To allow negativity into the Coptic Conference or not, that is the question.
This weekend’s spiritual event at the Holiday Inn, 101 W. Springbrook Drive, set out to help, among other things, enlighten attendees to new ways of thinking. That would extend to how one should handle negative energy and negative people. Attendee Rebecca Lewis-Carico thinks negativity should be welcome at the event, which held more 400 people. Without emotions like negativity, people won’t be able to develop a coping mechanism with how to deal with it, she said.
“Negativity is always a learning lesson,” Lewis-Carico said.
She joked that she and a friend were just joking that the Coptic Conference isn’t a trip to Disneyland, where everything is necessarily supposed to be overly happy at the expense of reality. That being said, she said the event draws many like-minded people who are developing their own high understandings of spirituality and how to use metaphysics to help them know how to become what she calls “heart-centered.”
The event, titled “Who Are You? Celebrating the Oneness of the I AM of a Powerful Spiritual Being,” put on by both Coptic Fellowship International and the Tri-Cities Metaphysical Study Group, was set to run through an action-packed Sunday before the convention wrapped up for another year. Entry into the convention is free, but tables and services outside the speaking presentations were available at a cost.
The kind of people drawn to the metaphysical conferences often show up because of the strong sense of friendship that came together through networking. There was a specific table outside one of the convention rooms that gave guests a chance to connect with each other through various resources.
“When events like this take place,” Lewis-Carico said, “it’s like a mecca.”
Her religious reference may not have been a mistake. Director of Coptic Fellowship International John Davis said the event was going extremely well, with all the speakers of various backgrounds and the reception and reactions they’re receiving from attendees. The point of the whole thing is simple to Davis — welcoming everyone and being respectful of each and every one of the world’s religions.
To show this, Davis said, he and other organizers displayed mini flags of each of the world’s nations at the base of the stage that would feature many of the diverse speakers, including Sherry Anshara, PMH Atwater, Patti Conklin, Chief Golden Light Eagle, Robert Huttinga, Roy Martina and Michael Tamura.
Just around lunchtime Saturday, Tamura was speaking to the crowds about how to consider their inevitable deaths, but that it failed in comparison to the eternal spiritual life. Through jokes and promotions of positivity, Tamura delivered his message that the spirit is immortal.
“Last life, I died at Hiroshima,” the Japan native joked to the crowd. “It was a blast.”
He said that death is an instant, but living is the hard part, having to suffer through corrupting thoughts in the brain and even gravity itself, which is beating up each of us.
In an interactive exercise with the crowds on hand, Tamura had the crowd relax, close their eyes and take deep breaths before picturing themselves sitting on a big tree trunk that connects to the middle of the planet. He asked that each person go inside themselves to picture their spinal cords attaching to the tree trunk so they could link to the Earth’s energy. From that connection, he asked that each try to tap into that energy and feel it flow into their person, leaving the bad energy and negativity behind.
Outside at a book signing after, he met a woman named Eileen who was told her name meant “light” and that she probably had psychic powers throughout her life.
Carol Bartley came all the way from Dayton, Ohio, for more than her 10th year in a row. She said she’s a dowser and attends conferences for that as well, but Johnson City’s Coptic Conference always leads her list as the must-go event of her year.
“I’ve listened to two talks that have given me personal messages that relate to me,” Bartley said. “And that’s all I’m willing to say. They really struck a nerve.”
She’s a big proponent of disallowing negativity at the conference, but anyone is welcome. Though she was brought up a Christian, she said each person can come to events like this one and find their own individual truths.