“It is remarkable what happens when one recognizes One, regardless of habit. We have this rare moment with certain individuals in our lives when That which IS allows its representation to be experienced. This is the enigma of Presence! You can only know it by the feeling it exudes.” (Kenneth G. Mills)
This year, participants at the Summer Festival of Light, Sound, and Peace (July 14–19) found themselves celebrating Presence. The Presence of Dr. Kenneth G. Mills was palpable, like a blessing on all those gathered. As the week unfolded, the presence felt from each of the exceptional men and women assembled was recognized and acknowledged in all its beauty, fullness, and importance. Most faces seemed familiar, yet newness stood ready in the wings, waiting to surprise and delight.
“I have been studying the message of Dr. Mills for only two years. I find that reading his work is challenging, intriguing, and extremely rewarding. Watching his recordings is even better. However, if you want to really understand, come to Festival. Meeting wonderful people who have known him and studied his message for many years – who embody his principles – is an invaluable and incredibly fun experience.” (Susan Bishop, Mazatlán, Mexico)
The recorded Spontaneous Unfoldments™ experienced during the week’s seminars were chosen because the facilitators felt a special pull to share their favorites. Lucille Joseph, Judith Macdonell, and Angela Wingfield presented two Unfoldments given by Dr. Mills in 1989. They had found the Unfoldments of that particular year so compelling that they are now preparing the 1989 lectures for two new books, the first to be published this coming fall.
Gregory Serdahl, before presenting his favorite, No Master Is a Memory, noted that the Unfoldment “caused me both to observe the mind’s tendency to place Dr. Mills’s Presence as a memory of the past, and, more importantly, to examine the qualities of how ‘I’ live now.”
Lee Bowser and Jennifer Murphy shaped two sessions around their deep love of Dr. Mills’s memoirs, The Candy Maker’s Son. In one session attention was turned to a particular narrative in which Dr. Mills describes his magical and powerful visit to the shop of Giorgio, a master coral artist in Ravello, Italy. After the story several in the room then revealed how they, too, had visited Giorgio’s shop many years later, and how the artist always acknowledged Dr. Mills’s unforgettable Presence.
“The Summer Festival began at a high pitch and remained there. Inspiration and enrichment promoted revelatory expressions, inviting us to share in each one’s uppermost and inmost experiences. Compassion was evident in the tender, listening, affirming presence of those gathered. Such attributes are valuable components of community and were abundantly and touchingly evident at this conclave. Dr. Mills said that his words were not a Teaching but simply his life. This summer we may have approached his example of such open sharing.” (Blair Randle, Austin, Texas)
New this year were “Thunder Talks,” seven-minute micro-presentations focused on what matters most and on that which is inspirational, innovative, useful, humorous, or controversial. Glen Sawich put forward this idea, and nine presenters took the challenge. Ken Brown led by describing how his ability to observe energy flow, learned from Dr. Mills, markedly influenced his success as a building contractor. Thunder talks like the ones we heard are being considered as potential content for a series of podcasts.
“Where Were You When the Curtain Came Down?” Professional musician Marshall Olchowy’s singular offering highlighted some aspects of The Fire Mass, the masterwork by Christopher Dedrick and Kenneth Mills, from the viewpoint of musical theory. A portion of this composition was played. Marshall then described several fascinating coincidences having to do with performances by Dr. Mills and the Star-Scape Singers in Eastern Europe and Russia. Singer Terry Stevens added his perspective as one who had been present for these events. The curtain that came down? The Iron Curtain. This presentation was so well received that Marshall will repeat it at the Foundation’s Thanksgiving Wordshop this year.
“I am deeply grateful to be able to gather with friends on this beautiful planet to celebrate Love, Light, and Peace. For me, those are pillars upon which life is experienced at its best. The days spent at the Kenneth G. Mills Foundation’s Summer Festival provided that rare opportunity. Dr. Mills’s words, music, and art, as always, were a huge inspiration for me, and the combined creative expression of all those present was equally inspiring.” (Ellen Mann, Sarnia, Ontario)
Mealtimes this year were as vibrant as the seminars, and conversations flew with new ideas.
Another sparkling facet of creativity was revealed when a pop-up art show and sale appeared on Wednesday afternoon. Eight artists – all inspired by Dr. Mills – exhibited their creative expressions in paint, photography, and other media. Three paintings by Dr. Mills were also on display.
“To be with a group of individuals who are so responsive and listen to what you have to say is rare in today’s technological world. Everyone spoke of their direct experiences with Dr. Mills and of valuable revelations. Heartfelt, life-changing ideas were discussed as the vortex of expression built to the final two days. I was moved to tears, as were many, with the feeling of trust and openness that arose from honesty, sincerity, and love.” (Terry Stevens, Ottawa, Ontario)
Thursday night began simply, with a question from facilitator Bob McAlpine: “What has been an important realization in your life?” No one held back. What flowed forth was a clear well-spring of potent expression, which deeply touched everyone. Appreciation, support, and love filled the room.
Many good-byes on Friday afternoon were lengthy and reluctant. Yet, the week had most definitely been fulfilled. A new vista is opening. What we hold in our hearts is of great value, and each of us radiates involuntarily the promise of Presence. As Dr. Mills said, we have come for a purpose. Many in the world are questioning, calling out. And we are here to answer.
“My experience of the Summer Festival was of a sacred, grace-filled event in witnessing the birthing of newness, appearing as Susan Kaplan garmented in song; as the lectures that were offered, highlighted by Marshall’s display of virtuosity in his world of music; and as the beauty of creativity in the paintings and other art forms that were displayed. Well done, and much appreciation to all for the time spent in preparation for the celebration.” (Hermine Garrick, Thornhill, Ontario)