Dress Up from the Waist Up ;-)
I was fresh out of graduate school when I discovered the T-Group community in Boulder, Colorado, and I hardly missed a week for over two years. I held Sunday nights sacred, and the practice transformed my life-long patterns of judgment and self-criticism into a capacity to fully love myself and find something to love in literally anyone else.
Around the same time that I discovered T-Group, I also decided to take my first stab at online dating. So when I found myself on a first date, nervous as hell but also bored out of my mind, I decided to just… T-Group.
What ensued changed both of our lives.
In making what felt like a wildly risky and vulnerable move, I chose to Reveal myself and speak to what was actually true in my experience at that moment (the kinds of things I’d usually kept under wraps in order to be “polite”). Dull and disconnected instantly transformed into potent and alive, and we shifted into a level of depth that was true and meaningful and significant to both of us.
And when he chose to Reveal himself in return, he learned that his raw, unadulterated truth was actually what opened my heart and turned me on the most. This experience set him off on a many-years-long journey of self-reclamation and self-empowerment (one that I only learned about years later, when I ran into him and completely didn’t recognize him and would totally have dated him if I hadn’t been only visiting).
So I’ve designed these Online T-Group Speed Dating events to:
Pass along the powerful transformation and empowerment that T-Group practice offers,
Help to connect people who have similar values, interests, and desires, and
Point the way to that potency and aliveness so that we can have more magic and intimacy in dating, no matter the outcome.
My hope is that you will meet some interesting people (yourself included) and gain the skills that will empower you to transform both your experience of dating and the results you get from it.
These events are intended for those who live in or near the bay area of California
45 & Under: Friday, January 25, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
45 & Up: Saturday, January 26, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
LGBT: Sunday, January 27, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Diversity & Inclusivity
Due to the limitations of group rotation design (below), the 45 & Under and 45 & Up events are most inclusive of people who are interested in connecting with members of the opposite sex, though this can include transgender, bisexual, queer, and non-binary folks as well. If it were possible to structure the rotations so that every person could simply meet every other person (regardless of gender or sexual orientation), then I would absolutely do that! Unfortunately, it’s either not possible to have all new people in every group, every round, or I do not possess the mathematical skill to figure it out (though not for lack of trying!).
Though members of the LGBT community are absolutely welcome to join the 45 & Under and 45 & Up gatherings if preferred, I am also now offering a separate LGBT Online T-Group Speed Dating event, which is more inclusive of people who are interested in connecting with members of the same sex. If you register for this event, please indicate to Crystallin how you self-identify (if you do) and what kinds of people you would be interested in connecting with in the Speed Dating context (this will help me structure the group rotations, but sharing is also optional!).
The evening will consist of six 20-minute T-Group rounds. In the 45 & Under and 45 & Up gatherings, participants will be grouped into “pods” consisting of three individuals who identify as men or three individuals who identify as women, and pods will rotate so that each pod of men will T-Group with each pod of women. If you do not identify as a man or a woman, you are welcome to join any pod you like (if you join a pod with two women, you will meet a great deal more men - and if you join a pod with two men, you will meet a great deal more women). You will stay with your pod for the entire evening, but you will T-Group with all the opposite-sex pods. There will be short breaks in between each group, and the evening will end with a Closing Round in the large group.
The LGBT gathering will be structured similarly, with individuals who identify as men/women grouped into pods of three, but rotating to T-Group with pods of the same sex.
The “pods” will give you the experience of T-Grouping with the same individuals over the course of the night, which can be a wonderful way to deepen connection over time - and the rotations will give you the experience of connecting with a wider variety of people as well.
These events will be held virtually via Zoom video conferencing. All you’ll need is a device with a webcam, an internet connection, and a set of headphones. You can use Zoom directly through your web browser, so there will be no need to download software (though it is free if you would like to). You will be sent the access code and all the instructions you’ll need on the day of your event.
In order to attend, make sure that you will be able to be in a private space where you won't be disturbed. This is necessary for the privacy and confidentiality of the other participants. Headphones are required, also for privacy/confidentiality, and good lighting is recommended ;-)
All participants will be asked to provide a photo of themselves before the gathering. Once the event is complete, a link to a password-protected page will be provided to all participants where you’ll find the pictures and names of all participants. You can simply email Crystallin indicating who you would like to be connected with for a first date and/or for connecting as friends. Mutual matches will be notified by Crystallin via email.
About the Age Brackets
From having run numerous T-Group Speed Dating events in the past, I’ve received numerous requests to create separate events for different age groups. However, you won’t be asked your age when you register, and it’s up to you whether or not to reveal your age to other participants (it won’t be on the photo page either). So if for any reason you would prefer to gather with a different group than your age bracket, you are welcome to do that!
Participation in at least one of these: a Sunday Night T-Group Gathering, an Online T-Group Training Session (dates TBD), or any other T-Group 2.0 Event.
Watch the Training Video
Questions? Write me here…
If meditation is a mindfulness practice that you do with yourself, T-Group is a mindfulness practice that you do in relationship. In meditation, we pay close attention to the flow of inner experience and we make the discovery that we ourselves are the architects of our own happiness and our own suffering. This awareness gives us choice, which is the key to liberation. In T-Group, we pay close attention to the flow of relational experience and we discover yet again that we ourselves are the architects of the experiences we have in connection and in groups. This awareness, and the choice that comes with it, is the key to transforming our experience of relationship altogether.
Perhaps your pattern is that you tend to feel on the "outside," no matter what group you're part of. Or perhaps you're the one who tends to serve as the "lightning rod," drawing the tension and frustration of the group towards yourself whether you want it or not. Patterns can also be found in the roles we habitually assume in groups. Are you the caretaker or are you the instigator? The silent observer or the harmonizer? And lastly, we can find patterns in the ways we automatically respond to things like silence, eye contact, conflict, receiving others' attention/appreciation, or witnessing others' difficult emotions.
T-Group is a living mirror that can reflect you back to yourself, making it far easier to wake up to your patterns, the impact they have, and the responses they elicit from others. And with this new awareness and choice, T-Group becomes a laboratory where you can experiment with different ways of being and relating - and witness for yourself the different impact and response that comes back to you. When you make the discovery for yourself that you’ve been the architect all along, you can begin to learn how to create the structures you’d actually want to live in: connection, depth, understanding, enjoyment, intimacy, and love.
The perennial question at our T-Group gatherings is, “What is T-Group and how do we practice it?” It is a subtle and ambiguous practice by design, and it continues to elude our attempts to pin it down once and for all. It is so much more about observing what’s already happening than it is about making something happen in particular. There’s no one “right” way to T-Group, but you can read about the structure of the practice on the Training Video page (a written outline is available in addition to the video itself). If that’s the “what,” then you can find the “why” on The Layers of Practice page, where I’ve outlined the rough progression of skills and capacities that grow stronger with ongoing T-Group practice.
But what I will say here is this: the power of T-Group comes from our collective willingness to Reveal. In group, we take the risk of sharing who we really are, what we’re actually experiencing, and what’s truly happening in the space between us, which is why we call it a practice of “authentic relating.” Another word for this is “vulnerability,” and the powerful discovery we make in T-Group is that rather than being the thing that costs us connection, vulnerability is the thing that creates it. We humans need connection, love, and belonging in the same way we need food and air. In a modern world where we’re having more communication than ever before, but somehow less actual connection, T-Group is a practice and a place where we can learn the skills that allow us to create the kind of intimacy we all need. It also gives us the tools we will need when it comes time to navigate the inevitable tricky passages of deep relationship.
Why do we call it T-Group 2.0? T-Group originated in the 1940's at National Training Laboratories, and it centers on the sharing of feelings in the present moment. Crystallin is deepening and elaborating up on this practice, drawing from her background in Buddhist Psychology, Systems Theory, and Group Psychotherapy, her training at The Matrix Leadership Institute, and her own extensive T-Group practice. See the Training, Advanced Practice, and Systems Theory pages to see the updates for yourself.
The evening begins when we meet in the large group for a brief, silent meditation and a round of sharing that allows us to arrive and get grounded together. Returning community members break off into small groups of 5-7 and first-time visitors join Crystallin for Training Group (which consists of facilitated exercises and practice groups). We come back to the large group to share the learning, and then break out again into different small groups for another round of practice (Training Group stays with Crystallin both rounds). The evening ends with one more large group sharing session. Even if you have done T-Group elsewhere before, I ask that you do Training Group before joining the rest of the community.
The Vision Statement of the Bay Area T-Group Community
"We are here to create a Practice Community based on deep connection and authenticity, built on foundations of respect and goodwill, where all parts of us are welcome and our differences are appreciated as resources. We are also here to gain self-awareness around our habitual patterns and roles, limiting beliefs and strategies, and repetitive experiences in groups. But ultimately, we are here to re-weave the web of the human community, to remember that we are not separate and that we belong to and with one another."
I am organizing this event because I love T-Group with my whole heart. I was part of the T-Group community in Boulder, Colorado for over two years, and I am a living testament to the power of this practice. I bring a lot of prior education, training, and practice to leading this community, but I want to keep these gatherings as accessible as possible - because it was free for me and it changed my life perhaps more than anything else ever has.
“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, ‘What else could this mean?’” ~Shannon L. Alder
“Each of us lacks awareness of certain aspects of our own behavior or feelings which others can clearly see, which is another reason why human interaction is the most challenging and rewarding adventure that we can experience” ~Joseph Luft
“The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.” ~Nisargadatta Maharaj
"We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others." ~Thomas Merton
T-Group 2.0 Description by Crystallin Dillon, MA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.