Saturday, April 26, 2003 Meeting Notes

Check-in: scattered notes on remarks by those present.
- Dorothy's week was rich in terms of family experiences, and she attended a Marshall Rosenberg workshop in Seattle.
- Mark attended the Seattle Media Forum event on Tuesday and described an interesting correspondence that an article he translated has led to.
- Vivi also went to the Seattle Media Forum event at the Seattle Town Hall, where she learned from someon that the Chinese media is bashing the U.S. right now. She wishes she could find more time to read.
- Sheila attended an event about Palestine in Olympia on Tuesday where she heard a poet, and also someone who spoke about the condition of Palestinian children. She has given copies of Tanya Reinhart's Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948 (NY: Seven Stories Press, 2002) to all western Washington representatives. A voracious reader, she did a lot of reading this week.
- Sallie felt more in a listening than talking mood.
- Karen K. observed that children at the school where she teaches were in a different mood this week -- a mood she was able to shift by way of a breathing and meditation-upon-gratitude exercise.
- Marilyn told how she came to be prominently featured in the April 21 News Tribune (Tacoma) in a feature on rain. She spent considerable time this week in deep meditation upon mortality.


1. Committee report. Following a meeting of a group consisting of Rob, Sallie, Marilyn, and Colleen, Rob wrote up a proposal for a project bringing together people whose opinions differ strongly on the war, in an effort to find common ground. The proposal will be presented to Associated Ministries for sponsorship.

2. Nonviolent communication. Dorothy reported on the workshop in Seattle on self-empathy with Marshall Rosenberg. Rosenberg said that you can't teach anyone anything -- something he always tells students in school. He said that thinks that we should get rid of all 'shoulds,' that we've been playing the game of punitive gods for 8000 years and that we need to move beyond that, to get rid of judgment and learn to observe without judging and to do without the language of domination. He said that our educational system emphasizes obedience to authority and the reinforcement of a caste system even as it pretends to do otherwise; we need instead to shift toward an ethic of serving life. He said he thinks that we need to look closesly at our language: anything that implies wrongness may be seen as a tragic expression of an unmet need. (Rosenberg thinks people have nine fundamental needs: 1) sustenance; 2) safety; 3) understanding; 4) honesty and clarity; 5) love; 6) celebration, rest, and relaxation; 7) Geborgenheit [a German word meaning 'security,' understood here in the psycholgical sense of belonging]; 8) autonomy; 9) meaning.) An interesting discussion ensued.

3. Earth Charter. Mark presented some ideas about the first word in the Earth Charter: "We." We, us, our, and ours all come from two Indo-European roots meaning . . . 'we' and 'us'! This means, Mark said, that they have been fundamental concepts in our traditions forever. He alluded to Canadian philosopher David Carr's argument, presented in Time, Narrative, and History (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), that the very concept of "we" (and of "I" too) is fundamentally narrative: that is, people constitute their collective as well as their individual identities in narrative fashion. Mark said that there is an implicit narrative in the Earth Charter, and in order to be effective our work with the Earth Charter should seek to draw people into this narrative, to make it part of their "we" (and "I") identity. An interesting discussion ensued, in which Karen K. said that merging with higher states of consciousness often involve letting go of such "we" and "I" narratives. The group discussed ways to reach people at these levels.


1. Vivi announced a Tikkun "Teach-In to Congress" in Washington, D.C., on June 1-4, 2003, which will include Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, Steve Zunes, Cornel West, Jim Wallis, Deepak Chopra, et al., seeking a "new path to security -- for the U.S. and for Israel/Palestine." For more information, go to the Tikkun website or call 510-644-1200.

2. United for Peace of Pierce County is contemplating an event to re-energize and refocus the peace community. A meeting to discuss the event will be held at Carl Anderson's home (3320 N. 27th St., Tacoma; 761-8726) on Thursday, May 1, at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Mark J.