Some harvest below from friend and host of our recent Practitioners Circle, Lorrie Gaffney. I love her call to remember the importance of meaning constructed in the group. And I love the place of vision and compassion from which I see her living.
Practioners Circle: Kayenta Compassion
What a joy it is to write this, holding the gift of faces, gathered around a circle, sharing heart and mind. Starting with “behold” is most often for me, so I can keep a piece of you – which makes me smile just writing this.
Learning can come in many unexpected forms but it leads toward where it needs to go regardless. Some of the things I learned from our time together:
I often think abstractly and speak metaphorically and can find myself surprised when I realize I’m not “speaking the same language”. For example, the word “shopping in Kayenta” to me means exploring the amazing amount of creative expression in the art village – I’m in awe at the limitless ways people find to share the ways they see the world. But of course by putting that in the description for the meeting people had a different concrete image of what that typically entails. Similarly, Silence, Celebration and Sharing, mean “ways of being”, more than activities, to me. In silent contemplative prayer with a group of people I have experienced all three in a way more powerful than I have ever experienced any one of those separately. Each of those words can have very different meanings that include specific activities.
With my bias, I came to the circle “assuming” we would dialogue about a general vision –not the concrete details. I know the details are essential for success and it is out of love and compassion that people want to offer those knowing they can make or break the outcome. And there will be a time I have to seek out the practicalities and write concretely, but for now I just want to build a strong foundation because what I’m offering is based on a deeply spiritual approach to life that is counter-cultural. A market economy is at the heart of our way of life. We don’t even consider another way (unless we know people in 3rd world countries who approach money and giving very differently and have experienced their teachings).
Even though I broke one of the 4 Agreements “Don’t Make Assumptions” (from a popular book some years ago), I have heard some very helpful wisdom that has helped clarify foundational pieces.
- Purpose of Renewal/Recovery – Important for those in compassionate work as compassion is an emptying or giving of ones’ self.
- Spirituality in Action describes the type of compassionate work I am inviting to renew/recover
- Invitation – I thought I wanted it broad – but it is really for those intentionally living out compassion as central to one’s spiritual journey
- Definition of compassion varies: two components essential for me: empathy & meeting needs“identifying deeply with the value of another and acting to meet needs or improve life”
- Just do it: have fun inviting groups and encouraging their input in the weekend
- Being Curious… open to what honors the stated values and purpose
I appreciate the gift of you… individually unique voices… yet somehow all quite the same where it matters!