Going to the Do Lectures in Wales, both as a participant and a crew supporter, I had only a vague idea of what to expect. Having been following them on the Internet I was attracted by the idea of a small multi-disciplinary event in the middle of nature that nobody could say exactly what it was. Arriving on site I landed on a small friendly farm surrounded by winds and fresh smells of island plants, a warm team of organisers and volunteers, and lovely donkeys. And there it was - a tree trunk that was to serve as the speakers’ tribune. I liked the whole setting of being close to nature, and also that the event was not specifically dedicated to one subject. The talks were selected with care, and ranged from how we learn, where we live, or how we communicate, to how we play, or what we eat. Speakers did not preach anything but would just tell about things they did and do in their lives. 

Multidisciplinarity and diversity nurture a kind of freshness of spirit and openness to unknown possibilities. Experiencing this atmosphere in real life was something very particular. The organizers of the Do Lectures open the doors for extraordinary things to happen, and they do happen - if they want to, if the flow is there. Nothing is being pushed from mind’s ideas alone. Instead a space is created, like Temenos in the ancient Greece, where magic moments are welcome but not forced to happen: meetings to take place, friendships to be made, ideas and projects to be born. David and Clare Hieatt and their friends started organising this event 7 years ago, bringing together people from different walks of life, mainly from English speaking countries, to meet and share their stories at an old farmhouse and under the open skies, close to fields, donkeys and chicken, seaside and hills, with locally grown food, and the spirit of ancient Celtic tribes. 

The particularity of the Do Lectures is above all in its atmosphere. Both visible - aesthetic compositions, attention to details and quality of everything, as well as the invisible, which is the hardest one to describe in words. It feels very natural and honest, with simplicity and humility in the way of being and in human communication. People seem to be really living the qualities they are bringing into the world. Beside meeting at lectures and workshops participants and speakers also live together for three days, share meals and conversations, walks and experiences. Each lecture is very different from the others. And each day with every speaker’s story all of us were invited to enter a new world, at times very personal one, to get a glimpse of the life that each story-teller has been living, the choices they made, the obstacles they faced, and the ways in which they grew and learned. After the three days when the event ended it didn't really end. Something has changed, something has shifted in the direction that feels purposeful and alive, filled with a new sense of depth and possibility. It might not be easy to put it into words right away, it might become clear later, when the seeds we planted grew big enough so that one fine morning we recognise what kind of plants they are. 

 

Impressions from the Do Lectures 2014
Photography by Nick Hand