The group discussed to the end of chapter 6
Emptiness was a big theme of the reading
Emptiness means emptying ourselves of expectations, and allowing ourselves to listen to others as a priority instead of trying to heal them or deliver advice. Alcoholics Anonymous is a good example of a community that does not have a leader, which allows for individuals to be on a level plane to share, and it does provide some structure for progress, although it is achieved by members sharing their own story and other members simply listening.
It’s interesting how when people don’t have the leadership or structure they tend to get frustrated and may even attack the leader.
Emptying ourselves of expectations can be difficult. Subconsciously we do have expectations when we enter a group, or a weekend event like a community workshop. When the group/event is not what we expected, we might become frustrated and some people are less likely to adapt to change than others.
Size of a community
Is a global community possible? Building a global community might be harder work than having autonomous nations. Large communities of a few hundred are still realistic.
Rituals in a community
Prayer or chants can be very effective in maintaining community spirit.
Pairing: repetitive seating arrangements might be obstructive to community building, it promotes clique-building and separation. In The Perimeter we’ve done a good job of pairing new accountability partners.
Comfortability in a community
It’s interesting how we can take different personas depending upon our environment (who we are around). Frank Yang describes that it is fundamentally human to adapt and change who we are and who we are becoming. He likes to say “what the fuck does be yourself mean?” Who we are depends on the perceptions of the people around us. Having a “regular self” does give a reference point, however, where people can come to more understanding of how someone is doing.
Silence: awkward or not? Depends on the individual or the culture. Often we hold an expectation for conversation to get to know someone new.
Action pieces for The Perimeter:
-collaborate on a war cry or prayer ritual
-open a discord channel for dreams
-try sitting in silence
-time/size considerations for optimal community building: suggestion to spend longer weekend retreats together: bi-annual?
-reflections on localized meetings of a few members
-read to the end of chapter 12
Frank Yang going off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWLRbj4YVRY&t=147s