“Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle… The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were … and so it is in everything where power moves.” - Black Elk
May 28, 2021
Dear Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Communities,
We are happy to provide this biweekly update on the Compassionate Reconciliation Project. This update contains information on the development of the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission and upcoming events accessible to the global Sangat.
Monthly Information Sessions
For community members interested in learning more about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project, Just Outcomes will be offering a series of information/Q & A sessions. These sessions will be held monthly and at different times to accommodate various time zones. Following is the information for our first session.
The next information session will be scheduled for Monday, July 5th at 4 p.m. PT.
By Cara Walsh, Catherine Bargen, Aaron Lyons, and Matthew Hartman
“Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle... The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were ... and so it is in everything where power moves.” - Black Elk
What are circles?
A circle is a dialogue process with the goal of creating deeply respectful space to be with one another. In a circle, everyone’s voice is equal and uninterrupted; no person is more important than another.
Circles are an ancient form of human interaction that have been preserved through Indigenous peacemaking traditions, taught widely and generously, and embraced by people of many cultures around the world. They are based on the understandings that the world is profoundly interconnected; human beings desire to be in good relationship; and that we all have essential gifts.1
Circles embody in physical form the values of respect, inclusivity, equality, collaboration, honesty, and transparency. There are no sides and there is no hierarchy. When we come into a circle, we are stepping into a place of genuine encounter. Created with intention, the circle is a powerful container for all of the human experience.
May 14, 2021
Dear Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Communities,
We are happy to provide this biweekly update on the Compassionate Reconciliation Project.
Over the past two weeks, over 70 Sangat members from around the world gathered for a series of online facilitated workshops called the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission Summit. Participants included people from many different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, identities, ages, and relationships to the Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities, who have agreed to co-create and serve a process of healing and repair within the community. The purpose of the Summit was to create a foundation of understanding, relationships, and skills from which to launch the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission.
Over a total of 18 hours (and for some, into the middle of the night), these courageous members of the CRC Advisory Teams shared with honesty and vulnerability about their experiences and perspectives on the current moment in the community. They learned together, sat in circles together, and sometimes cried together. Second Generation members, women who experienced harm in relation to Yogi Bhajan/SSS, and community members who have expressed concern and dismay at organizational responses to the reports of harm, shared a space of compassionate listening along with numerous representatives from within the organizations and wider Sangat. The Summit was a place of connection, struggle, hope, uncertainty, pain, honesty, and many more experiences, held within a container of attentive listening. The image below, created by Summit participants at the conclusion of the event, captures some of this experience.
In our training modules and discussions, we explored issues of social equity and the many ways in which power and hierarchy are experienced within relationships. We looked together at the current expressions of harm and conflict, with an eye to context and possible root causes. We explored personal and collective experiences of harm and crisis, especially their impacts on our relationships with ourselves and others. We developed and practiced new skills, explored concepts of conflict and justice, and began to imagine together a path forward that can address harmful experiences while honoring the identities, goals, and perspectives of a vast diversity of Sangat members.
This work is just beginning, and much lies ahead. As the Commission begins to plan and envision a compassionate response to the individual and collective needs of the Sangat, its members will be working hard to elicit voices and engage as many Sangat members as possible. We will also be working with the Commission to continue sharing updates on what is happening as the process moves forward.
Yours in kindness, compassion, and gratitude,
Catherine Bargen, Matthew Hartman, Cara Walsh, Aaron Lyons, and our extended Just Outcomes team
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