Brief Testimonials

Colleen Frye, Racine Correctional Institution

"I now believe [CBI] presents a process of healing for everyone: inmate, staff, and the community as a whole. The effect that the process had on this group of eight men was more than I could have imagined."

John Pehrson, DuPont

"I have experienced the power and potential of community building after participating in a workshop with Ed Groody. His supportive facilitating style was able to shift the group to much deeper levels of relationship and create bonds that have had lasting impact on my life. I recommend the Community Building Workshop to anyone who is searching for authenticity in their lives and success in their organization or business."

Clarence Johnson, Social Services Admin.

"My experience with these workshops is that they are unique, and transformative. I believe they hold the promise to heal and transform individuals and communities like nothing else that I have seen or experienced. I highly recommend them."

B. McWhorter, M.D.

"I feel that the experience has changed my life. I came away with the determination that I wanted to live my life more fully with the people around me. Superficial relationships were no longer enough; I wanted full and intimate communication, to be accepted for who I am, and to accept my friends and enjoy their differences."


I’m glad I stayed to the end. During the seminar I was in great anger wanting to leave twice and never come back… feeling that no one would ever understand me anyway. But the longer I stayed, even it was a challenge until the end, the more interesting it beame. Until now I am surprised what everything a person can learn about herself in just a weekend! Since then I realized how sensitive I am to myself. In practical life, it becomes easier for me to distinguish what makes sense to say and when I will simply stay silent. I have a problem with that. I can now very easily say “NO” to something I don’t like, what I don’t want, what I’m pushed into, etc. Thanks for it!


I learned something new, something I already knew in a more deeply way … about silence and concentration, about listening and speaking, about femininity and self-worth, about relationships – daughter, sister, mother, father, partner … and about myself. And, during this weekend, there was an ever-growing feeling that after all, it was possible to get a large group of people to work together. Without superficial courtesy, yet in deep respect for one another. Without suppressing oneself, yet in harmony with the group. The whole weekend was a very special experience. Exceptional as life itself. And now, over time, I see how this weekend keeps helping me to live more freely and experience common joy and worry in peace, humility and love.


The seminar did not give me the experience to be at least for a while in real community, but even despite this, it was very helpful. It activated something inside me and now I am finally able to do somethig with me. I was not able to do something inside me before, even I have gone throught many workshops and seminars. I was still big theorist, the practice was not coming to me. This workshop was able to wash off something and finally I looked at me in a better way and I saw that I do not really want some things in me anymore. I am changing. It is possible now.


The seminar was one of the most beautiful and powerful experiences in my life, although at first it didn’t seem that way. It ended three days ago and the most beautiful thing is actually what is happening and what I have been experiencing since. My relationship with myself, my partner, my mom, my dad, my brother, my friends, my people around me, the people I meet on the street, the ants, the snails, the dogs … just changed everyone without exception. I understood and experienced that it is truly possible to respect and accept myself and others at the same time, that there is actually no contradiction in it. It is only a matter of continuing to seek in each relationship with each being what in this relationship and at this moment love means, what the other person really needs, to tune in and open to him … and myself. Everything we meet is an opportunity for love. Love cannot be given or taken; love simply is. Since I opened myself, love has been flowing and filling the whole world.


The weekend was an unbelievable, rewarding and powerful experience for me. I realized how important and actually natural it is to perceive everyone as an integral and important part of one big puzzle. That it is not important to be the center of that puzzle but a part of it. Being able to listen, giving the space to the others they need, but at the same time not being afraid to take your own space when the opportunity is there. Although my head seemed initially well emptied for this seminar, I now feel it like a balloon. During those intense three days, at any given moment, I gathered a lot of information, the maximum feeling of a frantic beating of my heart mixed with various internal dialogues, emotions of fear, uncertainty, appraisal, separation, rage, annoyance, sadness, pain, laughter, astonishment. Then the most happiness, love, purity, belonging, joy and freedom …


I appreciated my time and other´s time, I appreciated my words and words of others, I found out how much “sauce” is in the communication and the rule to say your name has the magical power not to talk “anything” only because there is silence.


From the seminar I take the following: the focus on the here and now, the unity of the community; if I am moved to I speak to myself, I speak for myself, I speak not generally but in “I” statements; if I talk about others I address them directly; the feeling of security, the feeling of unconditional acceptance. Thank you very much for this weekend!


The seminar was very demanding for me personally from the beginning, first with its unknown and later with its dense atmosphere full of emotions. I could not imagine in any way how thirty unknown people can get to know and to connect to each other better. And how simple it is! To be within, fully present, open and lovingly receiving. To find the courage in yourself. To venture again and again into your depths to consciously bring to light the things that hurt, your fears that have not been forgotten and doze quietly in us, and without knowing, tie our feet and make us act according to old and rooted patterns that are no longer needed. Being in silence and listening to others, and talking only when I really feel it, when I feel that my heart can pop up with what I want to say, what is the right moment to talk. Not only in the community, but also in the family, at work, in life at all. How much time, pain and distress can cause an inappropriate word at the wrong moment, and yet little is needed. After all, love is the strongest bond that unites people and gives them strength. And it is not in vain that they say, “Speak silver, keep silent gold.”


What it gave me: Some rules of communication and coexistence with others. I found out how important they are for communication, understanding, full experience and its reflection, and how fundamental and difficult it is to follow them. I experienced an amazing journey: from naive enthusiasm through confusion and ambiguity to boredom, despair, loss of hope and fatigue to search again; than to hope and humble endeavor, to the top of bliss and ecstasy of understanding and compassion, and then back to humble endeavor and faith. I became strongly aware that things are not easy to do honestly, and that it can be painfull to do them from heart, but at the same time that this brings deep joy and true satisfaction. It is just necessary not to relax, not to get lazy and not to chat on the surface. What it took from me: naive enthusiasm, thanks God! A little carelessness and illusion that it will be simple. What I realized: how much I love my family. What I learned: follow community rules wherever possible.


Community Building is strong. I was brought up in keen sceptic background and I had to dig through my way to deephs always on my own. The way of inducement approved to me as fresh, clear, unburdened of ideologies and ego´s of individuals – gurus “who knows more than me”. The voices went silent and there became vocal inner guidance each of us. In safe environment, which miraculously arised in the silence, there could came out above ground hidden wisdom which pushes around the world. Canals have opened, and everything what happened – even outside of the circle, was part of the process. I think we touched the essence of the humanity. And it was very big blessing. I also would like to emphase policy of the facilitators, which was very gentle, clever and impartial…at once as personnal. Especially this personal level from Hana´s and Vanda´s side was the key to win the confidence. Their own personal stories, big experiences and little secrets, which have shared with us, gave me a feelings, that we are on the same boat with the right people. The world is small and there is not a shortage of chances. Arrival home was strong and things are still moving. I wish, to keep the essence of the community, getting to know when is melting away, and to coming back to it anytime.