Collaborative Dharma is based on following key principles:
- The practitioner is in charge. This means that we are mentors and facilitators, but the goals of the practice comes from you as a practitioner. We don’t represent one particular tradition. Our work is based on collaboration where your and our knowledge is combined. Our aim is to give you the best possible guidance and feedback, but you’ll be taking full ownership of your practice.
- We take a pragmatic approach to practice. If something seems to work, you can continue to do it. We are not interested in dogmas or theories per se. We encourage you to really investigate and find your own path.
- Our approach is situational. We take into account your current situation and try to work here and now. This means we focus on your current successes and roadblocks. We focus on enhancing important skills and balancing internal dynamics. We try to be transparent about why we think something should be done.
- We are creating flexible hierarchies. We understand that our position as facilitators and mentors is hierarchical, but at the same time we understand that our knowledge is limited. Since we believe in collaboration, our hierarchy is based on expertise. This means that in different topics different people are in charge: we might recommend you to consult other facilitators, teachers or experts on some subject, or we might trust your expertise if we think you have the best understanding on some topic. We understand that real collaboration obscures hierarchies, but we believe that the rewards are higher.
- We want to be financially accessible to everyone. That’s why our work is based fully on dana.
(These principles are leaning on Tucker Peck’s draft on Dharma Teaching Philosophy)
More about collaboration
There are two distinct aspects in Collaborative Dharma. First, our own experiences in life have taught us that learning happens in a deep way when everyone has the opportunity to share, compare, and co-develop their understanding on a common task.
Our vision is that even if our knowledge and expertise is not equal on different subjects, collaboration helps everyone towards a more sophisticated understanding. We believe that some hierarchies are needed, but they don’t have to be rigid.
We think that people with the best understanding on some subject, should lead collaboration on that subject. So, the hierarchy is based on expertise and common and honest recognition of everyone’s skills and knowledge.
We think that we are experts in some meditation approaches, in some aspects of Dharma, and especially in facilitation of learning of others. Our aim is to be honest about our expertise and the limits of it.
Collaborative Dharma is collaborative learning, where we are the facilitators of others learning. Everyone, who is collaborating with us, is on their own paths and is in charge of their own decisions.
Second, our Collaborative Dharma facilitator collective is hierarchically flat. We all are equal to each other. We want to ensure as much as possible that we’ll act according to our own standards. That’s why we work together, and also talk a lot about our teaching and facilitation.
We are participating in more than one teacher collective, which are areas for collegial supervision. We want to create for us all a sustainable environment with multiple feedback loops, and we hope also that everyone who is working with us feels that it is possible and safe to give us any kind of feedback.