Monday, July 14, 2008

Starting a sabbatical

I want to learn how to understand and engage the spirit of institutions.

August 1st, 2008 will be my last day in my position at the Council on Crime and Justice. After that, I'll be starting a year-long sabbatical. Yipee! Here is a description of what I want to learn about.. As a part of my learning, I want to write a book about the topic. I also plan to spend more time with my kids, make more movies., and start doing more organizational development consulting.

I'll put stories and updates from my sabbatical on this blog. Please come back and discuss this topic with me!


Jeanne said...


I'm very curious to see what you find out during your year learning about praying for institutional change.

Okay, lemme change that.

VERY curious.

Of late I've been thinking a LOT about Quaker schools and their elite nature.

Jesus said that the righteous fed the hungry, not give better bread to those who already had bread.

And then there's the whole class thing in general among Friends. Some of cultural trappings that folks think are Quaker are institutional.

So keep writing, and I'll keep reading!


Anonymous said...

I want to stay in touch to learn from you and the learning circle you attract. I will share some Thomas Merton who often speaks to me -
What is the relation of (contemplation) to action? Simply this. He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. There is nothing more tragic in the modern world than the misuse of power and action to which men are driven by their own Faustian misunderstandings and misapprehensions. We have more power at our disposal today than we have ever had, and yet we are more alienated and estranged from the inner ground of meaning and of love than we have ever been. The result of this is evident. We are living through the greatest crisis in the history of man; and this crisis is centered precisely in the country that has made a fetish out of action and has lost (or perhaps never had) the sense of contemplation. Far from being irrelevant, prayer, meditation and contemplation are of the utmost importance in America today.

Thomas Merton
Contemplation in a World of Action
Doubleday Garden City New York
p 164
What this truth teller said to America over 30years ago provides an even more urgent message today.