Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodyera pubescens: History of actual Harbin workshops, All kinds of alternative things, from therapy sessions to New Age spirituality

Harbin ethnography:

... It belonged to a resident – a lot of hippies in the 1960s and early 70s took to sailing and living on boats - but I can also imagine that in some of the farther-out envisionings of Harbinites, this ship was also on high ground for when oceans rose, possibly in a global warming sense, but also possibly in an apocalyptic sense. All of this comes out of the Harbin soup of life over the years.

The history of actual Harbin workshops has long been part of life there. In the 1960s, too, people were heading up to Harbin or down to Esalen for workshops on all kinds of alternative things, from therapy sessions to New Age spirituality. Harbin's founder, Ishvara, too, went to, and facilitated, many of these over the years. Stan Dale, who founded the Human Awareness Institute and more recently their “Love, Intimacy and Sexuality” workshops, was long a part of the Harbin community. The Harbin Conference Center, built in the early 1980s, has a plaque on it” The Stan Dale Conference Center.” And Ishvara once characterized Stan Dale as knowing exactly what Harbin was about. While a remarkable number of spiritual and intimacy related workshops have happened at Harbin over the decades, including recently Tantra workshops, Paul Lowe workshops, Steve and Lokita workshops, annual Polyamory gatherings, the Human Awareness Institute's “Love, Intimacy and Sexuality” workshops (this workshop's name has developed over the years) found a niche at Harbin. Teaching, learning and understanding intimacy in the milieu of Harbin, with its clothing-optional pools, is an idea that emerges fulsomely from the 1960s, because it explores sexuality (in which many people are interested), perhaps questions the authority of taboos of main stream society, and creates something new in terms of intimacy, and helping people with possibly hangups about intimacy. Stan's workshops over the years also built a community of HAI folks at Harbin that give shape to workshops to this day there (http://www.harbin.org/workshops.htm and HAI website: http://www.hai.org/workshops_near_you.html). Although I haven't yet taken a HAI workshop, I really like the energy of HAI folks; through workshops, and the teaching and learning of love intimacy and sexuality – emerging from clear-minded thinking about questions of how to affirm this - HAI normalize these for those who take the workshops. In the beautiful milieu of actual Harbin with warm water pools always nearby, and apart from city and people's daily life, many attendees find freedom and enjoyment in these workshops and some come back again and again. In a way, Harbin is about clothing-optionalness, about intimacy as well as the beauty of the body, and Harbin workshops develop these. Nakedness in virtual worlds is also fully developed, and will make related workshops in-world fascinating ethnographically.

One of the significant things about virtual Harbin in OpenSim, in an actual, historical sense, before it was stolen with my laptop and knapsack, is that this Harbin simulation was on my own computer's hard drive, and not on a computer server elsewhere. ...

(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/09/goodyera-pubescens-history-of-actual.html - September 21, 2010)

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