March 2011 CPYF Dialogue Newsletter: Balancing Yin and Yang


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March 2011 CPYF Dialogue Newsletter: Balancing Yin and Yang

  1. 1. 20112010 - U ( ) . “ ”Samantha ‧ (Byron Katie) (World Café ) The Work (The World Cafe: Shaping the FutureThrough Conversations That Matter) (Berrett-Koehler 2005 ) - (Rainer Maria Rilke) ( ) Samantha – – 1
  2. 2. ~ Samantha … Samantha – Samantha 1 10 10 Samantha ‧ (David Bohm) Terence Afar SamanthaSamantha U U Samantha Samantha Samantha 2
  3. 3. CP Yen Foundation Dialogue Newsletter Balancing Yin and Yang: Featuring Samantha Tan March 2011In the November 2010 CPYF Dialogue Newsletter, we learned strength in the Yin leg and soon I’ll be walking, running, dancingabout the the inner dimension of dialogue through the U process of with both legs together!opening your Mind, Heart and Will. In that same spirit of thepersonal dialogic experience, this March edition features Samantha I realized that pursuing this vision of ‘leadership’ was like I wasTan and her experience of approaching the bottom of the U: looking for a ‘green hippopotamus’. I was working very hard to make things fit my personal vision: like trying to make a blue hippopotamus “When you are part of a generative process, you are communicating and relating on the level of being. That’s into a green one, or make a green rhino into a hippo! That just takes a why it is so transformational; because as you interact with lot of effort; and my heart began guiding me to explore my Yin others you allow yourself to be changed by them. That’s energy: intuitive, receptive, changing, embracing, why when it comes to the art of dialogue, facilitating positive social communion, surrender - the ability to receive and have space for change and forging sustainable communities, I feel it’s important to others. balance the energies of Yin and Yang to use both our hearts and minds together to the underlying Over the past four years I have been transitioning from Yang to Yin: coherence of the larger system and our different views in it. shifting from chasing opportunities to creating space for their emergence Developing our inner realm, by balancing the Yin and the in my life. For me, this change is about allowing my heart to lead Yang, in my opinion is the highest leverage point.” me.Samantha is intriguing. A woman of many accomplishments: she is A Theory of Changea teacher, host and speaker committed to facilitating courageousconversations that make a profound difference in work and life. She It’s funny, I can see what’s beautiful and good in other people, but indesigns and facilitates local, national and international gatherings,with a focus on intergenerational and intercultural dialogue. Her myself I often only see the negative. Whenever I feel low, I look forclients have included Buddhist monks and nuns of the Dharma the cause and find it’s usually my mind’s critical voice telling meDrum Monastery in Taiwan and New York, line employees and “you’re not good enough!” Byron Katie’s “The Work” has been aexecutives of the Nokia Corporation in Singapore and Beijing, and great help to me in shifting these patterns of thought. The WorkUS Girl Scouts ages 12 to 70. She is a Global Steward of the World involves asking 4 questions to one’s thoughts:Café and a chapter contributor to The World Cafe: Shaping the FutureThrough Conversations That Matter; and if you participated in the 1) Is it true?Taiwan Society for Organizational Learning 2007 World Cafe event 2) Would the opposite be true as well?in Taipei you may have met her as a member of the Host Team. 3) How do I react, what happens, when I believe that thought?Reflections on the event can be read online: 4) Who would I be without the thought?articles/TaiwanSoL-World%20Cafe.pdf - Read more: before knowing all this about Samantha, it was firstly her warm These four questions enable reflection.heart-felt presence that struck me. Samantha conveys a capacity tohear, feel and be moved by the human experience as expressed in Poet Rainer Maria Rilke speaks to this wisdom in her words: “bethe tears welling in her eyes as she listens to you. In return I began patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart, try to love theto listen to her story of finding presence: questions themselves like locked rooms. Do not seek the answers that cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.Samantha’s learning journey Live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually without noticing it live along some distant day into the“I used to be very in the world. I was very busy striving to be the kind answer.”of ‘leader’ who drives at achieving an explicit personal vision. Icared about being #1 and from that I ‘succeeded’ in having many Facilitating positive social change starts with looking honestly atclients and being invited around the world as a guest speaker and one’s thoughts. When I did so I asked my critical mind to relax, Ispecialist. During these years I was driven by the Yang hear their concerns, and I need them to step aside so I can beenergy: directive, logical, focused, action oriented, and expansive. guided by my heart.But four years ago I found myself exhausted and worn out by thisover emphasis on the Yang.Yang is neither negative nor bad; only that I’d been hopping aroundon one leg - the Yang leg, not so effective! Now is time to develop 3
  4. 4. When that happens I can feel a space open up - like freeing up my Dialogue can change the worldenergetic bandwidth for other intelligences to express themselves,such as my intuitive and creative Yin intelligences. This generates Leadership for me is a co-creative process: collective andan entirely different sensation of being both within myself and with generative. I used to believe leadership is about being #1, carvingothers. the most direct path to my vision, so I devalued playing a ‘supporting’ role. The Yin energy however has opened up a newBeing heart-led is very important. We hold our dreams in our appreciation of ‘support.’ The question is no longer ‘how can I gethearts. A dream is what you really care about, what inspires you ahead?’ but ‘how can I be an enabling part of co-creating theand gives you natural motivation. conditions that generate new realities?’” Enabling the process reflects David Bohm’s original reflections on emergence: “the treeMy dream is of wholesome people filled with self-love. does not grow from the seed. The seed rather is the aperture"Self love" is not thinking grandiose thoughts about oneself. through which the tree gradually emerges by organizing theRather it is about experiencing oneself as valuable independently processes of growth which eventually bring forth the tree. Theof external conditions. Many of us think "I am valuable because I nature of the aperture rests in the spirit that shapes thedo things perfectly" or "I am valuable because I am successful" "I undertaking.”am valuable because so many people want to see me and Im sobusy.” There is nothing wrong with excellence, but if we tie our Bohm was a leading thinker on the art of dialogue. He describedself-worth to these measures we can exhaust or destroy ourselves dialogue as an exploration of the human experience: our values,and those around us - even if we are trying to do good in the emotions, thought processes, memory and culture all of which areworld. Without self-love we’ll always be hungry for other people’s created and sustained in the social collective.resources. Self-love is a nutrient our body needs to be healthy -and we must exercise our loving heart just like any other muscle. Generated by relationships, dialogue probes the frontiers of our relationship to each other and our world by way of the livingHere’s a technique for that: experience of inquiry within and between people. Within transformation happens when we relax attachment to the1) Practice opening your heart in little ways. On a scale of 1-10 certainties of our judging mind and listen instead to the you don’t have to immediately jump to level 10. Just feel what possibilities that come from being in relationship with others. it’s like to open your heart. For me that means playing with When people begin to think together from the basis of their dogs. One simple thing I do is to walk around a pond each relationship, “between” transformation happens in relationships week and play with 5 dogs along the way. It feels wonderful. deepening the glue that links people together. This glue represents a genuine shared meaning and common understanding that “I am2) Another exercise is to make a two column list of all the things a human being; therefore nothing human is alien to me”, as you do which are either motivated by Love or by Fear. One by observed Terence Afar, and which I see embodied in Samantha one try moving the fear-motivated ones to motivations of love. and in you. Likewise Mother Theresa said: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”In summary, my theory of change is:1. Inquire & reflect upon your thoughts. See them for what they are.2. Invite the critical, judging and thinking mind to relax, step aside and liberate some space for other intelligences to be exercised such as the Yin energy of an open heart.3. From you heart, allow yourself to be guided by your “dream”.4. Do exercises that help your mind calm down and your heart to open and develop.The past four years of transitioning from Yang to Yin energy has notbeen easy. I had to tell my mind to simply accept that I’m notgoing back to the old way of Yang-dominated living ~ it was tooexhausting and destructive for me. I simply had to accept that.Being open to the Yin means I had to get comfortable with notknowing. I had to learn to accept uncertainty and not to control,figure it out, build a plan, judge right or wrong... or any othertendency that closes the space. Being Heart-led brought me anappreciation for the mysteries of life; so now I allow myself morespace to explore and experiment. I don’t know whereexperimenting with shifting my focus from Yang to Yin is taking me,but I am enjoying the present moment. The present of presence forme is generating relationships and experiences. 4