THE GELLER CENTER VISION by Peggy Christiansen 2/15/11
The Geller Center is an oasis. A safe haven where people come to take time out. To pause and reflect and tune in to their deepest selves. To connect. To be inspired. To inspire others. To heal.
Here everyone is encouraged to explore the kind of knowing that is greater than facts. To develop wisdom. To explore diverse traditions and to learn spiritual practices that sustain us as we work for the common good.
It is sacred ground, this place where we come together, where we let go of all that is non-essential and share who we really are. A place where we dare to show the fears and dreams we usually hide. The doubts, the hopes, the miracles, the failures… the desperate sorrows, the unspeakable joys - and a longing to connect that is so deep it aches. In this place, assumptions and opinions and the need to defend one’s position simply fall away, like the shedding of a coat of armor no longer needed.
It’s a place of profound intimacy.
Working for the common good requires a willingness to listen deeply. Many people are not natural listeners, but listening is something that can be learned and practiced. True listening comes from a place of humility and an attitude of openness.
Deep listening calls for a learner’s mind and a lover’s heart.
It is an act of kindness and a practice in patience.
Exploring and seeking to develop this kind of listening is an essential part of every program of the Geller Center. These programs include weekly dinner and discussion groups, meditation and contemplation practice, community service, classes on spiritual development in a pluralistic society, international service-learning trips, personal mentoring, support groups, peacemaking and social justice programs, creativity projects, interfaith dialogs and more.
Working for the common good also requires a willingness to share authentically, again from a place of humility and an attitude of openness. This kind of sharing calls for risk and vulnerability, allowing others to see who we really are.
It is an act of faith and a practice in courage.
Sometimes it seems the path to get to a common good is full of obstacles that are insurmountable.
The Geller Center for Spiritual Development is a place that strives continually to move those obstacles and open the pathway.
The time has come for us to create a physical space that reflects our vision.
A space that shows our gratitude to the sacred ground where we connect in deep listening and authentic sharing. A space that is created with intention and where choices are made consciously for the highest good.
Take a moment and imagine what that space might look like…
The building is a combination of meeting places and offices that can accommodate groups of different sizes, where the materials have been chosen for sustainability and beauty, and the architecture reflects our deep connection with Nature. Various community groups who share our vision are invited to utilize our meeting facilities.
In addition there is a residential component for people who want to make an even greater commitment to living simply and sustainably and “walking softly upon the earth”. These residents explore living in ways that go beyond “sustainable” and are actually “restorative”. They serve as a model and an inspiration for others who want to help heal our environment, who understand the interconnectedness of life and the way that each individual choice we make impacts the whole community.
The residents explore aspects of living in intentional community with people of diverse backgrounds, as well as participating in and leading programs that reflect the vision of the Geller Center. In addition to bringing in a source of revenue to help support the Center in its work, the residential community integrates our long-term values with daily life, constantly seeking new ways to live in creative partnership with the earth and each other…
If you would like to learn more about ways that you can help us make this vision a reality, please visit our Capital Campaign page. Also, please check out the Conceptual Drawings that were created for the Geller Center based on this Vision: