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Each Part Does Its Job

As you put together this group of people, you should be open to all different types and, if possible, you should actively look for different kindss of people, specially the ones that you wouldn't usually associate with. There are so many ways to classify people into "types" . In our case, we would see how they are most useful to the radio as a whole, what role they can play. The downside of this process is that different people tend to not get along. If you are in the center, one of your main roles is allowing this friction to be there but not to become so constant or harsh that it will dissolve or splinter the group. There are no hard rules in how to do this of course. It is an art that will change from day to day. You should also be aware that there are some frictions and some types of people that are not welcome and should be banished in any way possible. How to tell the difference?

Focus on the task. If each element is doing their job, then the tast will move forward. If certain elements aren't working, maybe there are parts missing. Or maybe a particular part is inactive. But also, maybe, a certain pairt is working actively against the process. Watch carefully and, once you have seen the root cause, act swiftly yet subtly. Don't allow your reaction to become even more of a disruption!

Another aspect of this group work is recognizing not only what you and others are good at, but also what you and they are not good at and allowing for that to be. Some people may be excellent communicators but terrible at creative work. Others may be perfect writers but unable to speak directly to anyone. Maybe someone has a special talent for preparing an invocational space but can't be there when the invocation occurs! This is all fine and desirable. Our natural tendency is to make sure that everyone has the same experience, that everyone contributes the same "amount" (as if such a contribution could possibly be measured) or that nobody "slack" off. But this tendency is contrary to a group invocation of this nature. Allow for talents and allow for lacks. Allow for your own lacks as well! If someone can do something better than you can, let them do it! Don't let ego, shame or status stand in your way.

You can look at each person as a mystery waiting to be unraveled. As they show up and approach you (or as you approach them), you can ask yourself: "what is their role? what will they contribute? what needs to come out of them?" Some people may at first seem like a really bad fit. They don't get along with other people in the group, they don't joke in the same way, they reject the natural vibe of the group. If that doesn't make them run away, then don't push them. Observe carefully. Something is hiding behind the mask of their personality. That something has pushed them to come to your group and is keeping them there, despite the resistance. What is it? Think of it as a key that you need to find, a key that will unlock the gift that they are hiding.

Solo Experiment 1: WATCHING THE BAND

  1. Rent a concert video of either a rock band or a jazz band. ("Woodstock" would be a good pick but any concert video will do.)

  2. Prepare to watch it alone with a very specific purpose: to observe the interaction and the different parts of the structure here seen as a "band".

  3. Place your attention on the drummer for one whole song. Look at him or her whenever possible. When they're not visible, listen to the sound of the drums and to the effect that they are having on the rest of the band. Try, to the extent of your listening abilities, to listen and watch the whole of the sound from the perspective of the drummer and of the sound of the drums.

  4. Now for the next song switch your attention to the bass player (the "low" guitar with only 4 strings...ok?) and try to do the same. Feel the low rumble of the bass notes and feel the way they affect the rest of the band. How does the rest of the sound resonate with their low vibrations? How does the change of notes in the bass alter the basic mood and architecture of the rest of the music?

  5. Now for the next song switch to the rhythm guitar (if there are two guitar players) or to the piano and do the same thing.

  6. Keep shifting from one member of the band to the other, trying to focus your attention on them and to feel the difference in perspective from one instrument to the other.

Experiment: The Conversation

Try this experiment you are in a room talking to 3 or more people.

1- Without announcing this in any way to the others or making any move  that will signify that you are doing something strange, quietly within you make a clear statement that the experiment has begun. It will only last about 5 to 10 minutes.

2- Look at your companions carefully but without disrupting the flow of conversations. Take note of each one's role. Is there one who mostly talks? Is there one who mostly feeds the talker back? Is there one that simply listens quietly? Is there one that constantly changes the subject? Is there one that keeps watch on time, safety and other basic material needs? And so on... try to see what role each one is playing.

3- Notice your own role. What role have you been playing? Has it changed since the experiment began?

4- Now smoothly and very gently (VERY GENTLY SO AS NOT TO CALL ATTENTION TO IT) shift roles. Change your role and pay attention to how the others shift as you shift (or maybe some of them don't shift at all).

Do this experiment with different groups of people. After the experiment is over and you are alone again, write down your observations.


Experiment: What Can I Do?

Sit down with a notepad and pen. Make 3 columns in the piece of paper with these headings:



  3. What Is Terribly Difficult For Me To Do

Now start filling in the columns. As you think of particular actions write them down in the appropiate column. Try to be as objective as possible. Don't judge yourself in any way. Simply be clear about what you have observed. Only list actions you have actually tried. It's not enough to just imagine that you CAN or CAN'T do a particular action. If you haven't tried it, you don't know. Be very specific and limited to actions you have tried and with which you already have a very specific (and memorable) experience. The list may change in time, so don't worry about filling in every action or about having placed it in the "right" column. Simply write them down as they come and in the column that most seems to fit them.

Allow a week to go by. Then sit down and read the list carefully. Read it as if someone had written it about you. Feel your emotional reactions. If you feel a particularly strong reaction, breathe deeply 3 times and in the exhale attempt to release the tension.

Allow another week to pass and read it again. Follow the same instructions but also add to the lists if something new comes to mind.

Save this list. It will be useful in the future.

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It takes a particular kind of effort to release the idea/assumption that you are or can be "good" at anything or everything. It may simply be cultural, or instilled in us by our parents, or carried in the DNA as a recurring confusion between the individual and the group. Wherever it comes from, it's there and it must be released in order to form the shamanic radio. Find your spaces where you can truly contribute and concentrate on them. Help others find theirs (without jumping to conclusions too soon!). When the roles fall into place the radio starts to work. As simple as that. For that to happen, at least a certain amount of our vanity has to fall. Repeat after me: "There are some things that I simply can't do..."

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Group Experiment 1: Collages

Preparation: For the following experiment you will need at least 4 people, but it can work with more. To prepare for the session (or to start it) you will need to put together (or simply bring out of the garage!) a box full of old magazines. These should be magazines that you don't mind destroying permanently. If you are unsure about any of them, take them out. The ones left behind should be free of any attachment. On the other hand, the magazines should be colorful and full of photographs or drawings. News magazines, fashion magazines, comic books, National Geographics, Computer magazines, etc can all work well for this. You will also need several glue sticks and at least 100 pieces of white and/or black cardboard. These should be in different sizes, from small 8' x 11' to large poster size. The exercise can last anything from a few hours to a whole day (with breaks for eating). It's up to your group to decide on their level of commitment.

  1. Arrange a large table so that the glue sticks and carboard pieces are on end and the box of magazines is on the floor at the other end.
  2. Read these instructions out loud to everyone that is going to participate and make sure that they are all clear. Answer any questions and clear up any confusion BEFORE you begin. If someone asks a question that is not answered by these instructions make a quick decision and move on. Don't get bogged down in theoretical or legalistic discussions, as this would be directly opposite to the spirit of the exercise.
  3. The group is first divided into three sub groups: the Selectors, the Cutters and the Composers. As the day progresses people will move around from one sub group to another, so there should be no attachment to any particular subgroup.Depending on the size of the group, each subgroup may be composed of one, two or three people. The three subgroups should be roughly the same size. If this is not possible. the Composers should have the greater number.
  4. The job of the Selectors is to go through the magazines and choose specific pages that call their interest. Once a page has been selected it should be pulled out of the magazine (by removing the staples) and handed over to the Cutters.
  5. The job of the Cutters is to cut particular pictures or words or phrases out of the pages that are handed to them.
  6. The job of the Composers is to compose collages out of the cut pictures and phrases that the Cutters hand to them.
  7. Time is divided into 15 minute work sessions (with short silences in betweer that function as defining breaks). At the end of each session each person hands over their work to the other group. The Composers place their finalized collages on another table. The Selectors pick a new random batch of magazines from the box and return the untouched or broken magazines back to the box AND they hand the selected pages over to the Cutters. The Cutters hand their cut pictures to the Composers. If they still have a surplus of selected pages these should be returned to the box. If a Composer has an unfinished collage, it should be handed to another Composer to finish. If a Composer has extra cut pictures that haven't been used, they should be handed to another Composer. If someone finishes (i.e. feels that they have done all they can) before the 15 minute session is up, they can simply sit quietly until the work session ends. Don't try to suggest or help the other subgroups or members of your own subgroup in what they are doing. Just do your part!
  8. Every  2,3 or 4 work sessions, everyone will switch roles. (The number will depend on how much total time your group has to work with.)
  9. At the end of the entire session, there should be many collages that have been created. You should leave some time for the whole group to explore their work.

Some people will have a lot of trouble in the role of Composers, either because they will be at a loss of "what to do" or because their idea of "what to do" is so specific and clear that they won't want to let their collage be finished by another composer. It is crucial that the 15 minute work session be respected religiously to avoid these attachments. The same kind of attachments may occur with the Selectors or the Cutters, although most people find it easier to "let go" in these roles. Besides the actual construction work, make sure you place at least part of your attention on the FLOW of energy and make sure this FLOW never stops. If you notice an obstruction, unblock it by pushing the rules!

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Once the radio starts to come together, people will move towards their respective roles. In this process, your main function as a host and organizer is to STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Allow them to find their own place in the radio. If they seem to be at a loss, look for their strengths and focus on those. This will stabilize their position and function as well as adding an esential element to the Invocational Shamanic Radio that we are in the process of constructing. It is from these individual strengths, rather than a preplanned idea of the results, that the true organic radio will come from.


1. Divide the group in couples.
2. Sit in front of each other.
3. Do a rapid, three to five minutes session of quick question and answer.  One person asks the other a question and the other answers as quickly as possible, not waiting to form an answer.  Just blurt out the answer quickly.
4. The questions should refer to any combination of the following phrases:

                                       Birds fly.

                                       Fish swim.

                                       Children play.


Allowing each part to do its job (we are not all the same!)

We are not all the same, allow each part to do what it does best (usually being what it enjoys the most!), allow each part to make its own choices for its own purposes



The Parts of a Radio ] Bringing the People Together ] [ Each Part Does Its Job ]

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