  29. “(- - - - )”
  30. Unity.
  31. Galvanizing.
  32. Hate and ego are the sickness of the body and mind. Spirituality can help to heal that sickness.
  33. Faith is a personal and private matter, but if people share their views openly with one another in diverse groups, not for convincing others to convert to their faith, but for the purpose of controlling conflicts among different faiths, then the world would be a better place.
  34. Only when I know my true self, I’ll be able to take the next step on the quest towards spirituality.
  35. Imagine looking at earth from the edge of the galaxy, they you would realize we are all sharing a tiny point of the universe, we are all humans and spirituality is a good way to unite.
  36. What is the relation between the one and the many?
  37. Love is the supreme Talisman.
  38. Hope and confidence.
  39. Expanding my circle.
  40. Knowledge and spirituality are the same.
  41. There really is a peace that passes understanding.
  42. Mankind is one. Try to take action to live with unity, tolerance and co-operation.
  43. Love across difference.
  44. Awareness of the extent of the horizons.
  45. Call to action.
  46. Let us take action.
  47. Fire in the circle.
  48. As I see it, part of our shared spiritual path is that we will be guided, inspired and directed by inner wisdom with what piece we are each to do next as part of crafting the next chapter.
  49. We are not alone. We are in good (God) hands. Share one another’s burdens.
  50. Community across generations.
  51. Being.
  52. Love.
  53. Lucid evolution.
  54. One of several chords that struck me today: it requires courage to right an injustice that has pervaded (violated?) courtesy. I feel the courage to work collectively.
  55. The speakers today have shown that the dream can be achieved. Next steps are to work on the “how” to accomplish it.
  56. May have more opportunities to be with like-minded people.
  57. Feel that I have experienced what god is about for the first time ever.
  58. More of a realization in me that we are in it together.
  59. Spark of divine.
  60. The whole two days conference provided me with the catalyst for breaking the stereotype beliefs.
  61. Having this kind of discussion makes us realize that we are not alone in our quest and gives us courage to be more open and continue….