ATH Editor-in-Chief's Commentary

This website, the ATH retreat center, and the process of creating them, has changed my life completely, irrevocable and definitely for the better.

Are you familiar with Goethe famous quote?

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

That could be the theme for this website. Frequently people ask me how the project began and I am not sure how to answer. Perhaps the answer is through boldness, and magic. I have wanted to create a retreat center since...well for about as long as I can remember. I wanted to create a place where people could come to learn and grow and change and break out of their destructive patterns and old ruts - a place where people could heal. I wanted to, but I never took the first step to begin it.

Then I met John one of the website founders. It was a chance meeting full of synchronicity. He had the idea and image of a website in his head and it wouldn't go away - but he had never done anything about it other than think about it. He told me about his idea. I casually said that I thought maybe I should be helping him create this. One thing led to another and we thought how wonderful it would be to connect the website to a retreat center creating both a virtual and a physical center of learning. We began, and to say that all manner of unforeseen events took place doesn't even begin to describe the events that followed. The people and resources we needed started to fall in our laps. We would have had to refuse to acknowledge them or to somehow keep our minds and our eyes continually closed in order to avoid them. After a while we started to trust the process more and more. This led to us seeing everything in a new light. If someone we needed volunteered to help us and we saw that as a blessing, then how did we know that the delay we were experiencing in some other part of the project was not an equal blessing? Since we had no proof one way or the other, we slowly decided to live our lives with that thought. Our whole philosophy of living started to change. We lived Goethe's couplets. No matter what happened, we kept to our commitment, we kept going and we kept expecting and receiving all sorts of unexpected assistance and blessings.

Once, when asked our goals, I replied that they were quite modest. We were interested in transforming the world one reader at a time. O.K. so maybe wanting to transform the world isn't such a modest goal, but we are going through tough times in this world and in order for the world to survive, a lot has to change. Some people are working to change the external structure; I am interested in changing the consciousness of individuals: the way they heal, live, use the world's resources, and treat each other and the world around them. I, for one, am not interested in sitting by idly while the world as we know it decays. I want to take action. I want to do something to help. Perhaps that makes me an activist? Well, if it does, I want to personally thank over 70 other activists without whom this website would not be in existence. I am deeply grateful for the more than 70 idealists who believed in this dream enough to lend their time, energy and expertise. I want to thank the ATH section editors for helping to make this happen.

I hope you enjoy the site. I hope reading it changes you and awakens you to new ideas and new paradigms, or deepens your appreciation of these paradigms. I hope it also strengthens your beliefs in the power of the individual, to help the whole by living as examples. Let's all live our lives consciously.

Welcome to ATH.



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