Friday, June 22, 2007

Can the UUA move its chairs? Koans for OS@GA07

Fun being part of the Open Space Technology process at GA. First, there is no technology in the OST. My wife and I preached a sermon recently that shared this OST thing and a handful of members asked me where the gizmos come in. No gizmos. In fact, this, according to one of the facilitators at my session isn't really pure Open Space Technology anymore. It is OS @ GA 07.

OS @ GA 07?? What the bleep does that mean?! In true OST there are small group gatherings in clusters of chairs set up for - you guessed it - small groups. Seems that the OST thing emerged as a part of this GA after a contract was set with the convension center and therefore we are not allowed to move chairs out of their rows.

That is why we need OST, right? Because there are so many institutionalized practices keeping us from doing what we know we can and should do. I look forward to seeing what comes from this process.

Will the UUA be able to move their chairs once we deliver innovation, inspiration and new visions to the UUA board? Only if they are smart enough to get up off of them first. But a lot of people seem pretty cozy in those seats. I had a seat once. Actually twice. One was in a closet, the other was in the basement.

Reminds me of this koan.

Master Kyogen said, "It is like a man up a tree who hangs from a branch by his mouth. His hands cannot grasp a bough, his feet cannot touch the tree. Another man comes under the tree and asks him the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West. If he does not answer, he does not meet the questioner's need. If he answers, he will lose his life. At such a time, how should he answer?" *

If you were to write a koan like the above for UUA-congregational situation, what would it be?