An interface or peace wall on the Springfield Road in Belfast

An interface or
peace wall
on the Springfield Road
in Belfast

Ireland Intensive

It’s hard for us to believe, but May saw us holding the eleventh annual Intensive for those in Northern Ireland working to reconcile and heal divisions in their communities and create a new future. Twenty-four men and women, evenly divided between the Catholic and Protestant faiths, participated over three days as a way to develop their leadership and strengthen the effectiveness of their work.

Participants confront the role identity plays in their communities and in their own lives and explore the question of who they are if they are not merely their identities. Along the way, they create for themselves a clearing in which something entirely new can show up, a breakthrough beyond what has been possible, a future that comes from what one stands for rather than from what the past hands us, and a deeply connected community of common commitment. Since 1999, more than 400 people have participated in the Intensive, which remains one of our most powerful, moving, and effective programs.

Maha El Taji and Jamal Dagash

Maha El Taji and
Jamal Dagash

Two Sides of the Same Coin

This year, April 29th was the commemoration of Israel’s founding in 1948, a day celebrated as Independence Day in Israel and as Al-Nakba or Catastrophe Day by the Palestinians. Maha El Taji and Jamal Dagash, both participants in the School for Leadership, are part of a group that has created an annual two-day gathering for both Jews and Arabs to come together and honor the pain and loss on both sides. To read about this event, click here.

First Cohort of the School for Leadership

The School Builders team
at the Five-Day
last November

First Cohort of the School for Leadership

Nineteen participants – five from the US, seven from Northern Ireland and Ireland, and seven from Israel – have began the three-year School for Leadership program. These nineteen grassroots leaders are at work in many different areas. Individually, they reach hundreds of people in their communities and collectively make a difference in thousands of live. All of the participants met with 28 faculty and school builders in Northern Ireland in November for the first five-day Foundations in Transformational Leadership. In May, each group had a regional three-day clinic to learn our model for dealing with breakdowns.

In addition to these in-person programs, each regional group stays in contact through meetings or conference calls. Their curriculum includes work on an individual practicum as a field of action for working with the distinctions they are learning in real conditions, and each participant has a coach who works with them regularly to support them in this. Expanding the school with these 17 coaches has been enriching and challenging, as we learn how to bring new people into the community. As we often say, building the school is the school.

The Transformation in Prayer: 99 Sayings by M. Basil Pennington

Insight and Inspiration from Basil Pennington

The Transformation in Prayer: 99 Sayings by M. Basil Pennington is a new book that captures the wisdom and experience of one of the founders of the Mastery Foundation and one of the great teachers of Centering Prayer. The book is available at

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