Sunday, March 18, 2018

Although the Agni Path meetings in India were an invitation for people to come as individuals, I couldn’t separate my thinking of how I looked at the future in terms of my own commitments to change from thinking about the changes I want to see in IofC Canada and what I will commit to doing to bring about organizational change.

I found myself again thinking about what IofC is. To some it is a movement; to others it is an organization. To me it is both. But at the heart of those two ways of conceptualizing IofC is people. People embody the vision of IofC and people drive that vision forward.

When I first met IofC I saw the movement through the eyes and through the actions of those I met. I immediately thought that the values of IofC were aligned with my own worldview. While the practices were somewhat different from my previous experience, I gained an appreciation of those practices and made them my own.

After almost 30 years of increasing involvement in various organizational aspects of IofC, Agni Path was a welcome opportunity to join with others in taking the pulse individually and corporately.

One of the attractions of meeting in India was the opportunity to meet and share with some of the young leaders clustered around Asia Plateau. Whether from India, or a neighbouring country, or from afar but connected to Asia Plateau, the depth of young leaders with a heart for the work of IofC was encouraging. Listening to their stories was inspiring and humbling. One of the questions is whether there is an environment around all of these younger people to sustain them financially and spiritually. Do our younger leaders have mentors? What am I doing to pass on my experience in a helpful way?

Another area I was interested in was how IofC deals with conflict. The sadness I have felt at some of the longstanding issues that fester to the detriment of our individual relationships, and to our local, regional and global impact, is balanced by the spirit of openness and forgiveness I saw and experienced at Agni Path. But the fact remains that too often we have left conflict unresolved. I need to do my part. Are there unresolved issues I need to respond to? Are there situations I know of where I could play a useful role? Are there situations we know of where our elders and other wise listeners can be used to mediate?

From afar, and with some weeks to reflect on the Agni Path gathering, I sense with gratitude the deep longing of people from around the movement to build on what is good and to move forward with the prompting of their inner voice. We can continue to be thankful for the legacy of the past while simultaneously meeting the challenges and opportunities of the future with hope and courage.