Ängsbacka - No Mind Festival
I have been attending the Insight Meditation Community of San Francisco (IMCSF) meditation group sittings for the last two years. In addition I have done day-long and multi-day 'silent meditation retreats' both there and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I have also been seen at Harbin Hot Springs jumping from hot to cold in search of inner meaning. And on a lighter note at four Burning Man Festivals and two Decompressions. On informing my Burning Man friends of my pending flight to Iceland and Norway Lisa H. linked me up with Liam who was heading to Sweden via Iceland. On inquiring why he was headed to Sweden he pointed me to the Ängsbacka web site. A friend of his had recommended this festival although he hadn't been himself. On checking it out it was immediately obvious to me that I also had to attend. The festival appropriately was called the "No Mind Festival".
2005 -- July 8 to 21 -- 2 weeks as a participant - PHOTO ALBUM
After a spectacular two sunny days in Oslo, Norway I caught a bus to Molkom which is just north of Karlstad in Sweden and the home of a converted farm called Ängsbacka. On the bus I met two wonderful people who made obviously by their backpacks were heading to the 'No Mind Festival'. The short walk from the bus stop to the farm gave me a glimpse of the type of people. No 'flower power 'people just a variety of people from 1 to 70 years old. Families, couples and singles. I felt a little out of place at registration as although advertised as an international 'english' speaking conference everybody spoke to me in Swedish. I soon found out that approximately 80% of the people attending were Swedish, a further 10% were from Norway or Denmark, and the rest were from just about everywhere else. Not surprisingly of the four people from the United States all were from San Francisco. Later I was to find that even in a workshop in which I was the only non-swede that everyone would speak english just for my benefit ... without complaint or even a suggestion that this would be an effort for them ... I just felt humbled by this generousity and somewhat embarassed for all us anglos lack of language skills.
2006 -- July 2 to 23 - 3 weeks as a Volunteer - PHOTO ALBUM
After last years experience it was clear that I was going to MAKE SURE that I could come back for 2006. But this time i wanted to be more involved and thus selected to attend as a volunteer. i choose to join the Cafe group as I figured that I would meet more people this way. Hey and i was right. Our team consisted of 18 lovely people and it was our job to set-up, decorate and run the cafe for the two weeks of the festival.