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Conversation Harvest to the question, "What are conditions that allow spaces of non-judgment to open and remain grounded?"

Earlier this month, I attended an Experienced AofH Practitioner Retreat (in Daylesford, Australia). It was a wonderfully nourishing 1.5 days attended by just over 20 participants.

As part of an OST session hosted during the Retreat, I posed the question, “What are the conditions that allow spaces of non-judgment to open and remain grounded?

During and subsequent to that conversation I captured the following “harvest” and reflections from those who entered into the exploration of this question with me.

I hope that they seed an idea for on your journey with and through AofH, wherever along that journey you may be …


  • The 'grounding' of the space is the Positive Core, the effervescent wisdom, knowledge, successful strategies,positive attitudes and affect, and best practice skills, resources and capabilities that are bought into the space that allow for positive energy and momentum even if those in the space become ‘stuck’ in judgment of themselves, those around them or the reason for coming together in the first place. For me the ‘Positive Core’ of a ‘space’ can be considered akin to one’s True Nature, that is, it is unconditionally complete, whole and ‘pure’ and as such resonates a luminous bright white light that acts like a magnetic force drawing all others towards it.
  • The ‘opening’ of the space is the identification of a ‘real’ need and related purpose. It is the need that calls people into a ‘space’ to be together and it is the shared purpose that mobilizes the group towards the exploration of wise action in that space around the identified 'real' need.
  • In mobilizing around the need and purpose, the space allows those within it to explore their work together. In the space the group (and each person within the group) walks the chaordic path between ‘knowing’ and ‘non-knowing’. And in that chaordic dance of ‘saying yes more than know’ it is the space's Positive Core that holds and grounds all within it.
  • The Circle and its Rim is created by all within the space. The Circle's rim acts as the container for the group and its members as it and they walk the knowing-non-knowing chaordic path in service of identifying the wise action required around the ‘real’ need.
  • The Circle also invites those within it (the ‘participants’) to take up and/or step into a set of ‘conditions’ (that is, ways of being/thinking) that are in service of the work undertaken within the space. These ways of being/thinking are in service of, and supported by, the Positive Core of the space and the True Nature of each person within it. They are also the conditions that enable a space of non-judgment to open and remain grounded as the group undertakes its work.
  • The Triangle within the Circle – a deeper space of non-judgment – provides the ‘lightest touch’ structure to support those within the space to be together and collectively mobilizes towards wise action. The Host, Guardian and Harvester hold the intention, wisdom and action on behalf of the space and steward the space in service of its Positive Core. In this way the Host, Guardian and Harvester are ‘spaces’ of non-judgment.
  • The practice of opening and grounding spaces of non-judgment invites the Host, Guardian and Harvester to see their ‘life as practice’ - a life in service of the Positive Core of the planet and all that rely upon it for nourishment. It invites the practitioner to be with and step into their True Nature, moment-by-moment. And in so doing, create safe spaces for self and others to be unsafe in service of the Positive Core of all humanity.
  • Finally, radiating from the Positive Core of this space are some guiding principles that I believe enable this work (well, they do for me anyway :) ).


So, that is my summary of my reflections and learnings from that conversation. I thank those who stepping together with me into this field of inquiry and who helping me ground my exploration.



PS: I do have a higher-resolution of the attachment (about 7MG). If you would like me to send this version to you just let me know.

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Comment by Richard Harmer on October 27, 2010 at 3:33pm
Hi Judy

The high res image of my harvest can be downloaded from my profile page (from the photo section). Ian excited that my own learning can be used to support your own and look forward to hearing how this reflection evolves.


Comment by Judy Wallace on October 27, 2010 at 3:20pm
This is beautiful and can be a way for me to offer an understanding of being in the Not Knowing, holding steady in that dance, as you say here, and slowly considering - not leaping - into action. I especially appreciate the quality of the Positive Core. I will post your link to a group I work with called the Collective Presencing Lab. We are a group of 9 practicing collective inquiry as an evolving and important human capacity. Thank you for these perspectives to add to the pot, so to speak, and spark new questions and energy in this group. If you can email me the graphic, that would be great.
Comment by Ria Baeck on September 22, 2010 at 2:53am
This is great work Richard!! I have to dive deeper into it to fully grasp...
Maybe uploading the picture here in the Ning - I don't know if it keeps the high resolution then...

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