When Ideas On Paper Unlock Something Deeper

Sometimes you experience moments that open your eyes to meaningful things and the world’s empathetic hand of truth reaches out and grabs your soul.

You immerse yourself in it and you can feel the power of bringing people together and giving them the time and space to be our natural selves, which a lot of the time, we feel we are deprived of. But when when you find a place where all these needs can occur simultaneously, you feel like you’re home, you belong. You beg to feel this continuously because you have felt the value it brings to yourself, your community and ultimately to all of humanity.

The Tabernacle, conceived of by Ben Riddle, inspired by a similar structure in a refugee camp in Northern France (Calais), created an experience of this kind. The feeling intended was of “a context for people to suspend belief, relinquishing fear of the “other” and seeing oneself situated in a global community that is bound together by a shared human experience.” Utilizing Open Space technology of the present, although its benefits could be considered way ahead of its time, humans from all walks of life came forth to teach, question, listen, envision, and connect with others and themselves.

Just as refugees around the world are sleeping among the stars, not necessarily by choice, we did so in their honor.

Rhythmic sensations from the drum circle, positive vibrations from prayer flags, Heaven on Earth during worship, unlocking newfound creativity and engagement during college classes, deeper unexpected feelings of love brought forth by meditation, rest and expansion of mind, body, and soul through yoga, the uncontrollable dancing of the bonfire, the sudden surprise of the campus sprinkler system turning on at 4 am, and the joy and fun two could have participating in laughter yoga. There was so much love and compassion expressed toward one another and we saw how an idea that started out written on paper, unlocked something far deeper when realized.

These kind of experiences are best felt in person. To participate in life rather than watch from the sidelines is an ambitious choice. One that leads to unexpected things, some good some bad, but all you have to do is show up. Most likely something amazing will happen that can teach you about yourself or another person and add that much more to our collective social conscience. If only we could give ourselves permission to open our eyes and tell fear to do the same, we’d see so many amazing opportunities for learning and growth. Life isn’t scary when you get you know it.