Ina Meyer-Stoll and Achim Ecker are founding members of ZEGG and have lived in community for more than 30 years. For about 20 years they are deeply involved in teaching ZEGG Forum and other community building tools. Since 2006, they come regularly to the USA teaching Forum and working with groups. They see themselves as constantly learning to be more authentic in their lives and in their teachings. Living in a community with a strong focus on love, partnership and friendship, the relationships between people receive their special attention during the process.
This year they came by invitation of Cornel Rusu, who visited ZEGG for 3 months this summer for his PhD study at the University of Santa Barbara, USA. During his time at ZEGG he made many interviews with members of the community, ex-members and guests to find out what impact ZEGG has or had on their lives.
The invitation led to the idea for the “Deepening Love –Deepening Community” tour in the USA. Love in the meaning of love from an adult consciousness perspective where individuals stop blaming and take full responsibility. In the US there are many people and groups who experiment with using Forum for their gatherings and social meetings. So the offered workshops were partly also a supervision and refreshing the work done in the USA.
A guiding question for all of their workshops was: What does it mean to be an authentic human being? One of our deepest longings as people is to be seen, as I am, powerful and vulnerable, joyous and fearful, shy and courageous, searching, finding, losing and gaining…
Our modern culture does not really offer this to us. It lets us appear only as objects rather than subjects. Consequently “to be seen” is one answer that the young people give when asked for their motivations after shootings at schools and universities in the US. And being despised or hated appears still better than being overlooked.
Being able to lead an authentic life leads to inner and outer peace. Peace Building is not about compromises as commonly understood, but it is about truths and being honest about my truth. Then it will be indispensable to get in touch with our real inner feelings. From there we can start listening deeply to others in a safe social setting with open hearts. Faith means: “I want to know who you really are” and it means the decision to follow my own inner love and to stop running away.
So far they met and worked with many people and, for example, in California one question coming up again and again was: “Why is it so difficult to create intentional community? Many people talk about it for years and say they want it, but it does not happen.”
In their frequent visits to the US over many years this question kept coming up. “Lack of decision to commit” was an initial answer, but it was not satisfying. Why do people not want to, or are not able to commit? One of the qualities of Forum is to go beyond the first answers; deeper into our motivations.
After an “issue centered Forum” about this questions it became clearer. Many shared their deep wish for community and what stops them in the center of the group. Many spoke about all their stuff they have and how it keeps them from forming community as they would have to get rid of a lot of it. There seems to be the myth in the American society that happiness consists of owning a lot of stuff. Becoming aware of how this is not true is a first step.
“Autonomy” was a big issue also. One man shared that he just understood what autonomy stands for in his life. He said that when he has his own house to go to, he has the feeling that he can be as he is or wants to be. He doesn’t need to justify himself for wanting a glass of wine in the evening, watching a certain TV-show or other habits one might feel shame about. Very touched he shared his fear that others would judge him for his habits and would not love him anymore. Out of caution he chooses being alone and calls it his wish for “autonomy”. Many nodded to this revelation.
At the end of their tour in New York, Achim and Ina agreed that they would come back to the USA to supervise and train the facilitators about every two years for a sharing and keeping the process alive and evolving. As Forum and community building tools are developing further all the time this seemed to make sense.
Schedule: “Deepening Community – Deepening Love” Tour USA 2015
Oct. 1st: Santa Cruz: Evening presentation of ZEGG community;
Oct. 2-3: Santa Cruz introductory workshop on ZEGG-Forum. “Liberated Love & Eros”
Oct. 4: Berkeley; Advanced ZEGG-Forum workshop “Adult love and Eros”
Oct. 8; San Diego: Open evening presentation about ZEGG Community
Oct 9 -11; San Diego: Advanced ZEGG-Forum training “Adult love and Eros”
Oct 15: Bolder, Colorado – Open evening presentation of ZEGG Community; The Integral Center
Oct 20: Manhattan, New York – Open evening presentation of ZEGG Community;
Oct 23-24: Introductory Workshop on ZEGG-Forum in Staten Island, NY
Oct 25: Workshop for the Ganas Community in Staten Island
Oct 30-31: Advanced ZEGG-Forum workshop in Staten Island
Ina Meyer-Stoll and Achim Ecker