Standards of Presence and Journalling

The morning prayer made reference to  International Women’s Day and Sr Lynette focused on the life and work of Wangari Maathai, the staunch environmentalist who was key in preserving Karura Forest on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The first session then continued an examination of the Standards of Presence, and this time the second five of the ten were discussed:

  1. Listen deeply and with honor

It involves respect, focusing on the others words, body language, what is said and not said….to re-see or see with fresh eyes, listening to understand the other’s point of view, seeking clarity when things are not clear, offering feedback to clarify and confirming if what was heard was what was communicated, creating a space where a person feels totally listened to.

  1. Give only authentic acknowledgment and support.

This involves genuine, honest, compassionate not counterfeit feedback and support, positive, sincere and honest feed back without exaggeration, appreciating people and taking care to notice and provide positive feedback keeping in mind the cultural nuances, involves also the sensitivity to notice and understand how much feedback to given situation.

  1. Fully receive acknowledgment and support.

This calls for genuine appreciation. It involves connecting to a sense of gratitude within and a verbal acknowledgement for support received, a willingness to err on the side of acknowledging rather than fearing being misunderstood, aware that we lose nothing for being good, a conscious practicing of becoming more and more conscious of what others are doing for us and acknowledging it both in words and deeds, taking care at the same time, not to overdo it. This will facilitate not taking people for granted and making giving positive feedback a way of life.

  1. Practice self care and self responsibility, and allow others to do the same.

Doing to others what we would like them to do to us….involves live and let live attitude, self responsibility involves responsibility and ownership  for our actions, Regular Spiritual recharging will create the space for caring for oneself and will facilitate the joy of  living life to the fullest  and the ability  to serve whole heartedly.

  1. Be fully present.

Presence is at the heart of what we are about. This involves seeing life as a whole experience, being in the flow as we  honour   life as a continuous sacred and safe place, upholding the values of  balance being fully present, awareness of  and responsibility towards what we want to do more of and less of.

The second session discussed community prayer, and Donal and Lynette facilitate a discussion on the extent to which community prayer nourishes us. This discussion is the beginning of an ongoing reflection on community prayer and on community prayer styles.

In the afternoon, Sunil introduced journalling as a way of deepening the experience of the OP, and the day concluded with some harvesting of the learnings of the week.  Overall, a very packed week!

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