— Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, quoted in TC McLuhan’s The Way of the Earth, p. 151
My work with group processes has always moved towards what comes to us most naturally. This is why my facilitation practice seems to culminate in Open Space Technology, where the natural and pervasive dynamics of self-organization can take over. Being a conscious part of a self-organizing system requires that we remember how to be a part of nature again. And so the four practices of Open Space – opening, inviting, holding and grounding – become essential for creating a container in which people return to their most basic and intuitive processes – conversation, choice, collaboration and contemplation – to help move them forward. When a group is truly ready to come back to what has always been Open Space, one finds reactions of astonishment and surprise that work could really be this easy and this deep, all at the same time.
It’s worth looking at what we are as humans – parts of the vast whole that holds us – and remember that our very oldest teachings tell us how to live within this enfolded context rather than futilely struggle against it.