Okay, we are recording this call for transparency and to document the ideas that come up as well as for educational purposes. And we'll be posting this on social media posted up on YouTube. So thank you, everyone for joining us. I'm Edwin Rutsch, the director of the Center for building a culture of empathy. And this is the first of a series of what we call empathy circles to discuss
this is an introduction, and we'll go into depth a little bit later. So just to model that I'm Edwin Rutsch, Director of the Center for building a culture of empathy. I live here in the San Francisco Bay area, just north of Berkeley and l Cirino. And I'm interested in this visioning project because Charles just purchased it told me that he, you know, was wanting someone to help direct the project. And so I'm interested in kind of helping in doing that, and just really interested in hearing from the community what their thoughts are. So Rosa, do you want to introduce yourself?
Sure. I'm Rosa Alvarado. I'm in Santa Barbara, very close to the project location, actually. I'm an architect in Santa Barbara, I work with 19, six architects. And I've had the pleasure of working on that site for the last few years with the previous owner. I have familiarity with the buildings and the site. And I'm excited to be part of this discussion.
Great. Thank you, Angela.
Hi, I'm Angela Granziera I, too am in Santa Barbara. And I teach yoga and run retreats, manage yoga studios. AndI do retreats up in Canada in the summertime. And we were looking at that property ages ago with friends to run retreat centers. So I'm just to see if there's anything I can add or help or and that's it.
All right, thank you. And Charles. Can your name it says Annie, it's not and that is his daughter.
One daughter is named Annie and the other is Mira Bella, and I also have two sons. So married with four children live in Sacramento and I purchased the property. That's about it. I'm actually on the road today traveling to the property. So I'll probably just listen in for the most part.
Okay, thanks, Charles. Karen.
I'm actually looking at the property as we speak. That's my view from my house. So I'm a close neighbor. And there was a lot actually let me get back step tell you who I am. I'm an illustrator. I do work for magazines, private institutions people Commission's my interest was largely how it would affect the immediate neighborhood. And I think it's a great idea for it to be a sort of retreat, wellness, whatever. I think that is a lot better than what we thought it was going to be. There was, as you know, before you purchased it, a lot of talk about making it a homeless facility for quite a large number of people, which would have been, I think, a dangerous thing to do given the environmental impact of the area.
So I'm really happy that you guys purchased it. And we'll do something that's more in line with what I think the community wants. So now, by way of selfishness, we could maybe do something up there like to display illustration is this amazing art that sometimes is underrated compared to fine art. But it'd be great to have sort of a gallery space up there, I know you have a lot of square footage, so be fun to do things that maybe are a little bit out of the box that you haven't thought of.
Right? Yeah, that's the kind of things we want to hear about here. So glad you're taking part in this first empathy circle. And like I say, we're gonna have a whole series of these really give people have a chance to share, you know, their, their ideas, and hopes and dreams and visions for the space. And so, we are wanting to use the empathy circle practice, it's the, it's the best practice, I know, to ensure that everyone can freely express themselves, you know, say whatever is on your mind, and, and everyone can feel heard and understood to their satisfaction. So it's the best sort of a gateway practice for, you know, nurturing, that listening and that empathic sort of way of being. And so the empathy circle practice, I did send that to the information and how it's how it works. The instructions and so one person will be the speaker, you'll select who you speak to, and you share a little bit, you know, an idea or two, and then you pause, and you wait to get a reflection. Right recap of what from your listener, and they'll reflect back what you heard to your satisfaction.
So share an idea to, for example, Karen, you're saying that you had concerns about the previous, you know, making it into a homeless center, and that you're kind of maybe feeling some excitement about, you know, using the space in the way that it was more intended. So that would be reflecting back kind of what you had said, to make sure that you feel heard and understood, if the Ohio grass Lisa, so if you, if you, if you don't feel understood, you can just say it again, until you feel heard and understood to your satisfaction, we do turn taking, so we're going to have start off with four minute turns.
So and I'll keep time and when the time is up, you know, I'll hold up little sign just says time is up. And since then people are on cell phone, I'll give a little notice to just saying that your time is up. And then once the the time is up, or you felt heard to your satisfaction, you can say I feel heard to my satisfaction, then the listener becomes the speaker, and they select to the who are their listeners, and that person reflects back, we just go around like that, for the for the time allotted probably about an hour and a half or so I imagine, we'll see. We usually go for two hours.
But since Charles is on the car, we'll we'll see maybe a little bit less. So with that. Remember to pause when you're speaking, you know, maybe I'll even hold up beside if you kind of go on for quite a while it's hard for the listener to reflect back what you're saying. So be sure to, you know, say an idea pause and then you'll get a reflection. And many you probably very familiar with the active listening anyway, so that we're just using the active listening process. So to begin with, I just opened it up, I'll be the first listener just to sort of model the listening. So who would like to speak and you have four minutes and yeah, so and the topic is What is your vision for the 1964 Los Conoas roads, space, formerly St. Mary's, and what it or whatever is alive for you. So whatever's on your mind, you're just wherever you feel energy about to start if you're listening. Okay.
Well, Karen, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm not a direct neighbor of the facility or the St. Mary's site. previous statements may cite, but I do know, historically, when it was the St. Mary's seminary, it was in fact used for a retreat. And I imagine that traffic is a concern for you. So I'm sure that not having it become a homeless shelter is probably you know, the best thing that you could have heard because, you know, it'll be more controlled, I think with a retreat environment. I love your idea of the gallery as well as the yoga Angela,
can I reflect that back just if you're positive, you're saying it's I'm hearing, you're sort of agreeing with Karen, that maybe the homeless center wasn't the best use of the space and having it be a retreat center, which is it was before, you know, after the after it was a seminary that it already had that use and you're having you're, then you're going into some of the applications, some of the things that could be done there. Yeah,
it was used as a retreat previously, it was a Catholic seminary, and they had marital retreats there. I know, people who actually participated in them there. As you may or may not know, there is a chapel there. I was especially happy to hear from it from Charles rather that you probably will maintain the chapel and its condition and not, you know, got it and use it for another use. I think that's really exciting for me. And to be able to use it as a retreat as it was previously used, I think would be the best use of the site, the gorgeous site. I'm not sure how many of you have actually walked in Angeline Karen on site, but haven't I'd love to sorry, yeah, it's phenomenal. The views are spectacular yoga practices, right out in the lawn there overlooking the city would be phenomenal. We've actually thought about that. In the past. As I mentioned, I have worked with previous owners of the facility, and they were looking to turn it into a residential treatment facility, which was also something that was more controlled, and you know, a good use of the space as well, I think it's a very serene space, very beautiful, quiet space. And the use for a retreat, I think, is really exciting to me.
So I'm hearing that the uses of retreat centers are very exciting to you, you find it's a very beautiful serene space, you're seeing the applic place a good place for yoga out on the lawn. And there's a quality of the controlled aspect to that retreat center is more controlled versus a, let's say, a homeless hotel, or even a residential treatment center.
Yeah, the density up there probably would be more difficult. Yeah, I think it's the most appropriate use of that space.
So retreat center would be the best use of that space is,
in my opinion, yeah,
in your opinion, you have any idea we can, we will be taking turns. As soon as it'll come around to you, and you get to share whatever, but we kind of make sure there's just one person speaking, one person reflecting and we go through that process. So with that, Rosa feels heard and I'm going to reset the timer. So I'll speak to Charles, is the model that
you're muted Charles. Okay,
okay. I'm really excited about this first empathy circle. Quiz with this group. I'm just so grateful for everyone taking part in this.
Okay, so you're very grateful for the empathy circle, you enjoy the empathy circles, and you're excited about it.
And I'm glad that you're taking part to Charles, because you've done family empathy circles. So we have in our family, we do these family empathy circles, and it's just a good way for everyone to, you know, kind of feel that they can express themselves and feel heard.
So you're glad I'm here, because I've done these empathy circles before my family in our family.
Yeah. And, you know, you when you purchased, I mean, I just got a call, like, a couple months ago is like, you call and say, hey, guess what, I bought a monastery. It's like, whoa, sort of out of the blue, you know, it's like, Hey, do you want to help manage it, you know, and so it was like a bit of a shock to me.
So it was kind of a surprise out of the blue statement when I contacted you about a month ago saying, Hey, I bought a monastery.
Yeah, and I had, you know, I, it was for me, it was like, Whoa, do I want to, you know, help sort of manage it and kind of set it up. And it was, it's a lot of unknowns. It just seems like a lot of work. But as I'm getting to know, the community, I'm sort of really warming up to it. So you know, talk to Rose, talk to other people. And I'm just starting to feel more of a sense of connection with a community and this empathy circle, I think is helping for that too.
So yeah, at first I said, Hey, would you like to help me run retreat center. And you're probably initially somewhat excited about it, but had reservations. But as you were doing this more and talking to people, and people have been excited about it in the communities, so you're warming up to the idea of helping to run the retreat center?
Yeah, I think we have like 18 people, or 15 or so people interested in taking part in these empathy circles. So, you know, we're kind of that seems like a good way to connect with with the community to just start brainstorming ideas of how it could be used.
So there's about 18, people wanting to take part in these empathy circles with the community and believe it's a good brainstorming idea.
And just a quick thing, I didn't see some of the videos of of the protests that were there, you know, when using the space as a homeless. And, and somebody said, we didn't have a seat at the table. So this empathy circle is really a way for the community to have a, you know, quote, you know, seat at the table. So we hear all the voices.
So you're referring to the online video where some neighbors were protesting, and one was saying they didn't have a voice or a seat at the table. So you believe these empathy circles are a good way for everyone to be heard? And? Yeah, yeah, I
feel fully heard. Yeah. So it's your turn, like your listener?
I'll speak to Angela. So I guess, people are wondering why I bought the property. So I'll just talk about that a little bit. So a friend of mine, who's kind of into real estate and stuff, mentioned that the property was being auctioned off online. And I thought it was a very interesting property. I've always kind of had an idea of a retreat center in the back of my mind. So I decided to bid on its and I bid on it a couple times and decided not to and the price went up a little higher, then they said, Well, the next bid meets the reserve price. So I said, Well, I'll do it one more time. So I met the reserve price. And then I nobody bid higher after that. I became the owner.
You want to reflect that. Angela, what you heard Charles say?
When Yes, I hear that you have a friend who directed you to this property, and that you were intrigued by the property. And that in the process of bidding, you were interested, then little hesitant. And then you did one more bid and you got it. Yes.
I'm glad I've got my brother here to is warming up to the idea of helping me run retreat center, because I don't think I can do it by myself. So
we're sorry, reflect now. You're frozen?
I don't know what else to say. But it's so I'll just let you have time to talk.
So if you just give that last reflection, then you go ahead. I guess he just said he was glad that I was here.
Yes, that we heard that part. But then you froze. Charles. Sweet.
I was just saying I'm glad that I have my brother to help me. Run the retreat center. I hope you decide to take a large responsible role and
I want to just reflect that back, Angela.
You're grateful that your brother's involved in you hope that he takes on a large portion of the roll to make this retreat center. A reality.
Yes, thank you. Okay.
It's my it's my
I try to like your listener, maybe Karen hasn't listened to yet. Pick Karen.
my vision, I guess I would love to hear what, what you are meaning by retreat center. Because as a person who's taught, run retreats and loves startup, there's so many possibilities. So living in Santa Barbara, for the last decade or so, has opened my eyes to not only how beautiful this community is, but how underserved it is. So when I was hosting yoga retreats, there was no place in Santa Barbara. Oh, there was the White Lotus, but there wasn't there wasn't a lot of opportunities. When people come here for weekends, and people come to have weekend homes in Los Angeles. And I feel it's important to continue to teach, to learn and to inspire.
Remember to pause, I get a chance to reflect. Thank you. Now, and Karen, what did you hear Angela say?
She wants to you to delineate what you mean by a retreat center. In specifics. Do you mean people sleep over? Do they come for a day? Are they you know, are you attracting people from other areas? Are you do I my questions? Is there have you thought about?
So all you want to do is at this point just reflect what Angela said it'll come up next after this.
Okay, and that Angela was saying how she loves startups. And I can testify that she's extraordinarily good at startups, having experienced them. Am I not supposed to say that?
Right? You just just reflect back what you're hearing, you'll get a chance to just serve
community and important to teach, learn, inspire, and really give something back to the community that I think it needs.
Yes. Yes. And I'm excited that you're that it's going to stay a retreat center. Locations phenomenal. And I'm aware of the impact it could have on the neighbors, traffic wise and otherwise, but I, I That's it pausing.
So do you want to reflect that back? Karen, what you heard?
Angela is very sensitive to the neighborhood and the location. Yeah, it's the location offers some real benefits as well. Privacy and beauty and space.
Totally. And I think there's especially since COVID, there is a need for people to connect in a way that is not necessarily possible. And just through coffee shops and you know, classes or yoga or or gyms or fitness facilities, but a way to mean I would love for there to be a place where people can go and recharge and be accepted as they are. And leave a little fuller for the visit. Not too esoteric.
All right. Am I reflecting Yeah, you're just reflecting what you've heard Angela's say.
Sort of emphasizing the need to connect, especially with COVID sort of separating people more than we'd like. And given that there's a lot of, again, space, you're not in a confined gym. But the whole I love the idea that Angela said about recharging and coming back a little fuller, better,
more, you know, more person,
I guess. And that was the time to I was for a minute so your turn now Karen to select someone perhaps Rosa who hasn't listened,
Rosa. And what mate? can mine be sort of questions or is that
you can say anything you want. You can pose questions, anything you want.
I was more wondering about how much thought there had been into how you're going to structure it. Is it going to be a for profit? Is it going to be a non for profit? Is it going to be you know who you envision is your clientele? That would I guess would be predicated on your fee structure. If you have retreats, will it be He overnights will it be day retreats will be some combination there of? How much of the space? Are you going to be using? Questions like that? Are people going to be? Like? Do you envision 100 people at a retreat? Or 15? Or will it depend on the type of retreat? I guess? Those are some of my questions.
Karen, what I heard you're asking is, what are the visions for how the facility will be structured? What types of activities will occur, whether or not they will be structured? I heard you ask if there would be overnights days, or if it was just going to be a day. And you also are wondering how many people are going to be at the location at any given point? Those are things that I heard you question. And I'm not sure at this time, you asked also about whether or not it was going to be a nonprofit or a profit organization. And you want to know what my vision was for that. I'll leave that to Edwin and Charles, when we get further into that discussion. Is there more, Karen?
No, that's great. I think that covers sort of the basic questions about as again, I'm presenting as the neighbor who lives literally within eyesight. So that's all of that's great information. Okay, so you feel
hurt. I guess it's your turn, if you want to select someone to speak to.
Edwin, I'll speak to you listening. I'm fascinated by the circle of empathy. And I'm excited to be here. I'm looking forward to hearing what your plans are for this site. As has been mentioned, there are endless possibilities and opportunities with this site. And I'm excited to hear about some of them that I've heard today already. I'm excited to be part of this process. And look forward to seeing what it ultimately becomes. I appreciate that you guys are going to continue the spirit of this space in this way.
So I'm hearing you're, you're appreciating that we're continuing the use of the space in is a retreat center, you're also interested in how it will unfold and just had some appreciation also for the empathy circle practice that we're doing. So a lot of interest and curiosity.
Yeah, and I and I'm just happy that the space is actually going to be occupied. Once again, it's been, you know, empty for a very, very long time. Pretty much abandoned, there's a lot to be done on the property there. You know, a lot of TLC is needed. We did do some tenant improvements in three of the seven buildings. But there's still much to do. And it's going to be a thriving Center at some point. And I'm excited, as a Catholic that the church is going to be maintained and detained and just really happy that it's going to be appreciated for the space that it was, you know, built as and not converted into something completely different.
So you're, you're glad to hear that the church will be maintained, and it's not going to be turned into something completely different. And see what else went blank there for a minute that it will be accurate, that it will be occupied. It's been sitting empty for a long time and just that it will be productively occupied and put to use and it's just I think there's it's a great resource and just that it's going to be used a fish effectively. And there's a lot of tender loving care needed to continue to renovate and fix it up.
Yeah, I think it's under utilized. Now. There used to be groups that you know, use the gym. There's a space that has a library with an amazing collection of religious books, a collection of really cool things. And it's just collecting cobwebs. So the fact that the community will have possibly the opportunity to bring some life back into this This facility is really exciting to me. Yeah, it's
really exciting to you that facility will be able to be used as some life will come in that the previously the gym had been used to library and just, it's just not being used and just clad that's going to be used productively for the community's benefit.
Is there more? Do you feel hurt? Or feel hurt at this point? Thank
you. I'll speak to Charlson. You're muted Charles. Yeah, you're muted. Still. So yeah, in terms of how the facilities will be used, I think part of it is to have these dialogues to sort of work our way into it. You know, it seems like there's a lot of possibility for a lot of different types of classes and workshops, I was hearing yoga, I was hearing, you know, space for art type things, you know, displays. So there's a lot of possibilities. And I think I'm just still trying to work my way into, you know, the possibilities.
So you heard a lot of possibilities, and you're just considering all the different possibilities.
And I had lived for a year at Esalen Institute. So I had worked there. So I have a sense of the type of workshops that Epsilen held. We had a meeting with David Price whose father started Epsilen. And he was also director there for 10 years, I think. So we're kind of in the phase of reaching out trying to, you know, just learn, you know more about the possibilities.
So, you lived at Aslan for about a year. And you're familiar with the kind of workshops they did there. You've talked to one of the some of the founders of Veselin, and he was a director. So you're kind of considering the possibilities.
Yeah. And like this, I see these circles as a way of connecting with the community. So Angela, does yoga retreats, a yoga work, it seems like a great place, you know, out on the lawn there to be doing yoga, for example, you know, holding those kind of, of workshops. And my partner, Joan, the first thing she said is the Allen Art Center. So she's really into the art. So she just I think that ties anyways, to what Karen was saying about places to display art. So it's a lot, it's just, yeah, there's a lot of possibilities. So it's just trying to figure out, you know, how to kind of move step by step towards that.
So yeah, you're saying there's a lot of possibilities there for like yoga on the lawn overlooking the ocean, there would be a good place for yoga, and would be a good place for art, either to display art or to teach art classes, that kind of thing. Was there more?
Yeah, that was that was it. So there's, you know, as a director of the Center for building a culture of empathy, our center is really about building a more empathic society. So placing empathy, mutual listening is a core foundational cultural value. And so I'm excited about that being sort of a central, sort of a central value of this of the space to bring different people together, which is what we're doing right now. I mean, we're sort of walking the talk right now. So.
So your kind of life purpose is to build a culture of empathy. And you're excited to make that part of the retreat center. And so I know you would like to have occasional empathy, training rich rates or workshops out there.
Yeah, a large part of what we do is we bring different sides together. So we've done work with the Republicans, Democrats, you know, left, right, bring them together in dialogues. Our empathy tent team, we've gone out to these demonstrations where there's like street fights between the previously when Trump was to an office in LA and in Sacramento and the Bay Area, we would go there and offer listening to both sides, and try to bring the sides together into kind of a constructive dialogue. So that's a big part of what we do to just try to bring, you know, different, you know, bridge those personal, social and political divides.
So one thing you've done, or an emphasis is to kind of bridge the divides in society, like the divide between the left and the right, and you've gone to protests, and set up your empathy tents and encouraged both sides to talk to each other.
Yeah, and that's my time I feel fully heard.
Okay. I'll talk to Karen. So, Karen, you are wondering if this would be a nonprofit or prompt for profits and enterprise. And I'm kind of considering the possibilities. Maybe it was one possibility it was creating a nonprofit and then the nonprofit would just rent the property. I kind of like it to at least break even. So that's kind of my goal was just at least break even. Like back on.
Yeah, just reflect back what you heard. Karen, just what did you hear Charles say?
Thank you for addressing that profit or nonprofit and he and Charles would like to break even on the property. Yeah.
My vision I an idea is just for the property to be a place where for religious or learning where things like health or yoga, education, church camps, marriage retreats, youth camps, all of those different possibilities
you envision some kind of religious and learning and health kind of application and church camp? Is that like, youngster?
church camps, marriage retreats, men and women's retreats, you retreats and camps was sort of your
so right now. There's been about 15 or so rooms that have been renovated already. And there's also there's also a dormitory and then a library kind of classroom building. And I intend to continue the renovation with that. So Rosa, the architect will be coming up with some ideas for rented renovating those buildings. And then I'll proceed with renovating that and the rooms that have already been renovated some time furniture right now. So in in the next month, I'll be kind of finalizing what kind of furniture would you like to reflect on that?
Yeah. 15 rooms are being renovated. And there's a dorm and I wasn't precisely sure if you're renovating the dorm, but that's obviously a space that exists the library and the classrooms and roses involved in in this project, and that you're going to probably furnish them at some point with furniture, so they're useful. Yeah.
Yes, the dormitory building still needs to be renovated. So that's on the to do list.
So, dorms still need to be renovated.
Yes. So Karen, do you have any other questions?
Yeah, um, so am I allowed to ask them now?
You can ask Charles, if you want. But he'll reflect back.
Do you see it as a as it is now, in terms of what it looks like? Do you see it more upscale? Do you see it more like campy? I mean, obviously, Rosa, you've been involved with it, too. It needs a great deal of work, I'm assuming since it has been dormant for a while, and which I'm just wondering, aesthetically, since I look at it, if you've any thought about what it might look like, physically as you as you change it, both externally and internally.
Well, for the most
part, I was just saying within the process, you want to just reflect back what you're hearing for? What the question is.
So you're wondering if there will be aesthetic changes, both internally and externally? Yep. And
so, yes, or more. Karen, are you have?
Was he allowed to answer those questions?
Until you you're complete with your Oh,
that's it? Yeah. No. Okay.
You feel heard? Okay. Then Charles. I can definitely. Sorry. Yeah. So you can select your listener, Charles?
Well, for the most part, he is speaking to Charles. Speaking to Karen. Okay, great. So for the most part, I think it'll be look, mostly the way it is. Now, there won't be too many big changes on the lawn, kind of overlooking the ocean, I plan to put in some new lawn, some new signs, and kind of make that area look better. Maybe pave the path that goes around it. So I do have some ideas for improving and making it look a little bit better, but for the most part to be aesthetically the same. am I lucky?
Did you just reflect back? We're just staying within this circle process.
You're going to do a lawn and but basically keep it as it is. So it's not going to be huge, monumental changes to it.
Yes. Okay, filter.
Okay, your turn, Karen, whatever. Question. Yeah, you can select someone to speak to her.
Well, can I just go back and continue this dialogue for a second? Go ahead. Yeah. Have you? This is a selfish question. But the but the outside. From where I look looks very institutional. So I was wondering if you were thinking of baby painting the exterior or doing something? It's got like a pink and beige faded? Sort of? I literally, I'd love you to come to my house and see how much of my view is that? Facility? Anyway, that's just a selfish question. But I thought I'd pop that in there.
Okay, so you're wondering if I have any plans of changing mixed area exterior because you think it looks kind of institutional. And I think you think the color of it outside isn't very appealing.
I'll respond to that. I don't have any plans to paint the exterior, but I'm open to considering it. I know it's kind of a brick exterior. So it has a natural Brix color, whatever that is. I'm going there today. So take a look at that. Make a note of that. And then I can tell you better what I think. Thank you.
You want to reflect that Karen
is going there today and we'll look at it and sort of you hadn't planned on changing it but we'll we'll look at it and sort of see I imagine it's probably just one thing on the on the very long laundry list.
Is there more Charles Do you feel heard? I feel hurt. Okay, Karen, if you want to select someone to speak to here
I'll talk to an Angela. Okay. Well, mostly what a command just step back for a second mostly what I have questions. So I'm not sure how I can like effectively ask Angela. I mean, can I draw her out about what she's thinking about for her,
you can say anything you want, she'll just reflect back in the way you tell us a little bit about
you would like put together a program. And but here's my watch. I mean, I think I do you think of an executive director of the property would make sense to oversee all of the various functions that would go on there, including yoga at you've run these things before you've been in business, you've been, you know, a successful executive, do you think it makes sense for them to have like an executive director who's not only doing yoga and wellness, but can coordinate various and other activities? They are? Is that something that would make sense for that facility?
Based on hearing that, you're asking me, whether they, Charles and Edwin have considered an executive director, to figure out what activities would be offered, right,
and to run and manage it sort of
to run and manage any day?
And the reason I asked that is because I think it'd be great. If the community had some buddy, they could sort of have a senior enough level contact person who'd be sensitive to what's going on in this fairly diverse, interesting neighborhood. Right. So
you're looking for someone that's, I think, here that would would run the
Mr. Do you feel heard?
Well, can I say something selfishly, I would feel really good. If somebody like, like, Angela, the neighborhood was well served. I would feel like, you know, she's an extraordinary listener, and she's extraordinarily empathetic. And I don't know, I just wouldn't feel good if I knew somebody like that. Had the responsibility to make this thing, you know, a great place and that it would be well run, I guess. It'd be well managed. So.
Okay. Now I feel embarrassed. But I think, no, no, no, what Karen is saying is that you would feel better if it was someone that you knew and someone that was local and someone that had the experience would make you feel more comfortable about their
Yeah. Okay. So you feel heard and then I guess it's Angeles turn to flex someone.
Okay. Who hasn't had a turn, Charles? I don't think Charles I picture which is Charles. I'm, I'm excited. Sorry. I'm very excited that you were that Edwin worked at SLN. Because what there was a time where a friend was looking for marriage help. And the closest place to go to was excellent. And I thought why don't we have an excellent year, please bring us along here. So I'm super stoked that that's even the language is even in there. So you're
pleased that Edwin has some experience with esslyn because esslyn is kind of like the closest place to do something like this. So you're excited that he's involved?
And I am wondering it with so when whenever I've run something I have a business plan in mind so for me, I have not a red flag but I'm curious about renovating without an overall picture. So sometimes the buildings speak to what can happen but mostly, I feel there's it's it's tricky territory to start, like buying furniture and renovating without an a clear vision. And I know that this process is to do that, but I'm wondering whether there whether you have Clear Vision not worrying this properly. So I just like to proceed with certainty. So this building will be used for this and this building will be used for that. And I'm not sure that that's been done. So that's the question. poorly worded question sorry.
So it's a little hard to hear everything in the car, but you're kind of wondering what the vision is for which room and for each part of the property. And so you think it's important to have an idea for that before buying, like furniture and stuff?
Yes, I think that there's because there's so many possibilities for this, for this place, and I do believe in have profit centers that will fund other less profitable centers, I think you can make it profitable.
hear everything you were talking about? profits, but you're kind of breaking here.
Okay, I will repeat, I think it is possible to run. There will be different profit centers have it structured properly, properly, if it's, I think you can structure it in a manner that you will have profit centers that are reliable, and that can fund less profitable areas.
Okay, so you're saying there'll be different purposes, and some will be more profitable than others, and the profit plans can support the unprofitable and
feel heard. Thank you.
Okay, so I'll speak to I don't know, is there anybody who wants to speak after me? Rosa hasn't gone for a while. Okay, I'll speak to Rosa. So I do want to make the property open for purposes in the community that there would be kind of free, free uses of the space. I heard that there was a meetings go on, you're on there. And that they had to stop using the space. So I'd be happy to let them use a classroom for free, that kind of idea. So that's just one possibility.
Okay, Charles, I hear that you understand that. There have been groups that have used this facility in the past, and that you're open to the idea of offering these types of uses for for the buildings, again, you understand that a group of AAA members met regularly at this site, and you're open to the idea of offering one of the classrooms for that use. And that you want to offer different programs for free to the community.
Yes, I feel heard. Okay. You can speak now.
Thank you. I'm just gonna touch on some of the things that I heard Angela, speak to.
Are you speaking to?
I'm speaking back to Angela. I, Angelou, I heard that. You want to make this a place where people can come and and feel better, I think it was you That's it feel better when you leave. And I think the space, although it has been improved. The uses of the buildings that were improved have been maintained. They are resident rooms. And so those buildings have been turned back into resident rooms. And I think whatever the use is going to be ultimately there will be people staying there. So it's not too much of a waste of funds. I guess there's the word for what has already been put there. But the beauty of this site is that there's this already existing space for galleries. There's already is a space for the yoga, there's already a space for learning and education. And there's also a religious space. And actually a space for health, you know, there's a full gymnasium that's in very good condition there. And so the beauty of this facility is that all of those uses are already there. And they just, as I mentioned earlier, need a little bit of TLC. But I think there's opportunities for all of those uses that have been mentioned. And what has already been done is not like, you know, I guess the word is not done in vain. It's, it's already been improved, so it'll be put to good use. Okay, so
I think what, what I'm hearing is that the facility itself is so dark, it's diverse, and it already has buildings that you've put energy into, to re to reestablish them as they once were. And that, if I'm hearing correctly, the buildings lend themselves to the purpose. So nothing is so nothing is wasted. Okay,
thank you, I feel hurt.
Thank you. Okay, speaking to you, Angela.
Who am I speaking to? You as I do anything? I'm not I'm not sure what else to add to it. I said, when when the buildings create their spaces in their uses, sort of pop up? Then it becomes I loved that, you know, you Charles offered for things flapping starting again, scratch, let rewind. So all of the what is really beautiful about you, two brothers. And Rosa. is I know, Karen, is that you have been so kind as to hold the community's interests and thoughts in space. And I think you can start from a better place.
So what I'm hearing is an appreciation for us holding the the sort of awareness of the community and you feel it's a really good starting space. We're doing hearing some gratitude for that appreciation.
Well, yes, yes. And I think when you start from gathering opinions, then fear dissipates. And obviously, you are good at eliminating the divisiveness, which has become so much part of the algorithm of our current world. And I'm excited for the possibility. Yeah, you're
excited for the possibility of this space. And you just see that when people aren't talking to each other listening to each other fear is created. And so dialogue maybe is a good first.
And Santa Barbara is a city with a lot of firsts. And think there might be an opportunity for another first year. Not sure yet. What.
So Santa Barbara has a lot of firsts. And maybe there's an opportunity here for another first you're not quite sure what that is, but you're seeing the potential. Okay, I'll speak to Rosa. Yeah, I really appreciate you all your insights is this is very clear about the space and you've had a lot of experience with it. So so glad that you're here to with us.
And when I hear that you are appreciative of my knowledge of the site, I have an insight to the site. And you're happy about about that.
And in terms of there's two wings to the property. And one wing has been renovated, so there has 14 rooms that are available for occupancy for overnight stay, I mean, there's no furniture but those rooms are there as well as there's several sort of rooms you know, for like workshops and some really big, you know, like cafeteria, two big cafeteria size rooms.
So you understand that the two residential wings have been renovated and that there are two large spaces, which were dining spaces that have also been renovated and you still have to furnish Those resident rooms that have been renovated.
And then there's the chapel and under the chapel is an area that can be used to sort of, I don't know, multi purpose rooms, and it just needs to be cleaned up and painted. So it doesn't look like too much needs to be done there. So there's there's three pretty large rooms that are, you know, for already quite close to being usable.
And understand that that there's a chapel in place and below the chapel, there are spaces there that can be fairly easily cleaned up and used fairly so.
And then there's one wing, which is the dormitory. And that's kind of what you're working on with Charles to look at for renovating that to make that more of a usable space. So half of it is fairly usable, the other half needs a bit of work, or a bit of work, I'd say.
So there is another dormitory that we're talking to Charles about renovating. And your understanding that some of that is usable. And that that's something that we're looking into renovating soon.
So already, I would say some kind of workshops could be held there, you know, just sort of slowly scaling up kind of step by step, you know, it'd be a space for a yoga or just pretty much anything that could be kind of done there. So. So it seems like the price of the space can be sort of used sort of incrementally, you know, be it's not like one big renovation, and then everything gets, you know, set up, it's sort of it can be slowly sort of developed.
I understand that. You have an understanding that there are spaces that can currently be used. And the work that remains can be phased, and it could be used incrementally so that there's not one big renovation of the facility at any given point. Some of it can already be used. Yeah,
I feel heard fully here.
Thanks. Thank you. I'll speak back to Charles, I don't know if he's around, I think maybe he may be getting out of the car. Let me go to Karen.
I can I just I need to I don't, my I is not going to be able to take much more of this. It's so I'm going to have to take a I just had eye surgery, Rosa. Sorry. So I didn't think I'd make an hour. But I'm going to need to bow out. It's just too much for me to be on the screen this long. Okay, I just want to say thank you so much for this incredibly informative, helpful. I so appreciate everybody listening and the input and rows, I'd love to, like, continue on at some point, as a neighbor. But I'm just really excited that you guys have bought this property and are and your vision seems to be so amazing for it. So anyway, my eyes should be in good shape and another four weeks, hopefully four weeks. So I'm gonna be anyway,
be holding more of these, these will be sort of ongoing. So you're welcome to take part again. Another circle.
eyestrain from Eastern, I'm getting a little crazy, but thank you so much. And we'll I'm sure we'll be bumping into each other.
Okay. Well, thank you for taking part and grateful for your having been here
meeting you all. Thank you. Bye, bye.
Well, then in that case, Edwin, I'll speak back to you. One of the things I wanted to clarify is on the remaining dormitory building, which is essentially three floors. I don't think any of it is currently usable. I think it's been fairly well gutted. There's not much left of what, you know what was there before. And there are great opportunities for it. We're looking into that already. We met on site with David and Charles recently. And it's my understanding that we want to maximize the amount of people we can put in that residence what we called residence hall. It's more of a dormitory. So we're going to work with you and come up with some options. And I heard today also that you're wanting us to possibly look at the classroom building. So I just wanted to make sure I understood what you know we were pursuing or proceeding with next.
Okay, so you're just wanting clarity about what we're proceeding with. With next and there is a three floor three storey residence or dormitory. And that's sort of not really usable space, it's sort of been gutted. And that's really not a usable space
yet. And we're going to try and maximize the use of that building the second and third floor to turn them back into resident rows.
So the intention is to turn those into resonance rooms. They're presently a dormitory and make residence rooms there.
And whether or not we're going to tackle that, in addition to the classroom slash library building, this time or a later date.
Okay, so there's there's two buildings, there's the dormitory and then there's the classroom. Some? Yeah, I guess there's some bedrooms that are rooms there. So you're thinking of just the three floor three storey building to renovate to begin with and not be tackling the other one right off?
Either way, is fine. I just wasn't sure which direction was going to be. Yeah.
So you're not sure which would be to do renovate the whole thing or just one section to begin with?
Yeah, we have some ideas already in place. And we're looking forward to working closely with you guys to to come up with something that'll work best for your facility.
Yes, there's some ideas and kind of looking forward to taking the next step, I guess, developed a facility.
Thanks. Yeah, I think I've been rid of this right.
Okay. Charles, are you there? Or just checking? Now, let's the key. You're muted. If you are there. Maybe they stopped or something. So I'll just speak to Angela, then. Um, yeah, Charles will actually be there. Today. I don't know if he's driving down right now, you might even be able to stop by the property there know what time they're going to be there. But maybe take a look at the space.
Sorry, my dogs barking in the background. So I'm meeting. So Charles is on his way down there. And there may be an opportunity for me to go there later. That would be lovely. I've been to the place to a long time ago, my friend played basketball there.
Okay, well, okay, well, since we since I guess we can just open it up. Now, just to discussion, I like to start with the empathy circle process, because it just makes sure that everyone is heard, that's also sort of a foundational practice that if you know of conflict comes up or something, we always revert back to slowing down the conversation and going into an empathy circle. So I see the empathy as sort of a foundation, you know, for the center to that we are, you know, kind of grounding it in this practice. You know, we want to continue with these dialogues, we have one the next two weeks, on the ninth and the 16th lined up, and then we'll be holding them on Mondays at 10am Pacific time. So you know, invite you to take part in in more, you know, maybe during the week, you know, thing, ideas will come up or your talk with your friends that you can take part in some more, we do record them, we'll be recording them so that, you know, others can watch this, and they'll sort of be informed about, you know, what we've discussed so far. And, you know, keep the conversation going, is sort of the, the intention here and maybe even scale it up, hold more, because I have a large empathy community that I'll you know, right, we're starting with empathy circles with Santa Barbara, community, neighbors, you know, people directly involved and maybe opening it to others, you know, to a larger community, the dialogue about the space. So I just kind of open it up for any comments or just anything you want to say before we maybe close after that. I'd like to speak at family. Yeah, just put it Yeah, just free.
I'm also grateful for the continuity that Rosa has been involved in this project because I think that's important. So I think that's what Charles was doing as well. There's continuity there. There's a continuation of, of intention for the buildings and in the process. And I'm wondering if you have a mission statement or a vision for the retreat center, because even the word there's a lot of people working in Santa Barbara and looking at properties for wellness and retreats. I've know of at least two other people looking at purchasing properties and repurposing them. So I'm just wondering if there is a vision for it or a mission statement.
We don't have a clear vision statement, you know, we have the empathy center, you know, which I do, which is really about bridging social political divides personal social political divide. So that's kind of what I would be bringing to it. So I think we're sort of in that stage and these these dialogues are a bit of a let's we're sort of hearing what everybody you know, where everybody is, I think you sort of heard Charles, you know, that he just likes the whole, you know, idea of retreat centers, it's been meaningful for him. He Charles is more along the religious lines, I'm more secular. You know, so he's, you know, has that's maybe some, but it's I also see the the aspect of interfaith, you know, that bring interfaith groups together. So it's really about, there's no one you know, religion or anything, it's about bridging, you know, the interface, you know, bringing having interfaith dialogues, political, interfaith inter political dialogues to really just create this empathic understanding and connection is. So for me, that's, that's the core of it. And, and everything sort of fits within that vision of a Charles and I, you know, this is sort of new. So we're kind of this you're kind of in the you're in the you're in the sausage making the sausage baking process here with us. Oh,
got it. Got it. That's awesome. idea. I mean, I tuned Catholic, but I like the idea of inter faith as well, because I feel I don't know. I'm all about taking down walls. Right. So and building them in a way that's meaningful. I really, really see how, you know, my daughter's going to be gone. Also, the rest of I'm leaving for Australia for a month, tomorrow. So yeah, my youngest daughter has left left in January was going to come back, but now isn't. So we're going to do a little bit of traveling and, and, and visiting and seeing her, but our oldest daughter's just moved here from our show from Toronto. And, you know, I see 20 year olds really struggling with meeting other people. And they're so isolated, as of this thing. And this thing that we're on screens, I would love, bring problem solving and I don't know classes on ethics and morals and decision making, like how to how to navigate decisions, how to think constructively the was it the Hendricks cup people at Esalen? We're, you know, bringing those like, helping us better communicate and understand each other.
Oh, great. Yeah,
that's what we're about. That's so exciting to me to hear that
you too. Yeah. Because it's like, that's what that's all that I care about. In my life, I've decided if I cannot be of service, I can't really understand another purpose. It's we're all here to be of service to each other, to the world we live in the planet we live on.
I couldn't help but think of a couple of organizations that I've been involved with. And I'm excited about the possibility of them maybe partnering with you in some way, shape or form someday. Edwin and Charles, if you're listening, I've been on the board of calm here in Santa Barbara, child abuse, listening mediation, mazing amazing organization, and maybe bringing some opportunities for children to use that space in some way, shape, or form someday, would be awesome. I'd love to introduce you to that organization. I've also been involved with the building of serenity house, which is a hospice facility here in Santa Barbara, and the boys bed spend time here in Santa Barbara Edwin, you'll see we have an amazing community very philanthropic, you know great people who get a lot of themselves And, you know, those organizations and many others, you know, that, you know, I won't mean just will benefit a lot from this center. And, you know, just bringing them the community and more will be a great opportunity for them to, you know, work with you and use the facility someday. Yeah, that's great.
Yeah, I'd love to connect with all those. And so if anyone has ideas of, you know, projects to host their here, just bring them to actually take part in an empathy circle, invite all those hard, you know, people into an empathy circle to begin a dialogue with us. And if you have an idea of how, you know, something, I think we're almost close to, you just need a bit of furniture could already start holding. When Charles and I were there, we just grabbed some mattresses and slept on the floors. So we need a bit of furniture for, you know, part of that, but, you know, we're, you know, we can get something started just, you know, little projects, like like that, you know, and so just propose something, we can just kind of see about scheduling. And, you know, for people to start seeing, you know, using the space and seeing what it's like and coming up with ideas, that's great. Now,
it'll have to start with making connections, you know, to our community and having you meet all these people, and I'm sure they'll have lots of ideas.
I already feel like I'm making connections here with both of you, Karen. Yeah.
Yeah, I didn't realize that it was that they were considering it for homeless shelter, because I walk up there a heck lot. And, and I know someone just moved in there, like, they were so upset about what was happening. I wasn't really paying attention, because I wasn't, you know, so this is kind of a redirect. Yeah, I like that name, actually.
And we're even looking at what the name is for the space. Charles likes Valinor, which is the home of the Elves and Lord of the Rings. I like empathy center. So if you have any thoughts on the good name for I put up kenosis center.com. So just as a temporary space. So it's easy to I think you'd Anjali had mentioned I putting up a sign on the right at the space was just an idea. Yeah, just know that people who are driving by that they could learn about these empathy circles. So I think yeah, I think that's a good idea. Like, join us in an empathy visioning circle. Go to kenosis center.com. So it'll be easy for people to find so we are. But
since he's driving there, says he has
made a comment about the profitable mania said redirect.
Yeah. Well, I just play it's got to be the love empathy circle, but I feel and I feel it can has to be something so generic that it doesn't stop. So for me, accessibility is super important. I'm all about it. When I teach a class I want everyone to feel that they belong there. Because I never felt like I belonged growing up and I never felt like I belonged in a yoga room. So I'm very sensitive about even the name but that's not my business. Right. I'm just
share looking for ideas. Yeah. Or do you feel energetic about
neutral but accessible? So you know, seminaries pretty intimidating Lord of the Rings my kitten sent my youngest kid would love I didn't even I didn't even know that I'm like that I wrote it down. Valinor There you go.
It's where bilbo and frodo go at the end at the very end he and gal you don't know that even they go off on the ship with the Elsa this on dying lands. But the name has already been taken the domain name so Oh, an issue will redirect
maybe as to know it just like it that happens when you get it's best to do that at the spate Well, in my thoughts are the best dude out the space with a group of people and then organically comes up. You know, it'd be like,
oh, yeah, it'd be idea to get my friend
Amy, Amy Cooper to join one of these because she's involved in a lot of projects around she ran a store at Plum goods for a long time and has been helping other startups as well. And she's a great resource. I mean, there's going to be there's lots of talent here. You know,
lots of talent
It's exciting. I'm happy for you. So I unfortunately they will join into later on. But if I can be of service in any other way, let me know.
Yeah, you can also call in from Australia too. So yeah,
I'm a little SIM card stunned my, I will see what happens when we're down and we're trapped. We're moving a lot. And then we're doing watching some tennis in Melbourne, as we both love tennis. Yeah.
So yeah, like I said, we're on the ninth, I think in the 16th. And then every Monday, you know, going forward, those next two circles are full, and then they're open. And if there's more interests, we can always add another day to, you know, to kind of do these dialogues. They also be running it through the transcriptions and you know, taking notes on the questions and ideas that came up and posting those. So yeah, this is just getting the dialogue started. So, so grateful for you take, sorry, the Charles or something seems to have happened. Really? Internet? Internet. Yeah, he's
still connected. Oh, it is
still there. But we're not seeing I'm not sure what happened there. So anyway, maybe this is a time to wrap up and to be continued. And send out an invite to friends. I think you have the link to this to the invite here. And we'll just keep the dialogue going and hope to connect again, Angela. Yeah. Because you seem to have a lot of ideas and also ideas on how to run a place like this so we can do that discussion. I'd love to
do that. I'd love to talk about that. Rosa, it's really great to meet you to
meet you. Thank you, Angela.
It's really cool. I we have some friends who are architects but have never met you before. It's a little another little Santa Barbara secret. And Edwin, I'm grateful for the there's someone out there trying to repair the divides. I really am. Yeah, we've been
if there's a I'll send you a video you can see there's a documentary called Trump phobia. What both sides fear? I'd love to see that. Yeah, it's and there's a little video clip of our mediation. So we're it just shows us, you know, mediating the sides. That's really what I'm hearing to, that's what you're interested in to. So there's a real synergy there. How do we bring people together? And how do we nurture that connection? And also the youth? You know, how do you give the youth tools just for constructive relating to each other? So that that fits in to that vision? That's the interfaith How do you bring the different sides together? If there's any sort of community, you know, conflict issues, it can be a space for people to come together to dialogue because we have the conflict mediation tools, practices, and so forth. So that I see that as like the core to kind of bring people together like that.
Amazing. Very exciting, huh?
Okay, well, I'll say Goodbye, then. Thank you again. Edwin, I have a good day.