The Essence of AFSD is the Gentle (yet deceptively powerful) Art of Open  Conversation

What happens when people set aside assumptions?  And what happens when people allow trust and curiosity to bring them together in a mindful and caring relationship out of which new meaning and understanding can emerge? 

Can we become a gathering of people who share an openness to explore our own authentic inner voices and a willingness to listen from the heart to what others have discovered from the vantage of their unique experiences?

 To find out, we have been hosting a series of seminars, that gently facilitate such ways of being-in-relationship.

Emerging from the Hearts of all who are Present

We invite you to become part of one of these seminars.  We believe you will find this conversation to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. What you can expect is an open conversation with a very flexible structure, which will be sensitive to, and fluidly shaped by, whatever emerges from the conversation—that is, your presence, your contributions, your inquiries, and the needs of your heart.  

Exploring Together the things which Grow (and hinder) Self-Determination

 We will explore the notion that we can be in relation with others in ways that facilitate self-determination, both theirs and our own.  Along the way we will take note of our own patterns of relating to others and ourselves, sort out some of the things that support and some of the things that get in the way of self-determination.  We’ll try out some alternative ways of engaging with others and see where our practice leads the conversation.

 The facilitators of this seminar are not there to teach; rather they ease the conversation from within the conversation.  When they contribute, facilitators merely speak from the vantage of their own experience, which includes many such conversations.

Growing a New Sense of Community

We don’t offer a new definition of peer support or a fixed way of being-in-relationship.  We are more interested in exploring whatever emerges from our broad conversation regarding self-determination and relationships in general.  We encourage everyone to take away whatever each person finds meaningful.  The one thing we are certain of is that this process, the conversation itself, will introduce you to a powerful new sense of community that you will carry in your heart long after the seminar is over.

One course participant commented: This is a way that is both ancient, having been practiced by indigenous cultures from time immemorial, yet also being midwifed afresh in our present context, from universal truths and wisdoms so very much needed in these modern times.