I just tried something new. For the four days immediately before moving house, I took off – out of time – to be with friends in an authentic collective exploration of what it means to be a warrior of the heart in today’s world.
There were 24 of us – folks from Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, USA, Canada – led by Bob Wing and Toke Møller – practicing sword training in the aikido tradition and the art of meaningul conversation. Some of us were beginners at one or other of these arts, and some were sensei already – true masters. We were a truly multigenerational gathering, from 13 to 60-something… And the children were omnipresent…
As is often the case when this particular extended family gets together, the place was one of the participants. Our gathering was hosted at the Kingsmill (Koningsmolen) in Eliksem-Landen (Belgium) – it’s maiden voyage as an evolutionary learning centre since coming into the stewardship of Lieven Callewaert and Judith Heezen.
I wonder whether I will ever be able to articulate everything I learned.
- The warrior soul is not warlike – rather, it is dedicated. It is dedicated to seeking clarity and cutting away that which is not authentic. It is rooted in love and reverence for the earth and all things on it and does not waver from its heart’s course.
- The soul families to which we belong are quite vast. As an individual steps into a collectively-held field of intent, he or she can quite literally be transformed. During these four days I witnessed the collective midwifing the birth of warrior souls.
- Battle is where you harvest your practice. During our time together, Toke mused that the highest that a human being can aspire to is to become a practitioner of something. Each of the people present was a practitioner of something. I learned that I can apprentice myself to each person I meet. It’s good to have so many sensei‘s. Who are you, and what is your practice?
- I realise that I am no longer interested in individual work. Although my practice to hone my warriorship might happen in solitude when I am at home, I am constantly called to the collective. It is the large collective fields that nourish and intrigue me, that really give me something to sense.
- We were honoured to have among us tarot master Ulrik Golodnoff, whose cards made visible for us that which was holding us, supporting us, shaping us and challenging us. Learning to read tarot like Ulrik has become a real ambition for me.
- As a woman, I was struck by the wonderful quality of the men at this gathering. Watching them tune into their essence as men, and the way they were together, amongst themselves, made me contemplate starting a harem…