has been a moving force in this work for almost twenty years. He has recently reintroduced
Circles of Engagement,
an optional structure to recognize, appreciate and empower anybody in our community interested in further engaging in this work. His initiative was overwhelmingly supported by the Circle of Teachers.
Krishna is also on track to publish a new book this fall based on his highly successful internet courses on The Tapestry of Being.
Fax: What are the Circles of Engagement and why did you feel to introduce this format for ownership and service to Trillium Awakening?
Krishna: Given our path, we've always upheld the existential equality of everybody. Because our circle started with Saniel as the founder, in the beginning, we couldn't help being focused on the founder in some way. Trillium is not centered around a single individual at all-this has been true for about the last ten years. With this additional new structure, it will now be possible for members of the community to help lead the work itself and contribute to the entire enterprise. This project will be profoundly deepening. It's almost emphatic in second life-there's a sort of urgency to feel that you are making a difference, to empower that sense of agency. When you are working with other people in this service, you have to be in mutuality together-this brings up some competition, misunderstanding, and other messy parts of human interaction, and working through all that as you are doing a project is an opportunity to mature.
Fax: Where did Circles of Engagement come from?
Krishna: The basis of it was originated several decades ago by the management guru Peter Drucker in the way he sought to change the command and control structure prevalent in corporate or group settings. Instead, he promoted a clearly articulated shared vision so that people at all levels would become inspired to serve that vision - and buy into it with a sense of ownership. Drucker also taught this approach to churches and non-profits, and they grew exponentially in numbers and strength. Once everyone feels part of the vision, there's no need for extensive oversight and control. So I saw that this was something we were lacking. There is devotion, for sure, but there was nothing structured to give community members a role in it unless they wanted to become teachers.
Fax: Did you need to change the format to fit the Trillium culture?
Krishna: I made a lot of changes and adaptation to what churches had used of Drucker's concepts to create what has become the Circles of Engagement, to bring it into alignment with the values of our work and to make sure it is not hyper-masculine. Initially, I worked with Sandra Glickman and Cielle Backstrom, and later with Margit Bantowsky, Tatini Goler, and Subhaga Bacon. Plus at our recent teacher retreat, there were many suggestions. Each time I presented it, I got feedback, and I incorporated it. So it's a very different than it started out. I am currently in contact with community members to solicit their input as well. This is an organic process and will take awhile to find its optimum expression in our work.
Fax: How do you see this being incorporated into our community?Krishna:
The plan is to have an announcement and description of it on the website. There the Circles of Engagement will be described along with agreements necessary to become a member of each circle. Remember that this is an optional track which is being made available. No one will be required or even asked to participate.
All classes are without charge. The first class or agreement is for membership level. It includes subscribing to mutuality and the responsibilities of being a member of our community. The second class will be a class on habits of spiritual maturity in Trillium Awakening for dedicated members and the third class later on, for core membership, or leadership in the community. Those who sign that agreement become core members. The fourth class on outreach will be available for core members only.
This program will be brought forward as an option this fall.Fax:
Saniel has been characterizing Trillium Awakening as a Waking Down® school, the first of many. Is that how you see it?Krishna:
No, as I see it, Trillium Awakening is not currently an expression of his Waking Down school. Trillium Awakening is an expression of those who are teaching through it now. As long as we [the Teachers Circle and Saniel] were intact, I was happy to use the language of lineage, but we are not functioning that way. Trillium Awakening is an autonomous affair, now planted in a different ground than anyone else's work. When we look at where we've come from, then our past is that of mavericks who individuated into their own very distinct schools, and so here we are.
Adi Da trained with and received the transmission from Rudi and Muktananda, but his school was a new, distinct and entirely separate affair. Saniel trained with and received the transmission from Adi da, but his school was a distinct entirely separate affair. When Saniel started Waking Down, nobody said that he was teaching in Adi Da's lineage or even giving his teaching. Trillium is a distinct and entirely separate affair. If Trillium was somehow now a part of Saniel Bonder's school, then it is a part of Adi Da's school and Muktananda's as well, and of course, it isn't. Ours is more of a familial situation with all of them. We have certainly individuated from Saniel's school (see Trillium Awakening Mission and Manifesto
) and will continue to do so.
What's occurred is that we have some common DNA material, and we have a past, which means we are family, but we are not the same, we are distinct and are not a part of any other school. The way that we are a community, a group, without a single individual at the center, is not the case with what he's doing. We're going to continue to individuate in all kinds of ways, like Circles of Engagement. It's not that obvious, but as long as we don't confuse things and we're allowed to grow without making claims on each other, the differences will become more and more distinct. I feel that we are ahead of our time as being without a single founding leader and over time that this will become true for other paths as well.Fax:
Tell me about your upcoming book? When will it be available?Krishna:
It's called Tapestry of Being
. It's based on a collection of talks and audio course material about learning to contact your unique guidance--listening to the impulses of Being and using the insights of the spiritual traditions of the world to support you in orienting towards your inner guidance. It is totally compatible with Trillium Awakening but it goes beyond our core dharma. Not everyone will buy into every part of it. I want it to be a bridge to people outside the work
I'd like to get it out by late fall or winter at the latest. Right now I'm in the editing process. At some point I will be doing some kind of kick-starter for getting it done. Fax:
Personally, what do you see as your spiritual edge right now?Krishna:
What I'm finding is I'm developing more internal agency, making things happen and cooperating with others. Learning to ask for and receive help and assistance. I never realized how important asking for and receiving help are for getting things done!Fax:
How do you envision the impact of implementing Circles of Engagement in our community?Krishna:
I would like to see community feel a sense of ownership and take risks to grow and expand the different ways that mutuality can show itself. I'd love to see a lot of creativity in ways I can't anticipate-I want to be surprised as to how the community can find ways to grow our work in all kinds of ways I can't imagine.Fax:
Thank you Krishna. This was very informative on so many levels. I wish you all success in implementing these Circles and with your upcoming book release.