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Archive for November, 2009
I’ve recently been reading Bernie Mayer‘s new and game-changing book, Staying With Conflict.? A frequent leader in the world of conflict engagement, Bernie Mayer has spent many years working on large scale collaborative change and conflict processes, many of them in the environmental field. He is also a strong proponent of the need to be clear and transparent about the assumptions behind practice. With John Paul Lederach and Leah Wing, Bernie Mayer is one of my favorite practitioners and thought leaders in the “conflict resolution” world.? A couple of years ago, Bernie came out with a book called Beyond Neutrality that loudly and strongly asked for those in the conflict engagement field and those facilitating collaborative processes to cease and desist with the concept that we practice as “third party neutrals.”? In this new book, Bernie is pushing forward, changing the basic understanding of “conflict resolution.” He calls us to understand that, in fact, much of what is needed is not resolution, is not decision-making, agreement-building to overcome deep seated conflicts, but rather approaches that help people build the adaptive capacity and platforms from which to act – to stay with the tensions and conflicts that are an essential part of the human experience, to engage in a way that brings human dignity and that allows us to really stay in the difference. Read the rest of this entry »
I am just returning from a weeklong spiritual retreat for which the central focus was selfless service. I literally spent the week gardening! (And yes, those of you who know me are right to find that funny!) I did chant and meditate every morning, noon and evening, but in this very special place selfless service is considered a spiritual practice on the same level as meditation.
I bring this up because it felt like as soon as I got there I had all sort of “stuff” come up. It was like the minute my life became a bit more silent all of the things that lie below the surface came bursting up in an overwhelming rush. I had real moments of emotional upheaval very early in my stay.