How 8 Strangers Created a Profound Hive Mind at the Agile Games Conference

The game on the door was labeled, “The Many Headed Guru.” The student in me wondered what I would take away from this exercise and the extrovert in me hoped to offer help, expertise, whatever it was that defined the meaning of a “guru.”

Four people stood next to one another at the front of the small, modern lounge-like room. They looked out upon the instructor, seated behind an empty metal chair.

“This is the question chair. Anyone may sit in it at any time and ask the Many Headed Guru a question. It may be about work, personal life, teams, anything at all.”

The energy in the room changed from anxious and curious to poised and calm.

“Once a person asks a question, the Many Headed Guru will respond, one word per person at a time, until the Many Headed Guru feels it has completed its answer. They will signal its completion with a bow.”

As a few more participants delicately stepped into the room, the instructor had one last bit of direction that was something like this: “When you provide an answer, go to the place that is between compassion and guidance.”

We were at an Agile Games Conference. There was silent, brooding respect for the space between. The air moved from zany pizazz to philosophical transmogrify.

I observed the first few questions and answers before participating.

Question-asker: “How can I learn to show my ex’s new partners compassion and joy when I struggle with this today?”

Guru 1: If
Guru 2: you
Guru 3: listen
Guru 4: with
Guru 1: your
Guru 2: heart
Guru 3: and
Guru 4: find
Guru 1: a
Guru 2: place
Guru 3: to
Guru 4: see
Guru 1: with
Guru 2: open
Guru 3: eyes
Guru 4: you
Guru 1: will
Guru 2: be
Guru 3: free.

If you listen with your heart and find a place to see with open eyes you will be free.

The definition of transmogrify is to “transform, especially in a surprising or magical manner.” I’ve never felt such power come from so many strangers combined. How the room vibrated with each answer! And the question chair — it too held its own tranquil authority. Many of us approached it with no question in mind, and upon sitting, a query would unveil itself to the one in need. The student inside of me bubbled over.

How is it that eight strangers created space for one hour where anyone could and would ask about any obstacle in their life? How is it that eight strangers donned the hat of a guru and found it within themselves to put their own observations to such sagacious use?

I was in awe as much as I was in disbelief of the answers provided by this group of Agile Games attendees. The profoundness delivered by our hive-mind left me brimming with saline appreciation.

We ended the game by getting back in line as a Many Headed Guru and asked ourselves, “What have we learned from this session today?”

This | session | has | begun | to | open | our | eyes | to | truly | and | verily | feeling | safe | space, | peaceful | connection | within | ourselves.

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