Theory U 2x project: Discerning obstacles and raising lungta

A small group of us have applied to be part of the Presencing Institute’s Spring 2020 2x program.  Here is what we said in our application (which had to be compressed into a ONE MINUTE VIDEO!):

Title: Discerning obstacles and raising lungta in the Portland Shambhala community

As a community we have not reached our potential for contributing to the lives of members or of the larger Portland community.  Our community is made up of members and leaders who are aware of the community contact points that constitute our community and shape it. To reach our potential we need to engage in further reflection and discernment to consider and transform these community contact points. This project seeks connection and collaboration with shareholders to see across barriers and boundaries to make all community contact points become genuine resources for personal and societal growth.

We observe that our community is segmented by practice, roles, conflicting beliefs, program experiences, and age / longevity (among others).  We have been separated enough so that we don’t know each other enough or see our community fully. Therefore we relate to caricatures of each others and don’t appreciate our community enough or see its full potential.  The community contact points (barriers and boundaries) we will focus on in this project are in the areas of practice and education, health and well-being, and governance / leadership. We are aware of and will attend equally to the barriers and boundaries inside our community and between our Shambhala community and the world.

These are examples of prototype community contact points that we would seek to amplify in the future:

  • Holding Community Conversations every other Sunday (with shared reports) have been heartfelt and revealing
  • Holding Town Halls to work on important community issues (where “outsiders” make an important contribution) have been practical and aspirational
  • A program (Shambhala Training Level I) taught by an out-of-town teacher where both new and long-time students practiced together connected us to our roots
  • Sharing individual voices in topical video interviews are a kind of cumulative public empathy walk
  • A “Dharma Umbrella” initiative to engage Portland Buddhist communities in dialog about care and conduct efforts has shown that we are not alone
  • A Governance Council protocol of purposeful dialog with “other voices” when working on difficult issues has hinted how Theory U can become part of our everyday life
  • U.Lab Coaching Circles during the Fall of 2019 have by all accounts been deep and generative

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