Case #712
Title: Applying spiritual teachings in social change work
Summary: It is a worthy goal to integrate spiritual principles and practices into social change leadership. Will Keepin is president of the non-profit Satyana Institute (formerly Shavano Institute) in Boulder, Colorado and his work involves doing just that. In this case history, he has outlined 12 Principles of Spiritual Leadership that we all can follow. They are:
1. Transform anger and despair into compassion and love.
2. Do not be attached to outcomes.
3. Your own integrity protects you from negative circumstances.
4. There is a need for unified integrity in both means and ends. Integrity in means cultivates integrity in the fruit of one's work; you cannot achieve a noble goal using ignoble means.
5. Don't demonize your adversaries.
6. Love, or at least have compassion for, your enemy.
7. Your work is for the world rather than for you.
8. In giving we receive.
9. Do not insulate yourself from the pain of the world.
10. What you attend to you become. Choose wisely what you attend to because it shapes and defines you deeply.
11. Rely on faith - cultivate a deep trust in the invisible and unknown higher power.
12. Love creates the form. It is the mind that gives rise to the apparent fragmentation of the world, while the heart can operate at depths unknown to the mind.
Comments: (From the article) "In the course of working with social-change advocates and ecological activists, we have developed a provisional set of "principles of spiritual leadership." These are neither definitive nor authoritative principles, but rather the beginning of a collective inquiry into how we can apply spiritual teachings in social change work. We are urgently called to action in two distinct capacities: to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture, and to serve as midwives to an emerging culture. These two tasks are required simultaneously; they call upon us to move through the world with an open heart - meaning we are present for the grief and the pain as we experiment with new visions and forms for the future. Both are needed. The key is to root our actions in both intelligence and compassion - a balance of head and heart that combines the finest human qualities in our leadership for cultural transformation." These are wise words to live by.
Location: Boulder, CO US
Action: Social Change
Setting: Developed World
Extent of Action: International
Categories: Social Change
Year(s): 1997
Outcome in progress
Source: Timeline March/April 2002, p.9
Prepared By: sl, 5/02
Rating: 1