The Art of Hosting

Much is stirring in Japan these days. My own journey there began 40 years ago when I "escaped" from the US. Those were the days of the Vietnam War and when the National Guard murdered 4 students at Kent State and the USA began to bomb Cambodia. I -- a young War Proterster -- was pushed over the top. I had to leave. Had to get out. A door opened to Japan; I knew it was over there near China (I'd taken a Chinese history class).

My life was changed. I sometimes speak of how my life has been guided. I have a fairy godmother who opens doors and sometimes slaps me around a bit to get my wandering attention. My job is to walk through those doors and see what happens. Japan has been a core part of my life.

I began to find my own spiritual path, in part through my relationship with the grandfather of my heart who I met when he was 71 and I was 21. As the years turned, his son became the only grandfather my daughter has ever know. Yesterday he -- the son -- turned 83 and Susan and I called him to wish him congratulations from Spokane and Annie called from New Zealand. We are family.

I return to Japan in a few days. What draws me isn't personal -- except, of course, it is very personal. Last year I was invited to bring my work with The Berkana Institute into Japan. In three trips I spent more than 4 months working with more than 1000 people across Japan. I became aware of how huge the opening is for change.

And now we have the earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Beneath the quaking, there is a strong resolve. Many are asking the question "what is possible now that was not possible before."

I've just written some of this in my blog at Also a story in the new ALIA Field notes: Older entries in my Resilient Communities blog tell of the exciting work at the end of 2010 which lay the groundwork for what may come now.

Blessings all, Bob

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Comment by Bob Stilger on April 3, 2011 at 6:13pm
Thanks Ria.  I carry many into this sacred work!
Comment by Ria Baeck on April 3, 2011 at 6:10pm
Good winds to you and your work there Bob!

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