PORTAL TO UNITY
COOPERATION   -   COLLABORATION   -   SHARED PURPOSE  -  CONVERGENCE  -   COMMITMENT   -   ONENESS

GROUP PRACTICES

Appreciative Inquiry    More | Link | Focus
Centering Prayer    More | Link | Focus
Centering prayer invites all on a spiritual path to sit in the silence, guided by your own principles of faith and understanding.
The objective of centering prayer is to be present to Presence.
To dwell in this state of Presence, chose a word as a symbol that expresses your intention to be with God. Gently introduce your word, supporting your consent to be in this Presence.
When you become aware of anything else (thoughts, feelings, sounds, sensations, etc.), simply, gently, return to the Presence with the use of your Word.
Ceremony    More | Link | Focus
The ceremony begins with a purification rite.
The ceremony includes an invocation.
The ceremony includes an attunement, which brings participants into alignment with one another.
The ceremony includes a statement of intention.
The ceremony includes prayers or blessings.
The ceremony concludes with a closing, such as a prayer or benediction.
The attunement brings participants into alignment with the divine.
Channel of Resonant Trust - Bonding Agreements    More | Link | Focus
I will take the time to listen carefully and do my best to understand.
I will do my best to be supportive and kind.
I will look for the light and beauty in every person.
I will honor my friends at all times, whether or not they are physically present
Circle    More | Link | FOCUS
Everyone gathers in an actual physical circle, perhaps in chairs, perhaps on the floor or on the ground, perhaps holding hands.
One person speaks at a time.
Everyone gets to speak who wishes to speak.
If appropriate or called for, an object, like a "talking stick", is passed around the circle. The person holding the talking stick has the floor and may speak, while others are silent.
Create a circle.
Consider it a sacred space.
One person speaks at a time.
Speak and listen from the heart.
Encourage and welcome diverse points of view.
Listen with discernment instead of judgment.
Share leadership and resources.
Decide together how decisions will be made.
Work toward consensus when possible.
When in doubt or need, pause and silently ask for guidance.
Decide together what is to be held in confidence.
Speak from your own experience and beliefs rather than speaking for others.
Open and close the circle by hearing each voice. (Check-ins and check-outs.)
Cocreativity    More | Link | Focus
We are all interconnected. No one of us knows it all, or can know it all.
It's ok to "not know". It's ok to be unsure or uncertain. Being open to uncertainty is being open to creativity.
Nobody has to "get it absolutely right the first time." We are all in this together, we will work on it together, we'll get it right.
Because we are all interconnected, we are involved in an evolutionary and collaborative creative process, that interconnects the ideas and insights of everyone in our range of experience.
Collective Resonance    More | Link | Focus
Council    More | Link | Focus
Dances of Universal Peace    More | Link | Focus
Democracy    More | Link | Focus
Everyone gets a vote, everyone is equal.
There are various ways to determine the outcome of a democratic election. The majority does not always determine the winner.
Every point of view should be included in the consensual deliberations.
Some points of view are more valid or valuable than others. Surgeons know more about surgery than famers, so when we are voting on surgery, we listen to surgeons.
Dialogue    More | Link | Focus
Dialogue is "a conversation with a center, not sides."
Dialogue is about a shared inquiry, a way of thinking and reflecting together.
Dialogue is a form of conversation that can be meaningful to people from a large number of backgrounds - from every walk of life, from different cultures or traditions, political or psychological tendencies, or professions and levels of responsibility.
Dialogue deepens the glue that links people together.
Arrange seating in a circle, without tables or desks. This creates an open space and promotes listening.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes of silence.
Go around the circle to check in with each other. What brought you here? What do you need to say to be present?
When you are listening, suspend assumptions. What we assume is often invisible to us. Learn to recognize assumptions by noticing when you are surprised, upset, or annoyed by something someone else is saying.
Listen and speak without judgment. The purpose of dialogue is to come to an understanding of the other, not to determine whether she is good, bad, right, or wrong.
Suspend status. Everyone is an equal partner in the inquiry. There is no seniority or hierarchy. All are colleagues with a mutual quest for insight and clarity.
Each of us is an expert in our own lives, and that is what we bring to the dialogue process.
Listen for understanding, not agreement or belief. You do not have to agree with or believe anything that is said. Your job is listening for understanding, new ideas, and new ways to think about something.
Honor confidentiality.
Create a safe space for self-expression.
Diversity    More | Link | FOCUS
Teamwork is essential. Build a star team, not a team of stars.
Diversity of thought, perception, background and experience enhance creativity and innovation.
Facilitate cross-pollination of ideas.
Challenge people from different disciplines and cultures to come up with something better together and achieve creative breakthroughs.
Leveraging Opposite Forces: You can inspire innovation and find a strategic competitive advantage in an organizational and cultural context by seeking to leverage, rather than diminish, opposite forces. People with different cultural, educational, scientific, and business backgrounds will bring different frames of reference to a problem and can spark an exciting and dynamic cross-pollination of ideas.
"An important but widely overlooked principle of organization success is that integrating opposites, as opposed to identifying them as inconsistencies and driving them out, unleashes power"
Polarized thinking is simplistic and misleading. In the business world, ideal approaches are generally painted in gray as opposed to black and white." To be successful in today's complex, rapidly changing and highly competitive world, you must embrace and manage critical opposites.
Harnessing the Power of Diversity and Building Synergies: You can inspire innovation and find a strategic competitive advantage in your team by seeking to leverage, rather than diminish, diversity. People with different cultural, educational, scientific, and business backgrounds will bring different frames of reference to a problem and can spark an exciting and dynamic cross-pollination of ideas.
A team that builds on core competencies of individual players to develop synergies among them thus makes its members more productive together than independently...
To find a better creative solution to the current practice, force yourself to reframe the problem, to break down its components and assemble them in a different way.
"Integrated diversity" is a term used by Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric, to define a synergistic learning culture. He described "integrated diversity" as the elimination of boundaries between businesses and the transferring of ideas from one place in the company to another. "Integrated diversity means the drawing together of our thirteen different businesses by sharing ideas, by finding multiple applications for technological advancements, and by moving people across businesses to provide fresh perspectives and to develop broad-based experience. Integrated diversity gives us a company that is considerably greater than the sum of its parts."
Integrated diversity only works when the elements of that diversity, independent businesses, are strong in their own right. "GE wouldn't succeed by propping up small businesses with larger ones or having weaklings rely on winners. That was why Welch had always emphasized the importance of creating strong, stand-alone businesses."
Treat people as individuals.
Integral Politics - The Politics of The One    More | Link | Focus
Everything is connected to everything else.
All decisions affecting the group should be made within the context of absolute Oneness.
We are one nation, one planet, one people. Everyone is included. No one is excluded.
Meditation    More | Link | Focus
Mutual Trust (1000ventures.com)    More | Link | FOCUS
Trust defined: Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose.
Trust defined (comprehensively): The willingness of a party (trustor) to be vulnerable to the actions of another party (trustee) based on the expectation that the trustee will perform an action important to the trustor, regardless of the trustor's ability to monitor or control the trustee.
Building relationships requires the building of trust. Trust is the expectancy of people that they can rely on your word. It is built through integrity and consistency in relationships.
Listening: If you listen well people will trust you. "You cannot establish trust if you cannot listen. A conversation is a relationship. Both speaker and listener play a part, each influencing the other. Instead of being a passive recipient, the listener has as much to do in shaping the conversation.
Maintain eye contact. In the US, not making eye contact has the connotation of someone untrustworthy. But realize, too, that steady eye contact in some cultures is considered impolite or aggressive...
Empathy: Empathy is valued currency. It allows us to create bonds of trust, it gives us insights into what others may be feeling or thinking; it helps us understand how or why others are reacting to situations, it sharpens our “people acumen” and informs our decisions.
Empathy is also particularly critical to leadership development in this age of young, independent, highly marketable and mobile workers...
Trust has an important link with your organizational success. "Trust elevates levels of commitment and sustains effort and performance without the need for management controls and close monitoring."
Trust between a manager and an employee is based on the trustor's perception of the trustee ability, benevolence, and integrity.
Trust in business: Trust-based working relationships are an important source of your sustainable competitive advantage because trust is valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable, and often nonsubstitutable.
The level of trust a leader is able to garner from his/her employees is contingent upon the employee's perceptions of the leader's ability, benevolence, and integrity.
Truth versus Cedibility: Credibility is intellectual - Trust is visceral.
Behavior: sharing important information, especially about oneself - willingness to be influenced - being fair -- fulfilling promises - avoiding the abuse of team-members' vulnerability
Mutual Trust: Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. In a team, members work in a climate of trust. They are encouraged to openly express opinions, feelings, and doubts.
Team members share important information and ideas. They are fair, willing to be influenced and fulfill their promises. Trust also fosters enthusiasm, ensuring the best performance from everyone...
The Law of Countability: Teammates Must Be Able to Count on Each Other When It Counts
(something new here)
Open Bazaar    More | Link | Focus
Open Space    More | Link | FOCUS
Rule 1--Whoever comes is the right people. If the invitation is clear about the issue and focused enough for people to understand what is being discussed, those with passion about it will come to the event. This works for groups from 5 to 1000 people. This also applies to the discussion groups within the Open Space. It helps conveners focus on the quality of the discussion, not the quantity of people who come. For good conversation, you only need one other person who shares your passion.
Rule 2--Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. It is not possible to predict or control what will happen when people who care passionately about something get together to share information and move beyond our original agendas and old expectations. Opening the Space creates conditions for new ideas to emerge and creative possibilities to be entertained in ways that would be impossible in more conventional sessions.
Rule 3--Whenever it starts is the right time. The nature of creativity makes this rule a very important reminder. Just because a session is scheduled to start at 9:00 AM, there is absolutely no guarantee that anything useful will take place at that moment.
Rule 4--When it’s over, it’s over. Don’t take longer than it requires to get to the end of your discussion, and don’t stop just because the scheduled end time has come and gone.
The One Law—The Law of Two Feet: if during the course of the gathering, any person finds him or herself in a situation where they are neither learning or contributing, they MUST use their two feet and go to some more productive place.
Prayer    More | Link | Focus
Quaker Meeting    More | Link | Focus
Resonant Semantics    More | Link | Focus
Language is composed of abstractions, with implicit meaning that can be very broad and uncertain. When the meaning of some abstraction is not entirely clear, do not simply presume to understand, or "project" meaning into the abstraction. Instead, request further information and detail.
Everyone has their own "private dictionary". Try not to impose your personal private meanings on statements from other people. Instead, look for the meanng they intend.
Let the meaning of words be illuminated by the principles of dialogue - let the meaning of a word converge to a common center and a common understanding, shared by you and the speaker.
Learn to be clearly objective. See and hear "what is actually there". Before "reading between the lines", or projecting meaning into something someone has said, make sure you have heard or read what they have actually said, and are doing your best to understand it.
The tendency to "project" meaning into the words spoken by someone else, as based on our own private dictionaries, is a great and dangerous cause of misunderstanding and anger in the world. Don't "see more than is actually there" -- which is a form of hallucination. Make it your objective to truly "see what is actually there."
Ritual    More | Link | Focus
Sacred Circle    More | Link | Focus
Circles begin with an invocation or blessing.
Circles end with a benediction or blessing.
The circle is conducted with a sense of reverence.
The circle invokes the principle of "Namaste" - "I honor the sacred in you; the sacred within me is One with the sacred in you."
Sacred Listening    More | Link | Focus
Shared Intention    More | Link | Focus
For many of us, our most precious and sacred intentions and objectives for our lives are similar, in profound ways. If we connect with one another around shared intent, our capacity to realize our objectives will be empowered and amplified. And the world will receive the benefit.
The Affirmation of Peace - Vessels of Peace    More | Link | FOCUS
The Affirmation of Peace The Affirmation of Peace is a series of statements or affirmations meant to anchor your embodiment of peace as a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reality. It beautifully reflects your commitment to embody as an inner state, the outer reality that you and all Vessels of Peace women wish for the world. You can incorporate it into your morning or evening spiritual ritual or use it on its own at any time throughout the day. By the Grace of the Divine Feminine, I am a vessel of peace. I carry the dove of peace in my heart I breathe the mantra of peace on my breath I hold the vision of peace in my mind I feel the truth of peace in my soul I shine the light of peace in the world I am a vessel of peace Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
The Art of Hosting    More | Link | Focus
The host maintains the center of the group.
The Eleven Intentions (Vessels of Peace)    More | Link | FOCUS
I honor and receive the transforming power of Shakti, Divine Feminine Energy.
I honor and receive the peaceful knowing of Sophia, Divine Wisdom.
I honor and receive the nurturing acceptance of Mary, Divine Love.
I honor and receive the sacred flame of Hestia, Divine Sanctuary.
I honor and receive the healing kindness of Kwan Yin, Divine Compassion.
I honor and receive the steady courage of Kali Durga, Divine Strength.
I honor and receive the generosity of Lakshmi, Divine Abundance.
I honor and receive the natural rhythms of Gaia, Divine Harmony.
I honor and receive the inspiration of Saraswati, Divine Creativity.
I honor and receive the inner stillness of Sige, Divine Silence.
I honor and receive the Divine Feminine in all Her infinite forms. May Her grace flowing through me uplift and transform the world.
The Path of Love    More | Link | Focus
I want to love with every fiber of my being.
I will protect and honor the spirit of love and keep it safe.
Love contains me. I am love. I serve love. I live to love.
Love interconnects and heals all things. Love is the source from which all things come, and the energy that binds all things into wholeness.
I surrender to love. Love is my all.
The Path of the Bodhisattva    More | Link | Focus
In the various Bodhisattva vows (sometimes called the Bodhisattva Precepts) of Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattvas take vows stating that they will strive for as long as samsara endures to liberate all sentient beings from samsara and deliver them into Nirvana. The Bodhisattva does not seek bodhi (Awakening) solely for him/herself, but chiefly for the sake of freeing all other beings and aiding them into the bliss of Nirvana. This can be done by venerating all Buddhas and by cultivating supreme moral and spiritual perfection, to be placed in the service of others. Bodhisattvas vow to amass inconceivable amounts of merit (punya), which they will dedicate to all other sentient beings, so as to help them attain Nirvana and Awakening. Such great vows are made out of compassion and the bodhisattva devotes his/her powers to helping others attain Nirvana. A fine example of a Bodhisattva vow is found at the very end of the Avatamsaka Sutra by Samantabhadra.
Brahma Net Sutra The Brahma Net Sutra translated by Kumarajiva (circa 400 AD) has a list of ten major and forty-eight minor Bodhisattva vows. The ten major vows are as follows: Not to kill any living creature Not to steal anything Not to engage in any form of sexual misconduct Not to lie or use false speech Not to consume or distribute intoxicants Not to discuss the faults and misdeeds that occur by any Buddhist Not to praise oneself or disparage others Not to be stingy or abusive towards those in need Not to harbor anger or resentment or encourage others to be angry Not to criticise or slander the Three Jewels
Virtual Circle    More | Link | Focus
Virtual Sacred Circle    More | Link | Focus
Walking the Spiritual Path (Ram Varma)    More | Link | FOCUS
Daily Oneness Meditations (towards Self-connection, Universe-connection and Source Connection). Including Self-observation practice.
Ongoing "Lift Your Spirit" Live groups facilitations.
Ongoing Authentic dialogues (at UCS, Global Resonance and UCS forums).
Detached Involvement/Let go (after doing my level best) practice in my day to day living.
Soul to Soul communications/relationships Awareness (i.e. Namastey) ... compassion, respect and consideration for all I interact with.
Divine Presence and Divine Trust Practice in all I do.
Present Moment Presence and constant Intrinsic Remembrance, "I am a spiritual being having human experiences". And rejecting every form of conditioning in the living of my life, keeping open always.
Ongoing Awareness that I am here to do, to learn, to share and to enjoy. And be not lost (i.e. keep afloat) in the worldly affairs.
Listening to my inner voice and doing things accordingly.
Selfless Service (with my unique talents).
Practice of a "Spiritual Strategist"; focusing on the "Truth" as Is.
Constantly contemplating and seeking the Infinite. And rejecting that which is finite and limited.
Frequent reminders to my vow of maintaining Non-violence/peace in my thoughts, my feelings, my words and my actions.
Being aware of the points of views of others. Acknowledging and respecting their freedom.
Remembering my "Purpose of Life" ... understanding, practicing and sharing the "Truth-Awareness-joyfulness" that we all are in our intrinsic natures. In the process, being that I am and being present with all that is.
Whole Systems Decision-Making (Carolyn Anderson - Co-Creator's Handbook)    More | Link | FOCUS
Rest in a deep knowing that for every challenge there is at least one solution.
Realize that there is no need to convert, fix, or change anyone.
Align in a collective agreement field of shared resonance.
Honor all perspectives by practicing deep listening.
Release preconceived notions, acknowledging that we are not in charge.
Allow decisions to emerge that are congruent with our inner knowing.
Be actively engaged in the process and take full responsibility and ownership for the decision.
Principle 1: Honor body, mind and spirit. The value of what is often called the linear, left-side of the brain or masculine way of processing information is greatly enhanced when used in concert with our artistic, intuitive, more feminine way of knowing. Learning to honor and draw upon both aspects of our mind creates a "whole brain approach" to accessing clarity. It is expansion from linear to holographic thinking.
Principle 2: Observe what is naturally occurring. In a self-organizing system, decisions are revealed by observing what is naturally occurring. Carefully pay attention to where energy is moving and then articulate the process. Release the need to control and predict by trusting life's ability to self-organize. Through this recognition, you can identify new forms and structures that are in alignment with a higher consciousness. Often a decision has already been "released" and the answer is patently obvious. You simply may not have noticed what has happened naturally and organically. The next time you ask "What should we do?" first look to see what is already happening. You may experience a "blinding flash of the obvious."
Principle 3: Work synergistically with nature. Align powerfully with your intention; nature will provide the energy to guide you in your actions. You will experience alignment as deep spontaneous agreement, reinforcement, trust, encouragement and love. Call upon the "spirit of co-creation" to move through the aligned "field" you have created. Invite nature's potent ingredient of synergy to help you discover the decisions that you already know within.
Principle 4: Focus on internal values. The internal process and the path you take to achieve your goals should be consistent. Are you currently modeling the result you want? Are your values embodied in your actions? Plant the seeds in the present moment that are fully aligned with your goals and objectives. Be accountable to your internal process. Learn to self govern from the inside out and to take dominion over the local self.
Principle 5: Relax and have fun, allow decisions to be revealed with ease. Have you ever had a word "on the tip of your tongue"? Have you noticed that the harder you try to remember it, the more difficult it is? Finally, you let it go and move on to something else. In a flash the word appears! By relaxing, you "released" the word. So much brilliance emerges when you are taking a walk, having a shower, or awaken in the middle of the night. The state of resonance is a relaxed state. From this state you can release what you already know. Often when you think it is time to buckle down and get to work, it is when you most need to lighten up! You will discover that many decisions reveal themselves when you think you are taking a break!
Principle 6: Those who know, lead. Leadership is a reflection of the consciousness and connection of the group and mirrors the highest purpose to which the group aspires. Leadership naturally flows from member to member as the focus of the group changes. In order for true growth to occur, the leadership must be open and flexible. Each individual, through his inner guidance, offers his unique talents and insights in response to the needs of the moment. Therefore, the leadership rotates as the individual with the greatest knowing steps forward to lead.
Principle 7: Co-creative power is empowerment. In dominator models of social organization, power was understood as taking and holding on to complete control. To maintain "status" or to prevent being left out, people felt that they had to do things which were not their natural gifts. In contrast, in whole systems decision-making, you discover who has the best knowledge for each activity and then you empower each other to do what you do best. In a co-creative society, power is what you each exhibit when you are in your element-when it is clear you know what to do. You "give away your power" when you do not step forward with your unique gifts and do not share what you know at the appropriate time.
Principle 8: Co-creative structures help to release the decision. The old forms of domination and submission were characterized by force, coercion, and fear. It is no wonder that the old form of deciding was conducted in organizations that had "divisions" (cut off from others) and "departments" (boxed in). By accentuating separation and suppressing empathy and creativity, these structures prevented natural synergy. In whole systems decision-making, each part contributes its precise function freely as a cell within a living body. Each person is honored and respected for his unique gifts. Moving beyond perceptions of scarcity and competition, co-creators build new structures and protocols based on abundance and cooperation. Shared purpose and appreciation for each individual's unique contributions leads to positive change and expansion.
Principle 9: There is always a decision that is mutually beneficial. As all life is interconnected and inter-dependent, the action of any individual part affects the whole. In co-creative organizations everyone's needs are considered and there is always a decision that supports the whole.
Principle 10: Focus on the whole, as well as the self. A key to releasing the best decisions is that each of you is responsible for your own needs. Assessing what is right for you (honoring your needs and living a balanced life) and communicating clearly is the responsibility of each member of the Core Group. Establish a protocol of "check-in" times in which each of you can communicate your thoughts and feelings about the pending decisions; however, do not hold anything back in the moment because it is not an official "check-in" time. Use the protocol of "check-ins" to enhance, and not replace, ongoing communications.
Principle 11: Communicate with integrity. While engaged in the decision-releasing process, consider whether what you are about to say moves the decision forward or stops the flow. If it may stop the flow, rephrase it before speaking. Communicate the truth for you, clearly and without unnecessary drama. Take responsibility for your emotions by being authentic in your expression.
Principle 12: If decisions are not forthcoming, it may be time to re-establish your group's alignment. If you notice undue struggle, effort, or drama in releasing the decision, take time to re-establish your relationships with each other and the goal. There may be underlying emotions, unquestioned beliefs or issues of control. You may want to refer to the processes for resolving feelings of separation. Proceed only when you feel totally aligned again. This may necessitate taking a break and reassembling at a later time or letting the issue rest for a while. Sometimes it is not "right timing" for a decision to be revealed. Perhaps other insights or additional information is needed. Trust the process. When the time is right, a decision will be clear.
World Café    More | Link | Focus

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