Ever since meeting Craig Neal years ago at a Social Ventures Network meeting, I have been interested in his life work, or “the art of convening.” So often the meetings I participate in — especially phone conferences — seem to fall short of realizing their potential. It’s always been a big question for me: how do we make our shared interests and passions come to fruition in the most meaningful and effective ways?
I got my chance to examine this question more fully when I participated in a Thought Leaders gathering last Friday at Genentech, a company located south of San Francisco. More than 80 people had assembled to celebrate the completion of the book Craig and his wife Patricia have been working on for many years: The Art of Convening: Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings, and Conversations.
The salmon are coming back, five words that contain a world of hope.
A dozen years ago poet and activist Gary Snyder* came to Osmosis. His vanguard writings on Buddhism and the environment have been a major inspiration in my life, and it’s a rare experience to meet someone who’s been so influential. After his treatments, I went over to the spa to greet him and show him the back part of the property. This was before the meditation garden, and I wanted to share with him my vision for the garden, and the aspirations of our community to restore the salmon run in the Salmon Creek, which forms the western boarder of Osmosis for 1,000 feet.
To celebrate the new year*, and in our evolving effort to reflect what our clients wants in a spa, Osmosis began the first in a series of Vitality Programs on Thursday, February 3rd. It was an auspicious start, under a new moon, with trees and flowers just beginning to blossom after the heavy rains. At Osmosis, we believe that good health means more than simply the absence of pain or disease, it means vitality. So, as a community, guests and Osmosis staff gathered to discuss the nature of vitality: how it manifests, and how it benefits us. (Of course, we can’t have vitality without delicious food, so the evening began with some fabulous cheeses and wine, strawberries, stuffed mushrooms, and other ever so vital treats)!
Osmosis participated with local businesses to get the old Freestone water tank repaired and running to protect the charming hamlet from fire danger. Along with Wildflower Bakery and Freestone Vineyards, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary helped do the right thing for their community. Too long the town of Freestone was at risk without adequate water supply to fight possible fires.