In 2008 I was invited to speak at a festival in North Germany called Celebrate Life. This is an annual 10-day festival drawing about 800 people who gather to practice meditation, dance, sing and learn from a contemporary spiritual teacher called Thomas Hubl.
This man invites individuals and groups to explore their relationships to life and come into a deeper understanding of presence, compassion, transparency and authenticity. Through the practice of Sharing the Presence, Thomas explores the links between internal wisdom and the conventional knowledge of the external world. His work aims to foster an emerging ‘Culture of We’ where individuals begin to realize their natural potential, allowing them to function more effectively in the challenges of today’s society. I’ve watched his gift to connect deeply with groups and individuals and create an intimate atmosphere of healing and inquiry.
At the festival I felt immediately at home, in the midst of a zingy combination of German efficiency (800 people camping around a lake with not a scrap of litter anywhere), the open warm friendliness of everyone I met, and the profound insights of the teaching.
Each year that I was invited back, I experienced the intelligence of guest speakers like Ken Wilber, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Diane Hamilton – but more importantly developed a delightful on-going creative relationship with Thomas. This produced a festival theme in 2012 entitled: Our Contribution to a Conscious World. Five streams of enquiry investigated what the future could look like in terms of the economy, the environment, education, health and conflict resolution, through the lens of a wider consciousness. For me this was a very productive way to bridge between the ‘spiritual’ and the practical, between the existing situations we face, and the future we could construct.