I see management as being in the world and aligning to the purpose and values of the organisation to help manifest this purpose. I am also excited by the collaborative work of a group of people to bring forward their skills and expression of their truth to create, manifest, and communicate the culture and the cultural knowledge of an organisation.
People working in management for Lasavia also need to look at their internal locus of ethics. This means that there is an inner way of checking guidelines, values and motivations within themselves.
In alignment to the values of Lasavia – diversity, truth, humility – it is important that, in management, people are able to express their individuality and contribute their truth as well as to see themselves as part of a greater whole.
In Reinventing Organisations, Frederic Laloux writes that at heart, we are all profoundly interconnected and part of a whole, but it’s a truth we have forgotten. There are two aspects of wholeness, one is to be aware that we are part of a greater whole; the other is that we are actually whole. I love the play of that, but I think what is profound (and I know this in healing work) is that part of healing is to acknowledge pain/woundedness/brokenness but at the same time you see a person as whole. By acknowledging wholeness in each other, we are able to support each other to fulfil the roles and work together effectively.
I would like to see in the management team for Lasavia the concept of self-management and clear communication. Support and communication can come in the form of regular meetings to keep the work flowing and that no one person should be overwhelmed or stressed by the workload. Unpleasantness, inefficiency and unhappiness need not be part of the relationship between people and each other and between people and their work.
Frederic Laloux talks more about the challenge of self-management, particularly where being in a community of peers is hard. He suggests creating practices for people to support each other in their inner work while doing the outer work of the organisation. Every time our fears get triggered, it is an opportunity to learn and grow into more wholeness, reclaiming aspects of ourselves that we have neglected or pushed into shadows.
Ethics can create a beautiful structure of work that empowers us and also helps to experience a safe working environment. Structure comes up here, and the medicine sphere is a really helpful way of exploring self-management as part of the whole. By seeing our role within the medicine sphere and then looking at the role as a whole medicine sphere is an exciting way of deepening and working within the culture of the Lasavia organisation.
There were three qualities I wrote down as important, particularly in managing an organization that is working in the field of spiritual evolution, they were: adaptability, persistence and gratitude. Working collaboratively may be slower at first and not always moving as directly as we would want. It takes time to build a house that has good foundations and is a place for many different people.
A lot of the work in management is not just support but leading the way forward. Often there may be areas that we enter that are new and so it is important to keep learning and growing in these areas. Recognising when we need support in learning from specialists is part of developing a good management process. What are the practical processes that constitute support? These are some ideas: financial organization, supplier organization, communication, information organization, clutter clearing, equipment and location, time organization, presentation that aligns with the essential qualities of Lasavia.
Systems that reflect respect in all relationships through correct financial processes are important.
Guidelines for Lasavia management:
Self-management and an ability to shape the role as they grow into it
A desire to build community
A desire to upskill where they need to as they grow their role
Balance and commitment of time
Have a foundation of Intrinsic values
Teaching is a realisation that we have an effect on the whole. Therefore the ethics of teaching requires more sensitivity and self-reflection regarding the impact of our thoughts, feelings and actions. In the transmission of skill and wisdom it is listening and learning. To use the metaphor of the gardener, the soil is the desire to learn – both teacher and student are learning. For both teacher and student, learning is an exploratory, experiential process. It is useful to have a way of sensing the whole of what people are learning as well as the individual, so everyone is learning from everybody else; what you are really doing as a teacher is creating and supporting a learning environment. In Coyote Teaching you enable a student to learn from a situation and most of this is about being present and aware.
The teaching within Lasavia is to create a foundation where you are facilitating between the relationship between the spiritual world and the physical world, and, as a teacher, you are empowering people to engage in a relationship with the spiritual world. Every human has a direct relationship with the divine – a teacher may assist people in the relationship with the divine by having their own personal ongoing spiritual practice deepening the relationship with the divine through heart and mind. It is this active inner growth that is important to convey the wisdom, the tools and the practices. The teacher in Lasavia is actively engaged in the reflection of the inner reflection of grace.
In teaching, there is an underlying cultural understanding of the sacred and the ordinary. This means that anything that is transmitted on the spiritual plane has the space to be integrated through participating in ordinary tasks of the physical world.
There are times in teaching where I have shared a story and I have wondered why I have shared that particular story as it didn’t seem in context and yet I find that it will be that particular story that will have an effect of shifting something for somebody or deepening an understanding. To teach in this way is to be open to a kind of listening on the spirit plane and then allowing that to come through. Teaching requires a balance of intuitive heart connection and intellectual process.
Teaching is about your relationship with the material you are teaching. It is about how you connect and understand the material you are presenting, as well as how you are learning and relating to the spiritual world. The students themselves will be attracted to who you are. The ethical foundation here is your authenticity, at times you may feel un-authentic and it’s important to explore where that stems from – everything in teaching is deep and subtle reflection.
In Lasavia Healing the structure of teaching is the co-creative circle, the deep respect that arises through creating the co-creative circle with sacred intent, the philosophies of humility and of unity and diversity and truth.
The teacher doesn’t have to understand everything, they don’t have to answer all the questions or know it all – in fact, one cannot know everything in this work. The more you work as a teacher, the less you feel that you know, and so if you do not have the answer, you are able to be relaxed with that and to engage a person to enquire and ask different questions or invite someone else to answer.
You do not need to be a guru, you do not need to have followers, and you are not a parent. These are the things to look out for in teaching because there are people who are nervous and uncomfortable in the process of learning and these archetypes edge and float around when teaching. By coming back to your love of the learning and the transmission of wisdom you will be able to keep these in check.
The work of being a teacher is extraordinarily rewarding in that much self-reflection, learning and thoughtful working with group dynamics and facilitation are required for the growth of the soul. The evolution of the soul in doing such work is extraordinary. On the other side, of course, this is difficult work.
Part of the difficulty is also a cultural relationship we have around power and authority; the art of teaching is to be able to work without falling under the spell of projection. So, ethically, it is important to be able to convey the wisdom with humility. To be able to take time to set up a space that creates healthy cultural learning process, to have innate a strong ethical and inner foundation that will naturally be conveyed to the students.
When I started teaching this work, I remember reading a document outlining what constituted a good teacher and a bad teacher. It was interesting to have a list like that, yet ultimately what is interesting as a teacher is to remember that your shadow is your gift. Sometimes in teaching you may react strongly to a person and it is through thorough self-reflection that you may get a glimpse of your own shadow at work. Any shadow that you observe through self-reflection gives you the opportunity to evolve the shadow into your particular gift within teaching.
The other interesting aspect in teaching is that within the group you will have students sometimes surprised by their own behaviour. What’s going on is that they are discovering something about their behaviour through an exaggeration of that behaviour. So, in teaching, one has to be aware that the behaviour is actually the teaching. This requires the teacher to hold a space of compassion but also bring forward a way of awareness as to what is going on, so that the student can find a way to grow from this patterning. Some students will be very susceptible to projection and their behaviour may reflect the group’s projection on to them. This is the level of subtle awareness that is perhaps the key to the ethical foundation of teaching.
The student may also be working through levels of conditioning, and it is how we create a space for the student to create a relationship to the inner world, enabling the letting go of conditioning.
In working with conditioning, wounds of the heart and strong emotions, I want to remind people about the notion of wholeness. That everything is part of the whole and therefore everything is whole.
The other aspect that is helpful for a teacher of the Lasavia work is the balance between overview and detail. Understanding the balance between detail and overview, and also vertical time and linear time, helps in holding the space. In structuring and preparing for teaching look at how you create space within the structure.
The caretaking and the appropriate sharing of knowledge (the guardianship of wisdom) are in the realm for all of us to be aware of, but it sits particularly in the role of the teacher. The work of the teacher is to respect and share the knowledge in reflection of its essence. In sharing knowledge it is important to acknowledge the source of the knowledge, if possible and appropriate.
When I was working on Lasavia’s ethical foundation, the ethics of “seeing” came up and I have decided to put it within its context. Many people who are attracted to Lasavia have the ability of the seer. Whether the seer comes unbidden or with intention, there are important ethical processes to look at if you have this ability.
The practice of seeing has impact. This impact is like an intense relationship between the seer and the seen. To see something innerly is to enter into a relationship of transcendence. Both the seer and the seen are vulnerable; you have literally opened a pathway in your seeing.
The first and foremost key action is to become aware of what you are doing. The second is to practice seeing with your heart. If you do not train your mind then you may taint the seeing with judgement. This has the impact of powerful projection that can cause a person to be so impacted they may even act out your judgement.
The practice of the seer is to open the heart to receiving unconditional love and to connect to this love within the universe. I would encourage the development of awe to the source of all life. Kabir Helminski writing in The Knowing Heart writes:
Humility is the right attitude of the finite to the Infinite, the conditioned to the Unconditioned, the part to the Whole. Humility is our awareness of our dependence on something greater than ourselves, and our interdependence with our fellow human beings and all of life.
Humility, compassion and acceptance are the key values for the seer.
Respect and reverence for all things.
The seer is an important aspect in healing and in being truly human. We have come to understand through quantum physics that in seeing we create. To see is to be aware that we are crossing through boundaries.
These are the questions I would ask:
- If you are not aware of the etheric boundaries you are crossing to see, then ask what they are and bring your attention to what you are doing to ‘see’.
- In crossing through to ‘see’ I would ask why.
- What is it that is motivating you to see and how unbidden is your seeing?
- Bring awareness to who you are serving in seeing.
- Finally, in self-reflection, look at the consequences of the seeing (seer) process upon yourself.
The following is the transcription of a channelling I did with a client. It has particular significance here as it looks at the impact and power of visioning.
We are here. Yes. The visioning state is the training of mind, yes. It is the training of mind and the understanding of the nature of desire, it is also the training of desire and the transmutation from a desire that comes from impulse, and moving that into the alignment and work that is for your higher journey and destiny. Visioning is important in understanding the way that nature also works and the way that form and the power of creation and manifestation.
Immediately when one visions, to something in the future, you immediately are working and looking at the power of the will. And the power of the will that disrupts. So in all visioning places it is important to put forward a ritual of alignment to spirit. And alignment to your higher self and to your soul purpose, and to call in support from beings that will be supportive of that higher purpose, and that is why in visioning, visioning is a relationship with your higher purpose, it is a relationship with spirit. And that is why there is a sequence or support process in the action of visioning. Some visioning is in layers, so the first aspect in the future way is to look at a vibration of energy that is vibrating at a similar movement vibration to that that is your inner gift. Now, sometimes this will not be exactly clarified or clear, it will just be a sensation or sense. If you can just attend to that, that is the first part, this is when you are doing big vision. Take space, it is allowing an insight into quality of energy. For what you are going to be visioning has to be of a similar energetic vibrational state even though they are going to be on different dimensional states of that.
You see, when you think about the soul, the spirit, it is about that entry into form. Visioning allows that to start to come into being; when you are visioning on this level you do not need many details. They can come in a different way. What you are doing here is a vibrational visioning, an energetic visioning. It can be a colour even, although we want you to be very careful with that. It can simply be a sensation, and that is a vision. The next aspect, once this is in place… is to envision that vibration, and again you don’t need to be clear, it just needs to be a sensation of it, coming into form.
This work of the visioning of this higher vibrational self-entering into form is the core training of this work, and so in a way what you are creating and what is very challenging for the imagination is that you feel as if you have created another self. In your imagination now what you do is you allow that aspect that you have created that seems to be a future self, to come and meet you, to come into you and to feel what that is like, what is that inner like? What is the strength of that and the power of that and through that you also look at how you are in your life now. Because in doing so that is the part where you can truly unfold and observe the vision unfolding from the now. And so this is the state of observing and reflection. Reflection in its true way becomes a visioning into the future, for you are observing exactly what is happening and the vibration of the patterns that need to evolve. From this place, this is the power of really allowing how you may want to live from this moment.
It is from this place that you might see how you would like your work to be. And in that place you can lay down the pieces and the foundation of that.
Often people vision what they desire, what they think they might like and it is a non-alignment to this higher being, this higher self, this inner you. That is why sometimes you end up maybe doing something that doesn’t feel like what you really want. At the same time, you are examining and working with desire, it’s also the desire of what other people have, or how a culture should be, or how your lineage or your mother or your father or your great-grandparents, what they desired. This is the danger of visioning when you are not aligned to that inner. For it becomes difficult to discern what is really true. We also say that in visioning you must give thanks to the constraints that are with you. Whether it be time or whether it be money. For in honouring those constraints you allow a spaciousness to arise within the constraint itself.
The constraint is there to enable you to create and to come into form that is so required. Thank you. Bless and love. Thank you. Blessed be.
Guidelines and Codes of Practice
The ethical approach for practitioners who are working within the field of non-ordinary experience requires a strong internal ethical foundation. The reason is that to share transcendent experience opens both the practitioner and the client to a unique spiritual experience that although transcends the relationship may also be particular to the relationship. This is because the way of the healer is to also work within the gifts and in respect to the personality of the healer/practitioner. If the practitioner is not careful, the experience may cause the client to be in awe of the practitioner and therefore not take responsibility for his or her own part in the transcendent experience.
There is such an extraordinary balance in honouring the experience and work of the practitioner and at the same time empowering the client to acknowledge their own participation and to encourage the client to carry the experience forward within them into the world that they live in.
There is an important role that the practitioner can have which is to bring the spiritual nature of life into the manifest world. Many people are ambivalent to the idea of spirituality in their life. They desire it but then, of course, the spiritual life can create discomfit when patterns need to change for the evolution of soul, and so here is the core of an attitude of resistance and desire. This is a painful journey.
A way that a practitioner can support is to encourage spiritual practice. All of this shows up as an ongoing relationship, and as practitioners of this work you will find that a healing journey soon turns into a mentoring journey.
There is a place however for one-off healings or a healing process that covers perhaps three sessions. As a practitioner, it is good practice to look at the nature of the type of relationship you have with a client and work thoughtfully around how often you will meet, the payment, expectations, all with the understanding that any commitment should have a process of respect, rather than feeling bound to each other. This creates a positive freedom and a respectful connection.
I think we live in a culture of dependence and so it is a powerful process of reflection to bring consciousness to how we are as practitioners in a society that encourages dependency.
Sharing with peers and working as a community of practitioners is an extraordinary supportive process and needs to be addressed in this ethical document. I would like to encourage peer support through creating co-creative circles that can nourish and allow a truthful self-reflective process for a practitioner. Working as a practitioner in this work takes enormous courage, as there is no formula, it is a process of deep inner listening and real trust to listen to what you receive and at the same time working practically and holding a space for the client. This is the walk of the two worlds. It is an opportunity to explore ethical issues with each other.
In The Ethics Of Caring, Kylea Taylor has a chart called the “Continuum of difficulty in sharing with peers about our own unethical situations.” She looks at what is easier to share and what is more difficult to share. This continuum goes from past situations to future situations to current situations. As a community of practitioners, this is a place to remember about love and truth and reflecting upon ourselves to explore the edges of these issues together with integrity and confidentiality.
Taylor also writes about how an organisation or a community can support truth telling:
- Avoid criticizing or punishing someone who breaks the taboo against openness about unethical conduct
- Respond positively to truth telling
- Encourage members to give feedback to each other
- Tell the truth directly
As a community of practitioners, we may have clients move between practitioners. This may be because we may recommend the client to see another practitioner whose skill base is particular to the needs of the person/client. This is a beautiful, respectful process and a real understanding of each other’s gifts. In certain circumstances, the person/client is simply trying out different practitioners. Depending on the client, what we want to be doing is to deepen the client’s authentic spiritual work – if this deepening is not occurring because they are moving constantly onwards to new practitioners, then it is worthwhile to raise this with the client and explore what they really might be looking for. If, as a practitioner, you are working as part of a programme of teaching, I think it is very important that there is clear communication between the practitioners so that the support for the client is fluid, is not overwhelming and that there is space for the client to integrate the healing and teaching experiences.
There is something else I would really like to quote – it is part of the Code of Ethics of the Rolf Institute:
We recognize that competition, mistrust, or the spreading of rumours destroys the spirit of kindness and union, which is the heart of any human association.
I think it is important to remember that we are not alone, and that part of an ethical document for Lasavia needs to attend to how we are in relationship to everyone.
As guidelines, I think those practitioners working within Lasavia need to:
- have a good knowledge of themselves, their wounds, shadow and their gifts
- be active in their own study and spiritual practice
- have attended and committed to the Lasavia training
- have a mentor they are working with or are connecting with their peers
- be willing to express the truth and to hold space to listen and be with truth
- have an understanding of ethics and values
- have permission from the parent or caregiver when working with children
- be aware of power and vulnerability in the relationship between practitioner and client, therefore the practitioner must maintain a strong sense of self, without letting their ego get in the way
- provide trust, love and presence
- be considerate of the importance of space and time – such attendance helps the client to feel safe, particularly in deep healing work or profound mentoring. If working in nature, consider the vulnerability of the client in regards to their physical comfort and also their relationship with nature. Space supports the purpose of the work together. I do not recommend working in your living room; if no other space is available please make sure that the space is cleared and well prepared for the client so that they feel comfortable, and that other family members don’t interrupt or hear the session. Clear the space afterwards. Let the client know beforehand how long a session might be and if you are going over the time because of important work let them know so that the session is not disrupted through a sudden need to dash off because they have to be somewhere else
- provide confidentiality – being a healer and/or mentor you are present to process, to stories, to deep sharing. By holding confidentiality you are able to facilitate healing through creating a safe space. Some stories impact and this is why it is important to have a mentor or supervisor so that the stories that impact you as a practitioner are not leaked to the world.
understand reciprocity – it is important for the relationship of the healer/practitioner and client to have a process of exchange. For example, if a healer gives without setting in place a way that the client can give back, then there may eventually be an imbalance and therefore this will not be helpful, particularly for the client. In some cases the reciprocity is there but it might not be immediate or in a form not easily recognised. In these cases, listen carefully to your own wisdom, keeping in mind the law of balance.
Guidelines and Codes of Practice
The co-creative circle is a place of learning, held in a sacred way within the medicine sphere. The focus is not on a teacher but towards the centre of the circle and within oneself.
Every circle is unique because we are individually unique and when we come together we bring that difference forward. Each circle is influenced by time and by place, so this also brings its unique flavour to the work. Finally, each circle is different because of the purpose that brings the group together. I suggest for creating strong work together that you create a closed circle for a number of meeting times before opening it again. Circles are powerful places of learning and each circle builds naturally on the one before it.
photo by Deah Swift
It is helpful that people respect the timing and learn to arrive on time.
There is a transition between arriving and beginning the circle.
Think of this gathering time prior to the sacred time to be between 15 and 30 minutes.
If someone is invariably late you may need to be clear and begin at a particular time and not wait for this person. Some people experience a lot of resistance to the work and this can show up in arrival times.
A circle needs to invite in all those that come. Everyone has a place in the circle and a contribution to make. It is a good process to create the altar together to prepare the space together.
Starting with prayer, giving thanks and walking the directions, presents the spiritual nature and intent of the work that brings people together.
The rakau/talking stick needs to have a place in the circle and be used in a respectful way. If the rakau is being used in a way where there is not enough awareness or there is disrespect, the facilitator may interrupt the speaker carefully and respectfully. This has been one of the difficulties I have had to attend to – I have always had deep faith in the power of the rakau, but in some circumstances I have had to interrupt a speaker and bring them into an awareness of what they may be saying or doing. This is rarely done and I do now practice this in particular teaching processes.
In each circle there needs to be a beginning and a completion. This allows for the teaching to occur in the sacred and allows an integration at the end into the ordinary.
Each person in the circle is equal.
When doing spiritual journeying or deep meditation, children and babies are sensitive and vulnerable to energies moving in the etheric through adult process and work. I strongly recommend that sacred circle work be for adults and not for children and babies.
If you are running a circle in your home you need to clear and clean the space beforehand, and open your home to people so that they feel comfortable and at ease. Communicate to everyone where the bathroom is, and kitchen, and be clear which areas of your home are private. Set up clear boundaries so that everyone is aware of when they should arrive and when they should leave. At the end of the circle, clear the energy and speak an intention of bringing it back as a home.
If you are running a circle in a public space you should clear the area before you begin and after you finish. You can involve the group in this process.
If, as a group, you have a space designated for sacred work, the place may become tapu or sacred. If this is the case, as a group you will need to put in place the protocol of use of the space. This means that the space retains an energy of the sacred purpose and those entering the space respect this and partake in that particular sacred purpose.
Lasavia is about creating self-responsibility and self-reflection; I also want to suggest kindness and care are also important attributes. Often though there are people who may want to join a circle but may want a lot from the facilitator. Be observant of what happens within sacred circle and what happens outside of the circle. Be thoughtful about how you feed hunger and communicate clearly and respectfully when boundaries are crossed.
As a facilitator you may observe actions and see how a person is behaving that may not be in alignment or that they are in an illusion. It’s important to be with your own truth in these moments and to be patient. Listen deeply to your heart and to your words. Check your timing and ultimately trust the process within the medicine sphere. Remember you might be bringing some wisdom forward, but it is up to the person whether they partake in that. Do not force your own perception over theirs, rather offer it up.
Many people who are new to this work do not understand how to be with sacred objects. It is up to the facilitator to share the protocol of handling sacred objects.
In exploring the meaning of symbols or interpreting a journey, do not give feedback immediately. Draw out the person’s own understanding first. Then if you sense that there is something you see that may be helpful for them, ask them first if it is ok to share your insights, remind them that your insights could be for yourself or for others in the room and not just for them. Allow the opportunity for them to respond if you give feedback. This is how we learn together. This is in alignment with creating self-reflection first and developing self-responsibility.
Sometimes it is important to remind people in the circle that the experiences of others shared within circle are not to be shared outside of the circle. I usually suggest that participants can share their own experiences outside of circle if they need to. If a circle has been impacted by gossip, it is helpful to gather together in sacred circle and ask each person to share from their heart in a truthful and respectful way what they need to communicate. This often reveals mis-communication.
As a facilitator; be aware if the truth is overwhelming or painful and give space for each person to be listened to. If it is directed towards you, try your best not to be reactionary, rather look at your mistakes (if you have made any) as an action for change and self-reflection.
If you are being projected on, it is also a powerful teaching and worth looking within how you wear that projection or how that is a pattern coming up in your life. Be truthful and communicate from your perception of the events. Often you may need to access an inner strength and a way of stepping out of those old patterns. Be sure that you connect with your mentor and get support.
For people working under the umbrella of the Lasavia organisation, I would like these qualities to be reflected on:
Ability to allow vulnerability when revealing an inner truth.
Ability to self-reflect
Practices of self-compassion and exploration, engaged in looking at the mistakes we make in the view of learning, seeing shadow as a teacher and prepared to step up to what the shadow is hiding or revealing.
An active spiritual practice and study (the desire to learn)
Self-disciplined and engaged in following one’s path.
Ability to be present
This involves self-care, listening deeply, able to be present within the body, and therefore present within the heart.
Looking at how we meet, with a respect and an understanding that we all have a place and therefore we come together in equality.
Thoughtful and reflective around communication – words have impact.
Being able to discern the different processes required in communication, i.e discussion and process that leads to understanding, and clear communication that expresses information.
Ability to critically reflect on our own belief systems
Review and reflect on our own world views.
Lasavia is an organisation that has grown from my own healing practice, spiritual exploration and teaching. It was originally a name given through a spiritual vision to mean a Garden of Eden. The name came with the vision of the logo and was to be the name for the essences I was creating. Later I found out its root comes from Spanish and means life force. From these beginnings it is now growing into an organisation whose purpose is to provide training, resources and mentoring for transformative growth.
The Lasavia logo encompasses the concept of the three pathways; the mind, the heart and the pathway of devotion.
Lasavia is an organisation that looks at the education of the soul. This comes from an understanding that the soul needs the practice of relationship, self-awareness, understanding of the will, and the nature of devotion and service. That we look at wholeness and the integration into ordinary life and that fundamentally spiritual transformation is not some kind of conditioning but a potent experience that involves the whole of us. I see that crucial to this transformation is the work of co-creation and being in circles.
The Lasavia Course is a training.
I have realised over the years that the most common way people learn about shamanic practices and alchemy is in short workshops, I used to think that if people had done lots of workshops they were well trained in this work. But I discovered that when they are in circle they are ill practiced in deep respectful process. They are in fact beginners.
The Lasavia course is imbued with ethical practice; to me this is important as it highlights that ethics is not something separate from what we practice, but it is within the work itself.
Gathering to learn and explore together in circles is not only a foundation for our growth but a continuum.
Nature connection is crucial as a core value around understanding our role and where we interconnect to our ecosystem. Part of building a healthy foundation for Lasavia is our participation and connection to nature.
The following values came out of a strategy meeting with Chalice, Deah, Meggan and myself facilitated by Annette Lees. I have looked long and hard at these values and consider them in alignment with the purpose of Lasavia.
We value diversity and encourage the growth of an individual’s particular gift within the support of a diverse community.
We value truth and encourage the building of an intrinsic ethical foundation.
We value humility, understanding that we are part of a vast dynamic, interconnected ecosystem.
Our first value is Diversity.
Diversity is connected to being part of a greater whole, it is linked to community, and we are diverse because we are in relationship to the greater whole. This value becomes an active principle in working with co-creative circles, mentoring and healing relationships. To value diversity is to value difference.
We value Truth.
Truth may be revelatory, and truth may be painful; what is powerful is that the more we express our truth, the more the truth grows in us. I see truth as being present and anchored within. I see truth through the ability to self-reflect, the ability to be self-responsible and to be able to look. It is powerful to receive truth, in so doing we may have to receive the pain that comes with truth, and there is humility in this. Sometimes truth is an action. As a value to uphold, truth is taking space to self-reflect, to look and to be present. Angeles Arrien in The Four-fold Way writes tell the truth without blame or judgement. It’s not just how we value the truth, it’s how we express this and act within this truth. I see love and truth in the same vein. While I was in Germany in 2017 we talked and worked around what love and truth were. It was looking at love as an unconditional force all around, and that is how truth is, and that it was looking at the resistance both to love and to truth. The following is what came through around this subject: It is not about holding on but allowing to be part of a great movement within love. When we hold on, we hold on to nothing. When we move we then have what it is we were wanting. The fear locks us into holding to nothing and the fear creates distortion in the mind and the mind creates a story of what we are holding onto. Saint Thomas Aquinas said The law of divine love is the standard for all human actions.
We value Humility.
The first action of humility is to come into connection with everything close to us. To see how all around us there is an interconnected web of life and we are intrinsic to that. To be with humility is to be of earth and to experience that our mana within us does not put us above anything else but brings a consciousness of our part in the world around us. Humility arises simply from a heart connection to the divine.
Excerpt from The Ethical Foundation for Lasavia Healing: An invitation to partake in an exploration of ethics for the community of Lasavia Healing, by Leila Lees
I naively embarked upon writing this document a bit like the fool finding him/her self upon a path of manifestation. As soon as I started writing about ethics, ethical situations arose one after the other, keeping me on my toes as if the document itself was in cahoots with the divine and they were messing with my reality. I was also filled with a mix of awe and gratitude around the powerful evolution we are on when we sensitively open up our moral compass.
I see this document as living and I invite everyone who is moved to, to put forward your own dialogue around your personal ethics in what you do and for the ethics of Lasavia Healing as an organisation. I also see this document as unfinished and I accept that.
As practitioners, I see that the work is not some methodology but our own life pathway we choose to do. To live our life in community with others and evolve as part of a greater ecosystem; we need to reflect on our behaviour, the balance of the ideal with reality, and how do we meet with what we aspire to?
Kathy Fried, in her article on ethics, writes about how when we understand that ethics is about everything we do, we also need to bring particular focus to the different practices we do:
While this means that ethics are needed everywhere, and in everything we do, it is much easier to see how we are doing if we have a specific area of focus. This is why we need to name, not just the ethical code but also the particular practices and relationships it refers to: There may be one code of ethics for membership of a community, while there might be another code for teaching students Shamanism or for working with clients. The universal principles are most likely the same, but the ways they express themselves in our individual practices need specific attention if we want to know how to translate the moral into daily life.
She suggests that: to discover and monitor our own ethical code we need to engage with an inner dialogue between our values and our actions. We can use whatever means we choose: self-reflection, journaling, journeying and so on, or a mixture of any of these. This can be a very deep process that grows and develops as we do. It is an on-going exploration where we often uncover things about ourselves we were not previously aware of. This process hones and matures our practice, making it strong and sustainable.
As part of the participation in the ethical foundation of Lasavia Healing I would ask all of you who read this to engage with this inner dialogue around a personal ethical code. From here we can create active discussion to look at how we relate to the principles of Lasavia, the purpose, the values and what I put forward here as a guideline for ethical relationship and work as a teacher and practitioner within Lasavia Healing.
I have always been thoughtful around rules that govern our behaviour. I have seen the terrible impact of righteousness on a group, ostracising and splitting people from family, friends and community. I have witnessed how righteousness could warp the notion of ethics by shaming and focusing on one misdemeanour, blow it right out of proportion, whilst others were unable to act ethically in the face of the righteous. In those moments I wondered where the heart was, the understanding of the whole, creating space for self-reflection. It was from these kinds of experiences within a group that I started to realise the importance of growing and keeping alive an inner ethical foundation rather than look to the external for guidance.
I see when people gather together for the purpose of spiritual work that many patterns of defensive behaviour arise simply because change is in the air. Ethics are like the walking stick that could support us through those times when we are only just beginning to open up to our moral sensitivity. Simple processes like checking assumptions one makes, or giving positive feedback and reflecting on our reactions, before putting forward critical feedback.
In writing this document for Lasavia Healing, I bring forward the purpose of Lasavia, the structure and parameters of the teaching, the values of Lasavia and some thoughtful reflections around my own journey through teaching, facilitating and participating in spiritual, shamanic, therapy and improvisation groups. I also look at natural laws or cosmic laws – I want to bring this up for discussion as when we work in accordance to these laws it may impact how we define our personal ethical approach to our own lives.
When we form a group we share a purpose, we learn the most when we are able to work co-creatively with a group. Briefly this means that we gather with some purpose and we give space through being with each other. I put the being with in italics as to mean the process of deep listening and empathy. Groups are difficult for many people for a variety of reasons. Many participants have been wounded by people who have some kind of power within a group, these wounds have happened through family, through cults and through spiritual and therapy groups.
How to facilitate effectively working with patterns of pain and vulnerability takes skill and requires a strong innate ethical foundation. It also requires a continued personal journey in reflection and spiritual practice. In her book The Ethics of Caring, Kylea Taylor writes: The degree of our willingness to delve into the dark truth of our own motivations, desires and fears will determine our ability to be caring, flexible and ethical.
This is very true, I see within myself and others that my mistakes, assumptions and misaligned reactions are always triggered by my own survival patterns or anxieties and that the ability to reflect healthily upon mistakes is an important practice in growing our work within an ethical framework.
In practice, an ethical document for an organisation, although appreciated in principle, can become an abstract document. An ethical foundation needs to be alive and the only way I see this to be alive and connected to people is for people to participate and contribute to the ethical foundation. Firstly this can happen by people finding and landing within themselves their own set of values, what is innate in them and how do they translate those values into their everyday lives. I realise the importance of this because the fundamentals of what the Lasavia Healing Course is about, is about transformation, and this happens through an evolution of consciousness and this is about our lives.
Write down five values that are important to you.
Under each value write down what this might mean for you. Research what other people write about these values.
Start to engage in an inner dialogue around these values and your actions. How do your actions and your values connect?
Think of this as an on-going exploration, rather than a self examination. Explore how you feel about making mistakes and the value of mistakes.
Look at the roles you have in your life. Do some roles have certain ethical practices?
How do these roles and ethical practices overlap in your life?
Take time to reflect and write.
Share your ideas and reflections with others.