I recently sponsored and took a workshop with Frederick Dodson, "reality creation" coach and author of more than 23 books, including the classic Parallel Universes of Self.
It was an interesting experience, one I'll likely be processing for some time.
I;'m aware when talking attempting to describe one's participation in these types of human potential workshops, what one says about the workshop is less a description of the workshop, but more a description of the participant.
I mean it's kind of like the Hawthorne effect, when the observer of a particular phenomenon alters whatever he or she observes. Or something like that.
So anyway, I don't want to describe the actual workshop, but my perception of the workshop leader.
I should say at the outset that I'm an old hand at observing teachers. In my former capacity as a journalist, I've been up close and personal to quite a few, including Masahiro Oki (look him up!), Michio Kushi, and John-Roger, just to name a few. I've written about some of these encounters in my book, Notes for a New Age.
So, when I'm in these situations, I find myself studying the particularities of the teacher, such things as their presentation style, the way they interact with students, their use of charisma etc.
I'm also aware that doing this is a kind of weakness, in that it can detract my attention from the actual transmission of teaching and my learning.
I could say a lot about Dodson, but the thing I want to highlight is his extraordinarily original style. I mean, I've taken a fair amount of workshops over the years and most of them are derivative. In other words, if you are generally familiar with the subject, you can pretty much see where particular activities or philosophies come from or what lineage the presenter represents.
But I couldn't see Dodson's antecedents; his style was totally his own.
There is something to be said about originality.
Original thinkers have totally digested and internalized what they've learned from others and come out with something new.
There is an authenticity there and this is what I sensed from Dodson.