Week Three

WEEK 3 | Wayfinding

 Welcome to Week 3.

Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking. — Antonio Machado 

For the past two weeks, we have examined many of our assumptions about the world. We acknowledged the losses in our personal lives and around us. Yet, even in the midst of loss, we know we must continue on our journey. To do so, we need models and maps to help guide us.

This week, we begin to look at a few of those models and the practical steps we can take and that others are taking to enact positive change.


Content for Week 3 – Wayfinding

Indigenous Worldview Is a Source We Now Urgently Need, by Eva Willman de Donlea

Dynamic Governance: A Social Technology for Organizations, Pamela Boyce Simms

Gallery 2 | Humanae, by Angélica Dass

Sapient: A Cantata of Peace, by Steven Chesne

Falling, by Larry Robinson

Forgive: The new practice and mantra for Black Men, by Tamara Hamilton and Ulysses Slaughter

The Connection, by Jerrice Baptiste

An Uncommon Song, by Joe Brodnik


READ: Indigenous Worldview Is a Source We Now Urgently Need, by Eva Willman de Donlea

Every human being on this planet comes from an indigenous past. You are invited to enter into a meditation practice through which you will have an opportunity to imagine this ancient past so that you might bring aspects of it forward into your current life experience.


PRACTICE: This practice is an adaptation of the Contemplative Christian practice known as Imagination/Contemplation, originally formalized by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491—1556).

Set aside 20—30 minutes for this activity. First, choose one of your own ancestral lineages (African, Spanish, Aboriginal, Celtic, Nordic, etc.). After you have chosen your lineage, close your eyes.

In your imagination, starting with yourself, follow your ancestral stream as far back as you know, then follow that lineage back before known time—as far back as your imagination will carry you. Even if you are unfamiliar with the historic details of your lineage, imagine a time when your ancestors lived close to the Earth and were attuned to the cycles of nature.

Place yourself within your imagination in that time and place, and imagine what your life might have been like. Allow your imagination to run wild without censoring or trying to control it.

Allow a story to unfold in your mind of yourself living as an indigenous person within your ancestral indigenous culture. Allow every detail to emerge.

What are you wearing?

In what kind of environment are you living?  Hear, taste, and feel what is around you.

Who are the people nearby?

What is your daily routine?

How do your people celebrate Nature, Spirit, Life?

How are decisions made?

After you have allowed the story to come to a place of completion within your imagination, write out a scene while allowing additional details to emerge. Write in first-person—‘I’ and ‘we.’

After you have written your story, go back and read it. Reflect on the story; what does it say to you today? How might the experience of remembering your own indigenous roots inform your life choices now?

Consider sharing all or part of your work. Use the Comments section at the end of one of the essays above if you wish to share publicly. Or share more privately in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post ‘Indigenous Worldview.’


READ: Dynamic Governance: A Social Technology for Organizations, by Pamela Boyce Simms

Implicit within the concept of dynamic governance is the idea of mutual value—considering each member of the decision-making organism as being uniquely gifted and valued for what they have to contribute.

Reflect on your own workplace or on a decision-making group in which you participate. Make note of the unique gifts and contributions of each individual within that group.

DRAW a simple diagram of your workgroup or organization, like the ones in the article, based on your view of how it operates. 

How do you see the diversity of gifts as supporting the health of the organization, and how are these gifts honored or not honored?

How do you see the unique gifts coming together to form a cohesive whole?

What gifts might be present but have not yet been called forth?

How might this aspect of governance be modeled for other organizations or decision-making bodies of which you are a part?

Rest and Reflect


EXPLORE: GALLERY 2 | Humanae, by Angélica Dass

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. By looking into each other’s eyes, we are able to truly see each other and connect with the unity that exists beyond the illusion of separation.

Watch the video and look closely at each portrait. Pay particular attention to the eyes of the subjects. What do you see?

PRACTICE: As a practice of active contemplation, become mindful of looking into the eyes of people you meet as you go about your daily life.  In looking, really see the person before you.  Observe the connection that is made when you really look into another’s eyes. As you continue with this practice, observe how looking into the eyes of the people you meet transforms your relationship with the world around you and how it might be healing your own embedded perceptions of separation.


EXPLORE: Sapient | A Cantata of Peace, by Steven Chesne

Music has the power to transform.

Set aside 20 minutes to listen to the music samples of three individual prayers and then the final weaving of the prayers in the recording: Nyansapo – the Wisdom Knot.

Listen deeply to the music, observing the ebb and flow of the composition, allowing your inner spirit to move with the instruments, voices, individual notes, and the space between the notes.

Steven says:

Strangely, I actually like to hear vocalists sing in a language I don’t understand. To hear a human making these sounds, these mouth shapes, vowels, consonants—it’s like birds chirping or whales wailing. It’s almost psychedelic in an abstract sense. But without picturing what the words refer to, without the trained interpretations of the meanings of the words, you hear something fresh —the human spirit of reaching or questing—in effort to express feelings or abstract concepts.

Listen to the Wisdom Knot again. Join in the song with your own sounds, words or drumming.

After listening: draw, paint, write, or even dance what you experienced in the meditation. Allow Steven’s composition to find its expression through you and through your own unique creative response.

Rest and Reflect


READ: Falling, by Larry Robinson

None of us can escape change. It could even be said that life is a series of changes bringing us to our ultimate chapter.

Reflect on your own relationship with change. Do you fear it? Do you resist it?

How do you process the many changes that life brings you? Do you fall or do you fly?


READ or LISTEN | Forgive: The new practice and mantra for Black Men, with Tamara Hamilton and Ulysses Slaughter

PRACTICE: Imagine you are in a vast ‘room’ where you are safe. Recall a trauma from your own life. Invite the energy of that event to appear in some form (example: ghost, fog, an animal, or mythical beast).

Acknowledge the manifestation with a greeting, a bow, or a nod. Notice its shape and movement. Send forgiveness and love to the part of yourself that is still angry, frightened, or grieving.

Thank the shadow for the part it has played in your journey, the lessons that came from the situation.

With compassion and firmness, send the ‘shadow’ into a far recess of the room—way up into a corner. Using your imagination, weave an electric blue ‘force field’ around the trauma. It can’t leave this place without your permission.

Turn toward a window in the room. Maybe it is a window you did not see before. Go to the window and imagine a beautiful serene landscape. Notice the details. Imagine walking or dancing in this landscape. The sun, the air, the breeze—everything is perfect. Sense belonging and peace. Recognize this is your true home.

(Adapted from a practice developed by Pamela Boyce Simms)

If you wish to write about this experience, consider sharing in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post ‘Forgiveness Practice.’ 

Rest and Reflect


READ the two Essays:

The Connection, by Jerrice Baptiste

An Uncommon Song, by Joe Brodnick

Reflect on the idea of encounter. We encounter others throughout our day. How can we make our encounters more extraordinary?

CREATE: Use paper, bits of ribbon, dried flowers, words—anything you wish to create a ‘token,’ something of beauty. Make several more. Think of these objects as a form of currency, not based on a gold standard, but on a love standard.

Gift one of your precious tokens to someone you encounter. You can simply say, ‘I made this. I want you to have it,’ and leave it at that.

We all love to receive gifts and we all love to be recognized for our gifts!


Closing Exercise

Review your work this past week. Write a paragraph about what stands out most vividly for you. What will you take away for your effort?

Use the Comments section at the end of any article from Week 3, if you wish to share publicly. Or share more privately in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post ‘Takeaways from Week 3.’ Share your work there.


Congratulations on completing Week 3!