Collaboration. Many see it as essential to bringing forth the world we desire, yet it remains elusive at the scale we need.  Join us for a week-long exploration of the challenges and opportunities we are experiencing in pursuit of this "holy grail" of systemic transformation.

We are beginning our inquiry here on the forum, and then continuing with our regular Monday Cafe Call on October 22:

Register for our Monday Vital Conversation Series
8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT

Note: this theme will also inform our Tuesday "Connect2012" and Thursday "Occupy Heart" calls.

Occupy Cafe stewards Jitendra Darling and Ben Roberts will be the "conversation starters" for the Monday call, drawing on their experience of collaboratively bringing forth Occupy Cafe, as well as ideas that have been "in the air" at the recent conference of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation and the Bioneers intensive on "Catalyzing a Resilient Communities Network."

Here is the framing we used in our three breakouts during the Cafe Call:

  • Describe a time when you experienced powerful and effective collaboration
  • Imagine it is two years from now and you have been part of a collaborative initiative that has had transformational impact. What inspired, or perhaps compelled you to participate and what made this collaboration so effective?
  • What assumptions do we need to test or challenge in thinking about collaboration?

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Yes, I do get a sense of the shakiness, Dyck.  And of course this whole dynamic can occur in person as well.  I certainly get the basic notion that attachment to our own trajectory (the "propulsion" you referred to on the call) can take us out of deep listening and limit our ability to collaborate as a result.  It gets to the core of the distinction  between the desire to pull people over to my space versus looking into the center for the collaborative synergy that might be there.

And it ties back to the discussion of Being the Invitation again also.  My assumption is that all parties express themselves which interact, conscious or not.  Manifestations I'm playing with are, 

Giver (speaker):

  1. Self-focus (feigned care about inclusion),
  2. Welcoming (friendly, but others must initiate, persist, take care of themselves), and
  3. Invitation (making relationship a primary matter of import).

And for the receiver:

  1. Self-focus (difficult to listen, easily hurt or offended, no relationship, conflicts, can cause speaker to be more forceful if noticed)
  2. Welcomed. Some incentive & work to stay with if topic is understood, potential for frustration & wrong stuff to be communicated, weak or easily broken relationships
  3. Invited. Sense of solid relationship, easier to understand, encouragement to speaker.

Interesting Dyck.  I think this could be a helpful map on which a person could locate themselves via their experience.  The next step would be to name the dynamic one could employ to restore their experience to "optimal", if one were interested and willing. 

I think folks might float through a number of these levels in the course of one conversation spanning both giver and receiver, depending on their current presence and attention.  The "game" might be to restore coherence (the spirit of invitation) in any given moment. 

I'll refrain from adding my pespective as to what those might be.  Perhaps you already have something to add there.

Jitendra, this 'map' seems incomplete to me... I'm not sure, and I'm inclined to let it expand and get 'into' me.  What if the 'dynamic' one employes may not arrive via 'rational thinking' channels (like deduction, purpose)* but via contemplative process or dreams or prayer, etc.?  In that case I would want to be looking at the richest rendering of reality so that behavior changes come naturally, from purest conditions.

* "deduction" and "purpose" seem too small to build 'right' behavior on.

Is it perhaps about a group being comfortable with silence - giving each time to assimilate, and about practising compassion and being open - where we put self aside to be give our attention totally witholding judgement and preconceptions, while offering respect and dignity to another. What is not being said is more likely to be heard in the silence than in the chatter. If others feel this coming from someone, they feel heard, then they are more likely to listen attentively when it is their turn to listen Perhaps reality is now, in the silence when we give it space. Perhaps as soon as we bring in schools of thought or critical thinking we drag in the past and alter and direct what is ?.  .

Yes, Gael.  To Silence, and 'about' lots of dynamics and relationships (internal & external). 

I want to 'know' how it feels to be a knee or a toe or a kidney, lymphs, microbes, cells, synovial fluid, a physical heart and a brain each functioning for the whole body purpose (like a symphony of living- birth, fighting, growing, dying).  Perhaps this is kind of what's going on in a group body.

Then, I want to add the spiritual heart, the consciousness, semi-consciousness, unconsciousness, the intelligence/divine to inform my purpose.

Wondering if such 'dreamy' constructs are useful to help me see... to find my way?

Dick there are probably many ways, but I don't think we find it by striving intellectually.  I think this lady comes closest as she says only by practising with dedication is comprehension gradually revealed and there are truths in spirituality without religion and shared in all major religions, she delves into the major religions and their history where meanings have been changed in the past to uncover the basics and original meanings,.bringing us back to the simplicty of the golden rule.

Kidneys and cells etc? Probably feel a bit like us when we consider ourselves as but a small part of the whole, that comprises this our living planet or human within the whole body of life which is both in us and without.

Gael, I couldn't agree more if I understand what you imply about not striving intellectually.  So, I hope you'll see this could not have been my point... to strive intellectually.  I'll say a little more hoping to clarify.

When I speak of 'knowing' I mean not intellectually but rather holistically... in the bones... behaviorally... not abstractly.  You will find plenty of evidence in my postings of my efforts to speak bring in experiential acts.  But, as you know experience is not without involvement of the mind.

Kidneys and cells etc? Probably feel a bit like us when we consider ourselves as but...

It's hard to notice when sometimes we're being abstract (intellectual).  But you can tell whenever there's separation between yourself and the object.  For example in the above statement the word "us" separates the  "Kidneys and cells" from 'me' when in fact in real life "I am kidneys and cells."  I want to destroy my own bias, illusions that I (spirit & soul) am something different than my body even if it's only my vessel for a few years. 

This is how I want to conceive of myself... as all of my interconnected components... not as something separate.
It extends from here to my unified world too (for me a work in progress to realize this beyond my intellect).

Am I not kidneys and cells.., spirit&soul..., mind&intellect? My immune system is as dynamic, complex and using the same operating system as my conscious mind. Is it part of my body or my mind..? Or is everything  interconnected, not to be addressed separately?

What would He the Spirit say if I mark intellect as his mistake and stop using it? Can I be the judge?

So sorry if you felt I implied, it was certainly not my intention and I apologise. My heart went out to your plea of wishing to understand, scientists studying heart have found its vibrations are actually far stronger than that of the brain, my life as a nurse meant a strong streak of empathy and compassion, yes I used my brain too because it was important that the knoowledge applied to the nursing situation was up to date and researched, but from my own point of view brain was in service to heart not the other way around. It was the,same with marriage and parenting brain in service to heart and love and compassion.

mmmmn , yes, but I can still be aware of my different parts, though mostly feeling holistically,  sometimes feeling is specific and sometimes more general, and yes we are spirit in body but also spirit extending out from body and affecting touching and being with others, think for a moment how a cheery smile or anger affects those around us, extending out from those we know to some we never meet.  When we feel empathy and compassion we are stepping outside of ourselves to feel with the other, putting them first before self. Personally I have experienced spirit separate from body in an NDE and one other occasion so my experience would appear to differ from yours, no better or worse just different and I fully respect your different view, without the experience I would not have believed it either.  For me when my spirit extends out from my own body the last thing on my mind is I and my focus then is you us, we or the planet..  I understand you might possibly think it illusion on my part, but I am happy to be a little vulnerable in an effort to share ideas with you and perhaps both learn something new.    You said when I speak of 'knowing' I mean not intellectually but rather holistically... in the bones... behaviorally... not abstractly.  You will find plenty of evidence in my postings of my efforts to speak bring in experiential acts. In the bones sounds like gut feeling or intuition, would that be the right interpretation? My life has been strong on intuition - when young and foolish I dismissed it and ignored it, wanting to be "normal"" but I learned to heed it, and accept it as normal for me, because often it was a call for help from loved ones or patients when it was a physical impossibility for me to know due to distance. Also I wrote poetry some came to me effortlessly - only fully understanding its full meaning later in life.  Life for me is full of deligtful mysteries revealed sometimes without effort of mind, so personaly my experience has been different to yours, though  some experience demands great involvement of mind as you suggest - for me some does not and there are synchronicities at work which feel as though they come from something greater than I. For instance the theme of silence and active listening has come up in many places around the globe lately, dovetailing and interweaving . Synergy is another theme that keeps cropping up in my life in many different areas - from synergistic gardening to a crystal skull called synergy, and synergy in nature and architecture - I cannot explain it but simply go with the flow with an open mind and learn. Sorry, I have rambled on a bit, just sharing ideas and hoping something might be of interest to your quest. When I consider the universe and infinity, my need for certainty diminishes and I am content with mystery, which leaves so much yet to be revealed, life would be so boring without mystery. lol.

Gael, it might be a surprise to know how many of your observations are resident in me also.  It was surprising to me.  These appear to obscure themselves in limitations of the written word used to communicate on forums.  Your words are warm and sincere and wise so easily advancing the cause of collaboration... and cause me to think thru things a bit more.  I'll respond to only part of your post and look forward to much more connection perhaps on the calls.

As a body (for purpose of illustration) "I am" everything that operates to make this machine go.  I see it this way because it obeys natures holistic rules and is so very synergistic... and in the infinite ways I can't know now.  But, "I" am not my body. I am only using it like one would use a tent... temporarily.  It is expressed well in this poem called Eruch's Prayer (it refers to reincarnation, spiritual advancement, and at some point realizing Truth (God). Some will not accept this. Nonetheless, I do.)

  • I am not my body,
  • I am not my mind,
  • I am not this
  • I am not that.
  • I am nothing but a living lie of that Truth that is me.
  • And unless the lie is dead, the Truth cannot be.

No wonder we all collaborate to die as soon as possible - as civilization. (See parallel thread about elections).

On the other hand the synthesis of both threads would be very interesting, but I am too dumb to try...


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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