18 Comments

  1. Ianrowcliffe on May 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Chapter 1 nows seems lighter and easier in the book form. I remember how shocking I found it originally. Now, it provides a powerful point of departure, setting the scene for Linda’s notion of cathedral thinking… it is a powerful reminder of the enormity of the task mankind needs to embrace.



  2. Susan Garvin on August 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Linda, I’m listening again to all the calls, lessons etc as i drive into work and back (50 mins each way, great to have your company!). this morning i listened again to Call 1, and noted that you said you would like to get Bob Wall on one of the calls, probably when going into ‘handling difficult conversations’ – are you still considering that?
    I have to say it’s great listening to the calls several times, i always get something new or consolidate something from the last time!



  3. Ianrowcliffe on January 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Did you know that there is a horse, Rune? No, it is not Eihwaz: “The path is hard and lonely and there is no end to sight, ” but Ehwaz : this today looks like an ‘M’ as in mount or movement and progress – the essence of the horse: the mind will trust the body, the body will trust the mind.”

    But horses are not made to be alone… and that goes for me, too. How do you ‘feel’ about this?



  4. Ianrowcliffe on November 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Well, I must say I enjoyed the call. Linda has a way of recapping, but Mark ‘teased’ things forward and suddenly I found myself sharing Linda’s leaps of imagination. And ideas really began to flow.

    I even had a remarkable insight. At one point, the discussion was on ‘tapping and not taxing’.

    Unfortunately, this is not what has been happening in modern society and what we have been witnessing is the ‘disposable people’ phenomenon: people are used and then ‘thrown away’.

    However, I am pleased to say that recently this has not happened to me or my daughter. Because we have a ‘tethered’ or ‘connected perspective’, employers suddenly see the untapped potential and are investing in us. Education and resources are flowing our way because what we represent is not linear but exponential. One and one is NOT seen as two but INFINITY!

    That is the unseen message the horse conveys…



  5. Tara Costello-Ledwell on October 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Many thought provoking sections to chapter 1. I would like to start with a comment on Cathedral thinking. I find it a deeply stirring concept and not bringing much comfort at this point in my own leadership journey. As someone who has more recently been gaining positive momentum and a stronger Spirit in creating more of a life vision, I find the concept hard to digest. Possibility it is my ego or my age, but I want to embrace the joys and sorrows of the journey that I am on in ‘the now’. In order to keep going I need to celebrate the little victories and to stay strong and creative in building with my partner our businesses so that I/we can do more of the work I/we want to do in this world. I think I will tuck the concept away, as I am sure it will become more relevant at another point.

    Our society desperately needs more leaders with horse sensibilities. Leaders who can be more self-reflective in recognizing their own positive patterns and habits for leadership and the openness of mind and heart to see the patterns or beliefs that are hindering them. My horse has been an incredible teacher for me. Horse ownership has shone a big fat light on strengths of my being and undeniable areas for growth.

    I think is very powerful to note the challenge for leaders / managers to stay sensitive and compassionate in the face of the demands of good leadership. I think part of that is being able to stay compassionate with themselves and need to take extra care in managing the stresses and energies of carrying out visions for a better community, society, culture etc..

    I look forward to discussing further how business, politics, education, religion facilitate the ‘mistrust of the body’. And, the wisdom that can be gained from re-establishing the connection with mind, body and Spirit. As well, discussing how the horse and other animals can help re-ignite the connection for people. I would like to hear expansion on the idea “your body is the horse that you mind rides around on.” Look forward to our first call.
    Tara



  6. Joan Fast on October 30, 2011 at 2:14 am

    I have never heard the term “cathedral thinking” before, but it has really been resonating with me. It has been a very helpful re-frame for me in several areas of my life and it has come up in a few conversations with friends recently.

    I’m looking forward to reading more chapters and pleased to be part of the symposium.



  7. Ianrowcliffe on October 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Re:The dynamics of living and working at Apache Springs

    Before the ‘crash’ things were going so right, so right, weren’t they? Needs were being met like never before. It is like most things: you perfect and perfect such that the margin for error becomes less and less until one day, you cut things too fine and notice the impulsion of the energy you are now part of that suddenly doesn’t pass an obstacle and knocks things for six. Having fallen from two different horses in two consecutive days, I have been given a clear reality check as I bite the dust: get you head out of the clouds and come back down to earth, the horses impart so naturally and honestly. And so I am reminded of the notion of ‘from dust to dust’ and how all life is grown out of it, so that with our horses we may come to communicate at the cellular level, able then to share deep meaning with each other. Isn’t that the resonance in and of the Cathedral, says he, shaken and stirred:-)



  8. Susan Garvin on October 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I was very happy with the first chapter, because it seemed to me to blend, just as Linda says we must, ‘accepted’ ‘intellectual and academic’ thinking and ‘horse wisdom’. Since reading this chapter, I have also used the concept of ‘cathedral thinking’ a couple of times in discussions and found people fascinated and immediately saying ‘why yes, that is how it has to be!’ It is a concept that carries a huge message and I think Linda does so well here the way she uses it as ‘scaffolding’ to illustrate her several different points and to show how it can be applied to things as diverse as ‘a church, a business, or a mandate for social change’.
    There is a sort of ‘cathedral thinking’ tradition where I live, i.e. Tuscany, which involves the planting of olive trees. Olive trees are so central to the history livelihood and countryside of Tuscany (and of course elsewhere) – but olive trees take a very long time to grow to full size, so planting them, where farms are still oten family run affairs, is seen as an act for the future, for the great-grandchildren.
    I hope that this book will be able to break into the established worlds of philosophy, ethics, economics and so on. It is very challenging to hallowed concepts of how one should philosophise or look at social educational issues, leadership in politics, and so forth; and it is at the same time so startlingly ‘strange’ (for most people, not for those already signed up for this sort of thinking) in its style and mix with the apparently ‘flimsy new agey’ that it will have a hard time breaking through some mental shells, but given the ground-swell we are witnessing nowadays (I’m thinking of the ‘Indignant ones’ for example, the millions who marched against the Iraq war, the Arab Spring etc etc) I think it could find very fertile ground, it is a breath of fresh air in the stuffy same-old same-old writings on these topics. This attitude that anything which is not hard emotion-free science is dismissable (i.e. flimsy new-agey) is a tough nut to crack but this book will do its bit to crack it!
    I had an idea – why don’t we all, once the book it out, buy an extra copy and just leave it somewhere, where total strangers will find it and read it. We could leave a message inside saying ‘when you have finished this, buy your own copy and leave this one for a new person to discover’…? Leave it on a train, in a cathedral 🙂 or a cafè…..
    Linda – have you heard of or even read the historical novel ‘Sarum’ by Edward Rutherford? A significant chunk of that is dedicated to the story of the building of Salisbury Cathedral (and Stonehenge by the by) from a very individual point of view, i.e. the stone masons and others who actually did the work.
    Looking forward to re-re-reading Chapter one and talking about it.. do we have a date yet?
    All best, susan



  9. Larry Pucci on October 19, 2011 at 3:48 am

    This is great stuff. It will hopefully make the world better for horses and people, but in the mean time how about some bumper stickers so we can get the word out even more?



  10. Ian Rowcliffe on October 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    And yet, says he after coming back from cleaning out the stables, the nature of this dialogue is 90% non-verbal, isn’t it? It is more at ‘actions speak louder than words’, and the reason horses love their grooms. It is symbolized in those acts of healing by a simple touch with the simultaneous guiding epiphanies.



    • Sally Leong on November 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      I just attended a demonstration by the Gestalt Equine Institute and a discussion of what a baby CRITICALLY needs: touch, food, and movement were all cast in how horses can restore what the baby, now child or adult missed and has lead to psychological disorders or allowed the person to be more susceptible to assaults of life. The horse’s pelvic structure is identical to that of the human and the movement of the horse mimics that of the human when we are riding. This can bring one back to the womb or early days of being rocked or carried as a child. Grooming and caress which horses also need can be mutually beneficial. Our needs are in fact identical to create trust. The non judgmental behavior of horses opens doors to communication between people and the horse and the intimacy that may not be possible among humans. It is all about relationships which are less and less present in our world today, being replaced by cell phones, other technologies. Yes you keep up with what is going on but the deep relationships require presence, touch, sharing time and meals, nurturing and movement.

      When you travel to places where the people live in poverty you often notice the wealth they have in relationship even though they lack the basics like running water, sanitation etc.

      America is particularly stricken with this problem being a society of immigrants with a short national history. People were looking for land and opportunity which was not possible in the old world. This self reliant sense has lead to a health care system that is not inclusive but is exclusive. The United States remains the only industrialized, developed country without a nationalized health care system. Even insured people are denied selected services. We have not cleaned up superfund sites and the money is spent on litigation instead. We have not taken care of veterans who are coming home with PTSD and TBI, young men and women who have 50-60 years ahead of them if they do not commit suicide or become homeless and sick first. This is not a sign of herd behavior or cathedral thinking when we pollute our living world and throw away our human resources.

      The Native Americans have the concept of taking care of the earth for 7 generations in the future. This idea also embodies taking care of the people that are there and to come. This is cathedral thinking. We need systems level thinking for the sustainability of life on earth. Horses have been on the planet for about 50 million years surviving when many other creatures have disappeared. They have also sacrificed a great deal for man with 8 million dying in WWI in conflict alone. The challenge is to restore a sense of community and caring shown in the herd that has been replaced by short term quarterly profits, test scores, GDP, extractive economies, etc. We have human and natural capital to build and sustain instead at a spiritual and soul level as professed by renowned author and educator Parker Palmer and demonstrated by our horse friends.



      • LindaKohanov on December 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

        Hi Sally,

        Just read your succinct and very powerful overview of cathedral thinking issues we must address in the US. Bravo! Very inspiring and thought provoking!



  11. Ian Rowcliffe on October 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for commenting below, Linda. My daughter, Stephanie and I were thinking a lot about your notion of ‘taping but not taxing’, which also is part of ‘helping each other to bring out the best in each other’, isn’t it? All part of the idea, that relationships are more important than ‘holding’ territory if I have understood correctly.

    This does mark a strong contrast with the ‘Disposable People’ concept outlined by Kevin Bales, which is part of new forms of slavery, a phenomenon not only increasing but tending to characterize much of the economic drive financed by the monetary system.

    In sum, what we desperately need is enhancement and exemplification of this notion of ‘relationship’. It seems so much like Gandhi’s notion of extending the concept of family to our fellowman. Strangely, many people’s reactions to this, at the time, was that he was incredibly naive. And yet it does make perfect sense if we understand that diversity is the magic ingredient, which makes possible adaptation to a changing world.

    And so I was thinking about how the concept of ‘deep peace’ has helped to make a difference in terms of my feeling of responsiveness and resilience. What we need is a way of defining the ‘relationship over territory’ priority. Obviously, the word ‘love’ comes to mind but that term no longer tends to carry the emotional charge it once had. Bonds of endearment, sharing heart-space, heart-powered communication???? Whatever else, it most certainly is a contrast to the progressive alienation that has come to dominate, such that horse people use divergent terms such as ‘reaching out’ and ‘joining up’ … with respect to horses. Interesting that these terms are more processes rather than resulting products/concepts…. so I am reminded of notions like, ‘it is better to travel than to arrive’ or ‘the medium is the message’… so this tends towards, the idea that the key is the quality of the dialogue we have with those around us and that this of itself produces well being.



  12. Linda Kohanov on October 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you Ian, Annemieken,Paula, Arieljoy, and Beth for being the first to comment on the web symposium and the chapter. I’m looking forward to our first call on Chapter One in November! Your thoughtful comments on the chapter are much appreciated Ian. I will address some of your potent questions and comments in the call. But I just had to let you know that it warmed my heart to hear that the equine “concept” of deep peace helped you sleep better!

    There is much rich material in what the horses have to teach us. It takes a lot of time and rewriting to try to translate their wisdom into words, so I’m glad the revised version of the chapter was useful. Though I’m still deep into composing the later chapters before the final deadline in February, writing this book has already been an intense journey of reflection and transformation for me. I’ve learned an incredible amount from looking at leaders throughout history who I now believe were successful because they had horse wisdom on their side. And there’s some amazing new scientific information I’m eager to share. Thank you for answering the call to explore and imagine ever more effective and compassionate ways of leading and collaborating!



  13. Ian Rowcliffe on October 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    The change to the chapter was very helpful. If I understood correctly, Linda spelled out much more clearly the message from the horses by means of the concept ‘deep peace’. This reflects a way of being – a serene feeling – (my experience of it) such that you don’t create false scenarios and pseudo panic states, but rather keep a healthy perspective that makes it possible to experience life in a balanced fashion, avoiding non-beneficial outcomes and welcoming ‘in’ what is favourable – ‘what is and wanting to happen’. What could be useful here would be some examples…

    P.S. Just dwelling on the notion of ‘deep peace’ made me sleep much better last night:-)



  14. Ian Rowcliffe on October 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    And so there is a second parallel phase of ‘crisis’ to be expected. Linda’ points out that even today, like the assault of mass transit on Gaudi’s cathedral, the ‘way of the horse’ will meet unforeseen threats of unimaginable proportion from today’s perspective. What we are looking at is a battle of survival. So the obvious next question is how to prepare for this? One of the directions, Linda seems to be suggesting is for an enhanced expression of horse wisdom that is able to be understood broadly and not just by specialists working with horses. What forms might this take?

    Personally, I think that this should reflect a specific style of English. Traditional academic English becomes so embedded that it is ultra conservative, making change and adaptability very difficult indeed. On the other hand, horse wisdom speaks of trancing and dancing in each future -oriented moment, drawing on our most creative aspect, our ability to discover freedom by means of play.

    Lately, I have noticed a strong wave of operant conditioning, even in Natural horsemanship circles, which reduces the horse’s natural playfulness and replaces it with conditioned behavior. Too much structuring may mean the ghost is lost in the machine that is created. Robot horses aren’t going to be very helpful. In short, we need to understand and enhance Linda’s way of looking at the horse, much, much more. Clearly, the 90% non-verbal side of communication doesn’t lend itself to verbalization easily – by definition. In fact, we need to do the impossible to make the future possible. But how?



    • Sally Leong on November 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      The work of Carolyn Resnick and her Waterhole Rituals addresses the respect of the horse’s spirit and creativity while engaging the horse’s lifelong trust to gain a leadership position with the horse using its own language. The horse retains its spirit and playfulness. This takes time just sharing territory which humans do not even do within a family context any longer let alone a business or community environment. Rush Rush Rush. You go to a 60 minute board meeting and make critical decisions but without a human context of deep community as is found in the herd.

      Likewise many natural horsemenship programs use pressure/release as a means of creating subservience rather than trust and relaxation and leadership with free will to follow. The methods are co-opted forms of nature. Licking and chewing is viewed incorrectly in this context.



  15. Ian Rowcliffe on October 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Well, what a shock the first chapter presents: Linda compares her experience to being hit by a tram and dying a pauper’s death and the inference is that people problems are the cause. Is this a plea from us, the herd – not to shoot the messenger?

    More specifically the blame is supposed to have been the onset of the economic crisis, but is that really acceptable? (We are always going to be held accountable no matter what). Of course, I know it is easy to be wise in hindsight. However, surely, the answers at that time were not enough to meet the circumstances. So the really interesting question is what do you know now that could prevent such a crash and meet current needs more effectively? That said, I think this is a courageous, honest and extremely helpful warning to us – presented in perfect prose.

    P.S. I have a lot more questions to come:-)