Self-Portrait

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Meredith Jordan
Rogers McKay

15 Glaude Avenue
Biddeford, Maine 04005
USA

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What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

What new movement toward growth or ensoulment is quickening in the heart of the human family at this time? And what unique part is each of us born to play as this impulse to grow quickens in and among us?

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

I have participated in one kind of group or another---and have experienced many different styles of group leadership---for more than thirty years. Each experience had taught me something I still use today when I facilitate groups or participate as a member of a non-facilitated group. The common truths I have gleaned from this continuum of group experiences are these:

• The more each individual feels safe to speak truth, abiding by parameters agreed upon in advance by the group members, the more rich and meaningful the experience is for everyone in the group.

• No person holds the answer, or the wisdom, for all. Each person matters to the success of the group’s purpose and the outcome of the group’s experience.

• Listening to each other with devout attention, in groups and in relationships of all kinds, makes a critical difference in the decision of participants to be authentic with each other.

• Placing a greater purpose, a clear intention, or a higher meaning than individual agendas at the center of the group (circle, conversation, relationship) creates a stable container for whatever the people have come together to accomplish.

• We have a lot to learn from one another; the greatest lesson is that our most significant teachers show up in unexpected forms. Therefore, never turn anyone away from your heart.

• If we develop ways to come together across differences that separate us, and work toward a common purpose, there is good reason to be hopeful for the future, not only of humankind, but all of creation.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

Perhaps the single most driving force in my early life was the belief that there were other people who shared my longing for strong and meaningful connection across differences that seem to divide us. I wanted to find them. I wandered, more curious than lost, asking, “Where are my people?” Somehow, I believed we were meant to work together toward a larger purpose than any of us could individually embody.

The great delight in mid-life has been my experience of other people emerging from quiet, solitary journeys to participate in humanity as a larger, collective presence of what I call “change agents.” I see this web site as an attempt to weave our individual strands into a collective story…and our individual paths into the idea of a collective work. I am happy to join you.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

I think of two stories. One grows out of an encounter with a teacher many years ago when I was a teenager in his church confirmation class. The teacher explained why Christianity was the single true path to God, or what I have come, later in life, to call the Mystery. I asked how that could be. It seemed improbable to me--- if we’re created as a beautiful diversity of age, race, nationality, religion, and ethnicity---that any group of us would be favored over the others. The teacher was baffled by my question, and I was baffled by his inability to understand (or answer) it. It seemed perfectly apparent to me that we are parts of a greater whole…and that the whole is enriched and enlivened when each of the parts makes its unique contribution. It was this exchange that led me to suspect my window on the world was different.

The second encounter that brought me to this work stems from an argument I had ten years later with a friend I thought was very wise. He objected to a quote hanging on the wall of my first home: It is in each of us that the peace of the world is cast. From there, it must spread out to the limits of the universe.

I was proud of this quote. It reflected values held dear to my heart. My friend---a philosophy and religion professor at a local college---challenged me. His strongly held belief was that all change originates at the macro level, and trickles down to the personal. I was just as strongly bound to the belief that change starts at the personal level and moves outward to the collective. We had fierce discussions about who was right and who was wrong, until a new possibility occurred to me.

“Maybe we’re both right,” I suggested. “Maybe change starts anywhere it starts, and moves in ripples, out or in, until everything else is effected.” He grumbled and sputtered. Finally, though he made it clear that he doubted this was true, he agreed it was an acceptable compromise in our standoff. From the perspective of time and age, I now see that I wanted to participate as far back as my teens in conversations with people of diverse viewpoints. I wanted to engage in lively, rich dialogues of deep meaning and authentic connection.

These two events, along with others, were catalysts to propel me onto the psycho-spiritual path, searching for answers to my many questions. I’ve been questing ever since.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I offer, first, my writing. I am soon to release a book called “Embracing the Mystery: The Sacred Unfolding in Ordinary People and Everyday Lives.” This book is a compilation of stories about the Mystery emerging in our midst, and the call being issued within us to embody this fully. It is published through Rogers McKay, the non-profit, ecumenical, spiritual-educational organization I co-founded in 1997.

Rogers McKay provides a variety of programs to help ordinary seekers of all ages and all faiths to create a sustainable spiritual life by listening for the presence of Mystery in their everyday lives. I offer our web site, accessible at www.rogersmckay.org, as another place where conversations emerge to support all of us in the efforts we make to generate new ways for people to come together.

I offer myself to conferences, retreats, consultations and conversations where I could be helpful in exploring the multitude of ways the Sacred Mystery is revealing itself in and among us.

Links to this site or others:

Rogers McKay

Books & Articles by Meredith:

Standing Still: Hearing the Call to a Spirit-Centered Life

The Second-Half Marker

Twelve Simple Instructions


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