David Sibbet | Blog
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“You pulled your punches,” Karolina said, standing below the stage at the July 2014 EuViz conference where I was sitting along with three other “elders” in the field of visual facilitation. “I and some others felt like you didn’t really say what you thought. You are the founders of this field. You need to tell us what you really think.”

We were at the Hotel nhow in Berlin with 220 visual practitioners from 29 countries. The conference was a collaboration between the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP), now 19 years old, and Neuland and Kommunikationslotsen*. It was by far the biggest and most professional IFVP conference yet—beautifully organized and a powerful experience. Participants included the full range, from beginners in the field to longtime veterans and skilled practitioners.

Elders - The Power of the Pen: At EuViz Berlin

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My second visit to Berlin is haunting me. I think I’m glimpsing our collective future here. The evidence wasn’t in the obvious things—the daring architecture and rebuilt Potsdamer Platz, site of the old wall—but in the corners and crevasses, the young people, and the Michelberger Hotel!

Rachel Smith (Grove Director of Digital Facilitation), Gisela Wendling (the Grove’s Director of Global Learning and a native of the area near Cologne), and I were in Berlin for The Grove’s Advanced Visual Facilitation Workshop, scheduled to coincide with the EuroViz conference the following week.

MichelbergerBar

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SunseedMandala - Winter Solstice—Trusting the Return of the LightThis winter the solstice (Saturday December 21 at 11:11 PST) marked a turn to a new year at a level I’ve not felt for a while. I usually spend it with my Elder’s Circle down in the Santa Cruz area conducting ceremony in a hollowed out redwood tree that will hold a dozen people in its charcoal teepee-like interior. Chayim Barton would lead us in letting go of the old and dancing in the new, and sharing stories of Manibozo and singing in the light.

But Chayim is in the bardo now, having died in a bicycle accident on November 14th.

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Bishop-OwensRiver&Range - Lessons from the High Sierras—Taking Stock of 2013I always spend time in the dark of the year thinking through what is lying deep in the soil of my life that will spring forth in the next cycle of the sun. This year I’ve drawn deeply from the lessons I learned as a boy growing up on the East Side of the Sierras in Bishop.

This is a picture of where I grew up, a bit out of town to the north near the Owens River, close to the mesa where I went on my first vision quest in 1986. I know in the very fiber of my being that valleys and mountains are not separate, but completely interdependent ideas. And so are grief and love, freedom and constraint, hope and depression, life and death. This has been the deep lesson of 2013. I’d like to share some of these reflections for those of you who are following my journey.

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