Offerings - Community building
Community building is a method discovered by Scott Peck. We recommend his book "The Different Drum" very much, especially if you would like to come to us, as it is part of our weekly program and is included in nearly every seminar we offer. Why do we put such emphasis on this? Having been on this planet for a while, we both found that GOOD communication is a highly important tool. It is missing often in families, between partners, in companies or associations, yes, even in monasteries! We think GOOD communication is vital and is the basise of living together. Also the Buddha recommends four ways of "Right Speech" meaning speech that is supportive on the path to happiness.
These four recommendations are, roughly spoken,
1. to be honest,
2. to abstain away from malicious speech or speech that could harm others (like talking behind someone's back, conveying someone's failures to a third person),
3. to speak tenderly with compassion and
4. to abstain from idle speech.
Ppractising this is a very complex and difficult intention. Therefore we have been looking for helpful methods. After exploring many of these to improve communication (like Non-violent communication from Marshall Rosenberg and Client centred therapy from Carl Rogers etc.) we found the "Community Building" method by Scot Peck highly mind opening, heart warming, very transformative and beneficial for every participant and thus wonderfully effective, and we decided to keep practicing it. We also practise it for the two of us. The community-building meeting, or as we abbreviate it "cbm", is a safe space to explore oneself. As everyone is encouraged to speak his or her truth, as there is no interference or reaction, no defending or explaining, this setting gives every participant space to breathe and relax and be him- or herself. Here are the "Guidelines for Community Building":
- Respect absolute confidentiality.
- Be on time for each session.
- Be responsible for your success.
- Commit to stay until the end of each round.
- Say your name before you speak.
- Listen to your inner voice and speak when moved to speak, don´t speak when not moved to speak (Impulse versus reaction).
- Speak personally and specifically using I-statements.
- Speak from your present experience; explore yourself
- Don´t ask questions, don´t give advice, don´t lecture, speak about yourself.
- Recognize the value of stillness and silence in the community; leave a minute after each talking.
- Be inclusive and avoid exclusivity.
- Express displeasure in the group, don´t do it outside the circle.
- Participate verbally or nonverbally. Be emotionally present with the group.
- Listen attentively and with respect, when another person tells you something.
- Don´t already work on your answer while the other person is talking.
- Take a risk.
- Share what is essential.
The process has a great transformational potential for every participant as it is possible to have lots of feedback and reflections of the other participants on how they perceive, feel and see us. If we are open to really listen to this and open to reflect the feedback receiveds, this has a great value, as we all know about the "blind spots" in our own perception!
We practise "cbm" in BuonaVita one time a week.