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2010 International Polarity Education Alliance Gathering Group Meeting Notes

Notes taken by Linda Diane Feldt with some editing by Richard Chandler


Saturday, Nov 12, 2010

The following notes were taken at the meeting and greatly abbreviated. Please provide corrections and clarifications. I’ve added words that I thought would help make the text smoother. If I have misrepresented remarks in the process please provide the correction.

Phil – We’ve used many words – spiral process – elder process – matrifocal – a non hierarchical alliance – no formal structure – bring something in to form that is different. That has a guiding group. This is the inaugural gathering –
It came out of a group process, the impulse and formation came from that group process. [and from that came] an initiating council of elders.

It is an open council of elders. It will change. It is not like a board or a formalized structure. [The members have been] steeped, marinated, been there done that, over 10 years of contact [with polarity therapy]. There will be 5 or 7. Odd numbers. It will be a fluid group.
What we want is input from people like you – who are … doing the work. [We need to hear ]what interests you, what you value, what you might hope and dream. We don’t have an agenda. Were not even sure we have a proper vision.

Linda Diane - we heard people wanted to come back into community and we did that .

Phil – [We are] trying to be reactive and responsive to the needs of a community with a different model and a different paradigm.

Janice – [introduced Lisa Shimsky] 10 years ago – Lisa & I were part of the original group that met at an APTA conference to form the Polarity Teachers council that seeded this vision of a less hierarchacal approach and a way to keep teachers connected and communicating being that that wasn’t happening effectively in APTA at the time. WE together wrote the vision statement and letter sent out to the newly formed coucil of teachers. [I will get a copy of this Linda] So this seed ten years later – is now being birthed in a bigger way to create a new model. We know something new is emerging and we are all co-creators of this new emergence. [I want to] honor Lisa for her presence here.

Lisa S. – the vision that we had was we were involved with APTA and there was a board. We sit in circles in class, but then we had a board. We needed to work together in [a] community with no head or tai. And here we are!

Heather – When a seed is planted we don’t know how long it will take to germinate. But ultimately it does.

Phil – What I had in mind [you can see if you] look at the IPA web site. It contains standards. It is a new model of standards. It is not referenced to [specifics but rather based on] principles. In vol 2 [of Dr. Stone’s books] there is a section called summary of principles. At some level we talked about principles and what was the heart of polarity. Not the core, but the heart. John B. put a lot of his time and energy to writing the bare bones. … People have asked how to use it, [it is important to] understand it is the bare bones [at this time].

It is open source. Anyone can contribute. It is a living growing evolving document of what the polarity principles are and how to look at them. [It contains] keywords and congruent modality concepts. It is in a state of evolution – anyone who is teaching or has genious of insight will be able to add to that and it grows over time. It is also a historical document. It has not been rigidified, [It is] not in a crystal form – if you went there you could look – I added a lot of stuff about elements. Over time the stuff discussed [through the forums]will move into the standards. There is a percolation where some of that will move into the standards itself. Discussion emerges and evolves and it is assimilated. It will change over time. It will not be immediately shifting from one thing to another.

So many of us are like Dr. stone – an eclectic healer – he was the first really great eclectic – he found a way to integrate it together. He found unifying integrating principles to what was disparate approaches. [Polarity can be integrated] into other arenas where polarity is something larger than just polarity. That’s integrating polarity principles into other things in life.

Janice – What makes a principle, a principle is a when it’s a universal concept that can be applied to so many different situations. The standards represent these universal principles and in this way they can be a document that lives and breathes. This is happening because over those ten years there was an impulse for a new way however, it took a ciritical mass and the right timing for things to start changing. Now is that time and We are all co-creating this alliance…

LDF – This is a great way to honor the past and the future at the same time.

Heather – the polarity cloud

Phil – The ethics code [currently on the web site] was holding space. What If you have different ethics for every organization you belong to? We’re trying to do something differently – found ethical principles recently [elsewhere on line]. . There are 4 fundamental principles. That will be something we are looking at – we want to stay with a new model. It’s not easy, for anyone to do or think about. [Regarding changing thinking patterns] Dr. Stone [once] wrote on the board 1 and x. that’s Roman numeral for nine. [He asked the students to change that] to six by adding one line. He wrote an s. “I tricked you. You have to think outside the box”. That struck me. [It is] a challenge to think outside the box. We are boxed in a lot of the time in different states, and countries and provinces. By people who don’t want to think outside the box. Dr. Stone said I created this [polarity therapy?] by thinking outside the box.

With the ethics its like that. What is there [on the web site] is a space holding statement. If nothing is happening we’re stuck and sitting inside a box and unable to get out.

Janice – We are all the empowered ones to create that. Some of us are stepping up to keep guiding and holding [that space… The top down model is not [what we want]. We [can all] say what makes sense and what doesn’t to co-create.

Heather – People are going to move towards more earth, some will want less earth – [everyone] needs to be able to [contribute to] this like a Wikipedia. Also the people that serve this [core group] will come when they feel called to come – elders will come to the center and the group will be pulsatory – very organic and not everyone is always there. This is a developing thing. It can’t get crystallized.

Linda Diane – I’m curious how can the community feel ownership.

Sue Ellen – This worked. We don’t have to do a whole lot in this interim period and [we can] do this together in a year and see what brewed…
It would be straightforward and simple and a lot and real. I really trust this as a “model” –it’s a new vibration. A new way of being together and sharing.

Rose – I agree with everything everyone said. I’ve loved polarity for a long time. I felt this amazing sadness that it was dying. I’ve always been into community. I’m so happy because I’m inspired again. I’ve needed to be inspired. … The spirits in my new house said [I need to think] bigger, newer, [within a] circle. On a collective level all old structures are falling apart that no longer connect with the collective consciousness of community. Things that don’t include that vibration are [being] shattered. I want to do something beyond APP and RPP and teach something different. I want to go to a homeless shelter and share the work. PT has to survive. I feel like part of my vision is to how to teach! Just go out and teach! And then the work will live. It is coming from your heart because you love it. That is so important. I want to be part of that. I’m not a computer person but I’ll be here to support you.

[Ward?] We are sitting in a circle and sitting around a table. It’s easy to see people as rock stars. To imagine Dr. Stone as a rock star. My imagination [is ] about the way he approached the table. It blows my mind when I watch people approach the table. And the table is bigger than Dr. Stone. That’s what I see in our eyes. That’s what we’re circled around. I think we’ll be OK if we remember that.

[Mary Robbin?] – when I do something in my heart the money follows. Putting the work out into the world the resources have been coming.

[There is a pause and silence]

Peter – I’ve seen what the opposite approach does. We have to be careful not to leave out those people who need something more concrete. How do we make this new element that we are sitting in grow without calling it membership? I’ve heard the community. I want that, [and not ] be a membership [organization] I want to know how to let other people know how to be part of this community? Without making it a membership?

Phil – I don’t have [an answer to that] question.

Nancy – A participation bee

Richard – What we did differently here, in a way that I hadn’t seen before in other conferences - and I’ve thought about how I wanted something like this for a long time. It is simply this: We found a way to get together, be present for each other and work on each other. And figure out the expenses for doing so… and that’s what it cost each of us.

That would be the ideal continuing education workshop for me. This gathering is a manifestation of that. There may be a way to get that done with nothing more needed than whatever the raw costs are in time and money to get it done. If we did nothing else but to do another conference, it would be stellar! I was very excited to come here and to do a workshop!

Phil – We noticed!

Richard – Simplicity is also elegance. What are the costs in time and money and can we have some suggestion on how to deal with those costs and logistics? We modeled it well for this conference – in sharing the costs of coming together. For me that would make sense as a format for going forward for planning future gatherings.

Sue Ellen - Part of the appeal was the fluidity.

Janice – [There is a Pierre story that] he’d be doing a seminar and if people walked in off the street he would invite them in. That was important for me to hear.

[Man from Australia – name?] – Time is money for all of us. [For each] response to an e-mail being on the website, administratively someone is putting in a number of hours and I’m keen to know someone isn’t out of pocket for that. How do we have a maintenance fee And make it fair?

Peter – Each part of a breathing organism contributes to it.

Phil – For a while we’re operating from service. I’m ready to serve. Some of us are gifting. We’re giving of our time and energy. Ellie has been very instrumental to this as well. She is not able to be here, she is here is spirit. She said I hope you realize what an amazing thing this is. I’m still gifting.

Heather – Polarity has given me15 years of amazing life and it really is time. I may ask if there is another elder marinated in the work? Rose said something is dying. I would give up a quarter of my time I used to make money [to keep it alive]. We all have time. We are all willing to donate a little of our time. I think this can be sustained over a long period of time. We have to come together. The word is [spreading?].

[Australia] – That is a big task if each person brings 6-8 people…

Janice – if we were to have a gathering next year – who would step up to help volunteer. For example, I stepped forward to volunteer to do the registration for this time. Can we all take a piece of this to own it so that the work is spread out?

Rose –[There could be] regional gatherings – cozy and not so large.

[Someone asked who would help and there was a show of hands -]

Linda Diane – Wait who volunteered to help?

[The people who raised there hands were: Ellen, Carina, Mary, Robin, Tracy, Debbie, Melissa, Pete, Elizabeth, Mark, Wayne, Franklyn, Carol Ann, Wendy. Phil mentioned also that Angela Winter – is a member she can’t do this one but can next year. ]

Wayne – Getting the support I need as a practitioner I want to be able to step out and do more work. Like high blood pressure. Where do I get references on how to support this. The index doesn’t help me to find it. If I look in John B’s textbook, it is general.

Phil - Other students have said the same thing – that has been my forte for 20 years - .that’s an interesting thing. [It] could be part of the web site.

Heather – That’s part of the hope [of what] the council of elders can do – if there is something you need you go and there. [There] are resources within the eldership to give you what you need.

Wendy – Add to that the one thing [about] studying with Mike Foxall he [was always] available 24/7 by e-mail. [During that training we had] an e-mail list of [students also] training. I’m isolated [now].

Linda Diane – we did that for a while through the email list

Sue Ellen – Resoources for students

Rose – Mentorship is what heather is talking about – not just one person like Phil – but offer something to them and ask for that support – if you don’t know how to ask, ask the council who to go to as a mentor. We do this for the love of your heart. This is supporting each other that we do this. That would be a way to have an unstructured mentor program that is open.

[Janice asks if Rose could take that on?]

Phil – [I] have a strong sense of responsibility to make it ok for our students – it is important that there is that resource available beyond our own students. There are new approaches [for mentorship and new] styles. That is another way to grow to work with someone who works differently.
Teachers who have time and ability to mentor could be on the web site.

Rose- I would like to be part of putting that together.

Lisa – When we had the council e-mail sometimes people would use the council for that. Sometimes several voices came in and [you were helped] by more people on line. On the web site is a little more help than a forum.

Francesca – In my shamanic community we maintained an e-mail list between all of us and anytime anyone had questions there was a calling that would go out. Those of us who felt that calling would respond. This is a suggestion – [that calling could include a request for]long distance healing more on a personal level. If you feel a calling to do that. But that is another thing.

[Cat?] Link to a search library – [for Dr. Stone’s books we could] scan them, you could come up with the name of the book and pages –

Phil – Is there a scan of Dr. Stone’s books? There is for other osteopaths. [There are copyright issues, owned by Stephen [spelling? Aurroleu],

Peter – Just that we would be able to offer to our family someone to speak to about a situation they had we can do this. Keep it simple.

Heather – We are unorganized.

Phil – No

Janice – Keep feeding community.

Peter – We can’t let this be the day and then no more days.

Heather – There is enough representation. Australia, NC, MI, AR, Canada, there are enough communities. I spoke to a tremendous number of people about this weekend. It is short notice, [many people said] I have something else planned, for the next one I’ll be there. This will only grow if it has the right intention. It feels like it will, based on this moment.

Peter – Is there a community list already? Is there a place to see all the other interested?

Phil –No

Heather – But we talked about this earlier and all the people that there is an enormous resource for people here and overseas. It’s not a concept that has a container that has to … it can be so simple . Based on the community concept. I think this is the beginning. There is too much interest!

Sue Ellen – it would be great to have another [full gathering], not regional’s.

Peter- An entire community meeting doesn’t preclude you from getting together for regional’s on your own.

Stuart – I like the idea of regional’s, you can do that regularly. People may have issues traveling to Switzerland or Ireland. So have one yearly meeting where everyone comes together. [And how can we] empower the regional – how to put that knowledge into a format and …

Karen – MI met recently and asked what we can do and can’t do. [It is a] question of professionalism – how we used to do [things] compared to what is new. They liked the freedom of this and feeling inclusive. There will be a mid west region meeting in January.

Phil – What is not on the list – to say something about the PTP. Richard was instrumental in this concept and not being a member of any association. There is something about initials. There is something about in the education it isn’t denied to you just because you aren’t a member of that association. We decided [to do that with the PTP]. David Timms [from] New Zealand was the first [to respond]. In 1978 he did training with Pierre. “I’ve never been able to acknowledge this”, He said. “I don’t fit into any criteria”. He said “this is great, it is so simple. It acknowledges that I did something really profound in my life.” He immediately joined and took it. [He said “it is] an acknowledgement of the educational program I did.” It immediately made sense to him. It is just I’ve been educated, I have an education in this. Not a number of hours, [or] what course I did. For me it was an immediate confirmation of the value of it. It is an acknowledgement of what the alliance is about – education. I think that sort of sucked. It may not have been clear to you what that was about. It may need to be clearer on the web site what that was about.
There are so many who trained a long time ago and they were out of the community – now they are back in.

Wendy – What do you need to be qualified?

Phil – There is a group - Richard, Carol Ann, Heather, and myself right now. At this stage we have a lot of knowledge of all the trainings that have existed for a long time. We know all the teachers. That will change in years to come. We’re just looking at the education you’ve gained. Do we need to define hours? What constitutes learning? What is an educational hour? Do we need to define hours in a classroom? In a setting? Chris’s background in education [??] [The question of how to define education and on line learning] it is a model that is in question. Like in e-learning. I just put up a course [using] e-learning, a lot of people don’t know how to validate an e-course. Universities are doing it It has no walls. The bodywork community is stuck in the past, as mainstream is streaking away with this.
We’re looking at your education. Can you give us more info on what you did? It isn’t about testing people. There is an ethical thing about learning and growing. We’re hungry for knowledge. Nothing to do with hours, its about education. It’s a new paradigm, a new something. [We are] trying to embrace something different.

Richard – Initially, I thought that the more detailed and specific we made the requirements for the PTP and EPP designations, the easier it would be to grant the designation. So one way I thought we could do it was to make it simple – make it like an APP or RPP designation, in terms of an equivalent number of training hours to those APTA designations for our own IPEA designations. I eventually came around to the idea that Phil has expressed, of really taking a look at people individually, looking at what they have done in their studies and practice of Polarity. If a person is committed and practicing, it isn’t about putting them or any of you into a particular box… There are people who received training very early on that looks nothing like the RPP training that many of us had, yet they are some of the most knowledgeable and experienced people in our field. There are others, whose number of hours are less, but who have actively practiced Polarity Therapy for years, and deserve the PTP designation.

Phil – Someone applied for EPP and Phil said [you should apply for the] PTP – that person didn’t feel ready. When he is ready he will do that. That’s ethics. Someone saying I know when I’m ready. There is a natural ethics. I believe ethics are a moveable feast. [Last line??] when you’re in alignment with the fundamental principle of their own core.

Nisseema – APTA requires proof of your work. Their energy will eject them, there has to be a quality of trust that your dedication and commitment will bring you here and be part of the community or it will not.

Phil – Back in the 70s when Dr,. Stone was teaching short seminars. Someone asked you’re teaching people all this stuff, shouldn’t you be sure that is OK? Dr Stone said “I trust the energy”. In the early days when he taught a weekend here, [someone people like I mentioned in bear creek lodge, that question was in the field then. ??]

Nisseeema - I trust the clarity of intention of this group. The quality of intention of sharing.

Francesca – I wanted more clarity regarding trust. I have a feeling that is why [they are a] community are no longer, people are not trusting in the system anymore. What you are saying is true. This will make a bog difference. I’m excited to be a part of this. But once you’re into this community and once you are a PTP will you qualify as a teacher? There shouldn’t be all those standards.

Phil –One of the things that came up, an association asked if we would have teacher training standards. I can’t say. No one gave any teachers the right to teach polarity. Everyone taught on their own recognizance. The only reason I taught was people asked. Allan said you’re really good just do it. These people came and [I] said I’ll do one class, if is doesn’t work I’ll never do it again. There is a kind of myth, in every association. The founder of bioenergetics – [he] did a workshop on bioenergetic therapy. People were teaching [ehat they had learned] in England a week later. Then they started creating standards. People have this illusion that these people went through a teaching process. And people crystallize standards and all that. What right do I have to say you have to go through these standards before you teach?

Rose - Mentorship is the way.

Heather – I got my RPP and I said I want to teach this, I just did. There was no formal teacher training. If you’re doing the work it will kick your ass. [I know]as someone who went through that and got my ass kicked for years. My teacher training is different than any I know. And learning the levels you hold when you hold a group of people. This model has enough softness it will let people who are ready …

Phil - The energy is self regulating.

Peter – I was a teacher late in life. I could not teach without some training. Some people will need the training. Some will have the natural ability,

Phil - We’ll call this an integrating opening council of elders. [??] We understand this. We want this kind of feedback so we can think [about] it and process this. It is another piece for us. For me it is a little further down the line.

Peter - I’m just glad right now that I’m not an elder.

Sue Ellen – This can also be handled in a gathering.

Francesca – That’s a nice place

Sue Ellen – what better place to support someone than in that space of elders and people who can support the teachers.

Janice –The theme that comes back, is the simplicity of the importance of our community, and the basic principle of manifesting coming together again to share the Heart & Soul of Polarity.

Sue Ellen – We’re all teaching in our practices and in our professions.

Phil – We could talk the rest of the night. As I said earlier, Chris has some books, [I] will put something on the webs site that will be a contact form to contact the council members. We’ll have some photos and info on this gathering.



4. Kiewe, Howard, Polarity Therapy Technique: Basic Protocol, Health Training Group, Toronto, 1998. p. 7
5. Heckler, Richard, The Anatomy of Change, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 1984. P 113-116
6. Beaulieu, John, Polarity Therapy Workbook, Biosonic, New York, 1995. p. 197

Continued with Part III

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