What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?
“Within secular and pluralistic institutions, how
can we cultivate collective spiritual grounding and discernment?"
What is your personal experience of collective
wisdom in groups?
Some of my deepest experiences of collective wisdom have
been with groups in prison, in Alternatives
to Violence Project workshops and in Restorative Justice groups.
When we, as groups, have been able to speak honestly and vulnerably
about the ways we have hurt others, and the ways we have been hurt,
I have seen a collective wisdom emerge.
What is it about the work in this field that excites
you and connects you to your own deepest self?
I am drawn to learn how we can pray for the healing of
institutions. I find that contemplative prayer with and for others tends
to soften and strengthen me. Bringing this presence and practice into
consulting with organizations is a challenge for me, and one that I
keep returning to. Here are a
couple of stories about that.
Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of
what brought you to this work.
Since 1994, I have worked with criminal justice institutions,
such as prisons. Here’s
a story about how my focus started with personal transformation
and evolved into institutional transformation. I am a part of a Quaker
faith community, and the Quaker practice of discerning the “sense
of the meeting” or divine guidance for a group is an important
foundation for me. The writings of Walter Wink about the spirituality
of institutions are also important for me, as are the frameworks of
Appreciative Inquiry, restorative justice, and nonviolent action.
How would you like to be available to others in
I am currently (early 2009) in the middle of a sabbatical
where I am focused on dialogue with others about the intersections between
spirituality and organizational life. I welcome conversation about
that topic. I also do organizational development consulting with
groups in Minnesota (USA).
Links to this site or others:
Spirit of Insititutions