Newsletter - February 2019 - Issue #20
Mutuality in Politics
I see politics as a black cauldron where the brightness of our collective hopes and dreams gets churned with the darkness of fear and paranoia from our collective shadow, resulting in an acrid stew of opinion, allegiance, reactivity, and drama.

So it was with some consternation that Sharon and I recently attended two political meetings sponsored by an organization called "Better Angels." Each meeting had a trained moderator and an equal number of "left"-leaning and "right" -leaning participants. The purpose was to see if the group could create an atmosphere of listening and respectful discourse to deepen understanding and move toward a "common ground."'

I was curious about how this process might relate to the principles of mutuality that we have been using in our Trillium work.

We all knew the purpose of the meetings in advance, so those who participated were self-selected. People chose to come, implying an openness to engage and not fight.

After ground rules regarding listening and holding reactivity were given, each political party group met separately to brainstorm the ways in which their identity was demonized and stereotyped by the rhetoric of the other. Characterizations such as "bleeding-heart liberals," "godless socialists," "immoral unpatriotic snobs," and "tree-huggers" described the left, and "rich, greedy, hypocritical, racist, fascist, homophobic bible-thumpers" the right. We were then asked to investigate whether there was a kernel of truth in those stereotypes.

Each group found some areas within stereotypes that, while distorted, amplified, and exaggerated, rang true to some degree. These admissions created the space to engage and see how each characterization was taken from the most radicalized aspect of each party, and used by media to deepen separation.

At our next meeting, after a discussion on how to reflect back what we thought we had heard, we graduated to discussions with those of different political leanings. We then met together to compare notes. Some were surprised that they were listened to; it was a new and rewarding experience. Others felt the interchange was productive in building trust and openness. Still others found a common respect, if not agreement. Everybody was relieved that triggers weren't activated, and felt more understanding for the reality of the other. Many were eager to continue the exploration.

Mutuality, born of an openness to engage, listen, reflect, withhold judgment, and clarify, along with self-knowledge and feeling for timing, is fundamental toward a comprehensive meeting that can move us from head to heart and heart to head: a meeting with the potential to acknowledge different views, yet hold each viewer with respect.

This kind of relating needs to be learned, experienced, and practiced. It goes against a lifetime of doing just the opposite, and is foreign to the polarizing nature of our digital communication technologies.

In order to remain authentic to the dictates of both mind and heart, to our paradoxical identities and responsibilities, mutuality is necessary. This authenticity can engender a deeper, richer embodiment of spirit into matter, emblematic of maturing whole being realization. 
Fax Gilbert - Editor
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You'll be seeing this new crisp, clean design--the handiwork of Trillium practitioner and professional graphic artist, Zoe Snyder--on our materials going forward.

Join our  Facebook Community page, and tell us what you see in the logo that speaks to you about our work. We look forward to sharing this conversation with you in mutuality.
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Announcements &
Upcoming Events
Welcome New Interning Teacher: Denise Gallagher!

Denise is a long time mentor who hails from Fairfield, IA
A call for images of your original art-work 

We know that many in this community draw, paint, sculpt, take photos, create collages, do needlework, make mandalas, and more. We're asking for images of your original art work for the creation of a deck of cards that illustrates and transmits the Trillium Awakening dharma.
Join us Live on Facebook!

Periodically, Trillium Teachers go live on Facebook for meditation, gazing, or brief teachings with Q & A. Watch for Facebook posts announcing upcoming events!
Online Sitting
Grasping the Means of our Own Realization
Sun. 3/3, 10:30 - 12:30 PT
Teachers: Cielle Backstrom, Sanji Hills

Online Sitting
Magic Mirror: The Power of Reclaiming Projections
Sat. 3/9, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PT
Teacher: Margit Bantowsky
more info

Fairfield, IA
Fairfield's Spring Feast
05/24/2019 - 05/27/2019

Boulder, CO
5/16 - 20, 2019
The Magic of Embodiment
Teachers: June Konopka, Gena Netten & Laura Wittke

Calgary, AB Canada
6/6 - 10, 2019
2nd Annual Canadian Rockies Spring Retreat: Exploring the Illusion of Separation: An Adventure into Whole Being Realization
Teachers: Sandra Glickman, Cielle Backstrom
more info

Looking for an on-line Mutuality Group? Both teacher and peer led groups now forming. 
Contact Victor Antillon
Trillium Awakening is a unique offering to the world, with 40 teachers, 18 mentors, workshops, retreats, sittings, in-person and online mutuality groups, and a shared manifesto and mission for catalyzing awakening for individuals, society, and the world.
Send comments or suggestions for future issues to: 
Editor-in-Chief: Fax Gilbert
Assistant Editor: Sharon Gilbert
Graphic Design: Subhaga Crystal Bacon
Copy Editor: Deborah Boyar
Trillium Awakening Teachers Circle, 1307 South Main Street, Fairfield, IA 52556
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