Note from Jared Seide after Rwanda Council Training
This journey has been amazing, emotional, powerful, heartbreaking, connected, overwhelming, impossible, beautiful.
The training itself well surpassed our already high expectations and feels now to have been life changing for all involved, as well as a significant contribution to the healing field here, both internally, for the participants involved, and in introducing and embodying a new set of tools, ready to be carried by organizations and initiatives.Â The journey to set aside all of the ego, psychological, cultural attachment to ways of thinking about identity and ideology â€“ and â€śhealingâ€ť — was surprisingly challenging and very fruitful.Â The quality of the listening and Â attunement was deeply moving and remarkable.Â And the emergence already witnessed in this field has been striking.
Already, a participant who has been silently grieving about the improper burial of her relatives killed in the genocide had her story witnessed by someone working on relocation of human remains to memorial sites and plans have now been made to address this issue and relocate the remains.Â Another participant who had been carrying deep wounds around childhood experiences, and who had begun the training rather closed and leery, found courage to tell stories never spoken, found consolation and connection and expressed feeling a relief never experienced.Â Â Yet another participant’s family, struggling with resentments and disconnection has begun a home-practice of council that has surprised and delighted everyone; the children have asked every evening: â€śCan we do council again tonight?â€ťÂ And one group of colleagues held a council in which doors opened that had been slammed shut for months, with tears, honest naming of pain and sadness, requests for forgiveness, granting of forgiveness, heartfelt laughter, commitment to heal together, more tears, and prayers of thanks for this field of compassionate arising; important steps for this group were taken, witnessed, acknowledged and watered with abundant tears.
May these seeds of healing and recognition grow inside us all, nourish cohesion and inclusiveness and generate more resources for the big work ahead.
To Sit with an Elder: Australian Participant Reflects on the 2019 Native American Bearing Witness Plunge
August 29, 2019