Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0165| August 10, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

This week's article, "
The Sacred Path of the Facilitator," was submitted by my friend Anna Dargitz, who I'm visiting in Boulder, CO. In this article, anna reflects on the timeless pieces of wisdom from a great teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, that apply directly to facilitators. I just finished a wonderful week in the rarefied atmosphere of Crestone, CO while visiting another great friend and colleague, LIsa Micklin, and I plan on heading back toward California next week after spending a few more days in Boulder.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: The Sacred Path of the Facilitator

Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior

New 5-Day Teleclass: Growing Through Conflict.

If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation, group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest our readers, please send them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis

Self-Mastery Skill

The Sacred Path of the Facilitator

Leadership Principles From Shambhala:
The Sacred Path of the Warrior, by Chogyam Trungpa.

The Point

In Tibet, there is a story about a legendary kingdom that was filled with peace and prosperity, governed by wise and compassionate rulers. The citizens were also kind, generous and knowledgeable. The palace, Kalapa, is said to be located in a remote valley somewhere in the Himalayas, north of the river Sita. But there are mixed opinions on whether this is to be taken literally or metaphorically.

The kingdom was called Shambhala. And one of its key features was that everyone in the kingdom experienced themselves and life as basically good and loving rather than scary and difficult. There was peace, prosperity and loving kindness for all.

The image of the Shambhala kingdom has been used by many spiritual teachers to represent the ideal of secular enlightenment, that is, the possibility of uplifting our personal existence and that of others in the present moment. The source of Shambhala sanity is the cultivation of who and what we really are as human beings.

As facilitators of growth, development and change, we bump up against many pressures of post-modern society; including terrorism, widespread poverty, economic instability, corporate downsizing, political and psychosocial instability, etc. It's always there in the background of our existence, reminding us that life is a struggle. We need en"lighten"ment.

So it seems ever more critical for facilitators, in particular, to find ways to work with ourselves around what is whole, true and basically good about people, situations and the world and to routinely share our wisdom with our groups.

Buddhist Teacher Chogyam Trungpa's acclaimed book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior offers key principles that take us to a higher vision of how to facilitate human beings to function at their highest levels.

Keys to the Sacred Path of the Facilitator

1. Don't be afraid of who you are. The key to the Sacred Path of the Facilitator and the first principle of the Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are. It is realizing the basic goodness that is inside you, others and the universe, despite the pressures. Bravery means not being afraid of yourself. And the best way to do that, is to know yourself as basically good.

Whether you are facilitating groups or your personal relationship conflicts, there are those moments when you are called to step up, be heroic and speak to the basic goodness of the situation. It's not always a popular stance. People like to focus on the problem and fix it. They miss the basic goodness inherent in a challenge. We take this step when we are not afraid of who we are. We stand strongly in our integrity and in our instinctual knowledge of the bigger picture of life. From that perspective we facilitate greater awareness.

This Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness because it doesn't permit us to take refuge in our individual concerns of image, safety and comfort, but calls us to care for the needs of others over our own. At the same time, it is not permission to cause more chaos by imposing our ideas on a group. Timing is important. It simply asks us to take an unbiased look at what's happening, to examine our whole-istic experience of it and to share what is valuable to help the group uplift their experience.

2. Appreciate very simple experiences within the group. People experience glimpses of basic goodness all the time, but often, no one helps them see it. When we smell a flower and silently murmur"ahhh", we experience basic, fundamental goodness. When we walk out on the deck or porch after a summer rain and feel the freshness of life all around us, there is unadulterated basic goodness. In a group, when someone offers support, a compliment, or a beautiful observation…there we find basic goodness. These events take a fraction of a second and we can easily say "thank you" but essentially pass over them. Sacred Warrior Facilitators don't overlook them.

According to Shambhala principles, it is worthwhile to recognize and take advantage of those moments, because they reveal to the group the basic nonaggression and freshness that is also ever present in our lives. There is not only terrorism, conflict, anger or chaos. There are also many events of basic goodness. To gain from them, to live life embraced by them, as in the kingdom of Shambhala, the Path of the Sacred Facilitator helps the group make a genuine connection to it.

3. Have a light touch, a sense of humor.

A genuine sense of humor requires a light touch of appreciation for "what is", however it is. By having a light touch with whatever comes up in groups, we facilitate in others an experience and understanding of how to live and relate to ordinary life at a level of basic, fundamental goodness.

A light touch brings with it a mixture of self-confidence and humility. There is confidence in ourselves and our awareness of our goodness and there is a humility in the experience of being human, vulnerable to all sorts of distractions and distortions to what we know is true. A light touch is an amazing gift we give all who enter our world.

4. Refuse to give up on anyone or anything. This is difficult for westerners to grasp. But that is why the Shambhala vision is valuable to facilitators. We don't say that we are simply falling to pieces or anyone else is, or that the world is. Within our lifetimes there will be great problems in the world but we can prevent disasters. We can prevent falling to pieces.

It is a centuries old idea that we prevent disaster by building an enlightened human society. Every individual can do this in their own way. We build an enlightened society by uplifting people, one by one. And one way facilitators do this is by refusing to give up on anyone or anything in their group. This doesn't mean we don't remove ourselves from the neurotic attachments we may have with some people or some ideas. It doesn't mean we don't take actions that are necessary for the well-being of the group. But it does mean that we strengthen the goodness that is at work in everyone and every thing. We see past appearances and obscurities to the basic goodness that is in all things. We see below the surface.

Following these simple guidelines, you can and will contribute to an enlightened human society. I wish you well on this sacred path. May the wind be at your back. Namaste.

About the Author: Anna Dargitz, PhD. was previously licensed as a psychologist in private practice for ten years before becoming a full time life and business coach. Anna was appointed by Thomas Leonard to a number of positions at Coachville's Schools of Coaching. Learn more about her at her


Choose one of the principles above to focus on this week in your life and work. Please
send us your questions and comments.


Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior, by Chogyam Trungpa.

The classic guide to enlightened living, in which Chogyam Trungpa presents the principles and practices of the warrior's path for Western readers, is now available in an unabridged, miniature edition. With this book, the warrior's path is opened to modern men and women in search of
self-mastery and greater fulfillment. Interpreting the warrior’s journey in modern terms, Trungpa discusses such skills as overcoming habitual behaviors, relaxing within discipline, facing the world with openness and fearlessness, and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life.

In the Spotlight

Growing Through Conflict

A 5-Day Teleclass Teaching You Innovative Skills to Save and Enhance Conflicted Relationships

Led by Kaveh Nayeri, MS, an innovative business and personal coach, author, and mental health professional.

Growing Through Conflict 5-Day Teleclass

Conflicts are inevitable facts of life. They happen regularly in personal and business relationships. Unresolved conflicts can threaten and break our valuable relationships. This is often a major loss for both parties. But knowing how to conceptualize and resolve conflicts can save, heal, and strengthen our key relationships.

In this class Facilitators will learn effective conflict resolution skills that will help them feel prepared, confident, comfortable, and in control when called upon to help resolve conflicts. The class will include many discussions of real life conflicts and ways to effectively resolve them.

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of conflict resolution skills.
2. Learn the hidden purpose behind a conflict and how to realize it.

3. Learn an innovative approach and key skills to help resolve conflicts.
4. Learn how to defuse conflict situations before they start.
5. Learn the five stages of conflicts and resolution techniques for each phase.

5-Day Growing Through Conflict Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...


- Introduction
- Discuss participant learning objectives
- Discuss real life examples of conflict situations


- Seizing the growth opportunities
- The resolution work
- The rewards of resolving
- The consequences of avoiding
- Applying it to real life cases


- An Overview
- Identifying phases in real life cases


- Identifying early signs of dissatisfaction
- Facilitating the release of pent-up emotions
- Changing the relationship
- Real life case discussion


- Feeling prepared for conflicts
- Techniques for staying calm
- Techniques for taking control
- Techniques for defusing the tension
- Real life case discussion


- Facing the conflicted relationship
- Seeing the growth opportunities
- Understanding the work to be done
- Committing to a plan of action
- Beginning positive change
- Real life case discussion


- Guiding the positive change
- Practicing new relationship skills
- Coping with setbacks
- Monitoring progress
- Real life case discussion


- Testing the strength of the new relationship
- Reinforcing the new relationship
- Celebrating success
- Real life case discussion


- Discussion of specific conflict types based on class interest
- Common forms of relationship conflict and strategies for resolving them
- Discussion of real life cases
- Final comments and participant feedback

About Kaveh
Kaveh draws from many sources to teach conflict resolution topics. These include his many experiences observing and resolving group conflicts as facilitator, his work as a psychotherapist where he treated various forms of family conflict, his responsibilities as a social worker where he helped resolve difficult child custody disputes, and his other life experiences where he has observed marital, cultural, and organizational conflicts.

Kaveh states that conflicts of one type or another are inevitable facts of life. Conflicts between two people are tests of the strength of their relationship. They are tests that all relationships must pass so that they can survive and grow to have more value for both parties.

The full cost of training/access is only $79 for MFJ readers ($89 for the general public). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

August 23-27, 2004, 1:00 PM EDT (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.


Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the course. This course is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served.

Click here to Register


Contact Kaveh at or at (858) 459-8695

About the satisfaction guarantee

If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case.

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