“What are we being called to do at this time? To wake up together.” (Joanna Macy)

Highly recommended!!! A long, very beautiful and inspiring article including an extensive interview with Joanna Macy.

“We need to sit together, grab each other and be together as we even take in what is happening, let alone how we respond. Because alone you get overwhelmed, and it becomes traumatizing. But once people have tasted that they can, with each other, speak about what they see and feel is happening to our world, a number of things happen, in addition to the fact that they fall in love with each other. There is a trust and realization of, “Oh my god, I’m not alone.” There is a return to your own self-respect. I think self-respect has not been realized as such a source of strength in the individual psyche. I think people would rather see themselves facing an overwhelming foe with conviction of their purpose, than to be comfortable.
So that was the release. And the release would come, and as people began to break through their reluctance to suffer with our world, once they took that on and spoke to it, then they found their unity with our world. Often, not only did a sense of bondedness come, but a lot of hilarity. There is laughter and joking, and a shaking off of a kind of spell or curse. A feeling comes, of, “I can be here.” And that feels more liberating and true to you and brings you into the moment when you are less dependent on someone giving you a failsafe method to make everything fine, because no one can do that. (…)
What is called of us now, from the planet? What are we being called to do at this time?
To wake up together. That is actually the name of the movement in Sri Lanka that I went over to do field work with. Sarvodaya. Taking the Gandhian term, but using it in a slightly different way, but the same Sanskrit, which is “everybody wakes up together.”
It’s hard to wake up alone now. It’s scary to see even what is going on. But there is almost no limit, I’ve come to believe, to what we can do with the love and support of each other. There is almost no limit to what we can do for the sake of each other. This taps into the Bodhisattva heart. That’s that hero figure of Mahayana Buddhism, “the one with the boundless heart.” The one who realizes there is no private salvation.
If you are going to wake up, you have to wake up together. Never has that been more true than now, at this stage of late stage corporate capitalism.”

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39448-learning-to-see-in-the-dark-amid-catastrophe-an-interview-with-deep-ecologist-joanna-macy

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Circle Work in the Aftermath of Experiencing Terrorism

Nearly a year ago, on March 22nd, 2016 Kristin Verellen lost her partner Johan Van Steen when a bomb exploded in the Maelbeek Station in Brussels. In the first nights after the attack she met with friends to hold vigils for him. They sat in circle, holding space and listening to one another. Gradually more and more people joined. They kept meeting, including others that had in some ways been hurt or touched by what had happened. Kristin and a circle team that emerged out of these experiences goes on organizing circles in different places across the country. A first international online circle in English took place 2 days ago.

“Telling and listening to each others stories is very important to regain our strength. It helps to deal with our emotions and to face life with a new awareness and renewed energy.
By organising these Circles we want to give the opportunity to everybody who was involved or feels impacted in some way by the terrorist attacks and other forms of blind violence in Belgium and elsewhere in the world to take a moment to reflect. What impact do these acts of blind violence have on us, on our choices, on our society? And what do we do with our precious life and the time we have left?”

http://www.wehavethechoice.com/

Kristin speaking at a memorial service for the victims in the palace in Brussels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFm9bmg65jI

It Starts With Uncertainty

From a dialogue between Margaret Wheatley and Pema Chodrön touching upon themes like uncertainty, compassion and courage. It was written down in 1999, but its content is becoming more relevant by the day. A long but inspiring and encouraging read!
“In fact, a lot of people do know how to be together, but it’s a skill that hasn’t been considered important or given any status in our society. It’s actually been dismissed as insignificant and soft and fuzzy. So courage is what we need, and the source of that courage is recognizing that the questions, doubts and desires that move in me move in everyone else as well.”

http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/uncertainty.html

Guidelines for Shared Mindfulness – Andrew MacDonald

(Adapted September 2014 by Andrew MacDonald from the Concord Institute’s 1995 Dialogue Guidelines)

Shared Field: Work in the mindfulness of a shared field, one that welcomes the whole of you and of all the others also.

Slow Down: Slow down from your habitual pace of interaction and take all the time you need to listen to yourself as you are now, to notice the common field, to express, to interact.

Breathe: Breathe fully and rest in this rhythm of breathing as you participate in the group.

Silence: Tolerate, accept, and welcome silence in the group, either when called for by a group member, or when it falls spontaneously. There is no need to say anything.

Truth of Experience: Speak the truth of your experience as it rises ready to be spoken. This includes fresh noticings that come as a surprise to you, and also, harder to express, the experience of being disconnected should that come.

Deep Listening/Presence: Listen to each other deeply and with presence. Let go of rehearsing your response, or strategizing.

Welcome/Appreciate Differences: Welcome different perspectives and appreciate others as they are. Hold the differences as a creative part of the group’s experience, not as something to be avoided.

No Blame/Judgment: Suspend judgment/blame of self and others and practice simply being together, breathing in the common field.

Hold Intensity: At moments of intensity in the field, hold this experience in your awareness without reacting, or trying to do anything about it. Let it live in the group and be contained within the circle.

Welcome Unknown: Let the unknown of your and others’ experience simply be, rather than seeking to explain or control events immediately.

Patience: Have patience with the workings of the group and the time it takes to grow and change, both individually and collectively.

Enjoy the Process: Enter into the moment-to-moment changes in experience, both individual and group, that necessarily constitute the multi-dimensional process of shared mindfulness.

wakingupinafield.com/colla/dialogue-group/