Peer Meeting Evaluation for 1/22/94
The Union Institute

There was a large turn-out: FC, JG, JG-R, CJ, LL-C, CJR and I attended.  Most of the learners were rather new so the focus of the Peer Meeting became the Learning Agreement.  The two more experienced learners, FC and CJ, brought their Learning Agreements and shared their very different approaches to it.  Everyone had opportunities to introduce their areas of learning and, because the group was large, that took some time.

I performed a piece called, Mockingbirds in Dreamland, which involved guided imagery.  I asked everyone to let their thoughts float by, like bubbles, without dwelling on each one.  They would hear a mockingbird that would change and take them to new worlds.  It seemed that everyone was very experienced with meditation, self-hypnosis, etc. because I felt something like a vacuum in the room when everyone went “under” in preparation for listening.

I performed bird songs while processing them through a digital delay and a ring-modulator.  There was a lively discussion that followed.

CJ had problems with the use of this technology to create “movie effects” that were supposed to have some relationship to the unconscious.  He lives in a remote area with no electricity and had difficulties relating to these sounds.  I explained that the sounds did have some relationship to my own unconscious and that I grew up, even artistically, around a lot of technology.  My equipment works for me as extensions of my own body.

CJR and FC expressed concerns about the intensity of the experience that I created and its relation to therapy.  They have both worked with many psychotic clients who they feel would be very disturbed by this experience.  I asked if the information gained by the reaction to the experience by the clients would be helpful.  They said “maybe” but it would possibly be too much too soon.

The other participants couldn’t say enough about how great this experience was for them.  LL-C though of the healing effects of shamanism.  JG said he enjoyed it and JG-R said the experience helped her find a way through a difficult part of a novel she was writing.

I enjoyed and learned a lot from this feedback.