No time like the present!
Trip Start Nov 24, 2009
11Trip End Dec 09, 2009
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In the past year or so I've been intrigued by the concept of presence. When an acquaintance of mine, men's group leader Sean told me he was offering a workshop on this topic for basically cost I was all about it. The only catch: it would be in Warsaw where he lives. His previous course offering in SF several months before had a price tag of $2000, so the way I see it the $2k savings on the workshop would subsidize my vacation and I would be richer for it
The principle idea of the course is to create stronger connections with others from a centered sense of self and focus on the moment, but the details were shrouded in mystery as Sean tends to improvise based upon the needs of the attendees. When we all settled into the conference room the charge of anticipation was in the air. No one really knew where we were heading but instead just handed Sean the reins and enjoyed the ride. What I can say about the workshop without getting into drawn out details is that the primary components were meditation and prolonged eye contact exercises. It all was fairly intense, very much so at times, and by the end of the day everyone was emotionally drained (some even had to leave early because of this.)
We all met afterward at the hostel's pub in an attempt to collectively go out on the town. As with big groups this proved to be futile logistically so after much waiting and little planning I turned to a few cohorts and said I was leaving and they should come. Jason (an Aussie and overall awesome dude) Tom, and Kuba (a local Pole and Sean's roommate) all followed and we were finally off. Kuba led us to a place called The Jazz Club, which in the basement was a Salsa club complete with a dance floor full of locals and their moves
Despite the next morning coming all too quickly, I managed to make it back to the workshop on time. When Sean starts the workshop he proceeds to tell us he found Kuba passed out on his bed with his pants half off!?! "I don't know what you guys did to him, but he was getting in just as I was getting up!" I could only sink in my chair with a sense of guilt that I drove him too hard. Jason eventually sneaks in 30 minutes late with a sheepish look on his face and giving me a smiling nod of recognition. That of course wouldn't stop us from being coerced into ordering full liter beers over our meal break. (Hey, they were only 60 cents more than a half!) Nor did it stop me from drinking shots with an aggressive local in order to get him off Sean's back for not drinking. I suppose I literally took a few for the team there as Sean deemed me his "designated drinker!"
The night closed down with those who were moving on saying goodbye and making the last of their connections. I myself stayed up late into the night with several of my new friends discussing the weekend and it's meaning among other things. Overall it was an intense experience where a group of guys went in total strangers and came out with new trusted friends, many whom I feel I will know for many years to come!