...reflections from a Compassionate Listener

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Compassionate Listening in Beit Jala

I spent June 1-3, 2007 in the small town of Beit Jala, adjacent to Bethlehem, with 19 Israeli Jews and 19 Palestinian Muslims and Christians from all over the West Bank (Palestine). Maha El-Taji and I facilited the training session, and Cheri Catt and Len Wolf came from the U.S. to assist and support us all.

In the past month and a half since my return to the Puget Sound, I have not found many words to describe my experience. It was a great privilege to be of service to these peace and community leaders. Maha and my focus was on holding a strong container so that the participants could trust the Compassionate Listening process and dive deeply with one another. There were times when the wounds were so exposed and the pain so raw, that I wondered if the container would shatter. But we all pulled through. The desire to connect - to understand and be understood, is so huge. They risked so much, and found that it is possible to reach new ground.