We believe that the serious problems we encounter in the world today are a direct result of the state of human consciousness. Unless this consciousness evolves and becomes more encompassing, no significant and lasting change is possible.
Our Purpose (Why we have come together)
Collectively inspire and enable each other and the wider world to progressively evolving states of consciousness.
Our Vision (What we dream of achieving together)
Transform organizations and communities by developing consciousness-centred leadership and whole systems.
Our Mission (How we work together)
Provide a co-creative operating environment that enables each Sanghi to fulfil their highest potential, and evolves synergistically
The ‘Why’ (Purpose) of the ChittaSangha is our reference point for being and doing, both individually and collectively. We recognize our interdependence, not just within the ChittaSangha but also at a planetary level. The reason for our coming together as a collective is to support and be supported in turn, by each other and the wider world, to progressively evolve consciousness. We believe this is our Dharma. Our purpose aims to inspire and align every current and prospective Sanghi. If a Sanghi does not connect and commit to this Purpose, the ChittaSangha is not the right group for this individual. We use the word ‘consciousness’ with an understanding that goes beyond just the subjective experiences of awareness or mindfulness. We also seek to make consciousness tangible, access its different states and to map, measure and mediate it for the highest good.
The ‘What’ (Vision) articulates our areas of expertise and application in the foreseeable future, with a focus on external manifestation. Conscious leadership is an outcome of consciousness-centred work to be done, individually and collectively. We will focus on developing consciousness-centred leadership because we believe that a leader’s ever-evolving state of consciousness is crucial in sparking the inspiring energy to transform their organizations and communities. This journey has to begin with ourselves. The first set of leadership is therefore the Sanghis themselves, who undertake this journey of transformation beginning with the self and rippling outward. In parallel, the ChittaSangha will reach out to others who are open to using a consciousness-centred approach for inner and outer work, by providing a range of tools and practices to support their evolutionary journey. We recognize the need to work simultaneously at the level of the individual, groups and the whole systems for the change to be lasting. We also recognize the need to influence all levels but, more specifically, to begin at the senior-most level of organizations and communities, to ensure that the journey is sustainable and all encompassing.
The ‘How’ (Mission) describes the Sangha’s role vis-à-vis the Sanghis and our orientation towards internal collaboration. We take a view that the Sangha’s rich, diverse talents and resources ought to support and enable each Sanghi’s individual journey and highest aspiration. The first leaders we enable to become more consciousness-centred are the Sanghis who have been moved to act in the world. When we support an inspired Sanghi in this way, it will unlock tremendous energy and the co-creation will ripple outwards to the organizations and communities that the Sanghi impacts. In this way, through the individual Sanghis, the Chittasangha will move towards achieving our collective ‘What’ and ‘Why’. We believe that the Sanghis who bring their inspiring energy and vision into the ChittaSangha will be open and willing to co-creation and not just hold on to their personal preferences tightly. Our Mission is rooted in an aspiration to serve rather than a desire for personal gain. Working sincerely to raise one’s own consciousness is therefore a pre-requisite and the ChittaSangha will nurture and foster the Sanghi in his/her inner journey toward their highest potential as well as provide the enabling environment that helps fulfil the co-created vision and strategy of such manifestations. The Sanghis, through commitment of their own resources, will enable the Sangha to be a sustainable, continuously evolving and nurturing entity.
(Note: these are working definitions and need to be discussed, clarified and fleshed out)
Serious problems: Focus is on bigger issues, more central to the well being of the planet as a whole and our interconnecting systems
State of: This ‘current state’ of affairs is borne out of an illusion of separation that mankind has been trapped into. This separation causes us to think and act for ourselves as distinct from others and the planet as a whole. The key to any meaningful transformation therefore lies in ‘shifting’ this state to that of oneness, wholeness.
Consciousness: is the interior, the inmost and the primal stuff of all existence. The one and the same consciousness exists behind everything; it sustains and unites all of us and everything at the deepest level. At the same time, consciousness has various states and nuances which govern and embody themselves into its multi-fold manifestations. The fundamental essence of consciousness is the triune qualities of Self-existence (Sat), Self-awareness (Chit) and Self-delight (Ananda). Consciousness is also continuously evolving; unfolding progressively towards its own essence of truth, strength, beauty, harmony, delight and perfection. We believe that consciousness is both subjective (it can be experienced internally) and objective (it can be worked with, developed and perfected).
Encompassing: We are not separate from others. I work in a team or organizational context within a community that is part of a country and the planet as a whole. The ever improving realization of this total interconnectedness and our behaviours and actions consistent with this realization are an important aspect of the solution set
Collectively inspire and enable: Individually, many of us are engaged in the business of ‘raising consciousness’ as we may call it. The core reason for ChittaSangha’s coming into being is to be able to do this synergistically. Collective may not mean that everyone in the ChittaSangha is focused on the same dimension of this agenda. We have organizations, institutions and communities on the one hand and the world of business, education, healthcare on the other as examples of ways of looking at the various segments that we are engaged in. For the whole to evolve, parts must be worked on concurrently. ChittaSanghis, and even those outside of CS, are guided by their own person passion and potentiality to engage with one or more of the multiple dimensions. ChittaSangha will provide a platform where those with common interests and affinities in these segments can come together to make their efforts more productive and, through dialogue, make the solutions more potent. In doing so, we need to be constantly aware of our role as a channel, support, an enabler than the driver and doer of what happens. The aspect of ‘inspiring’ first focuses on evolving our own state of being. That is what will truly inspire. Spreading awareness of the context, the need and the potential solution set is also part of this inspiring. The aspect of enabling includes ‘healing’ to unblock ourselves, each other and members of the wider world in our eternal quest of evolving and awakening. It also includes the aspect of learning from and transmitting this learning to each other and the wider world. In essence, therefore, this is a symbiotic relationship of being inspired and enabled by and, in turn, inspiring and enabling – the wider world and each other. We need to remain open to this receiving at all times even as we engage in the giving that happens in this journey.
Each other: We are interconnected and interdependent. ChittaSangha and the work of the Sanghis is the first level of playing field to manifest our purpose and vision. Inspiring and enabling each other is therefore a critical first step in converting our vision to action. This enabling ought to come from a state of ‘serve with love’ - compassion, empathy, respect for the individual’s dignity and a focus on the bigger picture. This enabling and inspiring each other will help us create mechanisms that the wider world and its elements can embrace for their own journey.
Wider world: The ‘Why’ (Purpose) is not limited to any particular segment and covers geographies, cultures, organizations and communities, in addition to individuals. The ‘What’ (Vision) articulates our focus areas for the next 2-3 years viz. organizations and communities. This is perhaps the starting point. There are a large number of constituencies. Organizations, for example, can include for profit, NGOs, Institutions in areas like education and healthcare etc. The government as a whole is also a critical stakeholder. Some of the Sanghis are already working in that space. Institutions that cut across nations and focus on global issues are also relevant. Communities can be segmented by demographics e.g. youth and elderly or rural and urban; or by intent e.g. poverty alleviation, education, infrastructure provisioning etc. The idea is to move from the near to the far – near being what the Sanghis are already working on and far being the ‘high impact on the wider world’ areas like Governments and Inter-Country Global Institutions. The near to far also includes existing states of consciousness – seeking individuals being at one end of the spectrum and ambitious politicians perhaps at the other.
Progressively evolving states: Since we are limited in our expressions to words and we have different world views, this phrase has been chosen carefully to embrace the diversity of how this work is defined. Evolution, for example, is the characteristic of life itself as we experience it with our senses. What are we evolving toward and is there an end point are deep philosophical questions. When we speak of evolution of consciousness, terms like higher (ascension), wider (expansion) and deeper (going within) are used in some of the philosophies. Similarly, some philosophies speak of ‘awakening’ and/or the end of suffering. Whilst this may not be opposed as a concept to evolution, to some of us this represents a more fundamental point of arrival; perhaps one of directly experiencing the truth. Different individual Sanghis have their own world view around these philosophies, these words and their interpretations. In our inclusive understanding, it is best to say that there is a progressive evolution - shifts in one’s state of being within. These shifts will also typically manifest in changes, subtle or significant, in the doing by such individuals and groups. Without assigning this progression any hierarchy or end point, we recognize the existence of and need for such a shift at every level from individual to planetary. Different philosophies have their own ways of expressing this shift and we would like to include these different ways in our being without wanting anyone to feel compelled to follow a specific philosophy.
Transform: The aspect about being catalysts and enablers is a given here. We cannot really make transformation happen in others but we can at best play a facilitative role in the process. Even what seems like shifts in others is, at a deeper level, a shift in our own state of being. Having said that, it is intended that a leader who is so evolving will mobilise his/her inner resources to shift the consciousness of his contexts, organization and systems, as well, Transformation has two sides to it: on one hand, there is a sense of positivity, upliftment and dramatic change, while on the other, it can also be disruptive, uncomfortable, uncertain and overwhelming. Transformation can occur at many levels; from the outer to the inmost and here again, the ChittaSangha’s role and contribution is to support individuals and organizations in navigating the inevitable thrill and turbulence that accompanies change, disruptive or continuous.
Organizations and communities: Organizations covers businesses and institutions in the for-profit, not-for-profit, academic, public and government sectors. Communities exist in different geographies and segments and may frequently overlap. Many Sanghis are already working to transform specific communities and the ChittaSangha will not only support their efforts but also invite new Sanghis who are similarly inspired.
Consciousness-centred Leadership: Is a state of being, rather than a hierarchical position. Accessing and operating from this conscious state makes one a conscious leader. To be consciousness-centred means to access decisions, choices and wisdom from a deeper intuition that is ‘beyond the ego’, i.e. from a state that is typically representative of oneness, abundance and the larger good of all. The role and contribution of the ChittaSangha is to ignite that spark within individuals and to support them in their inner and outer work, on the journey of becoming more conscious. Conscious leadership establishes a continuously evolving higher purpose, nurture a loving and joyful culture and create win-win relationship with all stakeholders: Society, Partners, Investors, Customers, Employees and Environment. In organizations, institutions and communities, it is logical to initiate this work with the ‘leaders’ in senior positions of hierarchy for the momentum to be sustainable and effective for that subset. In working with people and society in general, the aspiring individual will be the primary focus of attention of our work.
Whole systems: Whilst working on the agenda of developing leadership of the self is a primary and necessary condition, the ChittaSanghis will engage concurrently in helping evolve holistic systems. Leadership and whole systems have a symbiotic relationship. Whilst the core journey is inside out, there is a need to engage groups on the outside with the ‘whole system’ to start making initial inroads before the consciousness centred state of being starts to ‘kick in’ and exponentially enhances the state of these systems with minimal or no facilitation support.
Co-creative: Our bedrock is the depth and warmth of close human relationships that we have formed and continue to nourish. We strongly believe that we can accomplish much more and magnify our impact together, than we can achieve individually, because of these deep and close relationships and our affinities for common playgrounds and the fundamental purpose stated earlier. In our journey to manifest our larger vision together, the call is to collaborate and co-create rather than bring a personal agenda and seek its wider audience. This means that the Sanghi bringing her/his inspiring energy and idea into the ChittaSangha should be willing and open to its modifications such that it can become a shared idea/framework and strategy of the supporting group led by this inspiring energy. Holding on tightly to one’s own ideation or execution strategy or simply seeking enrolment of other Sanghis to one’s personal vision without offering this openness will run contrary to the spirit of ChittaSangha.
Operating Environment: The idea of ‘operating environment’ has an interesting dimension. This phrase came up as an analogy to technology organizations like Apple and Google who essentially provide an open interactive platform where users and application providers engage with each other, where what is good or great is assessed/rated so by the users themselves and therefore automatically gains acceptance and wider circulation/usage. The role of organizations like Apple and Google is to create such an environment with technology enablement, have the processes and systems in place for this effort to manifest and have quality assurance and control systems to prevent sub standard products from passing through. Beyond this, a lot of the system would be self governing since users will not entertain application providers with poor ratings and they would either improve the quality and features of their offerings or drop off from the list. We see the ChittaSangha modelling the creation of this ‘operating environment’ by building a ‘platform’ in physical, energetic and technology enabled spaces to enable fulfilment of its vision. Perhaps, we are speaking of ‘consciousness’ applications being made available to the wider world in different ways and the environment we create will facilitate that
Enable each Sanghi to fulfil their highest potential: The Sangha is essentially a collective that will flourish when individual Sanghis’ calling and aspirations can unleash the inspired energy all around. An inspired Sanghi will be naturally motivated from within, to step up to the role of catalyzing change in their chosen areas. The Sangha will support the manifestation of the Sanghis’ vision in ways that will evolve over time. This is the pillars aspect of support. The beams aspect of the support is the caring for and supporting each other horizontally in our individual capacities. The pillars and beams when strengthened concurrently, will create a great foundation of support for our vision to manifest. For the coverage and impact to be wider, we need more and stronger pillars (more Sanghis working in more areas) and stronger beams (the depth and strength of our trust, relationships). The ChittaSangha will provide the foundation for this ever expanding structure of pillars and beams which will start to look more and more like a grid from the distance, lighting up the world.
Evolves synergistically: The Sangha is a place for nurturing and enabling. Even the ChittaSangha needs this enabling and nurturing through its Sanghis. The ChittaSangha will need mechanisms to aid synergistic evolution. With a huge diversity of backgrounds and philosophies that the Sanghis will come from, acceptance, empathy will be critical for us to ride and create synthesis at the progressive levels together. It will require resources – time and capital – financial and intellectual, of the Sanghis for nurturing and growth of the ChittaSangha.
Version 1.0 June 30, 2012