Travelling with Nancy Kline and Time To Think

What shape of you waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky
— David Whyte

This last month I travelled around South Africa with Nancy Kline on her 2016 teaching tour and I am left with a richly textured montage of memories.  Nancy is the originator of the Time To Think model and her deep, lifelong interest in how the human being thinks best imbues her teaching with vibrancy and immediacy as she, together with her faculty, continue to explore what components best create an environment for independent thinking.

This living ever- developing model can be compared to a tree that changes shape and grows new branches in its dance with life.  As we moved locations we were blessed with unique guardian trees in each place as if life itself was showing us the synergies between the Time To Think model, the neuronet of the brain that thinks and the system of life we are all part of.

Under the slopes of Table Mountain, a venerable Oak, three hundred years old, damaged in a high wind two years ago, has been tended with the same love and attention a listener gives to a thinker, so exquisitely that a new profuse crown has grown. In the presence of this elder, we watched and learnt as Nancy demonstrated the beauty of a Thinking Partnership Session ® done with precision and fluidity – love in action.

Driving to Stanford, the colours of the fire-burnt black mountainsides, golden stubbbled fields, and the brown muddy puddles of farm dams are vivid reminders of the severe drought.  A giant Blue Gum tree, one hundred and fifty years old, stands firm, its mottled brown bark peeling away showing the beauty and strength of the bone-white structure of the trunk.  Every question and step in the Time To Think model has been tested true, and each year the Global faculty meets in South Africa to discuss and develop the structure of the model knowing this is what gives their students and clients the safety and freedom to explore fresh, independent thinking.

Our last stop was the man-made forest we call Johannesburg. The night we arrived my hotel room overlooked the thunderstorm of lightning,  the wind and life-giving rain lashing the green leafy canopies that arch over the suburban streets. The next morning I welcomed delegates as they walked over soft damp grass smelling of summer rain. 

For the next two days we came together in circles, letting the busy roar of traffic and the buzz of our minds fall into quiet, as we listened to each other and to Nancy. I looked around the room at the faces, young and old, all alight with the wonderment of experiencing a Thinking Environment®, and I felt so grateful to be nourished by this knowledge and teaching, and to see it so deeply nourish others too.