Monday, April 30, 2012

So What’s The Deal?

Study Report
Sue wants you to
know New Horizons
needs your support.

Point of clarification: re: Think Tank project, the Abkhazian Dinner and the Bus Ride Story Adventure series.

When you’ve got a huge package, as does New Horizons, of projects, programs and a study as broad as our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, an observer can readily get confused as to what’s what here.

Built, as all of these are, on more than a half-century of successful theoretical, philosophical and strategic planning methods for individual and community social change as our underpinnings, it would be expecting a lot that you, who are new to us, would be able to follow what we are up to without an updated map of our landscape from time to time.

Thus we offer the following as a guide with a few clarifying points to help you travel more comfortably with us..

New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project and the Possible Human, Possible Society Study are two separate initiatives of the New Horizons Support Network, Inc., an educational and charitable non-profit organization. New Horizons was established in 1980.

New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project:

• Developed out of a collaboration of Executive Director and Founder, Anastasia Rosen-Jones and Sue deVeer, Curriculum Development Director and board member. Circa 2006;

• The major philosophical platform of this initiative can best be summarized by the principles of the Cultural Mediation Paradigm;

• Project focuses on community conversations to build stronger, more unified communities;

• Programs include: the Coffee House Conversations series, the Abkhazian Dinner, the Bus Ride Story Adventure series, the “I’ve Got A Dream Conversations Project," programs for the UNESCO Center For Peace Model United Nations Camp, "Anger Management and Conflict Resolution #101" and others of a similar nature;

• Projects also include: specially designed diversity division healing conversations, consulting and coaching for enhanced community unity.

New Horizons Possible Human, Possible Society Study:

• Designed, directed and implemented by Anastasia. Circa 2011.;

Includes: study interviews, analysis and assessment, published reports online and in various publications (now in progress), related media interviews, speaking engagements and a radio show (now in the blueprint stage);

• Possible Society In Motion programs, including the Think Tank project*, community education and conscious raising presentations and programs.

• *Think Tank Project temporarily in abeyance.

Special Note: The Bus Ride Story Adventure and related articles, online or otherwise, which has emerged out of the format for it, as presented at the Abkhazian Dinner, weaves together some of the best to come out of both of the above initiatives; New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project and the Possible Human, Possible Society Study, as well as the specialized skills of Anastasia and Sue..

The Bus Ride Story Adventure series is, thus, a collaborative effort by both Anastasia and Sue.

Hope this helps as a bit of a guide as to what’s happening here.

More to come.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Coming May 12: The Bus Ride Story Adventure And Potluck Dinner Event

New Horizons Support Network, Inc, presents..

The Bus Ride Story Adventure
(Based on an original story by Abkhazian Elder, Murat Yagan)

We want to travel
with you.
A community building, transcending differences process and potluck dinner* event --- 

With New Horizons’ Executive Director and Founder, M. Anastasia Rosen-Jones and Curriculum Director, Sue deVeer.

Learn how and why New Horizons incorporates ancient traditions of Abkhazia into the design of all of its programs and projects.

Participate in a community unity-building group adventure, introduced through comments by Anastasia.

Travel with tour guides, Anastasia and Sue, as they take you on a brief bridge building journey to cross over obstacles that ordinarily separate well-intentioned “others” from one another.

Join us for a journey to enhanced community unity

Date: Saturday, May 12, 2012
        3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
     * Potluck Dinner follows

Location: Frederick Friends Meeting
       723 N. Market Street
      Frederick, Maryland 21701

Reserve by contacting: or call 240.409.5347.
Space limited.

For additional information and event updates continue to visit this blog:

For a taste treat, sample (or try your hand at making) a traditional Abkhazian dish for the potluck. Native Abkhazian recipes posted online from Murat’s book, The Abkhazian Book of Longevity And Well-being, should you wish to try them out.

All dishes welcome. 

• Murat’s books available for purchase at event.


Anastasia is here again

Here I am again, returned from my vacation. Regrouped mentally and physically. Look forward now to updates on our Possible Human, Possible Society study. And the many programs we have planned for the coming months ahead to enhance what we are discovering from the study. Yum. Yum.

Such adventures I had. Tales to tell. Still how good it feels to be here again.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Always Right but Never in Doubt

Possible Human, Possible Society Study, now into the fire with me.

I interviewed a woman for our study the other day who seemed inordinately arrogant to me. She presented herself as quite all-knowing. Evidently she had studied, researched and lived her life to an age of maturity wherein her wisdom warranted a flourishing self-confidence.

However, I have some expertise of my own, though I still have a hard time changing a light bulb. And, though I did not aspire to be her teacher, I found myself feeling somewhat resentful at her sounding like mine. My agenda had been about just being humans together on a journey to the best of ourselves.

What makes dancing in
harmony so difficult to
do these days?
I hope I do not appear this all-knowing way to others; not always right, but never in doubt. I fear that I have on occasion, in self-defense when my personal space has felt violated. I want to dance with others in simple harmony; lead when I am certain I know the steps to take, follow when I don’t, but mostly just walk side-by-side. 

We have a problem in this country with not honoring our elders. Women, too, are still needing to vigorously assert their rights to be treated with dignity, more often than need be. As are others, I am not certain how we can remedy these problems. However, taking a stance of all-knowing without due consideration as to whom you are addressing yourself and how – in a Bus Ride Story context, which is where I am deriving my standards – is not respectful and courteous, as I know courtesy to be.

I think we all need to work on this. I learned my biggest lessons about courtesy from Murat and the community that has grown up around him, modeling that has an ancient heritage of the Caucasus Mountains. Murat offers a beautiful word for this way of being mannerly; aleishweh. We will speak of it again, perhaps.

I regret to say I did not learn this adequately in my home or this westernized part of the world. I fear the discourtesy is endemic to our environment and spreading like a virus. We need to work on this, even those of us who know a thing or two.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Roasting Anastasia: into the fire with me.

Though it might not, initially, appear analogous to the untrained eye, that just as being blind made a shaman of me, our Abkhazian Dinner has taken me once again, into the fire of transformative change. And, believe me, it can be kind of hot in that fire.

Even if it gets hot in here,
I want to travel with you.
 This recent descent of mine into the underground of my psyche, destined to, in due course, raise me up once again, began on my drive home from the Abkhazian Dinner event, upon realizing that I was, indeed, quite hungry,. Now how could that have occurred, my having just left a scrumptious feast of food; Abkhazian, Indian and ordinary American, as well as other delicacies, with even a banana bread, identified as Abkhazian by its donors, though we have no information to date as to whether or not Abkhazia even grows bananas?

What was even more delicious, had been the assortment of people. Had I asked myself, before leaving the event, upon which would I have chosen to indulge, had I needed to make a conscious choice between them, it certainly would have been the people, first and foremost, I would have chosen ahead of the food for my feast. Now, I asked myself, how had it happened that I was driving home hungry, having had very little of either; people or food?

Well, that was the beginning of my next round of transforming experiences. I am presently into the fire, roasting, myself being cooked.

More to come.

From Anastasia

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bus Ride Story Collecting

Something is in the air, not yet quite visible to the naked eye. But beginning to take form. The image, developing shape, is one of vehicles; moving vehicles such as buses, cars, trains, planes and boats. A apace ship, too, comes to mind.

Yesterday I did a follow-up interview with an Abkhazian Dinner attendee, seeking feedback from her regarding the dinner event. Not having been privy to much of the small group storytelling at the event, I wondered how she had answered the first question for the discussion groups, following Sue’s reading of our Bus Ride story.

I want to travel
with you.
In summary the question was this:

What did our Bus Ride story invite you to hope, feel or think?

By way of an answer, she offered several images. The first thought she suggested was that our story reminded her of a poem she’d read, the second was of a story. Interweaving her reflections on our Bus Ride story, the poem and the story she had read, she noted the idea that the happenings of an outer journey can have resonance, simultaneously, with an inner one; each one of these representing a sense of moving forward, should one care to notice.

All week long, since our Abkhazian Dinner, I have thought of journeys I have made in or on some kind of moving vehicle; flying to Paris on the first leg of a business-related trip. Day trips by car with my son, intent on assuring his spending time with me, during his teen years, free of the distractions of his friends, television and so forth. Sailing weekends with friends on the Chesapeake Bay.

Voluntary captives on these excursions, the vehicles transporting us served as containers for that which went on between and/or among us. Purposefully geared toward relationship bonding, the trips with my son, as I think back on them, boded the highest reaches of success; conscious intent rewarded.

So now, coming out of our Abkhazian Dinner event, New Horizons is intent on taking our Bus Ride story on the road, so to speak, intent on inviting others to travel with us to the higher reaches of personal and social transforming. We know we must travel together with purpose, enduring the journey, no matter how challenged it may become. And make this trip longer than a moment to achieve a tangible outcome; arriving at awe.