I am thankful to my wise teachers who share a love for all beings and help me discover attitudes and ways of developing self and society as indivisible aspects of our evolving world. Each is devoted to individual development, methods for working together and improving conditions in the flow of humanity's progress.
The fruits of each one's pioneering work reveals phenomenological, participatory awareness approaches that dissolve perceived barriers between observer and observed, subject and object, knower and doer, enemy and righteous. Thanks to my teachers and my friends, I am in good company to learn, discover, lose, and discover again on the human journey.
I have coined the term deep power for the expression of these impulses in my life and work.
The core of my approach to facilitation, coaching and conflict work is Arnold Mindell's processwork. Deep democracy - a term he coined in 1972 - is a guesthouse attitude permeating processwork methods, that welcomes all parts of experience and all states of being in encouraging people and communities to evolve - equally important are tangible reality, subjective experience, and the power of deepest fleeting essences in transfromational change:
Creating freedom, community and viable relationships has its price. It costs time and courage to learn how to sit in the fire of diversity. It means staying centred in the heat of trouble….if you step into leadership or facilitatorship without this learning, you may spend your time recapitulating the blunders of history – Arnold Mindell
Processwork has roots in Jungian psychology's body-dreaming connection, physic's relativity and entanglement principles, and timeless indigenous wisdom of the interconnectedness between nature, the cosmos, people and community. Arnold Mindell and colleagues have been developing and validating deep democracy methods for over 40 years, and continue to update and expand applications around the world in many diverse fields including leadership and organisations. A deep democracy attitude welcomes facts, feelings and deepest essences in people, the collective and the environment. Diverstiy and tensions are nature's way to the temporary experience of wholeness and community.
I am enriched beyond measure through learning with Drs. Ellen and Max Schupbach, Dr. Ruth Weyermann and Dr Josef Helbling, faculty of the Deep Democracy Institute. Max is, along with Drs. Amy and Arny Mindell a co-founder of Processwork, with a pioneering contrbution in the field of leadership, orgnsation and global conflict work. Max and Ellen are co-founders of the Deep Democracy Institute, an international think-feel tank with leadership programs and projects in the Palestinian West Bank, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, San Francsico and Europe. Interview on Worldwork methods and Deep Democracy. The Deep Democracy Institute consults, researches and teaches deep democracy perspectives, methods and tools in organisation and leadership innovations in public, private, government and non-government organisations, as well as political parties.
Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science set me on a life-long adventure to connect wholeness in myself, in the universe and in our shared humanity, through practical work in local associations active in inspired, practical intiatives - therapeutic, educational, land-based, entrepeneurial and organisational:
Spirit is never without matter, matter is never without spirit.
We must turn our criticism of our present day civilisation inward and learn to think differently. Then external social conditions will change their present form – Rudolf Steiner
Paulo Freire's discoveries while working with disenfranchised land workers in Brasil, led to self-powered changes in the conditions of their lives and their society. His method of liberation through literacy encouraged me to expand ways of resisting helplessness through noticing, reflecting, interacting and deciding how to act to transfomr existing circumstances:
True generosity lies in striving so that these hands – whether of individuals or entire peoples – need to be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work, and working, transform the world – Paulo Freire
Fred Emery's open systems thinking and participative design pioneered methods for optimising results through the indivisible relationship between meaning, self direction and collective productivity in the workplace. From Fred and Merrylyn Emery I learned to recognise and work with design principles in the background of an organisational environment towards expression of personal and collective visions in the context of the broader world:
People are purposeful and can be ideal seeking. Given the right conditions, people want to learn and create their own future – Fred Emery