All posts tagged Halvorsbøle

Autumn meditations

leaf on waterI took some photos during a visit to the Halvorsbøle retreat centre earlier this autumn. They may not be perfect, but at least they made me see the place with new eyes.

How to play a blues solo

– finding the flow with Rune Grønn

Rune Grønn

“I find I often press down too hard on a string when I play the guitar. It doesn’t sound good. I get too excited and want too much.” He bows his head over the guitar again. After four new attempts, a soft, beautiful blues tone emerges to fill the newly renovated study. His face lights up and he smiles, satisfied. He practises 15-20 minutes every day. Trying to find the flow.

With the guitar on his lap, Rune Grønn looks around. Everything has been redecorated. The whole house has been made over – with his own hands. He is a carpenter and builder, and has spent a lot of time and money on reconstructing his father’s childhood home, originally a 1920s cabin and now a small house where Rune lives. If you didn’t know, you would think everything was brand new. He speaks about the work enthusiastically, with professional pride and ambition, and a concern for the traditions of earlier generations. On our way out of the study, we notice another guitar. A double-decker model airplane and half of a miniature boat are also prominently displayed. The image of the toy boat and the model airplane, in the study of a grown man, literally hangs in the air.

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Svein Strømberg at the Acem communication course

Svein Strømberg at the Acem communication course

“The insights from this course are directly applicable to social situations at home and at work.” Svein Strømberg grew up in Norway, but has spent the past 16 years with his wife and two girls in Switzerland, where he works in sales of industrial raw materials. This year he participated in the Acem International Training Course in Interpersonal Communication.

“I had read about the communication course before I came here, so I thought I knew what to expect. But the open structure of the group sessions took me by surprise. I had imagined there would be a fixed agenda for the group activities. Instead, it was left to us, the participants, to find a way to start communicating. It was fascinating, but also slightly unsettling. In the beginning there was quite a lot of silence. But gradually we found ways of relating to each other. And in the process, with only a little help from the leaders and the other participants, I made quite a few new discoveries about myself. I began to identify patterns that I had only vaguely perceived before, such as my tendency – and even need – to adapt to external structures.”

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Acem Retreat Centres

Halvorsbøle, Norway

The Acem International Retreat Centre at Halvorsbøle is situated one hour’s drive outside Oslo, Norway. The centre stands on a hill with a panoramic view of the Randsfjord lake and nearby hamlets. The surroundings are stunningly beautiful and epitomise the deep peace and quiet of Scandinavia.

In the past, the site served as a venue for the Norwegian government’s annual budget talks, as well as for the negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.

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