Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A GLOBAL ETHIC, by Ingrid Shafer,

Planting Seeds of Loving Kindness:
A Meta Religion to bridge chasms and celebrate creative spiritual diversity
Ingrid Shafer 1974

The time has come for a new religion--not to supplant or replace the religions of old, but to connect, complete, and complement them. The time is ripe for a new faith--a faith without a church, without an anointed priesthood, without offerings and buildings and material trappings, without all the symbols of wealth and power which have polluted the waters of religious intention since times immemorial. This new faith transcends all religions by accepting their partial validity while denying that there is any One True Path or exclusive mode of salvation. This new faith can be followed by adherents of all religions and none, simply by appealing to their own basic tenets of love and mutual cooperation. It demands of them only a deepening of their commitment to the highest ideals of their particular faith (in the broadest sense to include secular humanism, for example) and the willingness to accept truth both as having a transcendent ground and as an organic, dynamic function of space and time.

This new faith is a way of life to be practiced every moment of every day according to one's capabilities. It assumes that everyone, even the most hardened criminal and social outcast, knows occasional moments of goodness, and knows them for what they are deep in his heart. It does not demand but invite--invite to love, to share, to forgive, to care--as much or as little as one can for the time being without causing excessive discomfort to oneself. It is not a faith for martyrs and demands no feats of self denial and self-flagellating altruism. It simply reminds us to attempt to live up to the best we can be at any given moment, and it assumes that as human beings we can, in fact, be centers of love and light. It does not saddle us with shame and guilt and secret fears. Because we are human we may fail; because we are human we can succeed!

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives; the past has no power over us; we can atone for the sins of our past in and through the positive thoughts and actions of the present and future.

There are no church services, no sacraments, no sermons, no specific commandments--apart from the insistence on leading our lives in the spirit of truth and love, and on treating others fairly, as equals, as persons worthy of respect, the way we would want them to deal with us. There are no prayers for personal gain or miraculous intercession into the inexorable workings of nature. The only prayer which followers might find helpful is a quick thought which requires no particular bodily attitude or sacred environment: "Divine source of love and truth, be my guide through darkness and confusion." This prayer should be repeated as many times during the day as opportunities for rash and unloving actions arise. The thought alone might stop the lying word, the destructive act, the vengeful plot.

We shall never know how far our influence extends. Like engenders like. If we do good we not only develop a personal habit of doing good but we plant a seed which might fall into fertile soil and take root in the minds and hearts of others. If we do evil we also plant a seed, and it too can grow within us and the soul-soil of others. Let us determine today to plant as many seeds of loving kindness as we can. Let us envision those seeds taking root and growing into a forest of healthy trees which will crowd out the tangled underbrush of envy, hatred, and deceit.

Peace, Ingrid
The Global Ethic Project

Ingrid Shafer

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The Mix. The email update, reminder over time. Information e.g. who had RSVPs and the outline of the book you used helped me get ready better for the meeting. I THINK THE BEST IS THROUGH THE SAFE PLACE YOU MAKE AND THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE YOU DRAW


Very interesting. Learning from everyone present. This incited a deeper thought process into my own stories. Nice learning environment.

Excellent presentation and helpful format. Stirred an increasing interest in stories and storytelling - and will certainly help me in my journey.

Meaning of stories. Required reflection. Like the use of stages for story research. Listening to others’s stories.

Structured casualness of the format. Small groups and background mix of the group. Others’ stories that help me remember my own stories. The textbook used. The perfect environment for a workshop. Techniques used to help use probe memory deeper.

Reflection, digging deeper. Small groups allows insight. Communication. Enjoy hearing other stories, learning from others experiences. Need and appreciate feedback. Excellent learning experience.

A. Provide different weather! Actually I love the snow today, but I am sorry it made driving difficult for some.

How to recognize a story, how to draw a story out of past experience. I am sure I have lots of stories but how to remember them, recognize and related them to others.

Maybe more technique tips?

Have continuing sessions? Nor criticisms of workshop as is.

Maybe choose two or three participants and encourage telling to a group (however this is threatening to me) Thanks for a great day!

Get text to participants ahead of time. Work on timing per exercise. How much time individually needed to write down our thoughts . How much is needed by the group to share and discuss individual results. Some need more or less of the other, and it varies.

I sense there was more to cover. Perhaps start earlier or extend by an hour.
Hope you offer more workshops.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Building Authentic Community via Storytelling

February 2006 SGN workshop:

Presenter: Paschal Baute, Ed. D., and SGN staff.
February 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Potluck, at Paschal's conference room (directions below)

People of ancient civilizations have all known a wisdom via storytelling. Stories map our inspirations, our hopes, our memories and our dreams. There is a wisdom in each of us we do not even know we have. We introduce a creative collaborative process to access and recapture this wisdom: relearning how stories can guide, summon and empower us.

Paschal will demonstrate how to create quickly a felt sense of rapport for a workshop, convention or gathering by using stories and storytelling. This workshop is a method for creating an environment where people appreciate the diversity of gifts among us and collaborate to enhance our mutual trust, hope and vision. It teaches effective skills for authentic community across boundaries.

This learning-by-doing method is known by various names: "Jumpstart Storytelling" or better, "Springboard Storytelling" and storytelling as knowledge management. A list of resources is provided for this emerging art and skill.

Educational Objectives. Participants will:
1) Appreciate storytelling as a bridge builder for creating authentic community.
2) Learn the power of accessing stories for effective collaboration in changing worlds.
3) Practice this method for welcoming the diversity of gifts among us.
4) Begin to trust one’s own wisdom to influence others to find their unique stories.
5) Have experienced a model for leading others in the use of stories and storytelling
AUDIENCE INFO: No background or training necessary.


Paschal has been developing storytelling as a tool for building bridges and changing worlds for various groups. He used storytelling to present workshops to Ohio Psychologists in two recent retreats with the theme of the Union of Psychology and Spirituality. He is a Board Member of the Kentucky Storytelling Association, and is currently helping plan a Storytellers festival program at the Berea Arts and Crafts Fair, May 20 and 21.
For more information, see his web page at www.paschalbaute.com/writing. Then scan down right sidebar to “Amazement” storytelling blog.

Paschal has been applying psychology to the workplace for some 33 years to over 50 companies in central Kentucky. He has presented workshops for many professionals, and is the author of Win - Win Finesse: the Art of Dealing Positively with Negative Feelings and Hidden Lions: Preventing Personal, Career and Company Self-Sabotage Currently he is Coordinator of the Human Resource Management Program for the School for Career Development, Midway College. Midway, Kentucky. He is also adjunct faculty there, teaching Ethics, Theology, Philosophy and Business Communication.

This workshop is open to the public. SGN does not require registration fee but RSVP is required by date of Feb. 11. Tel 859-293-5302: or email pbbaute@paschalbaute.com Conference room is at lower level, 4080 Lofgren Court, Lexington. This is just off US 60 Winchester Road, near the Clark County line, five miles east of the Man O War Extension. This workshop is sponsored by the Spiritual Growth Network of Kentucky, now in its 17th year.