Chapters 21 & 22
Chapter 21 - Your Role as a Guide
Even though this website is an attempt to enable people to use the forgiveness processes even if they have no access to an experienced guide, it can still be useful to you to know what a guide would be doing, - then you can do these functions for yourself. Also, when you come to share these skills with others, you will find yourself in the role of the guide.
As a guide you help the forgiver be dis-identified (i.e. to be a detached yet compassionately understanding and loving observer of their own sensations, feelings and thoughts). You faithfully watch over him/her as s/he creates a distance between their observing "self" and their "in-the-world self".
Sitting beside the forgiver reduces transference and counter-transference.
You remain identified with your own Soul, Higher Self, or Naphsha, unconditionally loving and supportive of the forgiver, yet firmly centered on the purpose of the forgiver to complete the forgiveness processes.
You help the forgiver to progressively lift their consciousness until they are identified with their Higher Self level of consciousness, for it is here that forgiveness takes place. You must hold the precious truth about the forgiver (and the one being forgiven!) - that s/he too is a Higher Self, capable of unconditional love and forgiveness - even when the connection with their Higher Self is temporarily weak or lost.
You help to evoke the Will of the forgiver - for example "Are you ready for the next step?" keeps the forgiver in charge of the process, enabling them to go at their own speed.
An important role is to help the forgiver, if they stumble on the way and want to back off from forgiveness. Sometimes this is because of a misunderstanding about the nature of forgiveness (See Demythologising forgiveness - truths and untruths). Sometimes it is because they have not realized fully, or have forgotten, that to not forgive is to perpetuate their own suffering. They may need reminding.
You maintain an atmosphere of joyfulness and partnership. This work is amongst the most beautiful that anyone can do, and a great privilege. There is no need for it to be sorrowful or "hard work".
At an advanced Forgiveness Workshop in Adelaide, South Australia, people with experience in psychosynthesis and with experience in using the forgiveness processes with themselves and in guiding others, were invited to come up with ideas for self-assessment of guiding skills. This is what they came up with:
Did I as the Guide:-
1. Use the qualities the trainee's group decided were essential in a guide/teacher, namely, Abilii, Kenoota, Khooba, Rukha, Makikh. Did I maintain connection with my Higher Self, and keep my personality aligned with the Higher Self as an instrument for healing for the forgiver in alignment with the forgiver's soul purpose?
(I suggested we add the sixth quality of Clear Communication and Understanding to this list).
2. Keep the forgiver focused on the task throughout?
3. Probe deeply enough into the negative beliefs systems, the layers, for clarity and awareness?
4. Return the forgiver to the use of "you" in the preference statements to avoid gossip about the other person ("he", "she")?
5. Insist that the forgiver be specific, full and complete enough about the preferences? Insist that the forgiver learn the skill of Clear Communication of their needs?
6. Avoid getting involved with my own "stuff" if there was any similarity or "resonance" between my life history and either the forgiver's or the life of the one being forgiven? Were there any transference, counter-transference or counter-transference issues?
7. Ensure that the forgiver learns to separate out their values, benefits, burdens, feelings, beliefs, preferences, and the deep values underlying the preferences?
8. Pin the forgiver down to details, events, to being specific, eliminating vagueness?
9. Use a nurturing tone of voice and manner?
10. Enable the forgiver to experience the differences that come with different kinds of language forms and "inner speech", thus moving the forgiver in the direction of Right Speech?
11. Use humor and lightness wisely?
12. Understand and use skillfully the Third Person (name of the forgiver) in the meditation stage of the forgiveness process?
13. Ensure healing of each of the emotionally distressing memories discovered?
14. Bring each of the negative beliefs up for "wisdom upgrade" by the Higher Self
15. Non-verbal: Watch the forgiver closely during the meditation stage for clues and keep pace with them (ie. use accurate empathy)? Head positioning in the Healing of the Emotional Nature?
16. Use the information gathered from the history creatively during the meditation process? (ie use my own intuition skillfully)?
17. Use the Goodwill Patterns creatively with the client?
18. Live them and the Forgiveness Process in my own life?
19. Understand meridians, the "domino effect" and can I use the inner Flame test, will-to-Wellness test with discernment?
20. Have the right intention in being a guide?
21. How do I rate myself on each of these?
22. How could I do it better next time?
23. What is the order of importance of the above for me at this time?
24. Which should I give priority in my self-development as a Guide?
In different countries, after seminars on this material, participants have continued to meet in small groups fortnightly for up to a year, sometimes for longer, helping each other learn about this material, and exploring its beauty and depth together.
They overcome difficulties and produce wonderful results in their lives. They build deep and lasting friendships. You could do the same.
Action Circles are support groups for learning and practicing Forgiveness Skills and the Goodwill Patterns
Here are some suggestions for you to consider.
Number of Members: Three people is an ideal number, for at each meeting one can be the Forgiver, one the Guide, and one the Observer, these roles rotating so that within three weeks everyone gets a turn in each. But two or four could also work. Larger than that and the groups can become unwieldy, and it take too long for the rotation of roles to occur.
Frequency of meetings: Weekly is best, the work gets completed quicker, and the group's learning is faster. Fortnightly is OK, but longer than that and the work becomes slowed, and interest may become hard to maintain.
Group Agreement: It is just as important for the small group as in the seminar, that members come to an agreement about rules and ethics for the group's meetings. This agreement could be based upon a discussion of the Guidelines for Building Community at the beginning of this manual, with adaptations by each group to meet their own requirements. Confidentiality, trust, acceptance, no competition, cooperation, "I"-statements, honesty, 100% commitment to the group's process and the forgiveness work, and so on - these are all things that need to be discussed clearly, and be agreed upon by all at the first meeting. It is also important to discuss how difficulties, if they arise, will be handled by the group. This is excellent practice in knowing your needs and stating your preferences clearly!
Meeting places: This could be in rotation at each others' homes, or at an agreed place. Obviously the group must be undisturbed during meetings.
Suggested format for meetings: What has worked well for other groups is to:-
1. Have a round of sharing where every member shares in turn telling of his or her experiences since the last meeting. It is wise if this is focused and specific to the purpose of the group and not a rambling "chat". Experiences with the use in daily life of the Goodwill Patterns, and any effects of using the forgiveness processes are the essentials here. Insights gained, lessons learned, successes achieved, obstacles overcome or difficulties to be overcome are useful.
This kind of sharing can be most productive, especially if the other members just listen lovingly and acceptingly. Interrupt the speaker very little, if at all. Speakers, keep to the group task, and remember that gossip about people outside the group, and criticisms of self or others are to be avoided. People outside the group should be spoken of only in the light of the Goodwill Patterns or the Forgiveness Processes.
2. Next, the next of the Goodwill Patterns derived from the Aramaic words could be taken as a theme for the coming week. The meditation or exercise on it could be done, and the groups discusses how it could be applied in their own lives. They agree to meditate daily upon it, invoking its qualities and practicing it as best they can in the coming week. They will share their experiences at the beginning of the next meeting.
3. Someone volunteers to do forgiveness process and does it. This might be in rotation, or if there is urgency for someone their needs might take precedence over the roster.
4. Someone guides them through it.
5. The other(s) observe with two purposes: (a) to be detached and develop powers of observation of process, and give feedback to the guide later, and (b) to be involved in the process and assist in the content . It takes skill and practice to do both these tasks simultaneously and the group's growth may be best served by doing one only according to where the need lies.
6. It goes without saying
that each is seeking to practice unconditional love within the group dynamics.
Continue to next section: Common 11 - Further Resources
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