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1. What did you bring here with you? 2. What do you hope to take with you at the end of this workshop?
Conflict is a turning point
a relationship that signals the opportunity for growth, and for making a change for the better.
What it is that conflict changes when it escalates?
Six key changes/shifts that conflict produces: 1. Change in perception and seeing the other person as the problem.
Person 1 Person 2
- most of the language will tell who is to blame and who is responsible. - shift from talking together to address the problem together (to looking at the same direction), to blaming the other.
2. Shift in issues.
-the issues expand; need for conflict mapping - escalation of conflict is around many other issues - context vis-à-vis relation - perception of the other about me and vice versa
What is conflict?
3. Change in communication pattern.
- moving toward another/different dimensions - speaking less together - going away from the relationship outward towards others not directly involved. - people have to rely on indirect communication (gossip, chat behind the scenes), on anything that resembles the truth. - Polarization--moving away from where the conversation is needed
4. Reciprocal causation.
- people begin to look at conflict
in a new level. - conflict has now become the reaction to the reaction. - conflict continues independent of the original persons involved. - the dynamics of the interaction becomes itself the problem. - reaction becomes the justification of the next action.
5. Goals change.
- people come to a place where the purpose is no longer to solve
the problem but to hurt the other, to be vindicated, to take revenge. - form drives a certain level of hostility—passive aggressive
6. Organizational/system change.
- sharp polarization of two or more groups. - one set of people become close together; they agree on anything. - they do not talk to the other, but together. - people want to hear only their own version of the truth; they do not disagree or try not to disagree. ”Our strength depends on our agreeing with one another.”
How to address conflict?
Understanding the SELF in relation to the world
Receiver of stimuli from the outer world
Sees the Self as part of a greater whole, and is able to engage the thinking and feeling processes in the experience. PRESENCE OF BEING in full awareness of the whole prevails in the experience.
Perceives the outer world mainly through the eyes, and makes sense of the experience through the thinking process. Rational thinking is dominant in the experience.
Experiences the outer world through the physical senses; Feelings are dominant in the experience.
Human Experience of Conflict
Outer World Inner World Inner conflict of thinking, feeling and willing
conflict between the self and the perceived external world
Conflict in Relationships
Sees the Self as PART of a greater WHOLE, and is able to recognize and respect DIFFERENCES; is able to transcend feelings of aversion, see through fear and choose in favor of the wellbeing of the whole. Has the courage & capacity to move FROM FEAR TO LOVE.
When what is being perceived does not make sense, uncertainty arises. When not assuaged, this may lead to FEAR. Fear in relationships may result in anger, and anger in hatred. Natural tendency is to argue, debate, and to prove ones self right and the other wrong; to fight back.
Experiences discomfort, pain, and threat to personal wellbeing. Feelings of aversion. Natural tendency is to avoid pain & discomfort.
The Power of Thought as revealed by “The Messages from Water”
Dr. Masaru Emoto
Doctor of Alternative Medicine from Yokohama, Japan. He was introduced to Magnetic Resonance Analysis (“micro-cluster water”) technology in the U.S. In 1994, he engaged in an extensive research on a new water evaluation technology. He experimented on Water Crystal photography. He took pictures of water as it freezes (at 5 ̊ C below zero) to form crystal structures.
Clean & pure water
Biwako City lake in Shiga
Yodo City river, in Osaka
But Dr. Emoto’s experiment went beyond just photographing the molecular structure of clean & polluted water…
He photographed water samples before and after being exposed to certain kinds of MUSIC.
Heavy metal rock
Furthermore, Dr. Emoto’s experiment went beyond the effect of sound vibrations on water molecular structures … He asked: What if we expose water to certain WORDS (placing water in bottles with labels overnight) ...?
“You make me sick. I will kill you”
“Love & Gratitude”
“You fool” (Japanese) vs. (English)
Water crystal structure of Fujiwara Dam before & after being prayed over by a Shinto priest for one hour
Before prayed over
After being prayed over
How many percent of water is the human body? How many percent of water is the whole planet Earth?
How much then can you affect your self, your children, the people, and the world around you with your words and your thoughts?
Ask yourself: 1. What was your INTEREST? What was the INTEREST of the other? 2. What was your ATTITUDE towards pursuing your interest? What was the ATTITUDE of the other? 3. What was BAD about the conflict? 4. What was GOOD about the conflict? 5. Did you RESOLVE the conflict? If yes, how? If no, why not?
Understanding DIFFERENCES in POSITION
Understanding DIFFERENCES in DISPOSITION
Essentials to the endeavor of addressing conflict - Dialogue - Presence - Heart Listening
Introduction to Dialogue and Interfaith Relationship-Building
What is Dialogue?
Dialogue comes from the Greek word dia--through, and logos--word.
In Interfaith Relationship-building,
a. Dialogue is a way of being in relationship with God, Self, and Others in the world. b. It is a two-way communication process - within ones self - between the Self and the “other”
Dialogue is not possible without a profound love for the world and for people. Love is both the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself. Only responsible people–the subjects of their own history--can participate in dialogue, and it cannot exist in a situation of domination.
Domination is like a mental illness of love. Love is an act of courage, not of fear. Love is commitment to other people. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love involves commitment to their cause, the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, must take place in the form of dialogue. Love is brave and free, it cannot be sentimental or manipulative. If it does not lead to other acts of freedom it cannot really be love. It is only by abolishing a situation of oppression that it is possible to restore love in that situation. If I do not love the world --love life—love people, I cannot enter into dialogue.
Anne Hope and Sally Timmel, Training for Transformation: A Handbook for Community Workers (London: ITDG Publishing, 1995), 26.
In relation to other human beings, Dialogue may be • An end in itself • A means to an end
As an end in itself
a. Because it is who I am, my nature as a human being. b. Because I am a human being, I am constantly in a state of dialogue.
As a means to an end
a. To live up to the teachings and ideals of my faith
b. To address conflict and understand and appreciate the “other” c. To build mutually respectful and harmonious relationships and promote peace, justice and healing
Question: Is my way of being in this world with others lifegiving and nourishing? Or is it destructive and self-serving?
Participants in Dialogue: a. SELF b. OTHER (persons, animate and inanimate objects in nature, etc.)
AWARENESS of SELF in RELATIONSHIP with the OTHER SELF Position Interest Value Need OTHER Position Interest Value Need
Forms of Dialogue
- Dialogue of Life
- Dialogue of Action - Dialogue of Religious Experience - Dialogue of Theological Discourse
Dialogue of life.
Here, participants are drawn together by their ordinary life circumstances to relate with one another on the level of their everyday concerns (such as school, work, family, neighborhood, business, etc.). They do not necessarily discuss matters of religion, but relate with one another about common issues of concern in their daily life (such as the safety of their children’s playground, the security of their neighborhood, garbage disposal schedule, noise pollution, etc.) that affect them collectively. They relate with one another on these matters from the values and ideals of their respective beliefs and faith traditions.
Dialogue of action.
Participants collaborate and work together for a common good. They engage in joint projects and activities that promote the realization of a common vision or aspiration (such as lobbying for higher wages, cleaning the neighborhood sidewalks of garbage, planting trees along the river to prevent flooding during the rainy season, etc.). Here, it is important that the relationship is built on the foundations of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.
Dialogue of religious experience.
This is different from the dialogue of theological discourse in that it is primarily focused on the experience of God (or Absolute Reality) in prayer and worship rather than on discourse. Here, the participants must be deeply rooted in their respective faith traditions in order to participate in the sharing of their respective spiritual or religious practices (e.g., prayer, meditation, spiritual expressions, religious festivities, etc.) without fear of violating their own beliefs. The dialogue practitioner must not only be rooted in faith, but also be open to and respectful (and perhaps even appreciative!) of the experiences of the members of other faiths traditions.
Dialogue of theological discourse.
Here, there is the exchange of views, information, and theological reflections on the respective religious beliefs of the participants. This is what is commonly thought of when people speak of interreligious dialogue. This is perhaps one of the most difficult of all the ways of engaging in relationship with people of different faiths, and it is advisable to have an experienced interfaith dialogue moderator to act as the third party and facilitator. Ground rules must be laid prior to engagement, and a “common ground” or a “safe space’ must first be created to accommodate the diversity of views, convictions, and sentiments.
SELF in relationship with the “OTHER”
Presence has to do with • • BEING, rather than DOING QUALITY, rather than FUNCTION.
The Seven Qualities of Presence:
– “to have a wound” and to carry it gracefully - acknowledgement of who I am, that I depend on a Higher Being. - capacity to be WITH people.
the word started in the days of the Roman Empire when buildings out of marble were built; some people who bought and sold the marbles would cover the imperfections with wax. But when the wax melted the imperfections would appear.
- sin cera (without wax); exactly as it is NOT ARTIFICIAL - you are fully who you are.
- has the quality of being OK with waiting, with not having a hundred percent now. waiting in long standing does not go with anger & frustration
- has a quality of waiting with hope - waiting gracefully
- the quality of being willing to step into the unknown
- the act of making known in a context in which it may not be safe or wanted (example: to bring forward a different view when you are in a group of friends who may not agree with you). - being fully who you are and how you see the world.
- “I have not arrived at the full Truth.” - a constant capacity to recognize in others something that I have fully understood alone. - I have something yet to be gained from others. - a sense of awe and wonder. - I am going to stay connected to other people who may see things differently.
- “with heart”; to be with another person’s being and feeling.
- do not replace the other person’s feelings, but enter a
world world of relationship where you can enter into a with another. - a willingness to be alongside of - a sense of relationship.
- a sense of purpose; bringing forward your sense of vision - capacity to touch your own sense of vision, direction and purpose within the bigger picture. - helps us find a system through which we can address the different issues.
Heart Listening is about - being fully present to the “other.” Being fully present means - letting go of the past and the future - to be in the present moment with the other Being in the present moment with the other person - is holding the other person’s being fully in ones self, and focusing not only on the words that are being said, but more so on the silences between those words.
Heart listening therefore demands from the listener - the ability to tune in to the speaker with a silent mind and an open heart - the emptying of the self in order to give room to the other person to “BE in ME.“ - the ability to allow the other to be him/herself without being judged, criticized, or condemned. There is only empathy and a sense of oneness with the “other” whom one has given room to BE in ones self.
Guidelines for Heart Listening in Dialogue
1. Be fully present. Leave the concerns of the past and the anxieties of the future behind. All distractions from the present must be avoided.
2. Shift focus of attention from the “self” to the“other.” Be aware of assumptions. They are pitfalls of the self that disable us from being fully present to the other. What we assume is often invisible to us. Learn to recognize assumptions by noticing when you get upset or annoyed by something that is being said. Just let it be, suspend it, and resume listening for understanding of the other.
3. Listen and speak without judgment. The purpose of listening is to understand the other, not to determine if he or she is good, bad, right, or wrong.
4. Suspend status. Everyone is an equal partner in the listening experience. There is no seniority or hierarchy. All are partners in the mutual quest for insight and clarity.
5. Honor confidentiality. Keep names in the room so if you share stories or ideas, names of participants will not be revealed. Create a safe space for selfexpression.
6. Express your personal response, informed by your own beliefs, practices, and orientation in life. Speak for yourself.
7. Listen for understanding, not to agree with or believe.
8. Ask clarifying or open-ended questions to assist your understanding.
9. Honor silence and time for reflection. Notice what one wants to be said rather than what you want to say.
10. One person speaks at a time.
Many faiths and many voices speak the Truth Yet our fears and anger tear our world apart. We must begin with the light of hope within To heal our differences with one language, To heal our differences with one language --of the heart.
One Language of the Heart
Be the change you wish to see in the world!
- Mahatma Gandhi
Building Bridges of Understanding
The Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation, Inc.
Rm. 105 PhilDHRRA Partnership Center 59 C. Salvador St., Varsity Hills, 1108 Quezon City, Metro Manila, Tel. (02) 920-7622, Fax. (02) 920-4618 E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Webpage: www.peacemakerscircle.blogspot.com
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