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How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy?
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Index: Panel 008-A
Date:  2012-02-14

How Can We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion with the Occupy Movement?



  Darci Shaver
    Darci is a pioneering spirit behind current efforts to research and develop best practices for compassionate communication and empathetic mediation for use directly on social media streams.
  Jon Ramer
    I am the local organizer for Compassion Action Network Seattle..  We are focusing on deepening the work we are doing on the ground in our region and growing the online network and connecting each others cities, towns and villages through the International Institute for Compassionate Cities.  
  David Hazen

David, fool for peace

David had a hell of a childhood, so he became a nonviolent nonconformist. 
Eugene City of Peace

  Edwin Rutsch
    Convener:  Edwin Rutsch is founding director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. See his full Bio here.



Discussion Transcript and Outline:

Conference Panel 8-A  Feb. 14, 2012
(Gratitude to  David Hazen for doing the transcription)
(Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this or other videos, check this page. The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)

Jon Ramer
Darci Shaver
David Hazen
Edwin Rutsch


0:22 Jon - part of why I wanted to go back to you guys is that I see you as part of a core group of individuals that I know that are doing this work. Iím totally down for Edwin supporting you and having this recorded however you want, but I also want to make sure that there is that quality of relatedness with each other -- especially since Darci you were so kind to go back to your family and make time for it. So however we can make sure that there is enough of that genuineness with each other here because Iím very curious to hear what your experiences are right now.


 I think weíre kind of at a critical moment with the way Occupy has emerged and what itís turned into. I definitely want to make sure weíre there with each other. Edwin and I talked about it yesterday. He was sharing some of his pain that he experienced with his community dealing with Occupy, and I sense itís probably the same for you David. Iím curious Darci, what itís like from where youíre sitting. Take this down the path, Edwin, but I just want to make sure we honor the closeness weíve built as friends here.


1:22 David - Yeah, Amen to that!

      Darci - Iím in!

      Edwin - Iím all for it. I hope weíre not taking away from that by recording the discussion. I did want to frame the discussion around how do we build a culture of empathy and compassion. In terms of starting, checking in, the main thing Iíve been working on is this year-long conference, ďHow to build a culture of empathy and compassion.Ē Iíve just been getting the ball rolling with it, and thought this could be one of the ways of holding a panel together and framing what weíre doing, our work, around how our work is working toward building a culture of empathy and compassion. So maybe we could check in around that, see how itís going for you all.


2:40 Darci - Iím a co-founder of a (audio problem) (joking, laughter)

4:20 Darci - We are very, very close to bringing an empathic action proposal to the Occupy movement in the way that it needs to be brought. Weíre still trying to figure that out at the moment. Weíre noticing that thereís confusion around it. When we bring the idea to people, they like it, but thereís a basic ďunknowingĒ about what empathy is. Thereís sometimes a distress over what empathy is and whether or not itís right for any given situation. My experience is thatís a really normal response and that most people donít really fully grasp where empathy can take them until they have experienced it themselves, experiencing someone giving them lots of empathy.


Until there is that experiential learning, thereís resistance, and so one of things Iíve really taken in over the last couple of months is the idea that there is resistance to empathy and compassion. Thereís a big curiosity in me now over why that is and how to help people feel more comfortable with the idea of being heard, and hearing one another. So thatís where I am at the moment. Thereís much, much more to talk about in terms of the regional supportive lists that we are working to create that will help list providers and enthusiasts in the realm of mindfulness training, nonviolent communication training which would involve active listening and concrete request making, and life-affirming strategy creation, as well as restorative practices. Those are the initial methodologies that weíre looking at having specialists and enthusiasts bring to the people involved in and affected by the Occupy movement.


7:15 Jon - Iím a compassionista, somebody whoís trying to sort out a huge mess over here. Iíve been inspired by the Occupation movement and what Occupy offers. As you would expect, we also got to see the shadow side of Occupy and all the challenges that happen when people start out thinking theyíre unified and try to figure out how theyíre going to work together. Iím humbled by, and reminded of many times and ways, the wisdom of Cosmic Lady, who says that planet earth is the place that the souls of the slow learners are sent. This has served me well as a way of coping with the  challenges that we face as people all over are trying to rise up in a way that is meaningful and learn from each other to create a culture of empathy and compassion. I think that those are high-minded ideals to some people and they need to be practically experienced. I know this change starts from within. So for myself, Iíve been in a deep exploration to figure out who I need to be, how I need to relate to those around me to create that opportunity and the desire for a more empathic way of being with each other.


So Iím very curious about, Darci, the idea of presenting to Occupy, because frankly here, weíve come to see that thereís no one General Assembly, in fact weíve been more effective by dispersing the power and having many general assemblies here in town [Seattle] because there are people who have genuine grievances. This whole topic of nonviolence has opened up a huge learning opportunity that I did not appreciate, that many people who see nonviolence as -- in effect, if you commit yourself to nonviolence, youíre committing yourself to give up your right to self defense.


Weíve organized here what we call now a series, a ďUniversity of Views,Ē which was originally called ďDiversity of Views,Ē but then a wise indigenous teacher said diversity is divisive, so we renamed it a University of Views. It started as a riff off of Diversity of Tactics because of many of our friends who are anarchists who are not committed to violence. Thatís the thing. If you say youíre not committed to nonviolence youíre not saying youíre committed to violence. Iíve got a lesson here that Iíve been going through, learning the subtleties between nonviolence with a hyphen, without a hyphen, anti-violence, civil resistance, armed resistance. I think weíre in the middle of a huge learning project about how do we come up with strategies for political and social change that can really be unifying and can actually move us beyond the culture weíre in to move toward a culture of empathy and compassion.


David - Wow!

Darci - Itís beautiful.

Jon - Maybe so.


10:45  David - Yeah, maybe so. Thatís how I feel, Jon. We established the City of Peace here [Eugene] with the idea of simply creating conversation about things that matter, shepherding the process and letting the results take care of themselves. I saw at the beginning of Occupy a communication problem with the polarity set up by the 99% versus the 1%. Iíve been watching and waiting that process. I got involved in mediation between the Occupy movement and the police and the city, and between the Occupy movement and the University. We have here locally a mediation service with some very talented people. After the encampment shut down peacefully, which is apparently fairly unique in the Occupy movement. The City Council said the camp had to go. This was just before Christmas. There was no riot police invasion of the camp. Even the people who vowed to stay there and get arrested, left peacefully. This was quite a phenomena, but then what happened was these anarchists that Jon was referring to -- theyíre everywhere! I thought they were just here in Eugene, Jon!


There is now going on a very similar conversation here among the people who ascribe to nonviolence in a Gandhian sense, and the people who think of it in a very strategic sense -- all across the spectrum. The opportunity came to start a Nonviolence Working Group to try to figure that out, collect resources, and support the Occupy movement. A sub-group of that, that I wanted to create, we called the ďSustainable Relationships Resource Group.Ē One of the people involved is a person very skilled in an open fishbowl listening process, which is an empathic process. It has been very powerful, introduced to a very small group at first, and then a larger group. The plan is to keep making that group larger and larger, creating the experiential learning that Darci was talking about, so that people get it by experiencing it, and they donít have to think about it anymore. Itís a slow process, but itís growing and Iím very hopeful about it.


I had to take a break from it because it was taking up my whole life. The meetings, the e-mails, the circles themselves were just hours and hours of time. I had to step back and finish my book. Now itís done, itís due for release. Iím making announcements today by e-mail and on Facebook. This is about the evolutionary process of going from a culture of violence and domination to a culture of peace and cooperation, which is the same as this culture of empathy that youíre talking about, Edwin. 


What Iím finding is that small circles of people gathered together in a room are the best, most fertile ground for the creation of a culture of empathy. Iím trying to find a way of furthering that process along, moving it along, make it go viral, and create a mentoring process we arenít dependent on experts who have had years of training, but a process where this can be spread. I think the most powerful thing that can happen is when you get these small groups together in a large room and together they experience hundreds of people around them who have had this experience in common and can then feel this bond without alot of talk, or without alot of intellectualizing around it. They have this presence they give to each other as a gift, basically. It gets very exciting then. It gets attractive, and people want to sing and dance. Thatís my hope, thatís what my excitement is about right now is to move that along and create the zest. Part of my fear is that there needs to be a grieving process involved when we acknowledge the damage thatís been done, and get to a point of  being able to let that go. I find that is one of the biggest barriers in the way -- all that anger, all that held-on grief about the injustices that are still present, but have a long history, generations of history, of abuse of power.


17:13 Jon - I sent you guys a couple of links. One of the most profound teachers that Iíve encountered over the last number of years in the community is an authentic Navajo medicine woman named Patricia Ann Davis. If you get into the indigenous world, many of the Native Americans were put into Christian boarding schools. Her father initiated her at 8 years old. Heís a very famous medicine man, and she never went to the boarding schools, but she did go to  University here, Antioch, and learned about whole-systems design. So she has this incredible capacity to translate. The session sheís doing tomorrow is on the indigenous ceremonial change process. Thereís a step in there, David, that speaks to exactly what youíre saying, and I did not realize how missing it was. So after the first step is identifying the out-of-balance condition, the root cause, then the next step is called ďemptying,Ē and emptying is not venting. We do not have safe places to empty. Itís exactly like you were saying, whereís that grief and what do you do with that? I canít emphasize this enough, that the natural order of things is something thatís different than an ideology, different than a philosophy, itís different than a belief system -- that weíre out of touch with the natural order of things.


This is what the indigenous wisdom has impacted me, in fact if you guys saw that paper I did with the hereditary chief Phil Lane, that summary statement, ďStarting from within, working in a circle, in a sacred manner, we heal and develop ourselves, our relationships, and the world.Ē That summary statement is articulated in 16 guiding principles. Thereís an illusion in our thinking system, that weíre going to figure this thing out, like thereís some right answer. I know for myself, even as you ask the question -- if you know David Breaux on the Compassionate Action Network site, heís posted I think 26 times now, answers to the question, what is compassion? He stands on the corner in Davis. Edwin, I think you went to visit him. There is some way that we are hooked -- let me speak for myself -- Iím hooked thinking like weíre finally going to get the Right Information, weíre going to figure out the Right Answer to this problem. I think thereís some illusion there about that, that it really doesnít work that way.


20:07 David - Yeah, you canít figure it out! Itís like ďwhyĒ is not a question -- ďwhyĒ is not an answer! (laughter)

Jon - Well, David, Peter Block wrote a book called ďThe Answer to How is Yes.Ē I think we need more yes in the world, and more spaces for people to empty and do the ďre-frame.Ē Thatís what itís called in the ceremonial change process. She calls it ďco-creative situational leadership.Ē Itís a different model. Itís more in line with consensus. It means that in any moment if weíre working together, maybe we pass the ball to you, Darci, because you have the competence and skill there. Itís not based on heirarchy. What Patricia always says, ďlearning is healing, and healing is learning.Ē We need to create environments in which some of this ancient wisdom can be revealed and brought to light, as a way of coping. Things like water, and fire, and air, and the earth, are so elemental but yet they belong to all of us. If we here in North America would just realize that water was sacred we would have a very different reality than we have right now.


Edwin - Regarding the circle, of small circle discussion, itís a bit of what Iím seeing the conference on building a culture of empathy being. Itís kind of like small group discussion like this, maybe 5 people, and just starting to address the question, how do we build a culture of empathy and compassion, what can we do to do that, and just explore it and start talking about it, kind of frame the larger discussion around that. So I donít know how that resonates, because everybody has their different values that are important to them. You talked about the emptying. I think thereís a part of emptying that you want to be seen by someone. Itís not like we just go out and empty ourselves, itís actually being seen by someone else, that empathic mirroring kind of process. Thereís something about it, to be seen at a deeper level that has something healing. For me healing is that being seen and that connection with people, with others. Iím wondering what you think or feel about this whole notion of building a culture of empathy and compassion because youíre saying that thereís no -- you canít think your way into it or figure it out, but we do need vocabulary, we do need ways to be expressing what weíre talking about. Sometimes you have to create a language to be able to express what it is weíre feeling. Maybe the part about thinking about things, that the thought serves the connection, right?  Sometimes thought and intellect serves judgment. I judge you, ďYouíre an idiot, and hereís my thoughts about why thatís true,Ē right? So those are just a couple of things that are coming to me.


23:50 David - I would say the language, the vocabulary, is in the process of being developed in many, many, many different ways, and itís after the fact, after the experience. I see it coming up in many different forms right now. Somebody here just published a set of cards for group facilitation. Each expresses a certain kind of ideal, like ďlettting go,Ē to stimulate conversation.

Jon - Darci, you still there?

Darci - Iím still here. Iím just fascinated.

Jon - OK. Take a look at the event that I sent you link on. Itís called Pure Democracy, Peacemaking using an indigenous process. What Patricia did there is apply these five steps to the specific issues that Occupy is dealing with. The first step she calls ďproblem identification,Ē right, which is naming the out-of-balance condition. Here she named it: fraud and corruption in the leaders of government and corporations. Youíve got to get to the core. She says the root cause that maintains the out-of-balance condition, thatís the core, and she names it here as addiction to greed, never enough and never satisfied. Now look at the second step. Itís all language here, Edwin, it speaks right to what youíre saying. She says, ďEmptying is correcting the obstacles to internal change that maintain the root cause of destructive and death-producing choices.Ē She says thatís all that we really have, weíre either going to create life-affirming choices or death-producing choices.


So here she names the obstacles here as recruiting each generation of youth to participate in their own demise by using their 5 senses as a weapon against themselves and others by perpetuating social engineering and conditioning to win-lose which is no-win decisions. Sheís claiming weíre stuck in a thinking system. That we donít even see it, and itís all based on win-lose. Thatís just the application of step 2, which are the obstacles. Then step 3 moved into this re-frame, this Realistic Ideal: (reframing win-lose=no-win decisions into win-win decisions for constructive and life-affirming choices. Affirming powerwithin to have powerwith others eliminates the need for powerover). Iíd recommend to you Edwin, that this is some of the insight into how create a culture of empathy, is to get people capable of re-framing and coming to understand that weíre in a worldview that is win-lose, that itís so prevalent that we donít see the opportunity to transcend that.


27:10 Jon - So if you look through this, she lays it out, the co-creative resolution, how you manifest that co-creative win-win solution. She said to me -- weíre talking about nonviolence -- she says ďdefending the truth is different than protecting the truth.Ē Itís so subtle. Itís so powerful.

David - It is subtle. The word ďcultureĒ refers to unwritten, unconscious rules of behavior, ones that we almost never talk about, except in academia, or philosophy classes. So what weíre doing is creating a whole new set of unwritten rules and behaviors. Thatís the paradigm shift. We can talk about it later, but I think itís the doing of it thatís going to create it.

Jon - Yes, yes. Authenticity gives the ability to dismantle tyranny.

Darci - I just had a thought about culture. Iím hearing what your talking about in terms of defending the truth is different than protecting the truth, and again coming back to the idea of culture as being -- and I hear you saying that basically youíre in kind of a survivalist mode, the way weíre operating, is this way weíve been socialized into, or maybe itís inherent in our bodies, to survive. It seems to me that every culture out there is doing what they do in order to make it through the day, and through the week, and through the month, and a year, so they stay alive, stay like themselves and next to their neighbors. I think itís really interesting that weíre sort of naming this and weíre also looking at the idea that the way to change it is by doing. It brings me back to the idea of those small groups of people, five people sitting in a room talking about things, and then you bring those people together in larger groups. It seems to illustrate a path toward doing, a path to getting to ďyes.Ē Itís really fascinating, and I wonder what you guys think when I throw out the idea of culture as surviving, and then our moving forward like this, as re-defining our culture in a more life-affirming, surviving pattern.


30:10 Edwin - When you say culture as surviving it feels kind of like fear, being fearful that weíre not going to survive, being constantly afraid about finances, are we going to be heard, are we going to be alone, are we going to suffer by ourselves...

Darci - Is our government really going to help us, yeah, are they really looking out for our needs, are they really hearing our voices and moving our choices through, or are we really getting squashed by some sort of political control that weíre not fully aware of? Or is it that weíre not speaking up enough? Are we being complacent, are we not voting, or what is it?

David - I think at the deepest level culture is built on a concept of who we are. Whatís the answer to the question, who am I? As a human being, at my core, what am I? Thereís so many answers to that question, but I think they all revolve around our essential aliveness as this wonderful, awesome  thing that not only do I have it, but you have it, and everybody has it. There is this common bond among us, and if we get back to that definition of who we are as a human being then we can move out and move forward into greater levels of cooperation and empathy.


31:52 Edwin - You know, I just interviewed Marco Iacoboni, who is a neuroscience researcher, and I asked him, ďWhat can we do to build a culture of empathy?Ē He says the number one thing for him was to get the word out about mirror neurons. Itís showing that we actually are connected. Itís that story that for hundreds of years weíve been told that weíre individual, autonomous beings, going for our own well-being, for our selfish well-being. Mirror neurons actually shows that we are, as weíre sitting here watching each other, that your emotions are playing themselves out inside of me. Itís kind of like we do have this shared reality, this shared experience. Itís science saying weíre connected, showing the mechanism by which we are connected.


33:16 David - The importance of that information appearing now is that it gives us a perspective on where we have been, and where we are going, which is another essential question that we need to have an answer to. Where are we in our evolution?

Darci - Mirror neurons help us come back to a level of trust. We can trust that there is that connection between ourselves and another person, something that weíre really, really needing in order to create more life-affirming direction for ourselves, trust within ourselves and trust with other people.

Edwin - The trust being that we are not alone, or is it...

Darci - Yeah, the trust that weíre not alone, the trust that we donít have to be in it for ourselves, that we can rely and give to our neighbors, that we wonít falter if that happens, if we allow that to happen.

David - The trust that what appears to be an emergency may not be an emergency.

Darci - Thank you, yes.


34:50 Jon - Trust is an interesting term, because itís an assessment, right, when we say trust? Itís having to do either with oneís sincerity or oneís competence, like trusting me to fly a plane. You would be unwise to trust me to do that. Thereís a faith that thereís something greater. For instance, when I saw that note back from you, Darci, about this call and that you went back to your family and asked -- I have a faith that the work that weíre doing matters. I donít have any evidence for that. Thereís a faith thatís within reason, and then thereís a faith thatís above reason. I trust that some of this wisdom that weíre right in front of -- whether it be mirror neurons, indigenous wisdom, the indigenous science Iím pointing to -- we have everything we need! Thereís like a cliff we all need to jump off of here, that has trust. Thatís why I think trust is so important. Itís either fear or love, right? You canít have 99% fear or 99% love. Itís 100% - 0%. Itís either we make that break or we donít. At least thatís how it shows up for me in my life.

Edwin - I like those ďIĒ statements! (laughter) I see you working on those, Jon!

Jon - Iím trying! I! I! I! I really do believe that those moments make a difference. I think that what we have within ourselves -- thatís why it was so important for me to get back together with this core group a little bit because I do think the worldís shifted around us and itís up to me reaching out to the people that I have respect for, who are working in this work, to say OK, here we are. Thereís a moment when leadership is so desperately called for right now. How can we use the resources we have to turn what we have into what we need, to amplify the message of empathy and compassion. Thatís why Iím so grateful for you, Edwin, for organizing this, and Darci, for you making the shift, and for David, for all the good efforts that youíre doing. How do we take from here, where do we go from here? How do we strengthen each of our work and strengthen the whole that weíre creating at the same time?


37:21 Edwin - For me, itís creating this conference. Iím seeing the conference as like a crystal, right? In honey, at least, you put a little bit of crystallized honey into a dish or a bowl of honey thatís not crystallized, and within a day the whole bowl crystallizes around the crystal that you put in there. If you put in a coarse crystal, it creates a coarse crystallized honey. If you put in a very fine crystal, it crystallizes along that pattern. It could even be a metaphor for Occupy, right? If Occupy is this coarse, rough crystal, things will crystallize along that. If itís an empathic crystal, then maybe it can crystallize along those lines. This call was around how can we build a culture of empathy and compassion within the Occupy movement. We had set up an empathy tent at the Berkeley Occupy here. We invited people to come and just be heard. We did empathic listening, we were moving toward conflict resolution, doing art. People could talk about their values. You were saying, Jon, about not being sure that itís having any effect? Well I could see as people were coming into those groups, having time to talk to someone -- young people who were on the road -- they would come and say, ďIím feeling lonely, Iíve never connected with my family, Iím having trouble making friends.Ē They were just heard like for half an hour or an hour around that. You could see they were leaving with a little more sense of connection, a little more calmness, a bit more humanity of feeling. I can see the benefits. I can see how itís contributing. How do we get more organized around it? I not seeing that committee as well-organized as the confrontational committee.


39:45 David - Edwin, I wrote a book on how to build a canoe, but in that preface to the book, even though itís a book of instruction on how to do it, I tell the reader, ďJust Do It!Ē because itís in the doing of it that youíre going to figure it out. When I felt this mission of mine to get involved in creating a peaceful world it was overwhelming at first to consider what a huge task it was, but when I realized that all I needed to know was the next step -- and I wouldnít figure it out, it would be obvious what the next step was -- thatís all I had to do. I see each of us doing the next most obvious thing without knowing what the whole path is, without knowing what the whole map is. Now, we have a vague idea that ďout West somewhereĒ thereís an ocean and a sunset, but between us thereís alot of mountains. I just have faith, like Jonís talking about, that if we just take a run at the edge of the cliff and spread our wings, we will fly. It doesnít take alot of figuring it out in advance. Thatís what I wanted in my own insecurity, to have a telegram from God, saying ďthis is it, this is the 12-step Plan.Ē Not going to happen that way.


41:38 Jon - Did you not get the telegram? I should show you the one I got!

David - I got this one telegram that said, ďTake this one step, will you please?Ē

Edwin - Well the step Iím taking is starting this conference.

David - I think itís great!

Jon - Great, Edwin! I want to consider putting together two minutes of highlights. Maybe we could show at one of the events here when Karen [Armstrong] is in town, to give a shout out and promotion to what youíre creating there.

Darci - Yes. That actually speaks to everybody here. I mean, you ask the question what can we do to help each other, and I believe promotion is really going to help. The more we tell people about whatís gong on with everybody else, the more people go, ďOh, thereís stuff happening elsewhere, this is great.Ē

David - Thatís very supportive.

Jon - What would you like to see us promote about what youíre doing?

Darci - Well, very soon, actually now, Iím needing help finding people who are willing to donate their time and services to those involved in the Occupy movement. I need help, actually going region by region, figuring out whoís available, who wants to help, get their contact information, and get it on the list. So thatís my next step, is getting that done, so thereís supportive lists of people out there. One of the things I was saying earlier was that weíve got this empathic action proposal, and really what it is, itís an answer to a call for better facilitation tools within the general assemblies, regardless of how many there are. People are still wanting these facilitation techniques, and the active listening skill-building, etcetera, etcetera. The more I can help just present it in an experiential way, too, so people can actually feel what itís like to do those sorts of things, to decide is this what we want? Thatís what Iím hoping to do, to get those tools out there so people can choose to use them or not.


43:58 Jon - Darci, I put a link in as well to the Occupy Seattle Nonviolent Group. Itís a pretty active group there, hard-core, committed folks. Weíve been working through facilitation methods based on the Madrid document. Collective thinking has been a very powerful concept. You know longer come into a conversation waiting for your chance to promote the idea that you brought, but youíre actively coming to give up the idea to create something new with others. Thereís been some really remarkable writing material about how to facilitate peopleís assemblies and how to facilitate a different kind of governance structure there.

Darci - Cool. IĎve heard lots and lots of good things about that group, and again another thing we can do is just keep promoting, letting people know to take a look at those places and get involved with them if theyíre in the area, or figure out how they can use the same sorts of models wherever it is that they are. Itís one thing to use the model, itís another thing to have the support, so again, if we can start to develop the supportive enthusiasts lists that will help people feel they can keep moving forward with support. Something I want to mention at the very end here, is that one of the things weíre really hoping for to have from the enthusiasts is the ability to go into these places as learners and not as teachers. More as a learner going into a situation to ask the questions, whatís working here, whatís not working well here, and what is it you would dream to see happening here? So, as theyíre moving forward, starting to understand more about the culture that theyíre creating. They can use those three questions as a path.


46:20 Jon - Cool, cool! Well, Edwin, I want to honor Darci, because she was so willing to convene earlier, with Valentineís Day in Holland and her family there, that we stick to an hour. How do we wrap this up in a good, powerful, responsible way?

Edwin - How about we summarize what we feel are some points for building a culture of empathy and compassion, like whatís our summary, our takeaway from this?

Jon - For me, it comes down to how we treat each other, like right here, this little core group. So now I know that Davidís got his book and we want to help promote that; youíve got this conference that youíre doing; and Darci, youíre embedded right in the middle of Occupy, looking at a global perspective to get regional engagement thatís happening and become more aware of it. Those are all three things I can practically support. I think itís how we treat each other, like that crystal that you talked about, Edwin -- are we going to drop in a coarse crystal, or drop in a refined, loving crystal to affirm these life-affirming choices to create a different way of being? So, Iím down for that. Iím willing to jump off that cliff with you David, and Edwin, and Darci.

Edwin - Well, I like what David was saying, What resonates with me is small group discussions. I think discussions, four or five people, and the process for doing that called World Cafť, built around that, gives everyone a chance to be heard. For example, a discussion like this can be very productive.

Jon - Yes. I concur. Weíre small group addicts here in Seattle. Everything is done Conversation Cafť, World Cafť, Compassionate Listening -- weíre all rooted in the importance of those small circles. I totally concur.

Darci - Super cool.


48:40 David - My experience has been that an open fishbowl has alot of the feel of a small group because the person speaking in the speakerís chair is often speaking for many people in the audience. Thatís the direction I want to take things because I feel this urgency about creating a rapid expansion of this empathic, intuitive way of being with each other. Iím just waiting for the day when this technology that weíre using right now expands to where we have a hundred or a thousand people onscreen, and they are all participating empathically over the internet. That would be something.

Edwin - Looks like Darci has the final word.

Darci - I do agree that going forward in small groups is an easy, interesting, and fun way to start, but mostly Iím just noticing in myself the sense of ease and relief, like OK itís moving great to re-connect with you and hear a kind of underlying joy that weíre all getting even though this a really rough road. Sometimes we really donít know what the next step is going to be and weíre kind of half-stepping into it. I still feel joy. I just want to say thank you so much for being here and for connecting the way that we are. So thank you.

Jon - Beautiful!