Reflections on Winter Retreat

Reflections on Winter Retreat

by Dr. Pam Fuhrmann.


All time is now. We are invited to experience and perceive through the senses how we participate in creating an experience, a reality – be it spiritual, emotional, intellectual or sensory.

Intellectually I know I participate in forming a sensory experience, but it wasn’t until we did the meditation exercise on Thursday that I realized the depth of my impact. My sensory experience is fully what I create. That’s the awareness In Claritas is about. We are fully participating in creation. The activities we did around the Spiritual Centre called the Rose, the concert and then Modern Art Museum – those sensory experiences prepared me for the whole meditation experience. I was playful in those environments and therefore open to receive the unexpected and the undefined.


We participate in creating an experience that is unknown to all, yet guided by the exploration itself. The practice of being in the space of emergence is an experience of liminality because you open yourself to the unknown, to what is in the presence and which is as yet undefined.

I’m suddenly aware of how many things in my life and the stories of others that seem to occupy the space of liminality. I’m amazed how often today I encounter people experiencing being in-between!

 – Tim Harle

Our actual conversation about liminality put us into the tension between a need for definition and a need for “un-knowing” or being-in-experience: Knowing through definition or knowing through experience. We notice how the dialogue brings to the surface our own struggle with duality and the inherent pull of duality on our way of categorizing and constructing meaning.


The relationship of interconnectivity and transcendence, the seeing of larger patterns moves us beyond the individual identities and issues. In Claritas engaged with experts on the European Union and its current predicament on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The visit earlier in the day to the Spiritual Centre at the heart of Amsterdam provided a lens for us to view and understand the dynamics in Europe. The relatedness and multiple perspectives around a common purpose gave an example of how transcending individual entities with separate practices can bring about a relational community.

In the European Dialogues we realized the struggle of building such a “house” of different identities and practices. However, in the experience of sitting together with individuals embodying a variety of thought and emotion, it brought forward a stark example of how different positions of the mind cover different ground. Here is where using the principles of In Claritas really help seeing a larger whole – not that of Europe but of the discussion.


Amsterdam, 12 January 2013

For and on behalf of In Claritas Pan European Dialogues

Dr. Pam Fuhrmann


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