“The kind of conversation I am interested in is one which we start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person.” - Theodore Zeldin
April 30, 2021
Dear Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Communities,
We are happy to provide this biweekly update on our work with the Compassionate Reconciliation Project. Our team is preparing to welcome all Compassionate Reconciliation Commission Advisory Teams, in a special online Summit early next month. Meanwhile, we had the privilege of facilitating group dialogue sessions over the past two weeks – one with a group of National Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association Leaders (April 15), and the other during the Spring Khalsa Council Meeting this past weekend (April 23 & 24). Courageous participants in both meetings shared and listened with honesty and compassion about their experiences with painful tensions being felt across the community.
There is a tremendous strength apparent within the community. Many members have spent years cultivating personal characteristics that can contribute to the success of this work: strong emotional grounding; self-discipline; an orientation toward growth and conscious evolution; a willingness and eagerness to serve the greater good; attitudes of faith/surrender toward circumstances that are outside of personal control; persistence to address and overcome personal tragic or traumatic experiences; and the ability to dwell in paradox and uncertainty. We have been struck by the aptitude and willingness of community members for genuine dialogue when given appropriate structure.
Dialogue is very different from debate. It involves deep listening, a degree of vulnerability, and a willingness to be affected by what we learn from others. It is focused not on winning, but on building understanding for mutual gain. Dialogue is a tool, and like any tool it is not appropriate for every situation, such as when significant trauma is present. But the choice for dialogue is always available to us in our relationships. Entering dialogue in any setting requires personal preparation. Here are a few simple principles we have found useful in preparing for dialogue around issues of conflict:
5 Principles of Engaged Listening in Conflict
A question to consider: what if the real choice in conflict were not about which side of an issue to argue for, but instead a choice about whether or not to ‘side’ with the path of dialogue?
Yours in kindness, compassion, and gratitude,
Catherine Bargen, Matthew Hartman, Cara Walsh, Aaron Lyons, and our extended Just Outcomes team
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 Credit: Carolyn Schrock-Shenk
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
-Margaret J. Wheatley
April 16, 2021
We are happy to provide this biweekly update on our work with the 3HO, Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities. For background about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project, please feel free to visit the project website here. This week’s update will focus on the role of the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission that is currently in formation. Thank you for your time and interest in reading this update.
What is the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission?
Some of the opportunities of a collective, transformative process like the Compassionate Reconciliation Project include:
The Compassionate Reconciliation Project that is currently underway within the 3HO, Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities considers how to achieve these types of goals. The Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC) is the vehicle by which these goals will be discussed, nuanced, altered and brought into action, with Just Outcomes’ support.
April 2, 2021
We are happy to provide this biweekly update on our work with the 3HO, Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities. For background about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project, please feel free to visit the project website here. Thank you for your time and interest in reading this update.
A Word About Trust
One of the opportunities of Compassionate Reconciliation is to build (or re-build) relationships of trust. In this update we would like to explore the issue of trust, which can be simply defined as a belief in the reliability and integrity of others.
The surfacing of varied experiences of harm within your community has brought about deeply painful questions about trust for a great many people. For some this is a crisis of trust in Yogi Bhajan/Siri Singh Sahib as a spiritual teacher. For others it is about trust in organizational leadership, or in the foundational norms of the community. Some have experienced a crisis of trust at an interpersonal level: among Sangat members, co-workers, friends, and within families. Many are sitting with inner conflict and unsure about what to trust within themselves.
For some, the crisis of trust occurred long before this current moment. They have long awaited signals and actions from the community and its organizations that could signify a recognition of, and reckoning with, harms that occurred in the community. Others have left the community on their own accord or have experienced being compelled to leave.
In this context there are naturally many questions about the trustworthiness of the Compassionate Reconciliation process itself. Whose interests is it meant to advance? Is it really intended for authentic dialogue and change? Will it privilege harmony over meaningful justice? Will I/we be silenced or have a voice?