October 15, 2021 – October 28, 2021 Project Update

Dear Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Communities,

We are happy to provide this biweekly update on the Compassionate Reconciliation Project.

Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC) Update

​The third meeting of the CRC took place on October 27th.  The group is making progress on developing and understanding Consensus Based Decision Making and Guidelines that will shape the nature of the conversation and decision-making within the group.  In addition, group members spent time reflecting on the given names of their Advisory Teams, as some groups are considering adapting their Advisory Team name to best reflect their purpose and identity. 

Questions and Responses from Monthly Q & A Sessions

Reflecting on what might be helpful for community members to hear through this bi-weekly communication, we thought it might be valuable to share a few questions that have shown up through our monthly Q & A Sessions (see below for upcoming schedule). Following is a sample of the questions asked and a summary of our responses.

Question:The reconciliation process seems to be concentrated on the people holding the middle-ground of the current crises and issues in the community. Who is welcome in this process?

Response: The reconciliation process aims to be welcoming and inclusive of anyone that is interested in participating in good faith. We understand good faith as a desire and interest in finding a path forward that honors the dignity of everyone impacted by the past, present, and future of your communities – without causing further harm or excluding groups or perspectives.

This being said, those that are often at the forefront of forging a path of reconciliation are often those that can empathize with multiple perspectives and can be present to the paradox of the diverse truths. These individuals are not passive or dispassionate about the issues, but instead often have the capacity to hold their own perspective lightly and humbly, while simultaneously honoring and showing curiosity for others’ perspectives.  

In our experience, getting to this place of curiosity and openness to listening is often a personal journey and a choice that may be on a different path and timeline for every individual. Our hope is that the CRC and Advisory Teams are able to build a path, complete with resting benches, viewpoints and nourishment, that makes the journey more secure and inviting for everyone.

Question: What kind of issues has the process been grappling with so far? How are things evolving in terms of a path forward?

Response: In our conversations with women that have been harmed, we have heard . . .

  • The need to share experiences without being shamed
  • An interest, for many, in finding a path toward feeling part of the community

                           In our conversations with many from the second generation, we have heard . . .

  • A desire for support and understanding
  • A desire to see action toward organizational change and genuine transformation

In our conversations with those concerned with the direction of leadership right now, we have heard . . .         

  • A commitment to provide service towards humanity and the common good
  • An aspiration towards preserving the legacy of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings

The CRC is still in group formation stage but will be turning its efforts towards developing concrete plans around these issues in the coming weeks and months, in frequent consultation and communication with the Advisory Teams and broader interested and impacted communities.

Question: What about those in our communities that are not wanting to engage in the Compassionate Reconciliation Project?

Response: We all have ways of creating boundaries that protect us. The form of this protection can vary based significantly on our experiences, what and how we have been harmed in the past, or where we find our sense of self and identity.

Those choosing not to participate in Compassionate Reconciliation, may find that the prospect of participating is riskier than the prospect of staying removed. This tells us that there is more work to do in order to build trust in the process.

It is also possible that some choose to not participate, regardless of what actions are taken by the CRC, Just Outcomes, and community members and leaders Compassionate Reconciliation Process. It is not for us to judge these individuals or groups, and ultimately involvement and participation in the process must be voluntary. Reconciliation is always a choice – and this too must be honored.

October Circle Facilitator Training Recap

The first two-day Circle Facilitator Training was held on October 22 and 23.  Aaron, Catherine and Cara led a group from across three continents in understanding the process of Circles, and then engaging in facilitation practice.  The time together was rich in learning, and heart-opening for many. As one participant wrote after the training:

 “The sensitivity, both learned and experienced, to the power of words spoken, to the rejuvenating, healing and uplifting process of Circle, to the creativity, camaraderie and tenderness of human beings in Circle together instills hope and expands capacities for further sharing…So grateful for the opportunity!”

Upcoming Events Open to all Community Members

Circle Facilitation, 2-day Training — We are limiting this training to 24 participants with a waitlist. While we are now already at capacity, we anticipate that we will receive cancellations and therefore utilize the waitlist.  So please do sign up for the waitlist if you’re interested!

  • Monday-Tuesday, December 6-7 & 13-14, 2021, 7:00 a.m. PT – 10:30 a.m. PT/15:00 GMT – 18:30 GMT. Click here to register

Introduction to Restorative Justice Workshop (4-hours):

  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 5:00 PM PT/01:00 GMT. Click here to register.

Q&A Sessions:

  • Monday, November 15, 2021, 4:00 PM PT/00:00 GMT. Click here to register.
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 9:00 AM PT/17:00 GMT. Click here to register.

Yours in kindness, compassion, and gratitude,
Catherine Bargen, Matthew Hartman, Cara Walsh, Aaron Lyons, and our extended Just Outcomes Team

Sign up here to receive regular updates from Just Outcomes about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project. By signing up you will receive updates about Compassionate Reconciliation only.