This post is for the purpose of transparency and openness. The first meeting of the Restorative Team (official name not yet determined) took place Saturday Dec. 1, 2018. Here are the notes from that meeting.
Seattle Tantra Restorative Team
Meeting Notes – December 2, 2018
Notes taken by Lark
Lark “Premshakti” Tucker
(Everyone introduced themselves with what they bring and why they value being part of this group.)
- Grace not to be ongoing member of group
- Grace hoping to bring Andrea starting in January to facilitate trainings in restorative circling
- Next open forum on Jan 6th—Andrea to co-facilitate
- Go through agreements
- Determine Name of Group
- Choose Social Media moderators and develop guidelines/expectations re the same
- Develop code of ethics
- Desired Outcomes: What are next steps and who will take on each step
(Discussion was lively, and I often forgot to take notes. My opinion: you all are phenomenal human beings with amazing experience and knowledge and desire to make a difference, and I’m excited to be participating in this process with you!)
We develop postcards with basic agreements of engagement to help us easily remember and practice. These will be based on our STC Agreements.
Remember any tool can be weaponized, one reason to keep practicing and paying attention to ourselves. Remembering to focus on being curious rather than right.
As part of keeping our agreements a living document, we can review at our quarterly forums.
Teach energetic awareness as part of boundaries and consent. Evolve awareness of actual experience vs. projected experience.
The simpler the better. Avoid overregulation.
Space Holders: When signing up for holding space, all must recognize that an additional check-in for self-resourcing needs to happen on the day of. Each person is encouraged to develop their ability to check in with self on what is true in the moment. (Additional thought while typing this up: Perhaps develop some questions we can ask ourselves and each other and/or some grounding exercises we do to increase our self-resourcing capabilities.)
- What do we want to call ourselves? “Accountability group?”
- What would a living code of ethics look like?
What happens from here?
- Next meeting is December 8th, 1-3 pm to finish agreements
- Invite all to above meeting, whether people choose to join longterm or for just once (Keep the meetings open and posted so that people are at choice and we are being transparent)
- Create code of ethics
- Developing conflict navigation
- Develop Social Media groups/admins—Elisabeth stepping up to join current team and work on this
- New Chairman: Rich
We also suggested changes to the Seattle Tantra Community Agreements.
The entire original document follows with changes in italics.
Seattle Tantra Community – Draft of Agreements
Working Document – Dec 2018
- Be responsible for requesting your own boundaries and asking for help in doing so.
- Energetic (psychic space), physical, verbal, emotional boundaries – can we be specific? Speak a common language – intention of increasing our awareness
- Projections – what are you putting on other people
- Commit to being in the discomfort of learning your boundaries as you lean in to new experiences.
- Respect others’ edges and boundaries. Be excited about receiving a no.
- Practice affirmative consent – a verbal yes means yes, silence is not a yes. Become aware of nonverbal cues
- Become aware of your own unspoken desires. What might you want that’s subconsciously driving your actions?
- We choose to play in intimate space, connection and even sexuality in this community. There is no assumption you participate in anything you don’t want. And we are in the constant discovery of our boundaries as we lean into our edges and shadows.
- Practice saying no, even after the fact.
- Notice what power dynamics might be at play that could be affecting your ability to say no or other’s ability to exercise their power of consent.
- Communicate if your no was not heard directly to the person you are experiencing conflict with. Know that there are people in this community that are here to help you. You are not alone.
- Talk with the restorative team and/or the facilitator of the event about boundary and consent violations directly and as soon as possible.
- Be honest reliable to finish a process you start and communicate when you need support or need to hand it off.
- Be aware and communicative of your limitations; notice when you’ve overcommitted.
- Maintain balance so that you can be reliable.
- Practice self-care and honoring yourself first.
- Your service in this community does not define who you are. Your role is appreciated, and it is not a measure of your self-worth.
- Use “I-statements” and own your experience.
- Embrace imperfections and mistakes.
- We’re not here to fix each other. Allow everyone’s experience to be theirs. This includes not interrupting or cross-talking when others are sharing.
- Guidelines for discussion facilitation – R, C, stack, resonance fingers
- Oops/Ouch – voice when you feel harmed or imagine you have caused unintentional harm, even after the fact. Ask for support when needed.
- Recognize the impact of the global culture we’re surrounded with, and encourage, advocate for, listen to and support the empowerment of marginalized voices, including but not limited to people of color, female, non-heterosexual, non-cis gendered, differently abled, low income, etc. (Wipe the shit off your shoes!)
- Don’t share others’ stories by name, either in or outside the community unless you have their explicit permission.
- Don’t share what’s not yours – when sharing about people you know in the community, ask permission to use their name or story before you share.
- Confidentiality for everything personal shared, including on our facebook page.
- Be aware of the level of teachings you are sharing, as sometimes context is necessary for others to understand the nature and intent of spiritual practice. All teachings in a drop-in practice class or satsang are public and welcome to be shared.
- Choose courage over comfort – lean into your growth edge with kindness to yourself and others.
- Practice the values you preach.
- Be willing to make mistakes and own them.
- Allow and encourage others to honor themselves first.
- Check your assumptions and expectations – we all have them; get excited when your blind spots are revealed and be actively on the lookout for them.
- Practice empathetic listening, seeing and sharing.
- Don’t offer advice or try to fix the experience of others.
- Welcome ALL people and all perspectives.
- Noticing the ways our cultural biases silently uphold oppressive systems and commit to transforming our community with courageous words and actions.
- Extend positive regard and positive intent. But also recognize intent vs impact – that just because you didn’t mean to cause harm doesn’t mean harm doesn’t happen.
- Observe privilege, power dynamics and unconscious biases. Make conscious choices to own socially conditioned behavior and have courage to interrupt these patterns.
- Receive feedback when it is offered. Cultivate gratitude that someone found the courage to engage in conversation about harm and change.
- Don’t assume someone else is coming with the same experience as you.
- Keep a strong aspiration to go beyond our limited human experience and experience the limitless dimension of Source
- Cultivate faith based on experience through your own practice. In the meantime, be willing to follow the signposts of the teachings.
- Commit to a spiritual practice that helps you embrace the discomfort of the spiritual journey.
- Practice mindfulness and conscious actions.
- Ask for support from leaders, teachers and community members who inspire you.
Agreement Accountability – How do we do this??
- Speak directly with a person you are experiencing conflict with. Own your experience and extend positive regard/good intent. Practice oops/ouch.
- When sharing your experience with others whom you trust, avoid gossip or blame. We assume no one intends harm in our community and rise to the challenge of calling each other IN and celebrating when we are called IN to address someone else’s ouch.
- Contact the person you are in conflict with. Ask for support when you need.
- Talk with the ethics committee about resolving a conflict or mediating a harmful action. They are here to support your growth. Lean into the discomfort of sharing your challenge with the other person – their growth edge lies here, too!
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.
May all beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life and our community be for the freedom and happiness of all beings.