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Vocation: Imperfectly Lived but Perfectly Sought

Posted by Arlen Vernava on August 29, 2012

Where are you?  This is one of the great questions of all time....  Where am I?  Where am I in relation to God, to myself, and to others?  These are the basic questions of human life.”  

Thomas Keating, Cistercian monk and seminal practitioner of Centering Prayer, opened his 1997 The Harold M. Wit Lectures at Harvard Divinity School with the question, “Where are you?” and rhetorically, “Where am I?”  Although his lecture focussed on the individual in relationship, organization and community are well served also, for these two questions invite vocational exploration:  where are you called?  Where am I summoned?

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Topics: deep dive

Songgaar & Burungaar: Tuvan wisdom for interim time

Posted by Arlen Vernava on July 9, 2012

The Tuvan language of Russia, writes Russ Rymer in the July 2012 National Geographic, “believe the past is ahead of them while the future lies behind...children look to the future, but it’s behind them, not yet seen.”   The word “songgaar” means both “go back / the future;”  the word “burungaar” means “go forward / the past.”

Songgaar and burungaar freshly express the push and pull of interim time while inviting an emotional/adaptive template for living through transition.  Consider:  Leaders and institution commit to “the future.”  They say they value “go(ing) forward.” They say "we will hold onto the best from the past, we will go back to reclaim best practices."  Yet the usual transition arc often gets stuck at change, stifling transition's emotional and adaptive process. Songgaar and burundaar become sets of “polarities” and “opposites.”  So what do you do when every stakeholder's words boldly profess "change" while their action announces otherwise?  How do you "hold" some who reside in the future with others living in the past while a few go back and a handful go forward?

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Topics: deep dive

Feeling provoked (in a good way)? Hope so!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on February 7, 2012

 

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Topics: deep dive