Listening to our collective life
The practice of consensus builds the faculty within us for listening and moving from our collective life.It takes care, curiosity, courage, centering, confidence, creativity and commitment.
Imagine for a moment that every interaction you have with another person creates a bond that connects you both. After decades of daily and varied experiences, imagine how these bonds proliferate exponentially and intensify connection and understanding, much like what is found within healthy familial relationships. Now imagine that same quality of care and collaboration rippling outward exponentially to other households and the greater community. In time, these bonds become so dense as to be empathic.
This web is made up of a collective wisdom that we all, young and old, get to tap into and appreciate how much we need the other.
What Consensus is not
- Not a set pattern of rules
- Not just a decision making process
- Not an alternative to parliamentary procedure
- Not about giving one person the ability to block, as in tyranny of the minority
- Not a process that allows the majority to overrule the minority
- Not about lobbying every one to your side
- Not about voting
- Not about sides taking
- Not about personal agendas
- And not about compromising your needs
What Consensus is:
- Values the process as much as the outcome
- Requires emotional literacy
- Is an ontological practice, a whole way of life
- Builds a capacity to stay open, transparent, responsible and accountable in the midst of conflict and relationship.
- Holds a commitment to meeting everyone’s needs, and not at the expense of one another.
- Reflects the uniqueness of each group
- Develops the sense of we are all one.
- Requires the capacity to move rapidly between group and self awareness
"One thing I continue to learn by being here is better communication skills" Sara Rekow
Once Upon a Hill(in praise of where we live)
It began 10 years ago, first is an idea, Next the gathering of souls, and then a hill facing southwest.
Now I can't tell where one part begins and another leave's off.
I sing praises for this creation.
Since I've known you, you've made her many that stood my hair on end, meals and connections that the body be on the body; arguments, then reconciliations that inspired and cajoled.
Friendship and humor that took deeper hold simply because they've been earned. You've known and he laces and police cars, the trip of bicycle tires circumnavigating your pal, double upon list of all part and your soils and coaxing sustenance.
Swing dancers and Sufi dancers or the oft syncopated footballs of toddlers, lovers, those with divorce on their minds, those with sweet mundane chatterings.
You've seen geese migrations and human too;, It's, or Aurora, and babies born at home. You weathered tears, flashes of rage,whopping thunder, a snakes tongue flick away from lightning, wind that snaps old trees, and talk upon talk of how we make and ends meet.
So late, you've income pissed at me and call the agitation of my adult fear. The months and years I'll on, as does the history of this place, only recently settled by wise cracker folk.
You have so many other stories to tell, some I've glimpsed--
A 5 ton boulder mostly hidden by moss in remote ravine, left here by retreating glaciers 10,000 years ago, he alligator lizard and skink or call of a loon on the wind.
That acorn from some unfounded hope treeLaying on the forest floor
Nightly a softball moon, lobs in to the glove of the Olympic mountains.
By day, chlorophyll in all its shades and textures proliferates. You should hear plants and crawling things get wilder and of all results this fact could perhaps make us most proud.
Since I've known you you've parceled out surprises. My heart has added girth with 10 variegated growth rings, the recent ones being particularly wide. I sing praise for all that you've given, I do sing praises.
Robert Dash 1999