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Another period ends. A new octave closes. The Dominican Group celebrated the last Work weekend of 2003 (during November) concluding a year charged with activities which have been highly enriching: for the first part of the year, among others, the International Seminar held in January, Lent, the Sufi Seminar led by sheik Jelaluddin Loras, and Holy Week; during the second part, the celebration of Mr.Gurdjieff's death and the Meditation Seminar. As well as, the  International Seminars in Germany and Texas  during the summer, weekly meetings for each group (consisting of intense work such as what we have undertaken in the past months on fear), morning exercises, monthly Work weekends in addition to the multiple activities that maintain the Dominican Group constantly active.††††
One way or another the closing of a period is for each group member a way of making a tally of individual and group work, a moment to quietly reflect and above, all to feel the inner transformations that we are experiencing. An closing that culminated in a Meditation Seminar that placed us in front of our deepest nature and served us to settle, in a much more passive way, all the active efforts made during the year.††
Some members of our group wrote of the impression  that these activities left in them:††
On Meditation
"The seminar (Meditation) was expected. Most of us felt the need to collect our selves. In my case, I had as a reference the seminar held two years ago, since due to the birth of my daughter, I did not attend the last one.
I remembered the seminar of 2001 with a certain hardness and effort, sensations that I did not feel in the same way in this one.
In this one a special energy was produced, an inner well being, a pleasant serenity that still now can be felt.
I believe some of all this, was the result of Jose's readings, which became valuable tools to clear and level the path towards the light, contributing to 'tune'  our disposition to meditate and to achieve that force of the Group that occurs when we walk in unison.††
Incorporating the subject of death and the reading of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", contributed greatly to the practical aspect of our lives."
J. L.
After the Meditation seminar
"l could talk about  many things that happened in me since the meditation seminar, but there are two things that touched me the most. One has to do with my attention; the state of being here and now has increased to the point that l am often surprised at the clarity of the moment. Sometimes it is like l am appreciating the intensity of colors for the first time in my life, I am much more conscious of my surroundings, of the people around me, of my emotional states.
Another thing is that after the seminar, in my meditations at home, l reached a place inside of me that brought a vague memory. It's like inside of me lives this child that could remain alone and enjoy her own company. Meditation brings back the same sensation of hugging me internally with a quality of love l think only a child can give".
The exercise of noticing
"The exercise of noticing and confront our fears has had a lasting effect on me. As a result of the exercise I now see that fears are a constant part of my life. In that part of the exercise in which I had to notice one fear of mine each day, I began to take stock of the vast number of fears that I actually have. In that part of the exercise in which I had to face three fears, I actually confronted a series of fears that are interconnected and related. Finally, the exercise has made me more conscious of how my fears are an integral part of my personality and serve to influence a great many of my actions (and non-actions)".
Experiences during morning exercise
"I still have fresh in me the experience of today's morning exercise. Now that we are at last working with the 'Latifas'  I have been experiencing new things during the last exercises, but today I have been able to feel the strength and depth of this exercises. I believe that the new element, when one takes in air, experiencing 'I', with all of my being, has agitated everything within me.
I will try to explain this: It is something completely new, the ability to make contact with the whole of myself in unison and later connect with the point or organ indicated in the retention and exhalation. At times I can't believe it, and my ordinary mind tries to take me out of there at all cost, but the work continues, practically on its own. When I am able to reach that point It hardly requires effort. It really is something marvelous. I believe that it has something to do with faith in the Work, faith in my own Work, as well as faith in the Work of the group.
Today I had the sensation that I was a real person, as if the atmosphere was so light that for a moment I had the impression that there was only me there, but then came the certainty that we were all one, pursuing the same end.††††
I also believe that this comes as a result of the Work that we have been doing with meditation. Just last night, Josť surprised us with a group meditation which was really intense. I must confess that I was exhausted. At one point I thought that I would be unable to continue due to the pain in my back and my concentration being so poor.   I was complaining inwardly, why didnt we do Movements instead?...      
But I continued the effort of being there and trying to let go.
If I would use one word: It  would be 'Trust'.
It seems like today I am seeing the fruits of last nights efforts together with those of the Meditation Seminar, which constitute an extraordinary experience that I must try to express with words.†
'I believe in the Work' "
M. L.
A very remarkable toast made during the celebration of Mr. Gurdjieff anniversary:
I toast so that we will never forget what our soul have experienced  as absolute truth. Even if sometimes we tent to lose the thread of consciousness.
And I toast  to that,  "which never changes"   that  will give us the strength to persevere.
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