I'm just back form a three week pilgrimage to Uganda. In addition to leading a 10 member team offering dental and medical treatment to 400 children and adults I was able to convene a 2 day training that combined an introduction to The Journey and The Art of Convening. While the red Ugandan dust and the amazing warmth of the Ugandan people is still settling on my heart I wanted to share a few reflections.
1. The relational technologies of The Journey and Convening are applicable across cultural contexts. That is because they tap into the perennial stream of human experience and longing. Beginning with a recognition of the limitations of the "story", the path of transformation that meanders through the fields of practice, sacred experiences and co-creation is a common human path wether one is in Africa or New Jersey.
2. Context is key. Though the path of transformation may be archetypal, language, worldview, layers of cultural experience need to be respected.
3. People everywhere long to share their story, to be listened into being.
4. I am wrestling with the question of capacity to attend to processes of intentional transformation. How does Maslow's hierarchy of needs inform one's ability to give time and attention to practice? When one's attention and energy is focused primarily on aspects of basic survival how can one attend to the "pause"? Conversely when (in my context for example) one has the "privilege" of not having to search daily for potable water and nutritious food many still find it hard to find to time to practice pause. What effect does having relative easy access to one's basic needs have on the potential for transformation?
5. Related to these questions, I find Ugandans for the most part more grateful for the gifts of life. When it rained a few days while I was there my dear friend Caleb was so happy... "The rain reminds me that life will go on, that things will grow."
6. The "Invitation" on The Journey breaks open the heart and the story that is ALWAYS too small for the soul's longing. May my heart remain open to Love's invitation to work toward a world that works for all.
Notes for the Way
This is a space for Journey Guides to post "field notes" and observations along the path.