Tributaries, etching their own water courses, traveling along their particular twists and turns, over rocky, sandy or mossy terrain … and in doing so gathering momentum, learning where and how to flow … and eventually joining with other tributaries to form a river with its own direction, made up of the gathered and accumulated water and sediment…
A look backwards:
In and through Next Step Integral a number of streams meet and join. Where we stand Now and where we look to in the Future holds in it the Past: the lessons and dreams, the adventures and risks, the insights and experience gathered to date. It is our intention that this look backwards is enfolded in the notion of including and transcending what has come to pass. In following a river back to its sources, space is made for transparency, humility, gratitude and a deeper understanding of who we are and what we ‘bring to the table’.
Who and what are these streams, and what journeys have they taken to come together in Next Step Integral?
This page will be updated as currently contributing streams put words to their past and new streams join the ride.
This particular stream tells the story of Next Step Integral’s founder, Stephan Martineau and his wife, Next Step Integral’s vice-president, Miriam Mason Martineau.
Following a profoundly compelling vision in 1991, Stephan founded Morning Star Community in 1992– named after the mountain ridge this intentional sangha was located on. The vision and purpose of this effort was to respond to the world crisis – a global crisis of spiritual, social and environmental nature – by coming together in the name of what is greater than the sum total of the individuals gathered (what we originally called We-consciousness, Christ-consciousness, and later We-being), allowing this collective energy and intelligence to emerge, being attentive and present to it, and listening to what it brings forth. Primary emphasis was placed on integrating the insights and direction thus glimpsed right into daily life – relation with self, work, play, each other, nature and culture. During the ten years of its existence Morning Star welcomed over 80 individuals for 3 months and up to 5 years. It was a place of experimentation, inspiration, education, contemplation and activism.
In May 2002 the community gracefully folded its wings. Why? There was a perceived need to venture beyond the efforts made in daily communal life and the surrounding bioregion, to push the edge further, to ask more questions and to listen again and more. Miriam and Stephan took off on a one-year pilgrimage with the question: What is the next step in consciousness evolution? What had been glimpsed, explored and studied over the decade of community life was shared and looked deeper into with those they met on the way. Inquiry, interviews, meetings and networking, retreat, and a renewed and deepened commitment to this next step emerged. In the year following the trip, Next Step Integral was born.