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Gentle Action: A Gathering of Common Experience

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June 14, 2023 June 20, 2023 CEST

Gentle Action: A Gathering of Common Experience

Dates: June 14 – 20, 2023

Location: Pari, Italy

Price: 850 euros

which includes:

  • a 6-night stay in private accommodation;
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner at the local restaurant featuring locally sourced produce and traditional dishes;
  • the water, wine, and coffee provided with meals;
  • programmed activities and materials;
  • refreshments provided at mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee breaks.

Event: The event starts on Wednesday June 14 at 19:00 with a welcome dinner and ends on Tuesday June 20 after breakfast.

“The world is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it…

Can you see things as they are, without trying to control them?

Can you let them go their
own way while remaining centered?”

Lao Tse, Dao De Jing #29
(Mitchell & MacDonald Combined)

Join us for a week of living in the moment, for the moment, surrounded by the peaceful hills of the Tuscan landscape in Pari. With its beautiful palazzo, rustic bar, and numerous quiet places, the medieval village of Pari serves as an alchemical vessel for growth and personal transformation.

“The idea of bringing people in. They could be business people, they could be environmentalists, whatever, and bringing them in without any sort of fixed program, without them giving talks and powerpoint presentations. Just to sit in the room and see what emerges, because they are in a container, it’s in an alchemical vessel which allows something transformative to take place. So that was the idea of Pari as a container.”
David Peat w/ Jena Axelrod in The Absurdity of Certainty.

Throughout the week you will have plenty of opportunities to cultivate connections with Nature, others, and — perhaps most importantly — yourself. Explore the medieval village and its surroundings, or take in the beauty of the landscape from Pari’s expansive palazzo. Dialogue with others in a supportive atmosphere and experience what it feels like to have others truly listen to your unique perspectives and experiences from a place of genuine interest and curiosity. Set aside thoughts of forcing or striving and experience how insights and interconnections naturally bubble up during dialogue.

Become more responsive and less reactive by learning to actively listen, not only to others but also to yourself. As F. David Peat, one of the founders of the Pari Center states in his autobiography, Pathways of Chance:

“Much depends upon how we react when the unexpected occurs and a new door temporarily opens. Do we compensate as best we can and attempt to remain on our own predetermined track, or do we ask ‘What is life trying to tell me? In what direction could this new possibility take me? Is it worth suspending what I am doing at the moment to explore something new?”1

Somewhat paradoxically, setting aside striving and engaging in gentle action often gives rise to the types of benefits that many people often seek, but seldom find in a sustainable form. Along with feelings of openness, trust, joy, and a childlike sense of wonder, gentle action often gives rise to a deeper sense of engagement with yourself, others, and the Universe.

1. Pathways of Chance, pp. 1-2.

Our Story (and an invitation) Several years ago, a small group of us were sitting outside the bar in Pari, Italy when the idea came up to bring a group of very open-minded people together for a gathering without any agenda, topic, intention, or specific purpose. After leaving Pari, we continued to meet monthly through an online Zoom dialogue, where our small group of three individuals gradually grew in a most organic manner. More than a year of online meetings led to our first “Gentle Action Gathering” back at Pari in September of 2022. Our original group of Jena, Manfred, and Tom, who hail from New York, Germany, and Ireland were joined by several additional members of our online community. Stefan, Rose, and Todd, traveled from Sweden, Germany/Canada, and Alaska to finally meet everyone in person. Two of our members, Lisa, from Italy, and Michael, from Connecticut, were unable to meet in person, but are quite active in our online meetings and the preparations for our gathering in June of 2023. Over the course of time, we have come to discover that we have much to share with one another due to, rather than despite, our differing backgrounds. And yet, we have also found that we also have much in common. Perhaps most importantly, we all share a genuine interest in one another’s perspectives on the world, quite reminiscent of Rumi’s quote: “Out beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

This June we have chosen to meet once again in Pari, Italy. This medieval village, nestled in the the Tuscan landscape, provides the perfect backdrop for new insights and explorations. During our “Gentle Action Gatherings”, participants are largely free to roam around as they please. Meet in the newly renovated Palazzo, take part in a yoga class, explore the area’s hot springs, or just sit down to have an espresso at the charming and peaceful square. Set aside your daily routine and begin to reconnect with your own innermost nature by setting aside the expectations of the outer world. Communicating and interacting in the moment, for the moment has enabled each of us to interact with ourselves, each other, and the world at large in a much more playful manner. Over time, we have noticed that an almost childlike curiosity tends to emerge, unforced and unbidden “beyond the ideas of right and wrong” allowing us to experience the innate beauty of the present moment and our interactions. More than anything, our gatherings have given us a deep sense of connection and friendships that endure beyond the limits of time and space. This June we get to come home again.

It would be wonderful if you could join us, Jena, Lisa, Manfred, Michael, Rose, Stefan, Todd, & Tom


Additional Information about the event – the pdf

Community Activities – the pdf

Terms and Conditions – the pdf

Additional Information about The Pari Center – the pdf


June 14, 2023
June 20, 2023