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"Something" Happening in the Field

This blog continues the series of excerpts from my book. In this piece, I discuss the experience of connecting deeply and the field in which connection is held. Included, you’ll see that I’ve quoted one of the participants from the dissertation study that I conducted on coherence.

“Something” happened.

In the sessions with my study participants, “something” happened. The participants left the sessions deeply moved, connected, full of love, calm, and mystified. “Something” had happened, but they were not exactly sure what that “something” was. Three weeks after his session, Alex explained:

I don’t fully understand all the magic that happened, whether it was biological, spiritual, energy flow, or a combination, but I believe the experience of it opened me up to understanding there are beautiful and deep ways of connecting that I had not experienced quite like before.

He didn’t fully understand what that “something” was, but he did know that the experience changed him.

Coherence opens the way for a mystical experience.

It is an experience that seems to occur in one’s consciousness and across members of a group’s consciousness and could be described as a spiritual experience. And what do I mean by spiritual experience? I’m not talking about religiosity, dogma, or a passage from the Bible. I’m talking about “something” touched directly, encountered, that involves the core of our being while simultaneously encompassing the whole of the Universe.

I like Benefiel’s[1] definition of spirituality: “the human spirit, fully engaged.” It is of the spirit and an inner, subjective focus in lieu of outer behaviors that can be measured and evaluated, and it is closely connected with values[2].

This enchanted, ephemeral phenomenon binds to a group of individuals in an otherworldly, unified field where there is nonduality and a union of sorts. The field can be found in the collective consciousness of the group members. Some say it is a living entity unto itself, a tendril of the Divine, actively participating in the group’s shared experience. The late Terry Patten, for example, called it a “larger tide of living intelligence,”[3] and Scharmer[4] described a women’s circle practice that invoked the field, acknowledging it as the eighth member of the circle.

In this nonduality with the field, group members remain individuals, but at the same time, they become more. In groups I facilitate and am part of, we begin by intentionally contacting and entering this space. In an Emergent Dialogue[5] group I was engaged in, we began each session with a meditation followed by sharing how we were experiencing the field. Our sense of it, or how it felt, changed each time.

I remember comments like, “I feel drawn to the field,” “It feels like a pool of warm water inviting me to jump in,” and “a spark to the field.” In my healing circle, we imagine ourselves as light beings in a circle in the astral realm.

As I said, many of us believe that the field is part of a larger Field: the Universe, Spirit, the All There Is. And that by touching into the field, we are touching the Infinite.


[1] Benefiel, M. (2005). Soul at work: Spiritual leadership in organizations. Church Publishing. p. 9.

[2] Astin, A., Astin, H., & Lindholm, J. (2011). Cultivating the spirit: How college can enhance students’ inner lives. Jossey-Bass. p. 4.

[3] Patten, T. (2010, October 23). What’s emerging from the collective field? [Blog]. Beyond Awakening Series.

[4] Scharmer, C. O. (2016). Theory U: Leading from the future as it emerges (2nd ed.). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

[5] Thomas Steininger and Elizabeth Debold facilitate and teach Emergent Dialogue through their organization, evolve World:


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