Zero Balancing Touch Foundation sponsors the IONS International Conference
Chicago, July 23-26, 2015
The ZBTF recently partnered with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in sponsoring their 16th International Conference entitled “The Science of Being, The Spirit of Community.” Additionally, on behalf to the ZBTF, five Zero Balancing Faculty members participated in the conference Inner Space Experiential Village, a new take on the vendor area. The IONS website describes the organization as such:
“The Institute of Noetic Sciences™, founded in 1973 by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research, education, and membership organization whose mission is supporting individual and collective transformation through consciousness research, educational outreach, and engaging a global learning community in the realization of our human potential.”
The intention for the ZBTF presence was to support the important and exciting work at IONS and to introduce the IONS community to the concept and experience that consciousness can be engaged and expanded through touch. Another goal was to serve attendees, organizers, and presenters by creating a touch-based opportunity to organize, integrate, embody, and ground their conference experience. Mary Murphy summarizes our impact eloquently:
“ Our sponsorship and presence created an opportunity to learn how to express ZB and the concepts of how we engage consciousness through touch in new ways, to an audience that is a different and more diverse collective of scientists of all kinds, artists, mystics, shamans, spiritualists, activists, poets, futurists, organizers, philosophers, healers, inventors, authors, dreamers and story-tellers from all walks of life. The IONS conference was a stellar platform for the ZBTF to launch its inaugural public presence, for our work to be felt and experienced and for us, as Zero Balancers and ambassadors of touch, to be impacted by the group field of this very inspiring and innovative organization.”
Mary Murphy, Judith Sullivan, David Laden, Tom Gentile, and Michele Doucette provided Zero Balancing sessions to 130 participants over 3 days, thereby touching 20% of conference attendees, including keynote presenters, IONS scientists, directors, and board members. We touched and talked to hundreds of people, many of whom left with information about the ZBTF and how to find a ZB practitioner in their area. Our presence generated interest, good will and awareness; there was a definite BUZZ about ZB. People were being referred by those who had received sessions. Some came back two or three times! David Laden describes the Inner Space Experiential Village:
”It was amazing to create a powerful field with 3 tables going all the time, 10-15 minute sessions, all with people who already were very open to higher consciousness and the synergy of body/mind/spirit, matter and energy. The field of the conference was strong in itself so it supported us as we contributed to it. Win/win.”
David shared stories of sessions in which a Pakistani professor, in this country for 40 years, felt he was back in his mother’s kitchen smelling her cooking, and the 21 year old young man who told him after the 10 minute ZB “I think you just changed my life.” Judith Sullivan shared another attendee’s response after a 10 minute ZB with her.“My mind was more empty, without trying, because my body was more interested in the sensations than the thought.”
Expressing our work in new terms that made sense to this group was a welcomed challenge and created the opportunity to move beyond some of our well known and loved terms into language that matched the needs of this group and beyond. Michele shared that a highlight for her was developing an” elevator speech” she is happy with:
“With ZB we are using conscious and skilled touch that often allows a person to drop easily into a meditative state, an expanded state of consciousness. We are touching into the energy of the bones and joints. The bones, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, are said to store the deep essence of the person, the energy of conception, before early conditioning, trauma, and drama creates imbalances in body, mind, emotions, spirit… including self-limiting beliefs and behaviors. So when a person can drop into an expanded state of consciousness while feeling their authentic essence, (and the touch feeeels really good) they often begin to live life from that authentic presence, to have a deeper perspective. Stressors, pains, beliefs, limitations and behaviors that are not congruent with that essence more easily fall away, leading to health and happiness.”
Discussion among us and with fellow participants at the general and breakout sessions were incredibly stimulating and fruitful. As participants, we were given inspirational and challenging ways to understand what the world needs and what we all need know: how to manage our personal and collective energy in positive and transformative ways to help with humanity’s evolutionary path.
Tom Gentile’s description of his experience gives a glimpse into the power of connection and community:
“These past few days together at IONS have been, for me, much more than enjoyable, and much more than satisfying, even. The word that comes to mind is engaging. I felt I was engaged on multiple levels by my five colleagues (a blessing, thank you all) and I felt I was myself engaging in this, and in that, and in those around me in a most comprehensive and open way. This seems to me like a good way to live. And, in my way, I feel I have aimed to live this way, to live for the moments like those we had together in the same way I live for other things that really matter to me, like being with my family, like stewarding the environment, like helping my neighbours, like sitting still being weightless 40 feet underwater off the Kona coast at night looking up and touching the living wing-tip of a 14 foot wide Manta Ray”.
The ZBTF intends to continue dialogue with several important members of the IONS organization including scientists, educators, and organizers. The conference organizer made it a point to tell us we were a great addition to the conference and would be welcomed back and could apply for a breakout session presentation or even a keynote. IONS researchers were open to our comments and questions about touch, and indicated that continued communication between our groups would be welcomed.
Sharing what we know about skilled touch as a way to transform consciousness can be a huge part of our world work and the ZBTF is looking forward to partnering with organizations working to make the world a better place through conscious evolution. Judith reflects on her IONS experience:
“We all felt like we had deepened our friendship and respect for each other and we have the inspiration to continue working together in some way, perhaps continuing to go to conferences. There were so many good groups there that put on their own conferences. One thing I noticed is that there was much talk about consciousness (good), connecting mind and heart (good), and not much talk at all about the body (could be better).”
Faculty members attending the conference feel clear that providing a body-felt sense of organization, integration, embodiment, and grounding, in a field of expanded consciousness, as Zero Balancing does, offers vital support to organizations working to better our world. The ZBTF is excited about creating a way for more touch professionals to synergistically join with us as we explore the power of touch, and the idea of a ZBTF sponsored Touch Symposium is on the horizon.
The ZBTF thanks the Institute of Noetic Sciences for this excellent opportunity to communicate, co-operate, and co-create. To learn more about the leading-edge work of IONS visit www.noetic.org