A Summary by Corin Lee Girard*
Friday, June 15, 2012, 5-7 pm
On Friday June 15th, nearly fifty people joined us for Seven Pillars’ first official Open House at our headquarters in New Lebanon, New York.
New Lebanon, New York
On Friday June 15th, nearly fifty people joined us for Seven Pillars’ first official Open House at our headquarters in New Lebanon, New York. The purpose of the Open House was to orient an ever-growing, extremely supportive local community to Seven Pillars’ physical location, as well as to provide a more concrete outline of our plans for the remainder of this year, and into 2013. Of course, we were also excited to have time to just be together with so many wonderful friends and fellow wisdom seekers!
With all of that in mind, we decided to get creative! We truly enjoy hosting events and like to explore how diverse groups of people come together around wisdom themes based on variations in the physical environment, emotional atmosphere and pre-determined context of the gathering (or lack thereof, sometimes). Where does the exploration of wisdom meet our real lives? Can we hear our personal wisdom over the chaotic buzz of the collective? What better place to explore than our home turf?
For the Open House, we were thinking summer, social and fun, but with an intentional space for wisdom. That’s how we came up with our tagline: Munchies and Mocktails, Door Prizes and Depth! We offered local strawberries and cheeses, and fresh homemade “mocktails!” The “Sans-gria” was a hit for those in the mood for a fruity drink, chock full of fresh fruit slices, natural strawberry and raspberry spritzers and a zing of lemon. Others opted for a “No-hito,” which was bursting with lime and infused with more than four cups of fresh mint!
The door prizes were fantastic, with wonderful book donations from Seven Pillars’ Guiding Voice, Christopher Bamford, and a certificate for a 3-hour introduction to Continuum (movement exploring the body as a fluid system) from our Guiding Voice Robin Becker, who was present at the Open House. The Abode of the Message donated a 3-pack of incredibly sinful dark chocolate bars and meal tickets for brunch or dinner. What a treat! On top of all this, was the notable transformation of our offices into a container for discovery and connection, fulfilling the fourth promise of our tagline: depth!
Picture a house of wisdom. What do you see? This is the question we asked in the weeks leading up to the Open House. As we forge this house, we look to the whole community to help shape it. As for our part, we believe that a House of Wisdom can be “constructed” anywhere. No pre-determined form or physical structure is required. Instead we ask for curiosity, willingness to delve into the imagination, and the allowance of space for a “heartful” quality within each interaction. We believe these elements contribute to a House of Wisdom, and felt each one emerge throughout the evening!
For those of you near and far who could not be present for the Open House, here are some details about what we have in the pipeline. We are currently working diligently on a number of explorations, related to organizational mission, strategy and future goals. This internal work is seeding our future external work in the world. For example, have you ever wondered, “what are the seven pillars?” Beginning in October 2012, we will launch an online exploration of the seven pillars—The Journey of Life, Universe Story, Cloud of Witnesses, Unity of Being, The Cry, What May Be and The Pledge—and there will be many opportunities, large and small, to be part of the exploration.
Interested in other ways to get involved? Mark your calendar (more details available soon):
• Local Salon ~ September/October 2012, Date TBA
Seven Pillars Headquarters, New Lebanon, NY
• NYC Young Professionals Salon Series ~ Quarterly, Beginning October 2012
New York City, various venues
• Friday Night Talk with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, hosted by The Dalai Lama Center ~ November 30, 2012
MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA
• New Year’s Wisdom Celebration ~ January 6, 2013
Seven Pillars Headquarters, New Lebanon, NY
• Seven Pillars LA Art Experience ~ October 12-13, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
• Launching the “Seven Pillars” Online ~ Fall 2012
The Journey of Life, Universe Story, Cloud of Witnesses, Unity of Being, The Cry, What May Be and The Pledge
As we move forward into this new phase, there will be many more opportunities to get involved in our work of cultivating wisdom for our time. We are so excited to work together toward this goal, and hope that all of you will join us in this mission.
Last (but absolutely not least), we would like to send a special thank you to our wonderful helpers and volunteers: Amina, Tara, Nizam and Robin; Corin’s parents Bill and Rosalie; Joe and Skip, who helped with clean up; and Corin’s mom for bringing a batch of her famous Blueberry Boy Bait! We are so grateful for your generosity.
*Corin Lee Girard serves as Special Projects Manager for Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. You can reach her directly at wisdom(at)sevenpillarshouse(dot)org.
Seven Pillars Headquarters (Red Barn), 256 Darrow Road, New Lebanon, New York