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Guy Hoffman / January Seminar, 2005

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I AM

Guy Hoffman / January Seminar, 2005

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Guy Hoffman and the Theater Group/ Santo Domingo, January Seminar - 2005

I Am

 Guy Hoffman

The days at the Gurdjieff Dominican Group start at 7am coming to a close around 11pm. I was allotted one hour a day to rehearse members of the Theatre Group for a staged-reading of my play, “The Dancing Siamese Triplets.”  Two actors dropped out and I had to make changes again in all ten scripts, eliminating all the swear words because children would be in attendance. Some actors are late; some don’t even show up. I can only work on the scripts at night, which puts me to bed around 2am. I was exhausted … and terrified that my dream of so many years to have my play performed for a Gurdjieff group was not going to happen.  I asked Jose if I could put on some scenes from the play, complaining that I didn’t have enough time to put on the entire play. He said I should go on with doing the play. 

I was told that I was going to be the ‘supervisor” which meant that I had to assign people to various work activities, make announcements, ring the bell every half hour for an exercise and to make sure everything was running smoothly.  I was given this assignment because Jose said I was “giving up” on doing the Movements. It was not true. I tried, over and over again, to focus my attention on the Movements but my thoughts were on my play. There was nothing I could do about it

During a General Meeting I made the comment that I felt like I was in Hell.

I was on the brink of a hysterical breakdown. It was the 6th or 7th day of the 10-day seminar, more changes had to be made in the scripts and I wasn’t even sure the Dominican actors understood my nervous, excitable directions. I made the decision, without consulting with anyone that I was not going to participate in the Movements class. I had to take the time to work on the scripts. The exercise for that day was to see how we could be more kind and loving to others. At the first ring of the bell to remind us of the exercise, I was sitting at a table making the necessary changes in the scripts, when I was overwhelmed with feelings of kindness, compassion and love for myself. Tears welled up in my eyes.

I returned to doing the Movements and continued with my participation in all the other activities and work assignments, including the Zikrs.

On the day of the reading, we never had one run-though of the entire play, one actor was reading the script for the first time, and it was decided to do the second act after the dinner celebration which included the drinking of wine, beer and rum. There was a marked difference between the reading of the first act and the second act.

I thanked Jose for giving me the opportunity to work to make my dream come true.

Something strange was happening. My body was going berserk. It had a mind of its own and without any encouragement from me wanted to hug, and I mean hug, and kiss every woman, man and child in sight. It was like my body was frigid for 74 years and the kindness, compassion and love that I felt for myself was now spreading to include everyone. I can only say that I felt like a little boy who was so happy.

I know that I would never have had this loving experience of myself if it wasn’t for the love Jose Reyes permeates from his Being. He allowed me the freedom to be real. And the freedom to discover a part of me that I didn’t even know existed.

I sincerely wish to thank all the participants at the seminar that gave me the impression by their kind words and helpful suggestions that they were all looking out for me. And to my wonderful actors who will always remain in my memory with love and gratitude. And to my wife, Avvie, who when I told her I didn’t want to go to the seminar, wrinkled her face into sadness.

When I arrived back in New York and I was walking through the air terminal, I said out loud to myself—“I-AM-A-NEW-MAN, I-AM-A-NEW-MAN.

 

Guy




 

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