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From the Twentieth Anniversary Report November 2004

John Stowell’s Report of the Sojourn

I could never have anticipated the range of self-discovery and inquiry that the journey of The Sojourn has been to me.  Objectively, it was a time of meditation and silence; walking and exercise; preparing and eating meals; hearing news reports and commentary; group meetings and individual sessions; physical work and celebrations; listening to tapes of dharma talks; reflecting and recollecting; watching videos and going to movies; Christian Resurgence Circle meetings and practice teaching; attending community and house concerts; men’s and women's groups; study and sharing; inquiry methods and settling into the moment.  It was a feeling time of fascination and wonderment; of darkness and epiphany; of compassion and appreciation; of impatient humanness and awesome inclusiveness.  For me, what made the experience so valuable was the focus and intentionality that was brought to bear during our times together, allowing me to concentrate on the simplicity of coming face to face with myself. I found this process to be both painful and transforming, as one onion-layer after another was peeled back, to invite an ever-expanding process of integration.  I'm able to stay for longer periods of time with what is arising in the moment, non-judgmentally, and with diminishing defensiveness.  This is a shift for me that requires constant vigilance and attention.