Schedule of Speakers & Workshops
Saturday, April 15th, 2006
10:00 AM ~ Welcome
10:15 to 11:15 AM
Three Steps to a Working Spiritual Practice, by Bob Fergeson
First, do you have a question, a direction? A longing, an intense dissatisfaction with how one sees oneself and the world,
that distraction and rationalization can no longer dispel? The honest admission of our internal angst is key to the ability to face
the moment. Next, becoming someone who is capable of observing oneself and one's experience, rather than reacting in endless
dualities. And finally, allowing the attention to turn within. Once we let go of ourselves as the doer and experiencer, realization
and discovery can occur. Are these steps possible, and are they a part of your Path?
Click here to read an article by Bob.
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The Early Teachings of Richard Rose, by Mike Gegenheimer
Richard Rose's efforts to contact individuals blossomed in the early 1970s in Pittsburgh and on college campuses in Ohio as
interest in philosophy, Zen and self-inquiry developed from the social traumas of the 1960s and 1970s. During this time, Rose spoke
often and worked directly with individuals in Albigen System groups. Rose's emphasis on developing a vector of action, working with
others and on self inquiry, brought focus and meaning to The Albigen Papers beyond the text.
12:45 to 1:45 PM ~ Lunch (provided)
2:00 to 3:00 PM
Generating the "Doubt Sensation"—the Precursor to Seeing the Real, by Bob Cergol
Experience gives rise to the experienc-er. Experience reinforces the experienc-er. No experience—no experienc-er.
All experience involves two kinds of witnessing. At all times we are literally staring at the Real simultaneously while staring
at the unreal. But the preponderance of our staring is fixated on the unreal.
Experience has an effect upon the attention. Spiritual action is action that produces the
"doubt sensation." The doubt sensation causes the attention to retrace the source of experience.
Nothing is observed without the observer simultaneously being observed. Normally the preponderance
of attention is on "outside" events. As the preponderance of attention shifts inward, a threshold is approached. On
the "other side" of that threshold is the realization of Being. Being knows itself. Crossing that threshold requires breaking
the fixation of attention on experience. Whatever dislodges or disrupts and leads to the dissolution of the
fixation of the attention on external experience can be said to be spiritual practice. Click
here for a sampling of quotes from Bob's writing.
3:15 to 4:15 PM
Retreat center walk. Free time, with an optional guided walk on retreat center paths.
4:30 to 5:30 PM
Is My Hair on Fire Yet?, by Shawn Nevins
There is an old Zen expression that one must work (seek) as if their hair were on fire. Is it possible to summon
such intensity? Can we charge the gates of heaven, or are we destined to stumble and fall short again and again? Drawing
on experiences of failure and success, Shawn will examine the role of passion, intensity, lethargy, and depression in
spiritual work. Visit
The Poetry Chaikhana for a selection of Shawn's poetry.
5:45 to 7:15 PM ~ Dinner (provided)
7:30 to 8:30 PM
Look All the Way Through, by Art Ticknor
"The eyes seeing forms is equivalent to blindness; the ears hearing sounds is equivalent to deafness." - Buddha
"If you would see the true source of illusion, instead of living vicariously on the screen of the theatre, follow the light back
through the lens of the projector ... observe the observer." - Richard Rose
"Put your own mind to use to look back once: once you've returned, no need to do it again." - Foyan
Click here for a sample of Art's writing.
Sunday, April 16th, 2006
10:00 to 12:00 Noon
Panel Question and Answer Session.
Departing words, followed by lunch at a local restaurant.
The event is being held in TAT's beautiful rural facility near Wheeling, WV. Wheeling is in the Northern
Panhandle of West Virginia, approximately 1 hour from Pittsburgh International Airport and 2.5 hours from
Columbus International Airport. There are many lodging and dining facilities within a 15-25 mile radius.
A group encouraging people to think rather than believe. A group determined to help people find ways and
means to answer their deepest philosophical questions. A gathering of folks who are not afraid to be honest with
one another. An island of hope and sanity (or at least the hope for sanity!). Last, but not least, TAT is a 501(c)(3)
not-for-profit educational organization chartered in 1973.
Four DVD April 2006 Conference Video now available
"The master said there is one thing in this world which must never be forgotten.
If you were to forget everything else, there would be no cause for worry, while if you remembered, performed and attended to
everything else but forgot that one thing, you would in fact have done nothing whatsoever. It is as if a king had sent you to a
country and you perform a hundred tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have
performed nothing at all. So man has come into the world for a particular task, and that is his
purpose. If he doesn't perform it, he will have done nothing." ~ Rumi, Table Talk
There are some who have performed the task that Rumi referred to, and although
it's an individual trip for each person to make, help is available and accessible. These people are willing to talk honestly about their own struggle
and to offer insights on how to make your own journey. This 4-disc, 7.5-hour video, created by Poetry in Motion Films, will give you the guidance
to go straight toward the highest objective of life. See the April program below for more details on the speakers, their presentations, and the
Bonus Material: A 384 KB Portable Document File (PDF) file containing the
presenters' notes will be sent to you by email for use as reference. If you're paying by check, please be sure to include your email address.
Click here to see the video trailer or to order the DVD.