Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0220, September 6, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers....

Dear friends,

As news from the Katrina disaster continues to flood our collective consciousness, I felt an article about boundaries is appropriate this week. Boundaries between people, states, countries, animals, conscious and unconscious are all artificial and create the panoply of suffering we encounter daily to more or lesser degrees. This week's article, "Release Your Boundaries," is based on Ken Wilber's book, "No Boundary." It explores the four primary boundaries from a group context that create our struggle, and actions that we can take to resolve each of them. I look forward to your comments on this somewhat unusual perspective. News

  • The Improvisational Facilitator 5-day teleclass starts next Monday, September 12th. Click here for details.
  • Discount membership with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) at now available for members. Click here to view all features and benefits of membership.
  • Discount price for members ends September 15th...Join now! Also, Bonus Gifts are still available for the next few members. Click here and scroll to bottom of features list for details.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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Starts Sept 12th
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Red Cross Disaster Relief

The Point

Release Your Boundaries
  Exploring and finding freedom from the limitations of our primary boundaries.


Self-Facilitation Skill

As news from the Katrina disaster continues to flood our collective consciousness, I find my mind weaving many stories..."This is so far away, it doesn't really affect me...Not another disaster, this is too much to handle, this is something the people involved have to deal with...I can't do anything to help...I don't want to think about this...This is "their" problem...It sucks to live on this planet sometimes"...etc...etc.

One of the common threads in this mind chatter is the boundaries that make this kind of thinking possible. Whenever we separate ourselves from others, or ourselves from ourselves, we construct an artificial boundary, within or without, that separates us from them, or separates one part of ourselves from another.

Ken Wilber's book, "No Boundary" addresses the problem of boundaries in this way...

...each boundary we construct in our experience results in a limitation of our consciousness--a fragmentation, a conflict, or a battle. There are many such boundaries and limitations in our experience, which together create a spectrum of consciousness.

Ken goes on to illustrate how every boundary we construct is artificial. Each one creates some flavor of discord or discontent. Several of these boundaries exist even within what we refer to as our "selves." For instance, when we speak of "our bodies," which we commonly do, the inference is that they are not us but a possession of ours. This is evidence of an artificial internal boundary we've created.

Even as we examine what we commonly think of as ourselves, our egos, there are "shadow" aspects we don't wish to see that we sequester into our unconscious, creating again another boundary. It's these boundaries, Wilber asserts, that create conflict and unhappiness. They cause us to reject all that is by accepting or seeking only partial reality while rejecting the rest, i.e. right versus wrong.

Much of our work as facilitators involves helping people come to grips with something that isn't working or something they want to change in their lives, on their team, in their organization, etc. By helping them to identify and resolve the artificial boundaries they've constructed. We can help them resolve many of these problems.


Wilber's book identifies four basic false boundaries:

1) Persona versus shadow.
2) Ego versus body
3) Centaur versus environment
4) Transpersonal identity versus unity consciousness.

How can we translate these boundaries into group boundaries that we typically work with and how do we help our groups resolve them?
Let's explore this below:

1) Persona versus shadow. Every group, just like every individual, has a shadow. By shadow, I mean those aspects and associated behaviors that we don't see as our own and project on others. These behaviors are often distasteful and unwanted, such as anger, jealousy, and aggression. But they also include positive aspects and strengths that we haven't owned, such as self-interest, assertiveness, courage, and joy. Behaviors have been relegated to the shadow side due to cultural and familial preferences and dislikes, that have rewarded some behaviors and punished others.

Action: Explore with your group typical behaviors they engage in and those they avoid. Explore with them the behaviors they dislike in other groups. Then, ask your group to assume that from time to time, they exhibit some of these very behaviors they dislike in other groups. Ask them to imagine if this were true, how would it inform their actions now?

2) Ego versus body.
Due to the limitations and vulnerability of the body, the ego learns to withdraw awareness from it, numbing it's senses and growing increasingly disconnected from its messages. Individuals in groups have sensations from time to time that are not often expressed. Again, our culture, which gives inordinate attention to thought, gives little credence to body sensations and tends to invalidate them.

Action: Ask your group to be conscious of body sensations that arise and have them agree to share and discuss them. Ask your group to assume that every body sensation has a message for the individual or for the group. Give them permission to validate these experiences by exploring and discussing them without judgment or criticism.

3) Centaur (perfect union of mental and physical) versus environment.
The boundary we draw between ourselves and the rest of the world of beings and things is probably the most convincing boundary of all. To reveal the inaccuracies of this boundary, let us look to what modern physics has discovered. Our bodies are composed of trillions of particles that are composed primarily of empty space, energy actually. So if we could see into this subatomic realm, we'd find waves of energy dancing endlessly, and we'd have great difficulty identifying the boundaries between us and them or us and it.

The world of collective consciousness, from past to present, can be embraced and explored through the use of archetypes and mythology which connect the world of beings and forms from the very beginning. Ask your group to write the story that they are enacting in their present dilemma, complete with heroes, dragons, damsels, trolls, and the like. Reflection upon this story may inspire rewrites and realizations that can turn inspire your group in surprising directions.

4) Transpersonal identity versus unity consciousness.
This boundary is about time. Time creates a boundary separating this moment from the last. Without time, our awareness of the present and all that exists would be perfect. This boundary, even more than the last, will be a tough one to discuss from a philosophical perspective for most groups. Therefore, I don't suggest you approach it that way at all. Instead, do the following.

Action: Ask your group to assume for the moment, that the present situation, problem, issue, or circumstance, as it stands right now, is absolutely perfect. Then have them discuss how this could be so, along with actions they would take or not take if this were true. The point here is to encourage your group to fully experience and digest what is occurring right now, and facilitate their discovery of something new in themselves or in their group as a result.


This week, reflect on the boundaries discussed above in your own life or with your groups and take the recommended actions. Please email us your comments.

Book Resource

No Boundary : Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth,
by Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber has provided a synthesis of virtually all psychological theories and spiritual perspectives in this short introduction to his spectrum of consciousness. Consciousness, in this context, refers to our personal sense of identify, our personal answer to the question,"Who am I?" Wilber makes much of the fact that our first answer to this question is largely a matter of identifying that which is "not me." The distinction between "me" and "not me" is the fundamental human error, for in making it we deny our oneness with all reality. Hence the title indicates that to grow in consciousness is to eliminate these artificial boundaries. The first half of the book explains this in detail.

Fortunately, our denial of oneness with reality results in dissatisfaction with life that becomes the primary motivation to resolve four basic false dichotomies: (1) persona versus shadow; (2) ego versus body; (3) centaur versus environment; and (4) transpersonal identity versus unity consciousness. At each stage, the harmony in identity that follows elimination of the boundary becomes a new identity defined by new boundaries. Persona and shadow become ego. Ego and body become centaur. Centaur and environment become a transpersonal, but non-universal, identity. Only in unity consciousness, or oneness with all reality, do we eliminate boundaries and find peace.
--Peter A. Kindle, Manvel, TX United States

In the Spotlight

The Improvisational Facilitator

Improv is easier than you think...after all, your life is already an improv!

Learn improv techniques to become a more effective facilitator, trainer, and group leader


September 12th-16, 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes/day.

I've been to lots of teleclasses but have never done offline partner exercises like this and they worked great, they really heightened the learning. Excellent resource book too!

The Improvisational Facilitator Teleclass...

The inner attitudes of facilitators, trainers, and leaders is the key to their success with groups. However, very few trainings address the development of those inner qualities that can make a good leader great. That's why I'm thrilled to be offering this class where we'll present powerful, practical improv techniques that are actually inner attitudes and practices that you can use to immediately enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills.

This dynamic teleclass, led by master trainer, Sue Walden, is for anyone who facilitates, manages, teaches, mediates, coaches, counsels, directs any group. This highly interactive course provides an experiential approach using very novel exercises to help you build the skills to create an environment for participation; one that encourages openness and risk-taking for you and groups.

Benefits to you of participating from this Improv Training...

1. Gain tools that will help you relax and have a lot more fun with your groups.
2. Learn simple strategies that will help you to be more open and flexible to the specific and dynamic needs of your groups.
. Be able to connect whatever people share to the group purpose or theme.
4. Get a lot more comfortable being "in the moment" with your groups..
5. You won't panic when you "lose your place."
6. Come to enjoy dealing with the "unexpected" in your groups.
7. Never have speaker's block again.
8. Discover reservoirs of creativity within you that you didn't know existed.
9. Collaborate and learn from a community of your peers, all passionate about empowering groups.

How the Training works...
1. You dial into your class every day for a 75-90 minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. Several times we will leave the bridge line for short 8-12 minute periods to give you the opportunity to engage in short exercises with a partner to practice and deepen your skills.
3. You work through a learning/resource workbook which accompanies the class including practice assignments after each session.
4. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructors and your classmates via an online listserve during the course.
5. During the course, you may access the instructors via email for help or situational questions.

Improvisational Facilitator Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the course...

Being present to your natural creativity

  • Overview
  • Introducing the Parking Lot
  • Awareness experience
  • What is your default facilitation skill set?
  • Improv Core Skills that support facilitation
  • Exploring 1st Core Skill: Present Time
  • The "Voice Mirror," a simple and powerful listening tool
  • Facilitation Applications

Building the "muscle" that encourages participation

  • Check in on practice assignment
  • Explore 2nd Core Skill: Openness
  • Experiencing the look and feel of openness
  • Building the openness “muscle”
  • The "Yes and..." approach
  • Facilitation Applications

Making flexibility a way of being

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Explore 3rd Core Skill: Flexibility
  • Combining Being Present and Open to become more flexible
  • Identify unexpected challenges in facilitating
  • Building the options and possibilities “muscle”
  • Facilitation Applications

Witnessing the magic

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Introduce “The Observer”
  • Apply Core Skills to self
  • Getting present with self
  • Quiet the inner critic
  • Think on your feet
  • Be aware of your language
  • Facilitation Applications

Further applications and applied Improv

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Explore other applications of Improv Core Skills
  • Emptying the Parking Lot
  • Q & A with the Applied Improv Process

Also included with your training...
In addition to the training described above, you also receive:
1. Free Learning/Resource Workbook ($20 value) to help you drill down deep and master the art of improv for use in facilitation, training, leadership, and group work.
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the training ($69 value).
3. Free pre-recorded one-hour real audio teleclass, "The Art of Improv in Facilitation, featuring Izzy Gesell, who discusses the use of humor and improvisational theater techniques as facilitation tools.($20 value).
4. Articles and resources around using Improv in leadership and facilitation:
__- Collection of humor and improv resources.
__- The Six Paradoxes of Improv. Six paradoxes that will help free you to be a better facilitator
____and trainer.
__- Leadership Through Improv. Article on how Improv techniques can be applied to leadership.

The full cost of training/access is only $99 including the free items ( worth $109) listed above. Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the course and free article bank. This course is limited to 20 individuals on a first come basis.

I really enjoyed the Improv class. Great material, excellent delivery including the opportunities to "try it out" in partner settings. --Sandy Brown, Facilitator, Intel Corporation--


September 12-16 (M-F), 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes each day.

Please click here to register.

Self-Guided Real Audio Version
If you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version of this teleclass complete with the learning guide. You'll be provided with access to recorded offerings of the five-hour teleclass (5 hours total) that you can listen to online and follow along in the learning guide is used in the live class. Click here to purchase for $69.

(Real Audio Only)

Click here to purchase the
Real Audio Version for $69

Self-Guided 5-Day CD Version
The Compact Disk (CD) version comes with all of the self-guided features listed above, together with 5 CD's you'll receive by mail that you can listen to anywhere you have access to a CD player. Click here to purchase for $79.

(CD's and Real Audio Only)

Click here to purchase the CD Version for $79

plus $4 Shipping and Handling Membership Option

Become a member of premium member and register for this teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.

One-Day Live Version

Interested in a one-day "live" version of this class offered to your group? Email us to discuss options.

Your instructors

Sue Walden. Sue Walden is the Founder and Director of ImprovWorks, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building Life Skills through Improvisation. Her experience includes a BA in Education and 26 years of teaching, performing and adapting and widely applying the techniques of improvisation. She approaches improv training as a powerful and joyful way to peel away constraints, restraints and inhibitions, allowing the naturally expressive, collaborative and creative self to emerge.

Sue is a skilled teacher in ImprovWorks' public workshop program, a dynamic corporate facilitator, an engaging speaker, an author (Working with Groups to Enhance Relationships, Whole Person Assoc.), the delightful "Playmeister" of both the public and corporate Recess! programs, the director and a regular performer with San Francisco's longest-running improvisational theater company, "Flash Family". She has been a member of the Specialty Staff for the year-long Co-Active Leadership Program since its inception eight years ago.

Her current passion is training trainers and consulting on how to design powerful experiential workshops. Sue promises that, in any of her programs, while the learning may be challenging, it will also be fun!

Steve Davis.
Steve Davis, M.A., M.S., is an Facilitator's Coach, Infoprenuer, and free-lance human, helping facilitators, organizational leaders, educators, trainers, coaches and consultants present themselves confidently, access their creativity, empower their under-performing groups, enhance their facilitation skills, and build their business online and offline.

Steve spends most of his time building and running He also publishes a weekly ezine for facilitators called, the Master Facilitator Journal, continues to write ebooks, design teleclasses, and maintain a part-time coaching practice. His breadth of experience spans business, corporate management, engineering, teaching, spiritual psychology, and wellness, offering a pragmatic yet creative coaching foundation. To learn more about Steve, visit his website at

About the satisfaction guarantee

If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.

Comments or Questions?

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