“Truth-telling is like oxygen. it enlivens us. Without it we grow confused and numb. It is also a homecoming, bringing us back to powerful connections and basic authority.” -Joanna Macy
What happens when we truly drop down in…deep….and own and honor our pain for our world? Both our inner world and the Universal world we live in? Developing this skill provides a means to recognize the authority and solidarity it can bring.
Our world is crying out for mature global citizens to emerge. The Truth Mandala is a simple yet deeply profound group practice developed by Joann Macy as part of her Work That Reconnects. This ritual allows the opportunity for all participants to co-create a deep containment vessel for holding and cooking the truth.
Transmutation into a completely different state can occur from this alchemical process. Our times are calling out for these types of circles to be formed. Maybe as part of a resilience group where you don’t know everyone. Maybe within your circle of family or friends. Maybe just between you and your partner, child or one dear, dear friend. A participant from one of Joanna’s workshop in Germany in the early 90’s when the Truth Mandala spontaneously arose had this to say about the process.
“One by one we shared our fear, our grief, our anger, and our emptiness. I could feel reservoirs of untapped compassion and courage emerge that enabled me to open and truly suffer with each person the concerns that each revealed. To be able to embrace our suffering and not pull back in denial or defense is a gift and one that is transforming. It pushes us, stretching our hearts to be able to hold all of life’s experiences, not just the good or the joyful, but the difficult and the painful. And in so doing, we get to experience the great paradox of opening to the suffering, which is the opening to more life and joys and love and compassion.”
Integrity means whole. Unbroken. Inclusive and holding all. Deep integrity requires truth-telling. Our innate True Nature is whole and able to hold All That Is And Isn’t. The Whole. The Truth. From there is where we can enlarge our understanding of where we can go.
When we speak the truth of our fear it takes deep courage and the trust of that courage can transform.
When we speak our deep grief and sorrow, it is an equal measure of our deep love. We only mourn what we deeply care for.
When we speak our anger, it springs from our passion for justice.
When we honor and speak our emptiness there is a paradoxical potential to recognize that the same empty space holds all possibilities for something completely new to arise.
I have participated in many truth mandala rituals. In intimate and large groups. The process is intense and deeply transformative. I offer many deep thanks to Joanna Macy and the thousands of souls her Work That Reconnects has deeply touched. Thank you for stepping forward with courage and love.
I plan to offer the Truth Mandala and other practices from The Work That Reconnects as well as other bodies of deep wisdom practices in the resilience group I will be starting in the fall of 2017.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I would also love to hear of your interest in participating in this group. It will be held on Monday evenings.
The group will be called “Developing the Sacred Skills of Navigating Change.”