The following description is from our Narrative Description of Activities in our recently-submitted Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption to the IRS. We will be updating this with a more web-friendly version soon, but thought we would share this with you now as we go through this exciting period of forming our organization.
Resonance Path Institute (the “Institute”) was formed to benefit the public through promoting and teaching practices which improve and develop an individual’s capacities for a certain quality of awareness that the Institute refers to as resonance, of which there are three forms:
- Inner Resonance: including self-awareness, inner congruence and peace of mind;
- Shared Resonance: including communication, collaboration, and collective belonging in a group or community;
- Universal Resonance: including contributing to and participating in something larger than the self, serving the public good or the universal whole.
The Institute has developed a set of practices it calls Resonance Practices by which people can more easily cultivate these capacities, and teaches these practices to all who have interest in them. The Institute believes that such capacities when attained by individuals will be of benefit to themselves and those around them in their personal, relational, community and professional lives. Benefits include improved mental health, elevated happiness and life satisfaction, stronger personal relationships, higher productivity and contribution at work and in the community, and reduced stress. This is the feedback the Institute has received from the individuals who have participated in the Institute’s educational programs.
Location and Team
The Institute’s activities are conducted primarily at its office and classroom in Seattle, Washington. Some of its activities will reach online to people in other parts of the country and around the world, but these online activities will also be led from the office in Seattle.
All the Institute’s activities are currently conducted by the founding team of Chun Cheng, Chief Conceptual Architect and Joe Shirley, Executive Director.
The Chief Conceptual Architect and Executive Director conduct their activities as full-time, unpaid volunteers. Staff will remain unpaid volunteers until such time as funding from exempt activities and donations is sufficient to hire paid staff including Executive, Operations, and Program roles.
Programs: Feelingwork Facilitation
Resonance Feelingwork is a practice by which people bring enhanced awareness to their sense of feeling, mood and emotion in order to integrate conflicting parts of themselves and strengthen their personal experience of inner resonance. One of the best ways to learn this practice is through skilled, one-on-one facilitation.
Benefits of participating in Feelingwork Facilitation include reduced stress responses and a greater sense of well being. For example, one recent student, an ER doctor, greatly reduced his inner anxiety, a feeling of being in a “battle zone” on the job. He became more present, more calm and focused at work, but also aware of deeper motivations beneath the anxiety. As a result he was able to consider a larger career change he had been avoiding, and contemplate moving into work that would be both more satisfying to himself and make a greater contribution to his community.
Prior to founding the Institute, founder and Executive Director Joseph Shirley worked with hundreds of students while developing Feelingwork. Here are a couple of typical testimonials speaking to the benefits in individual’s lives:
The first set of feelings that I moved had to do with feeling unsupported in my work, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and alone with it all. Within weeks I felt a spaciousness in my life. I didn’t feel stressed out any more. I wasn’t getting overwhelmed. All of that just kind of stopped happening. Without any conscious effort, I was just living differently, naturally, without even having to think about it.” – T.W.
“In my past, I learned some coping skills, but there was a feeling that would pop up from time to time. It was the scariest feeling that I’ve ever experienced, and my body would just get trapped in that terror. When we transformed that feeling, it was like I just created a bridge to a higher power. That, wow, this is on the other side of that fear, this unconditional love and safety, and everything is OK. To this day, and it’s been a year, I can’t even remember what that feels like, to have that fear. That was the biggest limitation I’ve had in my entire life. I’m now a budding film director, producer and writer. That is where I’ve always wanted to go since I was a little kid.” – G.R.
The Institute currently has the capacity to work with only one or two individuals at a time for this program.
Programs: Fieldwork Facilitation for Individuals
Resonance Fieldwork is a practice by which people expand their awareness of self into the collective experience of a group, thereby enhancing shared resonance within the group. One of the best ways to learn this practice is through direct experience.
Benefits of participating in Fieldwork Facilitation include strengthening intuition, becoming more connected with one’s body, experiencing a group energy or flow, enhancing creativity, and others. In the months leading up to founding the Institute, the founders conducted a pilot program testing their ideas. This program was called Resonance Circle. It ran once a week, two-hour sessions, for two eight-week series and was open for people to drop in to experience Fieldwork. Here are a few quotes from interviews with participants a month or two after the first series:
There were times we were asked to put aside our thinking mind and only pay attention to our body or intuition, that was very helpful for me personally because I tend to use my mind too much. I tend to analyze a lot. So that was a really good practice to develop this faculty that really explores another dimension of human consciousness, another dimension of the world.” – J.H.
“It was kind of like exploring another way of being; what is it like to be in your senses, in your felt perception, and sensing others around you but also staying really connected in here, and then seeing what happens. It’s magical what happens out there when you’re staying connected in here.” – R.M.D.
“The most powerful thing about the image sculptures [a Fieldwork method] was the ability to stand back and experience the physical manifestation of forces inside yourself from a third-party perspective. I mean, when do we get that opportunity?” – J.H.
The Institute plans to open a new series of these opportunities to learn the Fieldwork practice in fall 2016, and will host these events at the classroom in its current office space.
Programs: Fieldwork Facilitation for Existing Groups
Later in 2016 the Institute will begin to seek opportunities to facilitate Resonance Fieldwork experiences for existing organizations and communities. The Institute intends to prioritize working with groups sharing values and purposes similar to the Institute’s.
The benefits of doing Resonance Fieldwork for communities and organizations include more cohesive identity, greater creative collaboration to solve common challenges, reduced group conflict, enhanced integration of differences into the diverse texture of the group, increased loyalty and retention, among others. These benefits ripple outward to the public at large.
About eight months before founding the Institute, the founders tested their methods with a small group of people who were working to create a new retreat center in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. The founders conducted a strategic visioning session with this group for a single day, about six hours in total, using Fieldwork techniques. Here are a few quotes from a followup interview one month later:
Some of the hardest intellectual work I’ve done for a long time, some of the hardest emotional work I’ve done for a long time, but the results at the end of the day, I was just… I was so excited about the results at the end of the day that I could hardly move. [laughter] And then we’ve done the work since the session with you, just building on it, and it’s gonna be marvelous.” – L.M.
“You know, identifying in myself what core fear I have, what thing I have that I do not want to experience, that runs much of what I do. … And now, in the light of that, when I have different emotional reactions to situations, or when I’m examining what’s happening in my life, I have a completely different context to look at it in. And it’s just an amazing new way of looking at the world.” – J.S.
“A lot of the techniques that I’ve used are things that you do to take your logical brain out of the picture. This was better, because it took the logical brain and turned that into really deep introspection. So I was surprised that it worked at all. It actually worked really really well, and … it’s something that’s continued to give me insight in the month or month and a half since we’ve done it. So that was really surprising. I wasn’t expecting that. And I definitely wasn’t expecting to get long term benefits out of a day of doing strategic visioning.” – D.M.
“I guess the biggest part that surprised me was how the experiential work that you did enhanced the more traditional planning. I don’t think we would have come up with the same number of ideas. … The work that you did going back and forth between the nonlinear and the linear, and the experiential and the more strategic planning stuff, I think it teases up more ideas, and makes you think in different ways.” – W.W.
This Fieldwork Facilitation for Existing Groups will be conducted at the places of business, community meeting centers, and other spaces accessible to each group. The Institute will charge fees that will be set by comparison with similar staff development programs and approved by the Board.
Programs: The Resonance Learning Community
The Institute has begun building a website capable of hosting an active learning community at ResonancePath.org. Planned components of this learning community include:
- Video conferences for demonstrations, group exercises, lectures, Q/A sessions, breakout practice sessions, and more.
- Online forums for in-depth discussion of Resonance Path philosophy and Resonance Practices, personal learning stories, and other community explorations.
- Learning modules containing video, audio, written articles and guides, and other material for study and conversation.
- Opportunities for participants to contribute to shaping the learning programs and provide feedback.
The Institute’s intention is to support each participant in being able to learn Resonance Practices and apply them to their unique personal and professional needs. Benefits to individual participants will mirror those experienced in the Feelingwork Facilitation and Fieldwork programs. In addition, participants will apply their learning to their individual personal, relational, community and professional contexts.
Some participants will learn methods to use in their counseling or coaching practices. Others may apply what they learn in the classroom or the boardroom. Still others may use them to assist their families or communities to thrive. In the collaborative environment of the Learning Community, each person will be supported in discovering the best ways to apply Resonance Practices to their unique situations.
Funding for the Resonance Learning Community will come primarily from affordable monthly subscription fees.
Programs: The Resonance Library
Although the Institute anticipates being able to offer reduced fees to participants in the Resonance Learning Community through fundraising efforts, not everyone has the interest or can afford the time to participate in an online learning community. For all other people interested in learning Resonance Practices, the Institute plans to make all its practices available to the public free of charge through the online Resonance Library.
The Resonance Library will include articles, e-books, videos, and other media presentations of Resonance Path philosophy and Resonance Practices. Available benefits to participants will span the full range of those experienced in all the Institute’s other programs, depending on the engagement of the individual student.
Because the Resonance Library will be hosted on the same website as the Resonance Learning Community, and will consist largely of materials developed for the Community, costs for the Library will be funded primarily through revenue generated by the Learning Community.
Programs: Future Activities
The Institute is fully committed to its educational mission and anticipates designing and offering additional programs to the public in alignment with its charitable purpose. It envisions presenting public discussions groups, forums, panels, lectures, or other similar programs in the future to educate the public about the opportunities for benefit inherent in Resonance Practices.
The Institute also envisions creating more powerful learning experiences by applying the principles of resonance to the design of new programs. Possibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Workshops or participatory performances using improvisational or community theater forms to explore social justice or diversity issues.
- Films that teach through story.
- Conferences or festivals aimed at sharing, promoting, and teaching resonance-compatible methodologies for public benefit.
- Public ceremonies or events where participants collectively employ Resonance Practices to explore and address social and/or economic issues.
The Institute recognizes that its success in achieving its exempt purpose depends on reaching a wide audience. Delivering Institute programs with excellence is the foundation of this effort. In support of this commitment, a significant portion of staff time will be devoted to a) maintaining a vibrant website and reaching out to other online communities, b) personally connecting with other individuals and communities.