Past Events

September 21, 2019


"On Spirituality and Art"


Our guide for this exploration is Anjet van Linge, a sculptor and organization development consultant. She'll describe her own artistic process and invite us to explore our own creative process and its impact on our spirituality. Whether we call ourselves artists or not, all of us exercise creativity. And the way we express it defines our spirituality.

Anjet is well qualified to lead us on this journey.

English sculptor Richard Perry described her work as "spiritual minimalism," a designation she agrees with.

"I'd like to think that how I work is in many ways a metaphor for how we all in our own ways allow life to manifest itself through us.  In this session, I'll share three examples of recent work, and use these as a starting point for exploring how we ‘know’, how we ’notice’, and how we work."

Anjet van Linge is a sculptor and a consultant. As a sculptor, she works with stone, taking away to create space and noticing what needs to stay. Often born in response to some life question, her stones invite stillness and reflection. She works in the tradition of ancient stonemasons, using mainly hammer and chisel, attentive to the material, its touch and sound. This enables her to explore the spirit of craftsmanship, and what that may teach us, in our (working) lives also. 

As a consultant, she works with international organisations, helping leaders to develop their capacity for conscious leadership, seeing what is present, and what might want to be let go of.

August 17, 2019


YES TO LIFE! IMPROVISATION AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

  • Do you long for greater confidence and deeper joy?
  • Would you want to connect more easily and more playfully with yourself, others and the larger world?
  • Could you use more fun in your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions. consider incorporating improvisation into your spiritual practice.

During this online community exploration, Ted DesMaisons will share his thoughts on connection between improvisation and spirituality, then lead us through a series of fun and hopefully revelatory experiential exercises on the subject. We'll close by reflecting on how the practice of improvisation might positively impact our spiritual lives.

Ted DesMaisons is a trailblazer at the crossroads of mindfulness and improvisation. Drawing on his experience at Stanford Business and Harvard Divinity Schools, he teaches through Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program and co-hosts the 5-star-rated Monster Baby Podcast, which reaches listeners in more than 55 countries. His new book, Playful Mindfulness, has earned steady acclaim for its originality, relevance and humor.

June 15, 2019



"Our Ancestors, Our Selves"


We all have ancestors that can give us support, guidance and healing. But few modern or religious traditions outline ways to come into conscious connection with those who have come before us.

In this experiential exploration, Lucumi priestess Yaromil Fong-Olivares will explain how her tradition utilizes rituals to connect with blood-related ancestors, spiritual ancestors, as well as spirit guides going back thousands of years. She’ll also guide us in some simple exercises aimed at helping us to connect with ancestral energies, plus lead a discussion on the role of ancestral energies in our lives.


May 19, 2019


Exploring the Diversity and Spirituality Connection


I've always felt there's a natural connection between diversity and spirituality. And that what that connection looks like is different for everyone.

This Saturday, May 18th, during our monthly Online Community Exploration, I'll share what that looks like for me. I hope you'll join me in sharing what it looks like for you.

This Saturday, we'll use the process of dialogue circles (https://www.dialogue-circles.com/ to explore how we each experience that connection. It's a process I and some colleagues at Princeton University developed some time ago as a means of exploring difficult topics Since then, it's been used for everything from team-building, to conflict resolution to strategic planning.

I believe, as articulated somewhat conceptually both here (http://bit.ly/aboutdsn) and here (http://bit.ly/diversitychallenge), that there are a lot of advantages of approaching diversity and spirituality in an interconnect way.



April 20, 2019

SPIRITUAL ABUSE: How to Spot It & Avoid It
with Diana Goetsch

Spiritual abuse in religious communities has proven to be every bit as damaging as sexual or physical abuse, yet it is rarely, if ever, addressed. This session will be an informed discussion of spritual abuse, why we miss it, how to spot it, and how it intersects with issues of diversity and cultural power arrangements. There will be examples, discussion, and opportunities to share our own experiences.

  

Diana Goetsch (www.dianagoetsch.com) is a Tantric Buddhist practitioner and meditation instructor who has witnessed and studied spritual abuse in its various manifestations. She is also a poet and literary journalist, who resides in New York City.

March 16

From Emotions to Enlightenment
with Cindy Franklin

What emotions come to mind when you hear the word “spirituality”?

If you're like most people, you probably think of a positive word, like peace, joy or bliss.

But what if you're spiritually inclined and aren’t feeling any of these ways?  What if instead you find yourself feeling things like grief, sadness, anger or fear?  And what does working with emotions have to do with spirituality? 

These are things we’ll explore this Saturday during our monthly online community exploration.

The exploration will be facilitated by the Network's Associate Director, Cindy Franklin, who says her intent is for us to explore this in a down-to-earth, non-conceptual way. “Rather than this being an intellectual conversation, we’ll instead share from our lived experiences about what’s been helpful or unhelpful in working with our emotions as we seek to grow, deepen, and unfold spiritually.




February 16th

Living in the Liminal: At the Intersection of Identity(ies)
with Roxanne Kymaani

Being the constructors of our own selves implies it is no longer comfortable to simply accept the identities that are allocated to us. This conversation will explore the Liminal Space, the space between, where our multiple identities intersect and how they show up within us. Creating a space for dialogue to explore these intersections can allow for these multiple viewpoints to be shared, with a desire to understand and learn from those that may view the world differently.

 Dr. Roxanne Kymaani is a thought provoker and change catalyst who specializes in identity construction, dialogue facilitation, diversity training and community building, emphasizing self-awareness, compassion, authenticity, creativity and collective discovery. Her research interests include: liminality, identity construction, group dynamics and cultural understanding.


December 15, 2018

The Dark Night of the Soul:

From Spiritual Crisis to Emergence

with Fiona Robertson

Spiritual exploration often starts out as a way to find deeper meaning in our lives or as an attempt to make ourselves feel better. We idealize our spiritual goals, believing that if we reach enlightenment or peace, our suffering will come to an end. For many of us, however, the radical reality of awakening only becomes clear when we enter into a dark night or spiritual emergency. What happens when we are called to descend into the reality of ourselves, into our unmet pain and trauma? How do we make sense of the experiences we have in this terrain when there is so little support for this journey in the outside world? How do we uncover our authentic selves and still relate to others?

Fiona Robertson is the author of The Dark Night of the Soul: A Journey from Absence to Presence and The Art of Finding Yourself: Live Bravely and Awaken to Your True Nature. She is a facilitator and teacher of the Living Inquiries, an embodied inquiry process she co-created. She facilitates individuals from around the world and occasionally offers in person gatherings.


November 17

Encountering the Other: Travel Stories
with Bill Kelly

Diversity is a path to awakening, and travel is a way to encounter others who might be culturally quite different. How can travel challenge our conceptions of self and other? What identity pitfalls may await us? How can such experiences help us expand and grow? Join us as Bill Kelly tells some of his travel stories after which we will share and contemplate how both nearby and faraway travel has affected our own development.

Bill Kelly taught intercultural communication at UCLA and has written articles about Japan-US communication. He spent almost 25 years abroad and traveled extensively in many parts of Africa and Asia.


October 20,  2018

 Getting Real:
A Deep Dive into Interspiritual Dialogue
with David Wetton

David Wetton will lead us in an exploration of the joys and challenges of navigating what he calls the interspiritual path: the landscape where people of different faith traditions meet. 

Doing this expertly means means moving beyond the largely superficial conversations that often characterize  interfaith conversations. It requires a willingness to balance sharing what we've experienced in our spiritual journeys with listening to others do the same. By engaging in this practice, we can experience a shift.

The term interspiritual was first coined in 1999 by Brothe Wayne Teasdale is his book, The Mystic Heart. This type of sacred sharing, Teasdale discovered, caused participants to experience personal transformation and a closer connection with those of other faiths.

During this experiential exploration, David will share his research on the distinctions he has found between spirituality, faith and religion, and how he's used what he's learned to encourage meaningful dialogue. We'll then explore and practice how to engage constructively, with an attitude of curiousity and openness to learning. 

David is a UK-based interfaith minister and business consultant who decribes himself as a "Celtic Christian Zen Buddhist Sufi Kabbalist." In the corporate world he specializes in Leadership Development and Team Building; where he helps leaders and organizations build conscious and effective relationships, that make a difference in every way.​

September 15

Talking About Difference
The Role of Authority in Conversations about Diversity and Spirituality
with René Molenkamp

Conversations involving diversity and spirituality are not easy. We don't always agree on the meaning of the words we're using, or haven't taken the time to examine what we're assuming. It gets even more complex when we start paying attention to underlying authority dynamics of who's talking. For example, who has authority to talk about diversity and/or spirituality? Do they take it, is it given to them? When is it relinquished or taken away form them? And what factors determine authority anyway? And how does authority influence diversity and spirituality and vice versa?

René Molenkamp is DSN's Associate Director and an international Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach. René is also one of the co-founders of Group Relations International, organizes and facilitates spiritual and silent retreats, and has directed numerous Group Relations conferences, in which groups explore the issues of leadership, authority and identity in groups and systems.


September 29, 2018

 Walking the Talk:
A Workshop that Explores the Connection Between 
The Values We Espouse and How We Live Our Lives

Yale Divinity School
(Visit the Walking the Talk Event Page)


August 2018 Online Community Exploration

The topic of this month's Diversity and Spirituality Network's community meeting is: Spirituality Network's community meeting is Radical Inclusion: From Theory to Practice. Guest host Maria Lambert Bridge will lead a discussion on what is "radical inclusion", as well as share her experience on how a daily practice of Radical Inclusion impacted her life. She will also encourage participants to examine how they might define radical inclusion and put into practice in their lives.

Bridge is the founder of organizational consultancy Topo Group, as well as the creator of mindmattersmost.org, a community that supports busy people with busy schedules in building a mindfulness practice.

July 2018 Online Community Exploration

The topic of this month's Diversity and Spirituality Network's community meeting is: Sexuality and Spirituality. Host Dani Antman will share her perspective on where the sexual and the spiritual meet -- in the subtle channels of our energy body.  She'll also share her experience of the difference between sexual energy and spiritual energy and how it's possible to confuse the two. Although currently choosing celibacy,  she will talk about the three energetic centers that need to be vitalized for spiritual sex. Dani will open up a discussion on diversity in sexuality, which is the acceptance of choices different than our own. When:

Dani is an internationally known energy healer in Santa Barbara, CA. www.daniantman.comShe has taught workshops at The Esalen Institute, La Casa de Maria, The Lionheart Institute and the School for Nondual Healing and Awakening. She is certified in Somatic Experiencing, to help heal the effects of trauma and PTSD. She is the author of Wired for God, Adventures of a Jewish Yogi. www.wiredforgod.com


June 2018 Online Community Exploration

The topic for this month’s Diversity and Spirituality Network Exploration is Exploring the Global Soul. We begin with three interrelated premises: that the world (or Gaia), is a living being; that this being evolves and is illuminated with consciousness; and that individual beings within Gaia’s domain can align with and support her continual transformation. After examining these premises, we’ll then explore their implications, for ourselves, the people with whom we interact, and the nations in which we live. This Exploration is guest hosted by the America’s Soul Café Community.


May 2018 Online Community Exploration

The topic of this month’s Diversity and Spirituality Network’s community meeting is Peacemaking Circles. Host Betsy Hasegawa (Ed.D., she/her/hers; Japanese and Ainu) will introduce the Peacemaking Circle process, in the tradition of the Taglish-Tlingit First Nations elders, along with framing principles, key components, and community agreements. While a virtual Circle is not the same as sitting together in person, we will take turns listening and speaking from the heart, starting and ending in a good way. Betsy is Director for Intercultural Affairs and Leadership at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA USA, a Circle Keeper and member of the Lummi Nation Peacemaking Circle Leadership Team, an AKRI Fellow, and a co-creator of Group Relations International.


April 2018 Online Community Exploration

The topic for this month's community meeting is "Transcending Otherness." Religion-in-public-life writer Tom Krattenmaker will discuss his perspective on the urgent necessity of transcendence and how it's available to all of us, wherever we might be in our religious affiliations. A major way in which we experience transcendence, he believes, is by extending ourselves to those who are different from us racially, religiously, or politically. Tom will ask the group to share their own experiences engaging their "others" and candidly discuss setbacks and obstacles in a time when identity is so fiercely contested. Tom is a contributing columnist for USA Today and author of the 2016 book, Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower.


March 2018 Online Community Gathering

The topic for this month's Diversity and Spirituality Community Gathering is Gifts From Encountering the Other. Host Cindy Franklin will share her perspective on the enjoyable and/or sometimes painful gifts we receive when encountering the Other.  These gifts may include enhanced  self knowledge and deeper spiritual awareness;  fuller integration of what was previously held "In Shadow;” and richer capacity for living in alignment with core values.  She will share some of her own experiences and ask guests to reflect on and share theirs.

The event will take place online on the Zoom platform at 8 am PT/ 11 am ET and 4PM UTC. DSN hosts these community gatherings on the third Saturday each month.

Cindy is an executive coach and consultant who has lived in radically different cultures and been immersed in spiritual practices that were very different from those of her upbringing.  She has a deep interest in helping individuals to thrive and to create contexts where all can do so.  As part of that, she is also interested in cultural diversity and healing of cultural trauma.


February 24 , 2018

Dancing with the Other

How skillful are you in crossing the “them versus us” divide? In communicating productively with people of difference? In breaking down barriers between yourself and those who seem “other”? Through dialogue, experiential exercises and group reflections, we’ll create a safe space to explore who “the Other” is for each of us. We’ll play with ways to unfreeze our assumptions and find new ways to connect with, collaborate with – even dance with – those we’ve previously felt were other or alien to ourselves.

Q&A 

More Information


January 21 , 2018

Finding Hope in a Divisive Ave

By many measures, we are living in a divisive, polarized age. In the U..S, we have red states and blue states, in the U.K. and throughout Europe we have those who want to break up the European Union and those who want to keep it together. This interactive discussion explores how to maintain hope and build bridges in these divisive times
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October 17-November 14, 2017: Online

Spiritual Path Exploration

The Diversity and Spirituality Network announces the inaugural Spiritual Path Exploration interactive webinar series. Five people of diverse spiritual backgrounds and a facilitator and meet five times by videoconference to explore, discuss and deepen their understanding of their personal spiritual paths, and learn how their personal journey is similar and different from others.
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June 11, 2017: San Diego, CA

 "The Things We Don’t Tell Each Other"

What would you like to know about others that you’ve always been too reluctant to ask?  And what would you like others to know about your own visible or invisible differences? What are the things we don’t usually tell each other that – if known – would help us understand each other better?​
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Exploring the Diversity and Spirituality Connection

May 18, 2019


I've always felt there's a natural connection between diversity and spirituality. And that what that connection looks like is different for everyone.


This Saturday, May 18th, during our monthly Online Community Exploration, I'll share what that looks like for me. I hope you'll join me in sharing what it looks like for you.


This Saturday, we'll use the process of dialogue circles (https://www.dialogue-circles.com/ to explore how we each experience that connection. It's a process I and some colleagues at Princeton University developed some time ago as a means of exploring difficult topics Since then, it's been used for everything from team-building, to conflict resolution to strategic planning.

I believe, as articulated somewhat conceptually both here (http://bit.ly/aboutdsn) and here (http://bit.ly/diversitychallenge), that there are a lot of advantages of approaching diversity and spirituality in an interconnect way.



May 26-27, 2017: Princeton, NJ 

 Reality Creation Workshop (Special Event)

This workshop will teach you the art of focusing your attention, imagination and actions towards a desired outcome. It is unique in that it guides you to shifting your awareness to a place of your goals and dreams “already being true,” by which they manifest in your life more smoothly and speedily.
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