Three Tenets Training: Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, Taking Action
Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Taking Action are the foundation of the Infinite Circle. The Three Tenets shape the curriculum, readings, and activities. You will explore your own fixed ideas about money, class, and power, and practice to liberate them. Through bearing witness practices, you step away from being a bystander and begin to see yourself as every part of the situation of our economy and the role it plays in economic, racial, gender, and environmental justice. Having broken down the barriers of knowing, observing and by-standing, and by deepening your relationship to your local community, you become open to new ways of engaging in beneficial action to address the issues you care most about.
The Infinite Circle is not a “training” in the conventional sense. Instead, we see ourselves as a “practice community” that collaboratively explores how to live into our connectedness to the world within a system that exploits through divisions. The full two-year program consists of one year of exploration and discernment and one year of field work and path making. The program is designed to give people choice in how much they want to engage: while the multiple modules build on one another, they also stand alone as topics for personal discovery.
The first year of the program is based on a monthly seminar where we collectively explore various topics that open us up to seeing the complex nature of our economy and our relationship to it. By design, we do not rely on experts, so there is no “faculty.” Instead, we collaboratively learn through the selected readings, Zen teachings, and each other using wisdom and compassion, as well as experience, questions, and mistakes, as our guides. By the end of the first year, you will have discerned if continuing on to the second year, where we put knowledge into action, is right for you.
During the second year of the program, participants will use the insight and skills cultivated in year 1 to respond to the economic divisions of their neighborhoods with hyper-local engaged actions. Some might bring new skills of presence and accompaniment to already existing social programs in their cities. Others might develop new social for-profit enterprises that serve the community while simultaneously opening their hearts. There are many paths to choose from and many more to develop as we continuously ask ourselves the question: what is needed now? Throughout the second year, there will be opportunities to deepen relationships with your program peers, as well as make new connections to a wider community also engaged in Peacemaker practice.