By Miriam Thomas
The countdown begins…
We are exactly one month away from the debut of Awake in the World, our inaugural online event! Thousands of you have already signed up and with each day more registrations are pouring in.
From its very inception we envisioned Awake in the World as a game-changer, an event to transform the way we collaborate and to catalyze synergistic action. After all, it is the Year of the Horse, a time for energy, action and lha. A year for dreaming big.
Still, six months ago, this event felt like a distant dream and now it is coming to fruition in ways we could never have imagined. Looking at the hosts and presenters we have lined up, we feel honored and profoundly grateful to be partnering with some of today’s most visionary change-makers—individuals who are also our own personal heroes and teachers.
Generosity in action
Awake in the World is radical because it represents a business model based entirely on generosity and collaboration. Throughout this journey, we’ve been guided by our intention to create something of benefit to everyone involved: participants, hosts, partners and SMC alike.
By far the most exciting aspect of this adventure has been the chance to witness generosity in action. This free, online event emerged as somewhat of an experiment: we wanted to explore what becomes possible when we operate from the basis of giving?
Given how tight cash can be at a non-profit like ours, some thought we were crazy for wanting to offer six days of dialogues, presentations and guided meditations for free. However, today, we feel that this model is being validated in a big way. Teachers, hosts and presenters are generously sharing their wisdom and time, putting enormous care into crafting a meaningful experience for all of us. Meanwhile, our media partners are helping us spread the word about Awake in the World.
The beauty of this paradigm is that it recognizes that we are stronger together than we are apart. We are heartened to see the evolution of a strong network of affinity groups supporting mutual growth and enrichment. In this way, luminaries are able to unite their respective audiences, amplify their collective impact and foster enduring, purposeful connections based on shared values.
Millions of you and me’s
Awake in the World is ultimately about the dynamic exchange of ideas and energy and this begins with creating conversation. As Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche points out, “the world is made up of millions and billions of ‘just you and me’ interactions” and these “seemingly minor exchanges have the power to gain momentum and begin to shift the social and environmental dynamics of our planet”.
At the heart of Awake in the World is a series of “just you and me” exchanges between social visionaries, thought leaders and wisdom holders. They are in their homes and workplaces discussing their life’s work, their tools and techniques for living a meaningful life and offering guided meditations and contemplations to help us create a more mindful, compassionate world.
Through this online platform we can share these exchanges far beyond the scope of our little mountain valley here in Colorado. People are registering from all over the globe, new networks are being formed and the potential for transformative ideas and practices to spread has never been so high.
If you have already registered for the event, thank you. If you have not yet signed up, we hope you will join our conversation. With your participation we really can make a difference, one interaction at a time.
Awake in the World Free Online Conference, featuring Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Brach, Charles Eisenstein, Susan Piver, Lodro Rinzler and many more. October 19-24, 2014. To learn more, please click here.
Miriam Thomas–lover of mountains and ice, chocolate and avocados–lives and works at Shambhala Mountain Center. As the Development Associate, she has the great fortune to witness generosity in action every day. Her favorite color is yellow, her favorite flower is the sunflower and her current favorite book is Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector.