In 2017 we again partnered with Retreat Guru to expand our reach and ran a contest to win one free place in the annual Gathering. This was funded through the HCN Bursary Fund and were delighted to select the following participant;
Rusty Shores, California, USA
EarthRise at IONS Assistant Director
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Rusty’s entry in the contest which inspired us to offer him the free place!
I’ve worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) for nearly 10 years in various operational-related roles and have increasingly played more of a leadership role the past few years.
IONS has owned and operated the EarthRise Retreat Center since 2000. Since then we’ve added and updated meeting space, increased our bookings, made many operational and systems improvements, and recently modernized the AV equipment
in all our meeting rooms. The land is sacred, our staff and customer service are amazing, and the food is highly praised.
EarthRise is poised to shift into the next phase of its development and our job is tolisten and to support her evolving higher purpose. I had never heard of the Holistic Centers Gathering until just recently from Cheryl Fraenzl at Esalen. Now that I know of this wonderful gathering, I would just normally be excited to attend to connect with this like-spirited community. However, what inspires me about attending this year’s gathering is the same reason I reached out to Cheryl.
I have been holding a vision, and there is a growing consensus here at IONS, that it’s time for us to more fully integrate our EarthRise Retreat Center with our scientific research which ultimately means IONS would offer a more robust programming portfolio. There are still many details to work out and we are still in the thick of the co- creative process (as part of a larger strategic focusing process), but in general we would want to offer programs that provide, not only opportunities for deep experience in a nurturing container, but also provide:
1) People who’ve had some sort of noetic experience an opening to a larger context– a chance to learn from those in the field of noetic sciences data that suggest that the mind is more than just the brain, that there is a reality beyond
what our senses and instruments can detect. Each person still needs to evaluate the data themselves, but the first step is to know that this type of data exists. An important (although not sufficient) part of a worldview shift that IONS can help support.
2) An opportunity to participate in research while they are in their program. This could mean taking pre and post surveys, a saliva test to evaluate changes at the molecular level (epigenetics), or be a subject in one of our laboratory
3) The chance to utilize various forms of neuro-feedback related technology like VR, random number generators, or our new PsiQ app.
4) And perhaps even extended human capacity training like remote viewing or pre-cognition (while again participating in research). Anyway, as you can tell, I’m excited!
I would love the opportunity to connect with others who offer beautiful and safe containers and programs that supports people’s unfolding transformation. We can all learn from and support each other and I would be very grateful to be part of the conversation.
EarthRise at IONS Assistant Director
Rusty’s Reflections after participating in the Gathering
My heart is filled with gratitude for the generous opportunity I received that allowed me to participate in the 2017 Centers Gathering. The location – both Hawaii and the host center, Hawaii Island Retreat – provided the foundation for a warm and inviting container.
Although I arrived hours late due to plane delays, I was greeted and welcomed into what immediately felt like my tribe. After just the first few hours, it was clear that I didn’t just meet new friends, but in a way it felt as if I was reconnecting with life-long friends. Those of us who are drawn to this type of work and also drawn to connect with others at this type of gathering have a natural bond.
It’s not to minimize the value in meeting with one’s peers to share best practices in topics like programming, marketing, analytics/trends, and HR. That alone is worth the trip. Likewise, the opportunity to ask folks from other centers specific questions about how they do this and how they do that was also extremely valuable (and in a spirit of cooperation as opposed to seeing each other as competitors). However, my biggest takeaway was the lifelong connections I made and sense of being part of something bigger than just my own center.
Christine and the planning team masterfully wove in a perfect mix of content topics, group exercises (onsite and offsite), and local culture. We were nourished by incredible cuisine and had plenty of opportunity for connections and self reflection.
If you are thinking about attending a Centers Gathering, do yourself and your center a favor…make it to the next gathering!
By Rusty Shores
EarthRise Assistant Director
Enjoy the slideshow from the 2017 Centers Gathering!