At the end of October, there was a second gathering of the “Wisdom Pool”, which has been brought together by John Paul Lederach and Humanity United. We met in San Francisco last year and this year’s gathering took place in Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, where Roshi Joan Halifax hosted us for a few days. Peacebuilders from six continents and one island met to explore key questions in the light of our theory and practice.

We continued along the threads of discussion which began last year: loosely, how as peacebuilders, we can be more effective in the field? There was also the intention of narrowing the themes towards some kind next steps. This was another extremely rich, vibrant and inspiring time of conversation, paper making and walking.

I had the pleasure of leading the group in a paper making workshop, where we played in basins of paper pulp, water, flowers and petals, trying to sensitively yet firmly, make order out of chaos. In fact, we each made beauty from chaos and later considered how the process might have something to tell us in the wider context of building peace.

We also took a trip to the Tsankawi section of Bandelier National Monument, where we took a walk along the mesa, viewing cavates, petroglyphs and the Ancestral Pueblo village of Tsankawi. The trail finished up by overlooking Los Almamos, which is a very different place to the outstanding natural beauty of the walk before.

Conversations continue from this experience and gathering, as the words overflow in our hearts and thoughts. I am grateful for this experience and being included in this collection of people whose practice has much to inform the field.

Peacebuilders sensitively navigating the terrain.

Peacebuilders sensitively navigating the terrain.