Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alchemy and the clearing in our woods

We had a glimmer of gold last Saturday at New Horizons’ second community buildingday.  Though we are still beginners  at applying the art of “community alchemy” in our updated ways (i.e. the “new” New Horizons’ methodology), we did take our next determined steps; metaphorically traveling the road of that Bus Ride Story Adventure we’ve been introducing.

Thus, we returned, again, to New Horizons’ clearing in the woods, our New Horizons Harpers Ferry Retreat Center, for a one day event.
Together we build
body, mind and spirit.

 (“Old” New Horizons had its own, tried and true pathways and practices that, without fail, brought us consistently to “awe.” Now we are learning advanced ways of creating “community alchemy” through Murat’s guidance. And, we are not yet as skillful with these.)
Alchemy defined:
 "the turning of base medals into gold."  Also, “divine chemistry” or the manipulation of life and consciousness in matter to help it evolve or solve problems of inner disharmony. Murat Yagan, Ahmsta Kebzeh: The Science of Universal Awe
With a hand-picked group, limited to participants of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, we set out on this day’s adventure, featuring informal discussions on contributing our best to that “Possible Society In Motion, ” in the U.S.A. for which we yearn, volunteer remodeling projects, good ole hangin’ out and potluck dinner.

We didn’t quite make it to the peak. However, we did successfully gather the elements needed for the climb:

·         A group of willing travelers;

·         The intention and determination to reach for that peak;

·         A commitment to turning snags into synergy;

Synergy defined:

“the harmonious working together of all parts of a system; the creative energy  which is released or reflected when the goals of individuals within a group keep in unison…” (Ahmsta Kebzeh: The Science of Universal Awe by Murat Yagan)
What we accomplished wasn’t really BIG, but it really wasn’t small either, if you pay attention to the significance of systemic subtleties which we definitely do.  (Noticing and transcending subtle negativities are one of the keys to New Horizons’ success as a personal and collective systemic transformation approach.)
Here are some of the trifling yet impressive deeds we accomplished as a budding “new” New Horizons community.
·        We made good use of our community building time in our sohbet (“informal discussion with a purpose” per Murat) as we patiently awaited the arrival of two participants; a man and a woman, both nearing ninety years of age who got lost on their way here.
Imagine our good fortune to have, not only one but two Elders of this class!
·         Dug deeply into our personal and shared assessments of the fourteen main attributes we have come to honor as keys to developing a community of excellence in order to raise ourselves up individually and communally;

·         Compassionately and patiently responded to a participant who, offering himself in kind, felt a need to leave early. We did not polarize or hold resentments but  engaged in meaningful, win-win dialogue with him though we had asked all to stay for the entire event. Synergy won out again.
·         When rain scattered our volunteer property remodeling efforts, we gathered indoors and read an inspiring “student” contribution to Murat’s new book, poignantly reflecting how the principles he offers from his ancient traditions contributed to the supreme synergy of a diverse group in the Middle East.
Writes Lisa Talesnick, the author of that piece titled, “No Good Can Come To Me Unless It Comes First To My Brothers and Sisters” --
“…..Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sufis, Africans, Rastafarians, Indians and traditions I could not pronounce.  We sat at his table laughing, sharing food, songs, stories and prayers from all nations.

We thought, if we can celebrate together here, we can celebrate anywhere.”

If they can achieve that in the Middle East, so can we here in the U.S.A.!

Our “new” New Horizons’ community building project is not yet that mighty but neither are we insignificant.
We are the lead turning to gold at our clearing in the woods.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lead into gold in the U.S.A.?

Interested in discovering the secret?

Last week I published, to an international audience, some of the challenges presently engaging New Horizons, as we seek to find our “next right steps” on the adventure of “traveling with you” – all of you, wherever you are -- in the manner best representing our total, most completed package (and program/project contributions) to date.
Check out my article titled, “Ancient Abkhazian Traditions: Can they make a difference today?” to help you follow along with us, as this next portion of the adventure unfolds. The article will offer you a bit of a window into the treasure trove we have been guiding you, our supporters, toward, if you will just, simply open your eyes to recognizing the gold of it all.
Murat Yagan and New Horizons
Executive Director,
Anastasia Rosen-Jones
The treasure is so grand, so almost beyond imagining its splendor, that I, Anastasia, captaining New Horizons’ ship of heroes who dare to join us in traveling the, oftentimes, arduous, road to personal and collective excellence, have often found this to be a mighty, almost daunting, voyage.
However, now that Murat’s new book is out (see details here), we think the landscape we are traversing might just be a bit more well-defined. And, you might like to join us as we travel, even contribute to the unfolding adventure.

You can do this by participating in our new discussion forum which will evolve, before too long, into our next on-air radio show forum/study group --
"Alchemy and the alchemist:
Conversations with Anastasia and Murat"
a brand new program for you based on Murat's new book

The radio show is coming soon. The study group has already begun.
Join with us as we do our best to transform lead into gold as best possible humans doing our best to build a possible society.

For details, keep checking back to our blog posts and tuning into our Possible Society In Motion radio show. Or, contact me, Anastasia at:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Murat Yagan’s new book: now that we’ve got it, what will we do with it?

Contemplating Murat's new book
What lies between the covers of this just released book, Ahmsta Kebzeh: The Science of Universal Awe, by Murat Yagan, New Horizons’ beloved community development mentor, is precious and power-packed. A quote by Jean Dubuis sets the tone for the pages ahead,

“You will transmute nothing if you have not transmuted yourself first.”
For the devotee of the ancient, native Abkhazian traditions, Kebzeh, as interpreted by Murat, in this offering, as well as the many other books Murat has published, is the  equivalent of the vacation travel packet AAA, specially prepared for my recent trip to Canada.

Contained within were maps, guide books and specified routes, pertinent to Sue and I
Murat Yagan and New
Horizons Executive Directo,
reaching a particular destination. However, to utilize this bounty required, first and foremost, a decision, backed by certain, definitive actions, that could utilize these tools to create a vacation.
Similarly the comprehensive works Murat so lovingly provides us require specific activities in order to reach a particular destination; in this case “universal awe.” Yet, as one of New Horizons supporters points out, for the less ardent, Murat’s dedicated efforts are easily dismissed as relevant only for the “lofty” and idealistic.
In practical terms what can this book offer in a world such as the one we live in, turbulent with violence, economic depravity, social problems ad infinitum?  

So, now that we’ve got it, what will New Horizons do with the treasures of this beautiful book?
(Within which is our own contribution, depicting New Horizons challenges to bring the ideal into the real.)

How will New Horizons utilize Murat’s vast methodology, wisdom and inspiration to further our objectives?
New Horizons’ mission is to facilitate the development of community enhancement skills with which to guide and train businesses, organizations, neighborhoods and such to bridge the various societal and political polarizations flourishing throughout our country. Our methodology, in particular, is aimed at creating meaningful dialogue that traverses the separation diversity can generate.

How can we, thus, practically employ that which seems to exist, merely, in the realm of the possible?

In an account for NPR's Weekend Edition (Saturday, July 6, 2006) by Alex Van Ossdescribing the trip he made to Abkhazia, accompanying Murat for a special purpose,*offered the following interpretive words as to how Murat views the importance of his offerings.
“Yagan, (according to Van Oss), says Kebzeh could be of immense value to the world. The tradition (among other things) stresses a rigorous program of character building.”

*Murat was awarded Abkhazia’s highest cultural honor, the medal of Honour and Glory, from Vice-President Sergei Arshba at the National Theatre on this visit.
Van Oss continues with a further statement on the traditions of Kebzeh, by Abkhazian diplomat, Vyacheslav Chirikhba.

"It (Kebzeh) is based on... universal values."The respect for elders, respect for women. A person is regarded as someone who is a member of society, rather than as a completely isolated individual."
Is it enough for us, dealing with the social and political problems facing us, now, to expand our capacities, individually and collectively, to respect elders and women, as well as those of different races and faiths?
Are native messages brought forth from ancient cultures of any value to us today, even if only as wisdom and words to uplift and inspire?

What difference can these make?

If  they can, how might we use these in practical terms?
What’s your take?

Listen to Alex Van Oss' report on Abkhazia and Murat Yagan, as well the music of Loreena McKennitt's "Night Ride Across the Caucasus inspired by Murat.

Tell us your views, on-air on New Horizons’ Possible Society In Motion Show where we will look forward to scheduling a lively discussion on topics relevant to Murat's Kebzeh teachings, especially how character development and respect, or the lack of these, influences society and politics in the U.S.A.