conversation: Conflict


Often we move away from conflict -- afraid of what might come out of it. What would it look like to move into discomfort -- to know ourselves better, to know others, to be in solidarity with those whose experiences we don't share, and to experience the pain of the world?


Conflict doesn't mean violence -- it means seeing and being amidst the truth of our lives, our neighbor's lives and our hurting world. In what ways can you engage with conflict authentically in this moment?

Led by Teresa Pasquale Mateus


Grounding Ourselves - The Spiritual Practice of Waking Up

Life can easily become about being easy -- we get stuck in comfort which also can lead to complacency. This can be the grounding barrier to our resolve to engage in healthy conflict. In this video (Part 1 in a series) "Wake Up" by Anthony Demillo (contemplative, psychotherapist, Jesuit) he calls us to wake up to our spiritual life, the world to fully experience what is and who we are. In what way do you feel you need to wake up to your life and your spiritual journey in this moment? How can you begin the spiritual discipline of "waking up" in this moment?  


Embracing Lament:

Often, along with external and internal conflict, we avoid the process of lament and grief. It is painful, it is messy, but it is necessary. Every tribal culture and lineage around the world carries long histories and rituals for lament. As does every religion. In "For Such a Time as This: Lament as a Herald of Joy" Dr Barbara Holmes asks us to explore this paradox. What are the ways you can embrace lament as part of your own process through conflict? How can you create space or let others craft space for lament that is collective and communal?  How do we find joy through lament without rushing through lament, thereby not allowing for the full expression of joy to evolve?


The Collective Connection:

In this Ted Talk "It's Not About Love Afterall" Angel Kyoto Williams talks about how individual change (that move through conflict in our own lives) is deeply and inextricably connected to collective change (that conflict we are called to engage with in the world). How can you connect your experience of suffering and conflict with others? How do we "disrupt the disconnect" between us and create connection to others?


Conciliation & Forgiveness

In the US we carry collective hurt and conflict that goes back to the origins of nation-building. Much of the inequity and pain suffered in our national sphere today emanates from that collective history. As we move beyond imagining conflict and conciliation at a personal level we can begin to look at the ways in which we are a network of souls, all connected in past, present and future. In this video "The Wellbriety Journey to Forgiveness" Native American teachers offer a path through conflict to forgiveness that remembers and reclaims the history of brokenness and offers a path forward to forgiveness. In what way can you hold space for a collective past? For your own past? In what way can you hold space for the possibility of forgiveness through compassion? How can you acknowledge when you aren't ready for the fullness of that journey today?