“What’s necessary is objectivity, realizing what our most important points are that we’ve been carrying, some for a long time. But they need to be the most important points. For there to be an objectivity in having those most important points, there needs to be a letting go of the emotional level of holding issues so that we can actually hold the points and not be all about the emotion that we have in them.

The next level of objectivity, which goes deeper, is to realize what we know more deeply within than those points, and that is the heart and our humanness. So we need to get off the floor, while holding these points, and make one step down into our humanness.”

“The first step is the number one step, and that is to come into a real listening. We can hold the points from the shelf, but in the midst of that we need to be really listening within so we’re not held by a personalized level of emotional issues. The points remain, the points are important, but we can’t really start to open them up without getting off the main floor and onto the stairway of our humanness through a real, deep listening. The most important points that are clear within our selves can be expanded when we’re listening to each other. We may let go of some of our most important points or realize that there are other more important points on the surface, but we can’t really loosen up to be able to see that way without the real listening within and to each other.”

“The essence of real listening and the essence of the subject both come together at the same time and there’s ignition. Light comes of that, and we come into a really profound level of new seeing. Then, we have the essence of real listening and the essence of what realization is – that ignition that comes into light and seeing – we have all of that to come back on to the main floor, really being the meaning of the different levels of the stairway of humanness, and we’re being that on the main floor. So where we started from and where we now are, are fundamentally different and we can live this way.”

– John de Ruiter

How the Event Came Together?


As discussion about the disclosure lunch gained momentum in the community, both online and in person, it seemed good to come together as a group. John and Leigh Ann were in Edmonton for several weeks after returning from India, and so it was clear to plan for sooner rather than later – March 4, 2017.

The date was set. We had just two weeks to bring together an event for up to 400 people and include a significant and substantial topic. Easy, we thought. We can use the same event plan that we used for the 2013 Cohesion Event. However, we quickly realized that four years has changed us, that we were working with a different set of circumstances, and that we needed to create something up-to-date that befits our current foundation.

Some ingredients were instantly clear: time to talk and listen to each other in small groups, and time with John as a whole group. But as we got into the details of how we might structure the time a whole new opportunity emerged. The opportunity to explore some principles of communication in real time, to immerse ourselves in a goodness learning structure.

We hope you enjoy the flavours of the event shown here.

The Planning Team

Event Schedule

March 4, 2017





Doors open

Session I
Off The Shelf

10:00 – 10:30

Introduction to the Day

10:30 – 11:45

Off The Shelf: Facilitated Tables

11:50 – 12:00

Debrief: Facilitated Tables

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch Break

Session II
On To The Stairway
Of Humanness

1:00 – 2:00

Conversation with John & Roger: Part 1

2:00 – 3:00

Facilitated Tables

3:00 – 3:45

Tea / Coffee Break

3:45 – 4:45

Facilitated Tables

4:45 – 5:45

Facilitated Tables

5:45 – 7:15

Dinner Break

Session III
Into Realization

7:15 – 9:30

Conversation with John & Roger: Part 2

9:30 – 11:00

Social / Bar

Purpose of the day


“We’re here today bringing a lot of things off the shelf and onto the floor, here with each other, carrying it with each other, holding it with each other, interacting. In holding all of this inside and being in this, it’s important this event is result-oriented. That is to not just bring things off the shelf and have them on the floor here, but to get onto the stairway of humanness, to get onto the stairway of the heart.”

What would you like to have happen?

We asked you a couple of questions on the registration form to get a sense of what was moving in the community – what topics were circulating, what was in people’s hearts and minds. We also sent a form to those that regularly attend events with John but were not in Edmonton at the time of the event. This form gave them a chance to contribute to the event. The following tables give a sense of where we were as a community before the event.

Most Mentioned:

1. Inclusiveness, togetherness, cohesiveness

2. Deepening & opening

3. Freedom, safety of expression

4. Everyone feels seen, heard and included

5. Appreciation of our differences

6. Build support for calling

7. Openness

8. Settling, deeper resting, unshakable

9. Clarity

10. Ability to move among perspectives

Most Mentioned:

1. Bridging between “this”/calling/disclosure & personal/cultural beliefs/understanding

2. The calling, our relationship to John’s calling

3. The reason we are here/what’s coming/how we move that (big picture)

4. Transparency/secrets (e.g. disclosure)

5. Talk about what we know and the disclosure to others/media

6. Importance of sexuality

7. Group behaviors

8. Differing views – how are we with that?

9. Cohesion

10. Bridge between us and disclosure

Most Important Points to Explore

We can start with something coarse, upset and disturbed, but then go softer and more open and deeper until we come to something that is a real brick that’s worth building with, a most important point, reached by a deep, quiet discernment, individually and through group discussion. There’s a letting go within the objectivity of bringing things off the shelf. What’s brought off the shelf goes through a separating process, discerning what is merely emotional or assumed, and looking at what is self-evident and true within each person’s heart. Everyone gets to experience that kind of process, how to distill something down to what’s real.There may be a lot that’s real left over when you’ve distilled it or there maybe almost nothing, but that process is important.

The Table Process

There were four facilitated table sessions. Each session worked with a different topic: first the disclosure, then the Calling, then Sexuality, then Group Dynamics. The breakdown on the right shows the process we followed for the topic of the Calling. We customised the process a little bit for each topic. Overall, the focus of the table time was Real Listening. Tables had 10 people, with 1 of those in the facilitator role, giving at least 9 minutes of listening per round. Discerning the Most Important Points, and these were not necessarily your own! – was another cornerstone of the process.

Session 2 – What is the Calling for you?

Round 1: Off the Shelf

1 min In silence, take 1 minute to notice/reflect on What is the Calling for you?

It could be something rich, difficult or troubling. The richness could be a pearl, the difficulty could be a nut that’s hard to crack, troubling could be a burr.

1.5 min each Going around the table, each person will have 1.5 minutes to say what they have been carrying that has been rich, difficult – whether polarised or not polarised – and/or troubling.

  • Alternate which direction the table goes (e.g. clockwise for first round, counter-clockwise second round)
  • Everybody gets a minute and a half, even if they finish in less time – opens space to listening and magic.
  • Keep the focus on really listening, if you need to take notes, please try to write only keywords.

Round 2: Deeper Recognition

1 min Now that you’ve shared and listened, take another minute now, in silence, to further notice/reflect on What is the Calling for you, now?

1.5 min each Once again, we will go around the table and each person will say anything you now notice about the Calling or more on what you brought forward already: rich, difficult – whether polarised or not polarised, troubling

Round 3: Most Important Points

1 min Drawing on all you heard, including what you spoke, take a minute to write the 2 most important points that you heard.

1 min each Speak the 2 most important points you heard.

Round 4: Into Realization

1 min Now take 1 min to reflect on anything you realized here. Eg. topical, personal, you can draw on something someone else said.  Did the lights come on for you? Are you seeing something newly?

1 min each Speak your realizations, in a round, one minute per person. What will you be carrying forward?

We’re exploring ideas for open mics and / or another event with a similar format.

Which topics you would like to dive into?

Topics could be practical, teaching based, could be a nut you haven’t cracked yet, or a pearl that you want to know more about.

Your Topic or Format Idea