"What practices enable the emergence of collective wisdom?"


“"Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have fatih in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you."
- Sheng-Yen

PRACTICE: Osani, The Circle of Love

Pygmy kids begin the Osani Circle game by sitting in a circle, feet touching, all connected.  Each child in turn names a round object; the sun (oi), the moon (tiba), an eye (ue) -- and then goes on to name a figurative expression of "round"  -- the circle of the family, togetherness, or the cycle of the moon.  As players fail to come up with a term that is "circular" they drop out.  Eventually, only one remains.  Tradition has it that this player will live a long and prosperous life. [Photo © 2004 Jean-Pierre Hallet - Licensed by Susan Fassberg]

PRACTICE: Rediscovery of Labyrinth Walk as Collective Practice

The labyrinth design used by Lauren Artress is a replica of a Medieval Labyrinth design inlaid into the stone floor in Chartres Cathedral in France in 1201. For the last 250 years, however, it had been forgotten and covered with chairs until Artress led a small group of people into Chartres cathedral to remove the chairs to then experience the meditative walk first hand. From that point to date, Lauren Artress has reintroduced people worldwide to the collective practice of the labyrinth walk.

EXCERPT: Principles Circumscribing the Field of Collective Wisdom

After more than 60 of the initial Collective Wisdom Initiative interviews, we began to hear patterns. There appeared to our listening ears, patterns that seemed to echo from transcript to transcript. Chris Strutt brought her talents to putting these patterns into a concise and organized form. And then she brought together illustrations and direct quotes to make clearer what we were hearing.... [continued].

EXCERPT:The Labyrinth as Tool for Further Understanding of Collective Wisdom

Lauren Artress whose work with the divine imagination led to her rediscovery of the labyrinth is now re-visioning how the labyrinth as a sacred tool can further our understanding of collective wisdom. See an interview with Dr. Artress and learn about opportunities for practice.

SEED PAPER: Archetypal Practices for Collective Wisdom

In language both precise and elegant, Tom Hurley articulates a coherent framework of inner practices associated with collective wisdom. He offers a vision of individual and group development inextricably woven together and catalyzed by deep patterns already embedded in human experience. What are these patterns that function as a vital source for increased personal and collective capacity? How can we begin cultivating these practices alone and with others? What are the mythic underpinnings that allow individuals and groups to “go deeper”?

Describing sixteen interrelated practices, Hurley acts as guide and weaver showing us how personal growth and collective capacity are constellated with the search for common purpose, spirit, and social invention. For those of us seeking the hidden wholeness in groups, this seed paper is a treasure - an invitation for inquiry and a distillation of timeless strategies for development.

SEED PAPER: Entering a Different Level of Dialogue with the World

In an interview with Otto Scharmer, Susan Lanier describes her facilitation and healing work in groups which integrates the family constellation approach of Bert Hellinger with the ways of Indigenous Medicine People and Spiritual Elders. Susan's work seeks an alignment of time-honored practices that broaden our perceptions of where wisdom resides. It emphasizes the importance of reverence and humility as we deepen our understanding of the presence of our ancestors and the spirit inherent in all things. In this way, she guides her groups to develop their capacities for the wisdom of a far greater collective.

SEED PAPER: The Circle as Sacred Container

Marilyn and Bill Veltrop of PathFinders, along with FireHawk and Pele Rouge of Resonance, talk about their experience with Pathfinder Circles and the Pathfinder Community Retreat that was held over summer solstice in 2002. They ask the question, "What is it that contributes to inner movement, relational movement and collective movement?"
NOTE: If you have a very fast internet connection, you can also download a PDF version which will allow for a nicer printed document. It requires acrobat reader to download and view.  If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you can download it here (8-10 Megabytes).

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