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By Frank Topper

Frank Topper's TransformationI am a fan of the Hoffman grad groups, a fan of community, and a fan of spiritual practice… I can’t work on myself alone because my world is a Left Road Dark Side Fantasy Land: everything I think or feel can be used against my spiritual self.

From Show-Up-And-Participate to Payback Time

Shortly after my June 2016 Process, I joined the Marin (California) group that meets once a month – two hours to relax, flow, practice, and feel moments of love. Elevators! Recycling! Prep for the Holidays! Embodied Spirit! YES! One evening the leaders asked for future topic suggestions and I proposed “transference.” They liked the idea so I generated an agenda. Two months later, both co-leaders retired and I stepped up to the plate. For me, this was no longer a show-up-and-participate event; it was now payback time.

My Hoffman practice has expanded since becoming the group leader. Preparing for the two hours we’re together in community reminds me to use the Hoffman tools, and that Hoffman is a program of action. It’s a program of valuing oneself – removing pain, bringing joy, and setting oneself free – and, by extension, bringing love to others. The group provides a community in which to practice – a safe place to experience love in the many ways it is meaningful to each of us.

Grad Groups Inspire Honest Work

Transformation isn’t all serious!
Transformation isn’t all serious!

However, the Process does not do itself. It requires continued willingness and effort. The natural rhythm of a grad group inspires forward-looking, honest work. I am far from 100 percent competent in the tools and practices, but leading our group and being a part of it moves me in that direction. It’s a leaning toward the light, a leaning toward the right, and a connection with my usually forgotten Spiritual Self. Wendell Phillips once said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Hoffman grad groups support such liberty. What could be better!

NOTE: There are four meetings a month are available in the San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay, and Marin (check them out here).

Footnote: After graduating I wrote two songs about the Hoffman experience –
Light the Right Road
My Pattern Thinks It’s Me

Frank Topper is a consultant specializing in improving large project team communications and collaboration. His clients include Stanford University, Genentech, Google, UCSF, and non-profits. He is on the board of the Social Justice Center of Marin. For fun, he writes and produces songs.

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