What does it mean to be peacemakers? Can we find ways for those who are committed to peace to listen to each other and talk with each other even when we might not agree? Are you willing to experiment with these questions? If so, you are invited to a planning meeting on Wednesday, June 4th, at 7 pm at the Plantory.
The purpose of this meeting is to plan an experience in deep listening with members of the peace and justice community of central Kentucky. Our topic for this listening session is: discovering a way we could listen to each others’ deep concerns about abortion, reproductive rights, choice, our care for the unborn, and women’s health. Your hosts for this June 4th planning meeting are Gail Koehler, a trainer at Lexington United, and Dr. Betsy Neale, PhD, sexuality educator.
The goal of this session is not to argue a particular “side,” but to use the model from the Compassionate Listening Project whose practitioners have developed a method used for decades in political hotspots throughout the globe, but particularly in Israel and Palestine.
Leah Green, project director of the Compassionate Listening Project says that members of the project are committed to
“...creating an environment conducive to peace-building through deep, empathic listening. It is no simple thing: At times we listeners must dig deep within ourselves to move beyond our own judgments and opinions. When we listen with the intention of building empathy and understanding, we also quickly build trust, and possibilities emerge. We have been able to bring opposing sides together in one room to listen to each other because our intentions are trusted.”
Is this a model that can be used here in Lexington to address a contentious subject? Come and work with us as we discover what empathy and compassionate intention can uncover. If you have training in Compassionate Listening or other deep listening facilitation, we are particularly interested in hearing from you!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 859-813-2649.
“Some time ago I recognized that terrorists were people who had grievances,
who thought their grievances would never be heard,
and certainly never addressed.
Later I saw that all parties to every conflict were wounded
and at the heart of every act of violence is an unhealed wound.”
—Gene Knudsen Hoffman (1919-2010),
a Quaker peace activist who created ‘Compassionate Listening’
as a model for peacemaking
You can read a copy of a pdf titled Compassionate Listening: An Exploratory Sourcebook About Conflict Transformation here.