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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Spirituality and planning in a diverse world Anhorn, Michael Robert 2005

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SPIRITUALITY A N D P L A N N I N G IN A D I V E R S E W O R L D by MICHAEL ROBERT A N H O R N B . A . , The University o f Saskatchewan, 1995  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS (PLANNING) in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (School o f Community and Regional Planning)  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A January 2005  © Michael Robert Anhorn, 2005  ABSTRACT At the core o f many issues addressed by planning practitioners lie deeply spiritual questions. Unfortunately, until recently the planning literature has been silent on the connection between planning and spirituality. The literature that does exist tends to describe a normative set of spiritual beliefs that would advance ideals in planning such as sustainability or cultural harmony. This thesis takes a step back and encourages planners to gain a better understanding o f the range of spiritual beliefs. From this broad understanding o f spirituality, using a phronetic research methodology, this thesis explores possibilities for the integration o f spirituality into planning practice. The experiences o f other professions such as social work, international development and education i n integrating spirituality into their professional practice set the stage for examining the work o f five planning practitioners from diverse fields o f planning and their attempts for spirit-conscious practice as revealed through unstructured, in-depth interviews. A framework for distinguishing integrating spirituality in planning from integrating religion, theology or ideology in planning is offered. It is proposed that spirituality can be incorporated into planning practice in two main categories: self-nourishment and building connections. Self-nourishment includes practitioners drawing on their spiritual experiences for increased understanding o f the situation and participants, and for motivation to continue their work. Planners also rely heavily on their intuition to inform many aspects o f their work. Practitioners build connections by developing processes which help participants to feel safe, work with potential, access their creativity, increase their connections with others, and tell their stories and myths. The thesis ends with an exploration o f the implications o f these findings for planning education. Suggestions for future research into planning's understanding o f spirituality, the further development of spirit-conscious practice and theory, and for planning education are included in the final appendix.  Spirituality and Planning  n  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures Dedication Acknowledgements Preface Chapter 1 - Spirituality and Planning? The Enlightenment Tradition and Planning Why Examine Spirituality and Planning? The Separation o f Church and State On Planning Through What Coloured Lenses? Overview o f Thesis  ii iii vi vii viii ix x 1 1 3 6 7 7 9  Chapter 2 - Not Simplifying the Sacred:The Promise of Phronetic Methodology Literature Review In-depth Interviews Writing as a Method o f Inquiry Current Research Approach and Methods Limitations o f Research Methods Summary  11 12 13 14 14 17 17  Chapter 3 - Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning Spirituality and Religion Paradoxes and Dualities i n Spirituality Spirituality Central to, Part of and Encompassing Human Existence Spirituality as Concrete and Mystical Immanent and Transcendent Material and Spiritual Connection and Isolation Discovered Personally, L i v e d (Tested) Communally Full o f Pride and Ever so Humble Spirituality Leading to Self-awareness/Self Knowledge Jungian Language and Spirituality Transcendent Experiences Spirituality and Deep Listening Spirituality and Perspectives on Wholeness The Whole Person The Whole World, Universe or Creation Spirituality, Symbols and Myths Spirituality as a Journey, Not a Destination Spirituality and Social Control A Final Thought  18 21 22 22 23 24 24 25 25 26 26 28 28 29 29 29 30 30 31 31 31  Spirituality and Planning  u i  Summary  32  Chapter 4 - We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions Use and Trust Intuition Create Safe Environments Meet and Respect Participants Where They A r e A t (Spiritual) Development is Cyclical Conflict and Spirituality Spirituality Must be Taught in Educational Programs Spirituality is an Important Resource for Participants Use Rituals Access Creativity Spirituality and Personal Identity Concerns Raised in Other Professions Proselytizing/Recruitment Maintaining Colonial and Patriarchal Institutions "But It's Unscientific" Unsubstantiated Claims Appropriation o f Sacred Knowledge and Traditions Summary  33 34 36 36 37 37 38 39 39 40 40 42 42 42 43 43 43 43  Chapter 5 - We Are Already Doing It: Spirituality and Planning in Practice Meet the Interviewees Larry Beasley, C M Norma-Jean M c L a r e n Keith : Mark Lakeman Kamala Todd World V i e w Informs Practice Work towards Underlying Visions Spirituality Used to Moderate Rationality Spirituality and the Practitioner Spiritual Teachings as Motivation Life Purpose and Transformative Moments as Motivation Take Time to Develop Spirituality Stepping Beyond Y o u r Ego Being o f Service Use and Trust Intuition Spirituality and Planning Processes Build Connections not Just Buildings, Streets and Places Connect People Conflict to B u i l d Connections? Connect to the Land Connect to Past and Future Generations The Connection o f Connections to Sustainability Create Space for Potential Get People Out o f 'The Usual' Take Risks  45 46 46 46 47 47 48 48 50 51 51 52 52 54 55 56 57 59 59 60 62 63 64 64 66 67 67  Spirituality and Planning  iv  Let G o o f "The P l a n " and A l l o w Spontaneity Access Creativity Create Safe Space (Social-spiritual, not physical) Use Self-disclosure Admit Mistakes Group Guidelines Use Stories and Story-telling Encourage Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness Make R o o m for the Whole Person (or, A n Invitation to Play) Bridge Chasms with Translation (Bridges o f Translation) Rituals in Planning Processes Follow Protocol Stories and Myths i n Planning Processes Stories for Healing Encouraging Multiple Mythologies Symbolism of the G r i d Thoughts on Listening Listening Does N o t Equal Agreeing Speaking of Spirituality—To Use or Not to Use the ' S ' Word Cautions When Using Spirituality in Planning Practice Perception of Being Unscientific/Not Academic Don't Get Too Esoteric Messianic Leaders More Danger i n Planner Ignoring Spirituality Summary Chapter 6 - New Steps for Our Dance: Suggestions for Integrating Spirituality into Planning Practice and Education Spirituality and Planning Practice Spirituality as Self-Nourishment Spirituality as Building Connections with Others Spirituality and Planning Education Conclusion Bibliography Appendix A - Introductory Letter Appendix B - Consent Form Appendix C -Recommendations for Future Research Understanding Spirituality i n Planning Spirituality and Planning Practice Spirituality and Planning Education  Spirituality and Planning  69 70 70 71 72 73 74 74 76 79 80 80 81 81 82 83 84 86 86 87 87 87 88 88 88 90 92 93 95 97 99 101 109 110 112 112 113 115  v  LIST OF TABLES Table 1 - Suggestions for Designing a Ritual or Ceremony  Spirituality and Planning  41  vi  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 - Diversity o f Concepts of Spirituality Figure 2 - Spirituality in Planning Processes  Spirituality and Planning  22 93  v  u  DEDICATION  To Jean Anhorn (my grandmother), Lome Anhorn (my father) and Harry Hay (a mentor and inspiration) who all passed through the Western Gate during the development of this thesis. Thank you for your support and may your journeys be gentle and blessed.  This thesis is also dedicated to the people o f the Musqueam, Stolo, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations with thanks for allowing me to be a guest on this land which has nurtured me while writing this thesis and for allowing my Elders and teachers to hold their ceremonies here.  Spirituality and Planning  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank the people I interviewed who so freely gave their time to me and who shared their sacred stories, their insights and their wisdom. I have learned so much from our discussions. I hope that the interviews also provided you with an opportunity to reflect and learn. I have done my best to treat your stories and insights as the honoured and sacred wisdom I believe them to be. I hope that m y representation o f them here does them justice. Secondly, I would like to thank my thesis supervisor, Leonie Sandercock. Your belief in this research and in my ability to complete it often outshone my own and helped carry me through to this point. That alone would be reason for deep gratitude; however, combining your encouragement with insightful comments, gentle guidance and the patience o f Job as I scheduled and revised deadlines leaves me struggling to find ways to express my thanks. I would also like to thank the people who have commented on the ideas that led to this thesis. Norma-Jean M c L a r e n acted as second reader on my research committee and as a confidant and friend. J i l l Atkey, Dea Hawkins, Jodi Newman, Gordon Tycho, Diana Smith, and Tanja Winkler are peers who offered comments, and discussions that helped shape my thinking and kept me writing. Gordon Matchett diligently proof-read the final draft. John Forester, Irene Guijt and Wendy Sarkissian, all visiting lecturers at S C A R P during my first year, offered comments and challenges to further my thinking on the link between spirituality and planning. This thesis represents the culmination of my life's work to date. From my childhood growing up among the awesome force and inspiring beauty o f the Canadian prairies, to my studies for ministry in the United Church of Canada, to my exit from the church and exploration o f various spiritual traditions, all shaped and informed this work. I thank the many teachers, elders, leaders, healers and sages who have helped me along the way. While too numerous to mention all of them, there are certain ones I would like to thank by name including Ellen Whiteman, Brad Colby, K e n White, John Linscheid, Jean Stairs, Daryl B e l l , Doug Wilson, Sandra Laframboise, Laura Linklater, L l o y d Pritchard, R i c k Girardeau, Stephen Bardin, Stephen Shila, Sequoia Thorn, and all my family o f Radical Faeries in Vancouver and beyond. Thank you. Finally, I would like to thank Lorraine Harkness (my mom, confidant, mentor and friend), and Dawn Anhorn (my sister, provocateur, mentor and friend) for your unending support not only through this thesis, but through the loss of my grandmother and father as this thesis was being birthed. Without you, I doubt I would have made it. Thank you.  Spirituality and Planning  ix  PREFACE When I was growing up in rural Saskatchewan, there were three things you did not talk about: politics, god and money. Really, there were more than three, but those were the three that people could talk about not talking about. When I started my masters degree in planning I found that although people in the profession could talk about politics and money, talk o f god, spirituality and religion was still pretty much off-limits. Fortunately, I was never very good at following rules and so this thesis is the intersection o f my biggest passions: spirituality, community development (social planning) and diversity. The first person I interviewed for this research welcomed me into his office and said he had been looking forward to discussing perhaps the most interesting and most difficult thesis topic he had ever read about. I had no idea how prophetic his statement would be. This has indeed been the most challenging topic I have ever researched or written. W h e n it came time to explore spirituality as a concept, I was almost immobilized with fear and uncertainty. It was not until I reread Leonie Sandercock's (2003a) chapter on story in planning that I realized where my fear stemmed from. She writes: I was afraid I might spoil the magic i f I thought too much about why story is i m portant, how it works, i n what circumstances, and what kind o f work stories do. (p. 182) I too was afraid I would spoil the magic and the power that I have found in my spiritual practices and beliefs i f I thought too much about them. I also realized that I shared for spirituality Sandercock's fear o f stories not being seen as being academic enough. The fist part o f m y interviewee's comment also turned out to be accurate. M u c h to my surprise, among all the people I interviewed and o f most o f the practitioners and academics I spoke with as I prepared this thesis, there was an excitement and interest in exploring spirituality's relation to planning practice. I started this project as a journey o f personal learning. I embarked on it for selfish reasons, to explore and learn more about my own passions. While I had hoped it might be o f interest to a few others, I never imagined there would be the high level o f interest and support that I have received. W e live in a time o f increasing fundamentalism in several o f the world's religions and when the interest in non-sectarian spiritualities is increasing among other populations. There are calls for holy wars, suicide bombers dying for their spiritual and religious beliefs and fights over Spirituality and Planning  x  land sacred to multiple faiths. H o w do we integrate these events into our planning processes? H o w do we anticipate, measure and evaluate things like the spiritual significance o f place? I hope we w i l l be one step closer to this by the end of this thesis. We are experiencing a time o f growing plurality o f culture, ethnicity and religious and spiritual belief in our cities. Despite this, and despite the demonstrated power spirituality has on many people's actions and their understanding o f their place in the world, planning theorists have done little to explore how this increasing diversity o f spiritual beliefs affects how we manage our collective future and none have looked at how (and if) spirituality can be incorporated into planning processes in the multicultural and multi-faith communities o f today's cities. Many planners, community development practitioners, and activists have been caught unprepared to integrate people's spirituality into their analysis and processes. The result o f this, although not yet well documented, ranges from frustration, to burn-out, to the failure o f planned interventions (Canda & Furman, 1999; Haverkort, Hiemstra, & van't Hooft, 1999; Starhawk & Valentine, 2000; v a n E i j k , 1999). B y using the practices and experiences o f people already actively integrating spirituality into their planning practice, I hope to begin a wider discussion on the role o f spirituality in planning practices i n today's multicultural and multi-faith context. B y exploring both the successful and unsuccessful practices o f these people combined with a review o f a broad base o f literature, I try to build an understanding o f spirituality for the planning profession. I also explore how spirituality is currently integrated into planning processes, and the implications o f all o f this for the education o f future and current planners (including suggestions for future research and theory that could help practitioners to better react to and integrate people's spiritual needs). A s I begin, I invite my readers to take a deep breath with me and let it out allowing any sound that wants to escape with it to do so. If, as you are reading, you come to sections that are challenging or disconcerting, I encourage you to return to this breath, to what many believe connect us all and connect us to spirit, and know that it is not my intention to change or even challenge your beliefs, but to explore how all o f our spiritual beliefs can be integrated into planning practice. I hope that you find as much inspiration and reason to reflect on your own practice as I have in the researching and writing o f this thesis. Blessings, Michael Anhorn November 2004  Spirituality and Planning  xi  CHAPTER 1 - SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING? The year I decided to apply for my masters degree, I was reading the introduction to Starhawk's (2000) book The Twelve Swans where she ponders why she has been able to remain active as a political activist for nearly 30 years when most people in these movements burn-out after only three to five years. Her experience with political activists mirrored my experience with people working in other forms o f community development and social planning. M a n y were able to sustain their involvement for only a few years before exhaustion and frustration overwhelmed them. Starhawk concluded that her longevity was because she grounded her work in a strong spiritual life. This also mirrored my own experience o f grounding my work in my spiritual life and spurred me to apply to my masters program so that I could further research the potential o f using spirituality as a way to motivate and sustain participants and leaders in community development and social planning processes. A s I reviewed the literature and talked with theorists and practitioners, however, I realized that more basic questions regarding the intersection between spirituality and planning needed to be explored before I, or the field o f planning, would be ready to investigate how spirituality may be used to prevent burn-out. The basic questions I decided to explore were: " H o w can spirituality be understood so that as a concept it is relevant to the diverse communities within which North American planners work?" and, " H o w do North American planners currently incorporate spirituality into their planning practice?" I hope that exploring these questions w i l l start to build a foundation and begin broader discussions on how spirituality can be integrated into the contemporary practice o f planning i n North America.  THE ENLIGHTENMENT TRADITION AND PLANNING Before I begin I would like to make it clear that I believe planning is a unique and often wonderful discipline. In a Western civilization that is all too often determined to treat the social and physical worlds simply as machines, we occupy a very special intellectual and practical territory. Our fundamental purpose is to "see" the whole o f a place, a region, a culture. (Aberley, 2000, p. 24) Since the Enlightenment, Western society, specifically the hegemonic cultures o f the United States and Canada, has valued rational scientific epistemology above all other ways o f knowing (Flyvbjerg, 2001; Sandercock, 1998a). So much so, that other ways o f knowing have been all but lost to the dominant institutions in our societies (Flyvbjerg, 2001). The ability to Spirituality and Planning  1  Spirituality and Planning? know the whole o f places, regions and cultures, as suggested by Doug Aberley in the quotation at the beginning o f this section, therefore, has been seriously eroded due to our reliance on a single perspective o f "seeing" the world around us. The North American tradition o f planning was born at the height o f this movement to value the rational scientific above all else, and it has inherited the biases and limitations that accompany the movement (Sandercock, 1998a, 2003a). Recently, however, a number o f planning theorists have questioned this reliance on a single way o f understanding the world. Sandercock (1998a) has argued that to be successful and relevant in today's multicultural cities, planning needs to embrace at least six additional epistemologies. Other authors have also challenged planning to move beyond its modernist origins. John Forester (1999) and Patsey Healey (1997) have both articulated theories and methodologies o f planning that help to consider people's emotions and life histories. Flyvbjerg (1998) has encouraged planners to see their practice i n the context o f the power relationships that exist in our communities, and Reardon (1998) and Hayden (1981) have helped to articulate issues o f discrimination that affect our ability to plan. A l l o f these ideas are very important to the development o f a solid and broader understanding o f human social interactions and the work o f planning within them. This thesis is another attempt to broaden the range o f ideas and concepts that are considered in planning practice and to help change the underlying systems that exclude people from participation in and many o f the benefits o f our society. It is very much i n the tradition of communicative planning theory that sees planning as "social processes through which ways o f thinkngs [sic], ways o f valuing and ways o f acting are actively constructed by participants" (Healey, 1997, p. 29) and it draws great inspiration from Leonie Sandercock's work exploring the reality and challenges o f planning in today's multicultural cities (See Sandercock, 1998a, 2003a, 2003b, 1998b). This thesis is, to the best o f my knowledge, the first attempt to examine the role o f spirituality in planning processes in a North American multicultural, and therefore multi-faith, context. Others have begun examining the role o f spirituality in international development contexts (Gonese, 1999; Haverkort et al., 1999; Ryan, 1995; Tamas, 1996/1999; Tyndale, 2000; van Eijk, 1999; V e r Beek, 2000), within specific faith-based initiatives (Payutto, 1994; Thomas, 1999), and many have proposed normative spiritual beliefs that would aid i n environmental planning  Spirituality and Planning  2  Spirituality and Planning? (Abram, 1997; Kalton, 2000; M i e s & Shiva, 1993; Plant, 1989; Selby, 2002; Suzuki & M c C o n nell, 1997), but an examination o f how the spirituality of participants and leaders can and does affect planning processes in North America has not yet been published. Because o f this, I address a number o f concerns and questions related to integrating spirituality and planning in the rest of this introductory chapter. Specifically, I address: why I believe planning practitioners and theorists need an understanding o f spirituality; the traditional separation o f church and state; the definition o f planning that underlies this research; and the biases and assumptions that I bring to this work. The chapter concludes with a short overview o f the rest o f my thesis.  WHY EXAMINE SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING? For most people o f the 'South' spirituality is integral to their understanding o f the world and their place in it, and so is central to the decisions they make about their own and their communities' development. (Ver Beek, 2000, p. 31) Spirituality is a topic that is difficult to discuss and impossible to quantify. It has been avoided by most planning theorists and practitioners for reasons that this thesis w i l l explore (see Chapter 3). A s we have seen repeatedly over the last few years, however, the power o f spirituality and religion to affect the course o f history, and thus the success or failure o f planning interventions, is immense, not just for the "people o f the 'South,'" but for people around the world. Be it the on-going wars and strife i n the middle-east, the struggle over whether or not to relocate an Orca whale in N o o t k a Sound off the coast o f Vancouver Island , or citizens' desire for a 1  "place to pray" (Fong, 2003, p. B l ) i n the redevelopment o f a landmark building in Vancouver's low income Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, peoples' spirituality and society's institutional ability to interact and understand it affect many aspects o f planning. Recently, notable planning theorists have called for planning to build a stronger understanding o f spirituality. In a lecture delivered at the launch o f the University o f Michigan, East Lansing Campus's P h D program in planning, John Friedmann (2003) identified research into the  1  The people o f the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht First Nation on Vancouver Island believed the Orca  whale to be a reincarnation o f their chief who died just days before the whale appeared in Nootka Sound. Federal Department o f Fisheries staff and some local non-First Nation people wanted the whale reunited with his pod as they saw him as a nuisance and a danger to people using Nootka Sound (Hutchinson, 2004). Representatives o f the First Nation wanted stewardship of the whale believing him to be an important spiritual guide for their people (Stiffler, 2004). Spirituality and Planning  3  Spirituality arid Planning? "the global hunger for spiritual grounding and social solidarity" as one o f four research themes he believes are critical to move planning forward in our current age o f global urbanism. He asserted that planning must work to understand both the constructive and destructive aspects o f the "search for transcendent meaning." (Friedmann, 2003) Sandercock concluded her book 7bwards Cosmopolis with a call for contemporary planning to once again start inquiries into and recognize the importance o f "memory, desire and the spirit (or the sacred)." (Sandercock, 1998a, p. 214) A s she points out, "[f]he completely profane world, the wholly desacralized cosmos, is a recent deviation in the history o f the human spirit." (Sandercock, 1998a, p. 212) She argues that it is time for us to reinsert the sacred into our relationship with the physical environment and to work to understand our own and other people's cosmology. Thankfully, planning does not have to venture into this field unguided. There are several other academic and professional disciplines that have already started to articulate how spirituality can be researched (Cousins, 1985; Smith, 1998) and integrated into professional practices. Professions such as social work, education, medicine and international development share much in common with planning not the least o f which is their public or quasi-public nature and the multicultural context o f their work. I w i l l draw heavily on the writings done in these fields to inform this research project (see Chapter 4). I believe there are at least four reasons why this work is crucial for the field o f planning. First, for many people, their spiritual beliefs form the basis o f their world view and therefore strongly influence how they interact with the people, places, things and spirits around them as well as how they understand the interaction between all these things. Although in very different contexts, Sandercock (1998a), Tamas (1996/1999) and Haverkort, Hiemstra and van't Hooft (1999) explore how people's perception of the world and cosmos (their cosmology or cosmovisions), inSpirituality and Planning  I feel much less o f a divide than usual between people who consider themselves 'spiritual' and those who consider themselves 'political'. Being so much both myself, it's never easy for me to understand how people can separate the two, but they do. I oftehhear from 'spiritual' people that they'd rather not have their beautiful rituals sullied with nasty politics, thank you. A n d from the political side, that they cannot comprehend why anyone would blunt the hard edge o f struggle with silly woo-woo new age stuff. But now it seems that everyone has woken up and realized how deeply those harsh political realities affect us, and how good it is to have the support o f community and connection to deep and abiding sources o f strength i n facing those things that are too hard to face alone. (Starhawk, personal correspondence, Nov. 1,2004)  4  Spirituality and Planning? eluding their understanding of the relationships between the spiritual world and the natural world, affect how they interact with other people and with programs or other planning interventions. A l l conclude that i f planners do not attempt to understand cosmologies, they w i l l be less likely to understand how particular interventions or processes w i l l be viewed by the people they are working with, and less likely to understand the social dynamics between the participants in their processes. A m o n g other things, planning deals with: peoples' visions for the future; the land, what it means to people now and what we want it to mean to people in the future; how people relate to each other within and between groups or communities; and how we as a community take care o f one another. This brings me to the second reason planning needs to explore its relationship to spirituality: at the heart o f these foci lie deep spiritual issues, beliefs and experiences. A s I w i l l explore in greater detail in Chapter 3, spirituality is, in part, about our understanding o f how we relate to one another, to past and future generations, to the world around us and to the spiritual beings/powers we share the world with (if you believe such entities exist). A l l o f these concepts underlie the foci o f planning outlined above. In addition, both Bullis (1996) and Canda and Furman (1999) point out that "Spirituality and religion are closely connected with contemporary social policy development. Therefore, we need to be astute about the use and abuse o f spirituality in the political process." (Canda & Furman, 1999, p. 309 original emphasis) Surely with spirituality being an important factor i n many planning issues and manifesting i n many ways, the planning community needs to better understand it and discuss its significance. To be blind i n the spiritual sector o f human experience is to operate with only a part o f our awareness and to act as i f we can build a society without taking notice of the foundation o f culture, the system o f belief that we use to determine our place i n the universe and how we should interact with each other as we make our journey through time. A thorough appreciation o f this deeper dimension o f human existence is needed for a balanced life, and an applied understanding of the affairs o f the spirit is an essential element in sound and sustainable development work. (Tamas, 1996/1999, p. 10) Thirdly, despite many decades o f the science versus spirit debate i n Western societies, neither side has succeeded in wiping the other out. Science has increased our understanding o f the world and the physical relationships with in it. Spirituality has helped us understand our relationship to the world, to each other and has often helped us to live better with the uncertainty and the mysteries o f our existence. Therefore, despite the claims o f some philosophers and scientists,  Spirituality and Planning  5  Spirituality and Planning? neither god nor spirituality is dead. If planning practitioners are going to interact with people for whom spirituality is an important part of their interaction with the world, planners must learn how to assess, understand and respect people's spiritualities. Finally, we live i n cities o f increasing diversity as a result o f global migrations. Because o f this, planners must work with people who come from very different intellectual and spiritual traditions. Some o f these traditions did not grow out of the Enlightenment and so people raised in them value different epistemologies than those of us raised in the Western tradition. If we are truly going to find ways to work together to plan our "co-existence" in the shared space o f our multicultural cities, as a profession, planning must find ways to expand the kinds o f knowledge it collects and analyzes as it seeks to intervene in the problems o f today's society. This must include people's spiritual understandings.  T H E SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE Early on i n discussions about my thesis, the primary concern raised by others i n the field of planning was that the topic would infringe on the long tradition o f the separation o f church and state in Western democracies. It was often argued that planning could not contemplate issues o f spirituality because it would infringe on the separation o f these two powerful institutions. I want to be very clear that I am not advocating a rejoining o f the church and state, though I am very aware that the West's understanding of the separation is one very specific to Western democracies and is not necessarily duplicated i n other traditions (Crossman, 2003; Ryan, 1995). The separation o f the two has allowed for the development o f many human rights that would not have been possible i f state governments were still controlled (or even strongly influenced) by church or religious hierarchies. In addition, I do not believe spirituality and religion are synonymous. While I w i l l explore this further in Chapter 3, where I explore spirituality in an attempt to build an understanding o f it within the field o f planning, it is sufficient to say that a person's spirituality may be strongly, weakly, or not at all related to their religious affiliation. It may or may not centre on the existence (or lack there of) o f specific divine being(s).  A n d , it  may or may not be based on dogma, orthodoxy (right belief) or orthopraxy (right practice).  2  Throughout this thesis I use the term 'divine*being(s)' to refer to what readers may know as  God, Goddess, A l l a h , the Universal Source, Shiva, etc. I choose to use divine being(s) as it is both gender and tradition neutral. Spirituality and Planning  Spirituality and Planning?  ON PLANNING M y personal vision is for a profession embracing concerns for social and environmental justice, for human community, for cultural diversity, and for the spirit. (Sandercock, 1998a, p. 206) Writing and researching on the field o f planning is difficult because there is no agreed upon cannon o f planning literature, nor is there a generally agreed upon definition. Because o f this, it is important to establish my understanding o f planning. In the tradition o f both Sandercock (1998a) and Friedmann (1987), I view planning as much more than what occurs in the city halls and municipal offices o f our nations. Planning for me includes the activities o f everyone who helps themselves and others to "manage our co-existence i n shared spaces." (Healey, 1997, p. 3) So, the traditional 'professional planners' working i n municipal governments definitely have their role i n this definition o f planning, but so do the activists, the educators, the visionaries and all citizens who choose to help design and shape interventions to help others to navigate in our complex social, economic, physical and governance environments. This thesis, therefore, examines the role o f spirituality not only in planning as it occurs in our City Halls, but also as it occurs in the living rooms o f neighbours working together to better their world, in the meeting rooms and offices o f not-for-profit organizations, and in the classrooms o f those working for greater understanding between and within cultures.  THROUGH WHAT COLOURED LENSES? A l l researchers bring filters and biases that affect how they formulate their research questions, design their studies and interpret the results (Gergen & Gergen, 2000; Hartill, 2001; Olesen, 2000). This enriches the research process and product (Janesick, 2000) and also requires the researcher to claim and describe their intellectual and cultural influences and how these may affect the research design and interpretation. I have been incredibly lucky to have been exposed to a very diverse combination o f theoretical and spiritual traditions. Through authors such as Harry Hay (see Hay, 1996 for an edited collection o f his writings), Mark Thompson (1994; 1997), poets James Broughton (1990), and Walt Whitman (1995) and groups like the Radical Faeries and the Sisters o f Perpetual Indulgence, the queer liberation movement has helped me see the value o f people on the periphery o f society looking back towards the centre and out towards the future o f our society to describe what they see and offer potential solutions from their experiences o f living on the margins o f society. This notion of mar-  Spirituality and Planning  7  Spirituality and Planning? ginalised people bringing valuable perspectives, knowledge and skills that are not as readily available to those in the dominant culture has shown me the importance o f including people from diverse communities i n my life and my work. These people also taught me to question the Western notion o f compartmentalising our lives into paired, mutually exclusive opposites. I was raised believing that the physical (especially physical pleasure) was a hindrance to the spiritual and that emotion was the antithesis o f reason. I now see these concepts as being much more inter-related and not mutually exclusive. I have also learned that exploring that which is feared by the dominant culture (in this case physical pleasure and emotions) often leads to a much better and fuller understanding o f the situation. M y involvement i n the Radical Faeries led me to studying tantra and yoga. These practices have also helped me see the arbitrary nature o f many o f the dualities of Western culture. I was very fortunate to be raised by a mother who was strongly grounded in feminist theory and praxis. Through her example and in discussions with her and her friends, I began to understand notions o f discrimination, and o f power and privilege. This was my first exposure to 3  the concept o f social justice. M y experience with feminism also taught me the importance o f being able to see one's self i n important cultural symbols and the destructive power o f being excluded from these images (Cone, 1990; Ruether, 1993). Both the feminist movement and queer theorists have shaped m y views on the relationship between researchers and research participants. The notion o f subject-to-subject relationship so prevalent in much o f Harry H a y ' s (1996) writing, and the feminist critique o f objectifying research participants has lead me to relating to the participants in my research as colleagues involved in mutual learning rather than as a one-way transfer o f information. For two years, I studied towards ordination in the United Church o f Canada. During this time, I was able to study a broad range of Christian theologies. I also gained valuable experience talking about spiritual beliefs and experiences. Finally, my participation in a Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy training) course provided me with amazing opportunities for selfexploration, emotional growth and to improve my listening and verbal communication skills while teaching me the importance o f being able to work with people with spiritual and religious beliefs very different from my own.  3  For an excellent discussion o f power and privilege see Peggy Mcintosh's (1988) Working Pa-  per White Privilege and Male Spirituality and Planning  Privilege. 8  Spirituality and Planning? Teachers from several First Nations communities and the writings o f pagan authors like Starhawk (1977/1997; Starhawk, NightMare, & The Reclaiming Community, 1999; Starhawk & Valentine, 2000) and De Grandis (1998), have taught me new perspectives on humanity's relationship to the natural and spiritual worlds as well as on our relationships to one another. Increasingly I have seen the importance o f seeing myself as being connected to everything in the universe and knowing that I affect and am affected by all things. M y experience carrying a ceremonial pipe and my teachings from Sandra Laframbois, the elder who transferred the pipe to me, have taught me the importance o f balancing the whole, which according to the teachings I have received, includes the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects o f life. These aspects are also reflected i n several other spiritual traditions I have studied including tantra, Wicca and Celtic spirituality.  OVERVIEW OF THESIS A s noted earlier i n this chapter, research into the role o f spirituality i n planning processes in North America has not been published before. This research is, therefore, exploratory. It also explores a topic rarely examined i n planning. Chapter 2 outlines my methodology which is based heavily on Flyvbjerg's (2001) concept o f phronetic research and inspired by John Forester's (1999) use o f in-depth interviews o f exemplary practitioners. Before researching a topic, it is usually necessary to define it. Spirituality, however, proves to be a difficult concept to define. Chapter 3, therefore, explores spirituality through the perspective o f planning as a public profession to help build an understanding and a vocabulary to aid with the current and future discussions on the intersection o f spirituality and planning. Through my interviews and literature reviews, I seek to find ways practitioners are already incorporating spirituality into planning practice. A s many have said before me, theory often struggles to keep up with practice and i n the case o f integrating spirituality into planning practice and theory, this is definitely the case. In Chapter 4,1 explore the literature from other public or quasi-public professions and pull out lessons for planning from their struggles, victories and failures while trying to integrate spirituality into their multicultural practice. For this analysis, I rely heavily on the fields o f international development, social work, education, conflict resolution and medicine. . I present the stories o f five outstanding planning practitioners that offer us lessons and reflections on their use and integration o f spirituality into their planning practice. These stories Spirituality and Planning  9  Spirituality and Planning? are contained in Chapter 5. Insights from the stories are analyzed and recommendations for future research and education o f planners are explored in Chapter 6 where I do not try to develop a grand prescriptive theory on how to use spirituality in planning processes, but instead try to present possibilities and help all o f us to learn about the multitude o f ways planning and spirituality overlap and interact. It is my hope that this thesis w i l l help practitioners, theorists and me to find words to talk about spirituality, especially within the field o f planning.  Spirituality and Planning  10  CHAPTER 2 - NOT SIMPLIFYING THE SACRED: T H E PROMISE OF PHRONETIC METHODOLOGY  Researching a topic as complex and multifaceted as spirituality is a difficult task on its own. Combine that with the challenging job of researching the practice and underlying theory of planning, and the task becomes even thornier. Spirituality is not a topic that can be reduced to check lists or tests o f statistical significance. Effective professional practice requires sensitivity to changing contexts, power relations as well as empirical evidence. Such complex and context dependent ideas are best explored with qualitative research methods (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Flyvbjerg, 2001; Patton, 2002). A d d to this list the fact that this research is exploratory (meaning that there is not a fore drawn assumption that is being tested) and qualitative research methods become even more appropriate (Patton, 2002). , Qualitative research methodology, however, is itself a very complex and sometimes convoluted field. Patton (2002) identified at least sixteen different theoretical traditions within qualitative research. Choosing which theoretical tradition is most appropriate for any given research project is often difficult even for the most experienced qualitative researchers (Patton, 2002). Thankfully, within the field o f planning, Bent Flyvberg, a Danish planning researcher and theorist, has helped sort through some o f this difficulty by articulating what theory for planning practice needs to build on and be based from. In Making Social Science Matter, Flyvberg (2001) identified three kinds o f knowledge: techne (technical knowledge or know-how), episteme (analytical, scientific knowledge) and phronesis (how to make judgments and decisions requiring understanding o f context and values). He acknowledges that all three kinds of knowledge are important in planning and other social sciences, but that the most appropriate role for social sciences is to investigate and create new phronesis.  A s planning theorists increasingly move away from proscriptive, recipe based theo-  ries, and move towards theories that are context, value and power sensitive, phronetic research w i l l grow in importance. In researching if, how, and why spirituality can and should be integrated into planning practice in North America, this thesis is investigating phronesis of planning Spirituality and Planning  11  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology practice (i.e. how can planners make better judgements and decisions in practice). It is appropriate, therefore to use research methodology consistent with the analysis and production of phronesis.  4  The task o f phronetic research "is to clarify and deliberate about the  problems and risks we face and to outline how things may be done differently, in full knowledge that we cannot find ultimate answers to these questions or even a single version o f what the questions are." (Flyvbjerg, 2001, p. 140). While Flyvbjerg sees case studies as one o f the most appropriate tools for doing this, he admits that it is not the only one that achieves these ends. Other qualitative research theorists encourage the use of multiple methods for examining an issue (Janesick, 2000; Patton, 2002; Richardson, 2000). I have chosen a combination o f several methods to complete this research. Each was chosen to assist with a different aspect o f phronetic research. To help clarify the problems and risks, I have chosen to review a broad range o f academic and popular literature regarding spirituality and its incorporation into professional practice. Information and stories from in-depth interviews o f practitioners (largely inspired by Forester, 1999) are used to help to identify what may be done differently. Finally, the process o f writing and re-writing this text was used to further explore both the problems and potential for change (Richardson, 2000). The rest o f this chapter reviews theoretical issues related to the research methods used in this study and ends with a detailed description o f the process I employed while conducting this research.  LITERATURE REVIEW In qualitative research, literature reviews tend to be used in one o f three ways (Patton, 2002). They may be used to help focus the research by identifying what is known and unknown in the field. Other researchers, to help prevent bias and maintain openness to new ideas while in the field, conduct their literature review after their fieldwork is complete. Finally, literature re4  While investigating methodologies for this research, I spent some time thinking this research  would be conducted from a grounded theory perspective. In grounded theory research, "one does not begin with a theory, then prove it. Rather, one begins with an area o f study and what is relevant to that area is allowed to emerge." (Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 23) O n the surface this appeared to be what I was attempting to do. O n further reflection, however, I realized that while I was starting with an area o f study, I was not aiming to produce a comprehensive predictive or prescriptive theory. N o r do I claim the detached objectivity that grounded theory advocates claim is necessary to produce good grounded theories (Patton, 2002). Spirituality and Planning  12  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology views are sometimes carried out simultaneously with field work, "permitting a creative interplay among the processes o f data collection, literature review and researcher introspection." (Patton, 2002, p. 226). I used the latter method which allowed for the 'creative interplay' and allowed me to broaden the literature reviewed by including works referred to or suggested by the people I interviewed. I used the literature to investigate two main subjects. First, I reviewed a broad range o f academic and popular literature to explore the concept o f spirituality. Originally I had hoped to discover a definition o f spirituality that would be appropriate for planning. A s I reviewed the literature, however, it became apparent that planning requires a deeper understanding of spirituality than can be conveyed i n a definition. Chapter 3 presents a wide array o f spiritual understanding and experiences i n an attempt to help my readers and the field o f planning to gain a deeper understanding o f spirituality. Secondly, I used the academic literature o f other professions that have already started to incorporate spirituality into their theory and practice to identify lessons learned in these professions that may be applicable to planning. Due to their public or quasi-public nature and other similarities with planning, I relied heavily on literature from international development, social work, education, conflict resolution and medicine in preparing Chapter 4.  IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS In-depth interviews, or informal conversational interviews, are the most open-ended approach to interviews (Patton, 2002). They allow the interviewees and interviewers the most flexibility to explore what seems most salient as neither are required to follow a set o f questions or even general topic areas that must be covered. This does not, however, mean they are unfocussed (Patton, 2002). It is important for the researcher to be clear on the overall purpose o f the interviews (and i f appropriate to acknowledge that purpose with the interviewees) so that he or she may direct follow-up questions and statements within that purpose. It is important to recognize that in-depth interviews do not only reveal pre-existing knowledge, but that they may also produce new knowledge or insights from the interaction between those participating (Charmaz, 2000; Fontana & Frey, 2000). For this reason, I depart slightly from Forester's (1998; 1999) method where he removes the interviewers words from the transcript to leave a profile completely in the interviewee's words. In the transcripts o f my interviews, the words o f both the interviewer and the interviewee have been left so that the interaction Spirituality and Planning  13  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology between myself and the interviewee is transparent and can be examined as a source o f learning and insight..  WRITING AS A METHOD OF INQUIRY Before reading Laurel Richardson's (2000) article on writing as a method o f inquiry, I too saw writing as not much more than a "mopping-up activity at the end o f a research project." (p. 923) It was one o f the hoops I had to jump through to complete. A s I read her article, and as I've gone through the process o f writing up this research, I have come to realize that it is itself a research method. Through the writing process I have come to learn things I did not know before, and, perhaps even more importantly, I have realized that some things I thought I had learned were wrong, or at least not supported by the information I had. I have tried to give my readers insight into this process o f learning and researching through writing by including some o f the reflections from it in the text (see especially Chapter 3).  CURRENT RESEARCH APPROACH AND METHODS I interviewed five practitioners whose practice is in planning. They were not, however, all professionally accredited planners, or as Atkey (2004) refers to them, '"P'lanners." Instead, I strove to interview a wide range o f people involved in planning practice from different theoretical perspectives and practicing in a variety o f planning fields. These participants were identi5  6  fied by asking well known academics and practitioners for referrals to people they believed were already successfully incorporating spirituality into their planning practice, a sampling method referred to as purposeful sampling by Patton (2002). A more detailed description o f each o f the people interviewed is included at the beginning o f Chapter 5 where the results o f the interviews are presented. Once a potential participant was identified, she or he was sent a letter that introduced me and my research (see Appendix A ) . This letter included the following paragraph to help set the  Sandercock (1998a) identifies six different theoretical approaches in planning (rational comprehensive, advocacy planning, radical political economic model, equity planning, communicative action model and radical planning). For another analysis o f the breadth o f theoretical approaches within planning see Friedmann (1987). 6  Planners work in fields as varied as land use, urban design, housing, social planning, commu-  nity development, international development, environmental planning and many others. Spirituality and Planning  14  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology focus o f the interview (Patton, 2002). I am aware that spirituality is a term many people are fearful to combine with either planning or community development. I would like to explain what I mean by the term. In this study, I am starting with a definition o f spirituality that refers to human beings' need to be connected to something larger than ourselves. It includes how we make meaning in and from our world and our sense o f wonder and awe that lies beyond rational understanding. Terms such as heart, energy, wonder, connectedness, and inner work are often used to refer to what I am calling spirituality. The term is also often confounded with organized religion, and while I acknowledge that for some the connection between the two is inseparable, for many others there is an important distinction and the two are not necessarily related. A s part o f my research, I am hoping that this definition w i l l be challenged and expanded. Approximately one week after the introductory letter was received, I conducted a followup phone call to answer any questions the recipient may have had, to verify i f they were interested in participating i n the research and, i f they were, to set up a time for the interview. In a couple o f instances, these follow-up phone calls were quite extensive to help build trust between myself and the potential interviewee and to help them understand how I was planning on using the interview. A l l participants were interviewed at a location o f their choice. A l l chose to have their interview conducted in a place where they conducted at least some o f their work. When we met for the interview, I would spend some time explaining the research and telling the interviewee a bit about my background and interest in the topic. Inspired by TisdelPs (2003) research on spirituality in higher and adult education, this self-disclosure was done "to avoid gathering very personal data from participants while giving none about m y s e l f (p. 267), which she believes is a form o f 'othering' the participants. Once I had explained the research and talked about my relationship to it, the interviewee was given a few moments to read, and i f they chose to participate, sign the Consent Form (see Appendix B). Because all participants were experts actively working in the field, they were given the option to request that their comments be attributed to them by name. They were also informed that they could decide to have their name associated with their comments at any time until the research had been completed and was ready for defence. The interviews lasted between one and a half and two and a half hours. The interviews generally started with the interviewees talking about what lead them to the point they were at in their careers. From this point on I would ask probing and reflecting questions to encourage them to talk more or to clarify what they meant by certain words or phrases (Patton, 2002). I also kept Spirituality and Planning  15  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology notes on topics that seemed o f interest and were relevant to my research, but that were passed over quickly while the participant told a story about another event or concept. I would ask about these topics when the participant and I had finished exploring the previous topic. To allow participants time to reflect and to help ensure they had said everything they wanted and needed to say, I left periods o f silence. Several times throughout the interview process these silences allowed the participants time to reflect and to give an additional response or comment on what they had been discussing. A t the end o f the interviews, all participants were asked i f there was anything else they wanted to say or felt had been missed earlier in the interview. Once they had had an opportunity to talk about any topic, they were thanked for their time and I encouraged them to contact me by email or phone i f they had any further thoughts once I had left. I then transcribed the interviews verbatim. These transcripts were sent to the participant for each to review and make any changes or additions they felt were needed to clarify what they had said or meant. Most o f the participants took advantage o f this opportunity to clarify some o f their comments. None o f them substantially changed the content o f the transcripts. The analysis o f the transcripts began as I transcribed the interview. Transcribing the interviews allowed me to become more familiar with the interviews and gave me an opportunity to start formulating themes emerging from many o f the interviews. It also helped me to find concepts unique to one participant or another but which resonated with one or more concepts from the literature I had reviewed to date. Once all o f the interviews had been transcribed and the literature review more or less completed, I once again read all o f the transcripts to begin to code them. A l l coding was done by hand on a hard-copy o f the transcripts. The transcripts were coded by themes which had emerged as the transcripts were reviewed. It was an iterative process where sometimes a theme discovered in a later transcript would also be present in previous transcripts and so I would go back to add in the new code. Once the hard-copy versions o f the transcripts where coded, I began to enter the selected quotations into Chapter 5 of this thesis. This process o f electronically copying and pasting the quotations lead to a further refinement o f the themes and the outline of the chapter. After I finished writing the chapter, it was sent to each o f the research participants for their input and comments to ensure their comments had not been taken out o f context.  Spirituality and Planning  16  Not Simplifying the Sacred: The Promise o f Phronetic Methodology  LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH METHODS If this study was a more traditional research project attempting to generate a predictive theory, the small sample size (5 practitioners were interviewed) would limit the generalizability of the results. However, since I seek not to generate a predictive theory, but rather draw out what we can learn and suggest ways that may be used to improve practice (given a reflection and acknowledgement o f the context the lessons grew out of and the context they may be applied in), the sample size is o f less concern. The limitation o f the sample in this research, however, is that it limits the contexts from which we can draw lessons and to some extent limits the breadth o f the investigation especially as the incorporation o f spirituality can be accomplished in different types o f planning practice. The findings o f this research were also limited by the number o f interviews I was able to do with each research participant. The depth o f the information gleaned from the practitioners could have been improved i f a second, more structured interview could have been completed after the initial interviews were analyzed. This would have allowed further probing into themes that were discovered as a result o f multiple interviews. Unfortunately, the time and cost of additional interviews was outside the scope o f this project.  SUMMARY Due to the somewhat unusual nature o f this research and the interrelation between the literature reviews and the primary research o f this study, I thought it was important to give the reader insight into the methodology and methods o f this study before presenting any of the results o f the research. This also allowed the literature reviews and results from my interviews to flow more smoothly into each other. I hope this chapter has helped to give a context for the research that follows, and serves as a positive example o f how spirituality can be researched using sound methodology. I start this research in the next chapter with an exploration o f the complex and sometimes elusive concept o f spirituality.  Spirituality and Planning  17  CHAPTER 3 - SPIRITUALITY: TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING FOR PLANNING  This is a place where words are hard isn 't it? (Norma-Jean McLaren  2:90)  There is an extensive and growing interdisciplinary body o f literature that struggles with defining spirituality (see Blake, 1996; Canda, 1988; Canda & Furman, 1999; Carr, 1995, 1996; Carrol, 1998, 2001; Cousins, 1985; Crossman, 2003; D . Evans, 1993; Hodge, 2001; K i n g , 2001; Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001; Lewis, 2000; Plante & Sherman, 2001; Principe, 1983; Rodger, 1996; Sefa Dei, 2002; Thoresen, Harris, & Oman, 2001; White, 1996). Unfortunately a good deal o f this literature tries to draw boundaries around what is and is not spirituality. A s Tisdell, a Pennsylvania State University faculty member who has published numerous articles and a book on spirituality in adult and higher education, points out, "spirituality is an elusive topic; it seems to defy definition, or at the very least, all definitions of it seem to be inadequate." (Tisdell, 2003, p. xi) In the pivotal series World Spirituality, An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest, the series editor, Cousins (1985) also alludes to this difficulty by acknowledging that he did not try to use an agreed upon definition for spirituality, but rather used a description and left it to the editors of each volume to define (or not define) spirituality as fit the needs o f the tradition they were describing.  Indeed, in today's post-modern environment any definition that attempts to  draw boundaries around such a subjective experience as spirituality w i l l have limited success (Crossman, 2003). A s I prepared to submit my ethics review for this thesis, I, myself, struggled with defining spirituality. The pre-existing definitions I found were very diverse. They ranged from the very simple "the struggle for life" (King, 2001, p. 8) to the more complex, multi-page definitions like that o f D . Evans (1993), that has three dimensions: 1) a reflection on one's conscious and 7  The World Spirituality series is, to date, the most comprehensive examination of the academic  discipline o f spirituality. I strongly recommend readers to explore the series i f they are interested in learning about the breadth and variety o f spiritual experiences around the world (McGinn, Meyendorff, & Leclercq, 1985). Spirituality and Planning  18  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning unconscious motives, 2) a transformative process by which we stop resisting the reality o f spirit, and 3) a mystical core. M a n y o f them were not appropriate for the multicultural and multi-faith environments in which planners in North America must work. A connection to divine being(s) was a central component to some and others were based in one religious tradition or another. Planning, however, needs a definition which is broad enough to be applicable to and resonate with people o f many religious and spiritual traditions as well as with (as my friend David Weisman describes himself) the "spiritual atheists" in our society. The deadline to submit my proposal to the ethics review committee approached, and despite the problems inherent in defining spirituality, I decided to offer my own 'tentative' definition o f spirituality that avoided reference to any d i vine being(s) and that would be applicable to as d i verse a population as possible. I started this research project, therefore, defining spirituality as human beings' need to be connected to something larger than ourselves (be that divine being(s), the forest, the universe, our community, etc.). It includes how we make meaning in and from our world and our sense of wonder and awe that lies beyond rational understanding.  8  Nobody can tell you what Zen is, but it's not hard to figure out what you do with it. First o f all, you sit. Y o u start your day with sitting and you end your day with sitting. Zenites practice zazen on zafus in a zendo. That's the way you put your mind quietly into your bottom. In solemn circles this is called meditation. Meditation is emptying your mind o f all the crap it doesn't need. Meditation is the defecation o f the soul. (Broughton, 1990, p. 48)  A s I continued to reflect on my definition, conducted some o f my interviews and reviewed more o f the literature, I realized that my definition missed the personal growth and selfreflection that is an important part o f spirituality (D. Evans, 1993; K i n g , 2001; Rodger, 1996; White, 1996), glossed over the paradoxes and contradictions inherent in spirituality (Green, 2001; K i n g , 2001; Palmer, 1980; Tisdell, 2003), only hinted at the mysticism or existence o f spiritual energies and beings that is an important component o f spirituality for many people (D. Evans, 1993; MacGaffery, 2000; Olupona, 2000; Ryan, 1995), and did nothing to help people understand the different ways people believe spirituality relates to the 'wholeness' o f human be-  8  It was not until several months after I had written this definition that I found Parker Palmer's  (1998) book The Courage to Teach, where he defines spirituality as "the diverse ways we answer the heart's longing to be connected with the largeness o f life" (p. 5), which is very similar to the first part o f the definition I proposed here. Spirituality and Planning  19  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning ings (Canda, 1988; Canda & Furman, 1999). y  The difficulty that I and other academics have had in defining the term, reminded me o f what Donaldo Macedo wrote in the 30 Anniversary Edition o f Pedagogy of the Oppressed conth  cerning the difficulty o f academics in understanding Paulo Freire's writing, whereas labourers in Latin America and 16 year-old boys in the United States had no trouble understanding it: One question that I have for all those "highly literate" academics who find Giroux's and Freire's discourse so difficult to understand is, W h y is it that a sixteen-year-old boy and a poor, "semiliterate" woman could so easily understand and connect with the complexity o f both Freire's and Giroux's language and ideas, and the academics, who should be the most literate, find the language incomprehensible? (Macedo in Freire, 1970/2000, p. 23) M y experience with spirituality is similar. Academics are often confused by what others mean by the term, but people living out their spirituality in their everyday life have little trouble understanding what is meant by it (Schneiders, 1999a; Thoresen et al., 2001). So, why is it that academics have trouble defining spirituality? There are at least four reasons. The first, as both Crossman (2003) and Canda and Furman (1999) pointed out, is the lingering concept o f spirituality as a private matter not to be discussed in public forms due to the perceived private/public dichotomy. The second is the difficulty o f defining anything as personal and esoteric as spirituality in today's post-modern academic environment (Crossman, 2003). The third, explained by Rodger (1996), is that in the West, under the shadow o f the Enlightenment, we have lost the language (and D . Evans (1993) and I, would add the courage) to talk about spirituality. The fourth, and perhaps most salient reason, concerns the irony o f trying to use a rational device (in this case a definition) to describe a concept and experiences that go beyond the limits o f rationality. N o single definition can embrace the broad spectrum o f spiritual experiences that humans encounter. In addition, spirituality, as so many have noted before, is more aptly described by symbol and myth than by rational definitions (Campbell, 1949/1968, 1988; Crossman, 2003; D . Evans, 1993; Harpur, 2004; LeBaron, 2002; Tisdell, 2003).  9  Unfortunately I did not find the work o f Canda (Canda, 1988, 1989, 1997, 1998; Canda &  Furman, 1999; Canda, Nakashima, Burgess, Russel, & Barield, 2003; Canda & Smith, 2001) until after I had started my field research. His work has significantly influenced my thinking on the academic treatment o f spirituality. Canda and Furman's model o f holistic spirituality is presented later in this chapter. Spirituality and Planning  20  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning A definition can only do so much to help planners, or anyone who is unfamiliar with spirituality, to better understand the breadth o f spiritual belief, practice and implications for planning practice. Spirituality is, after all, "experience... [it] is not an abstract idea, a theory or a movement o f some kind. It is personal lived reality" (Schneiders, 1999a) (see also Corrywright, 2001). The rest o f this chapter, therefore, explores spirituality through some o f the paradoxes inherent in it that, to those o f us trained in scientific rational traditions, may seem mutually exclusive. Some o f the roles that spirituality plays in people's lives are also explored. I have tried to present these ideas through symbols contained in quotations from other authors, poets, and song writers, through my own experience, as well as through prose. A s promised i n Chapter 1, however, I w i l l comment more fully on the difference between spirituality and religion before launching into the exploration o f spirituality.  SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION While there is little agreement on the definition o f the term spirituality, there is remarkable agreement on the difference between religion and spirituality. Religions are most often viewed as social institutions that deal "with ultimate reality, whether or not that ultimate reality is God, and they are institutionalized in patterns of creed, code and cult" (Schneiders, 1999b) (See also Carrol, 1998; Koenig et al., 2001; Plante & Sherman, 2001; Thoresen et al., 2001; Tisdell, 2003; V e r Beek, 2000). Spirituality refers to the individual's personal experience o f his or her relationship with other people, their environment and any spiritual or mystical aspects they believe in that help to provide meaning for their life and the events around them. Their experience may or may not be mediated by religious doctrine (Carrol, 1998; Koenig et al., 2001; Plante & Sherman, 2001; Schneiders, 1999b; Thoresen et al., 2001; Tisdell, 2003; V e r Beek, 2000). In addition, though there is a little less agreement on this point, spirituality is usually seen as the broader o f the two concepts (Koenig et al., 2001; Stamino, 2001).  10  It is because spirituality is seen as broader than any single religious doctrine that I believe 1 0  Unfortunately, as Plante (2001) has pointed out, in recent years many authors have extrapo-  lated this to mean that spirituality is good and religion is bad. Such authors often cite the wars and other atrocities committed in the name o f the divine being(s) o f one religion or another. It must be noted, however, that neither religion nor spirituality is good or bad. Both have been used as motivation and justification to accomplish some o f the most harrowing and most heinous feats in history. Spirituality and Planning  21  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning it does not infringe on the Western tradition of the separation o f church and state (Canda & Furman, 1999). That separation was initiated to limit the control o f any one religious tradition on the affairs o f the state. Re-incorporating an awareness o f spirituality into planning in multicultural contexts does not violate this tradition as it focuses on individuals' experiences. It w i l l , however, help planners to understand how a broad range o f spiritual beliefs would impact and be affected by planning processes and interventions.  PARADOXES AND DUALITIES IN SPIRITUALITY W e have not been well prepared to understand our lives in terms o f paradox. Instead, we have been taught to see and think in dualisms: individual vs. group, self vs. others, contemplative vs. active, success vs. failure. But the deeper truths o f our lives seem to need paradox for full expression. Both poles are true, and we live most creatively when we live between them i n tension. (Palmer, 1980, p. 65) Paradox is not something with which those o f us trained in the rational tradition o f most Western educational systems are comfortable. In my first year philosophy course at the University o f Saskatchewan, my professor used the presence o f paradoxes to point out flaws in our reasoning and argument. If a paradox was present, our argument was insufficient. A s mentioned earlier, however, the lived experience o f spirituality is filled with paradoxes and contradictions (Green, 2001; K i n g , 2001; Palmer, 1980, 1998; Tisdell, 2003). It is for these reasons that I w i l l spend some time reviewing some o f the more  ^ — '  striking paradoxes i n spirituality.  Spirituality Central to, Part of and Encompassing Human Existence Different spiritual and religious traditions have different understandings o f how spirituality relates to the rest o f our being. For some, extracting spirituality as a separate component is inconceivable. Others see spirituality as being the core o f our existence without which we would be no different than the animals or plants around us. Some traditions describe spirituality as one o f three or four aspects Spirituality and Planning  Figure 1 - Diversity of Concepts of Spirituality (Source: Spiritual Diversity In Social Work Practice: The Heart of Helping by Edward R. Canda, Ph.D. and Leola Dyrud Fuhrman, Ph.D. (p 46). Copyright © 1999 by Edward R. Canda, Ph.D. and Leola Dyrud Furman, Ph.D. Reprinted with permission of The Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. All rights reserved.  22  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning which make up the whole o f our being. The paradox exists i n the tension between these models and is most clear in traditions that use a combination o f two or more o f these notions. For example, in much o f Christian theology, spirituality is seen as the central component and all encompassing. Using the standard social work bio-psycho-social model, Canda and Furman (1999) proposed a model o f spirituality that encompasses all o f the understandings previously discussed (see Figure 1). The model is equally effective i f you substitute aspects o f human existence from other traditions (i.e. physical, mental, and emotional for the biological, sociological and psychological). Canda and Furman's model nicely accommodates the paradox o f spirituality being viewed on several different levels at once and may help planners to better conceptualize how their spiritual beliefs relate to the beliefs o f others.  Spirituality as Concrete and Mystical For eons, humans have found meaning and spiritual insight (or wisdom) from observing the animals and natural phenomena around them (Campbell, 1988; Irwin, 1999; Kalton, 2000; K i n g , 2001; M c G a a , 1992). When I went on my vision quest, Sandra Laframboise, the Elder sponsoring me, told me to be very careful not to kill even an ant and to listen to what the animals I encountered during my quest had to teach me. From the spider, who spun her web near where I sat, I learned the importance o f persistence in building my home. From the coyote, who howled and laughed all night, I learned the importance of being able to laugh at myself in even my darkest moments. From the concrete or observable environment around me, I have learned many lessons like these.  It W a s the W o r m It was the W o r m who said to me, D o you seek the ultimate mystery of where the Inmost Light may dwell? I'm never asked, but I could tell.  Some o f us, however, also learn from the spiritual or mystic beings we encounter in various spiritual practices (D. Evans, 1993). In the academic literature on spirituality, this aspect is discussed much less often and as Evans pointed out, when it is discussed, it carries much more risk for the author. The truth remains, however, that for many people around the world, the presence o f spiritual beings and energies is as real and important as the presence of Spirituality and Planning  M e n search for it in starry places, in cloistered cells, in pretty faces. But they go looking with eyelids shut. I tell you Glory lives in the gut. Within that dark metamorphic maze Heaven and H e l l conjointly blaze. What else gives light to Eternity? the W o r m , smiling, said to me. (James Broughton, 1990, p. 83)  23  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning any physical aspect o f our world (Gonese, 1999; Haverkort et a l , 1999; Ryan, 1995). On the last night o f my vision quest I felt myself losing my grip on my sanity. I had no idea how to stop myself from tumbling over the edge into insanity, and I feared that i f I went over that edge my sanity would be gone forever. A s I sat there trying to decide i f it would be better to simply let go and allow myself to become insane, or try to hang on to my sanity until morning, a woman appeared just to the north o f where I was sitting. She smiled at me and waved in the direction o f my drum. I looked at my drum and then back at her. She smiled and nodded at me. I picked up my drum and played it and sang songs through the night. I do not know i f it helped me keep my sanity or made losing it easier, but I do know that that spirit helped me find a way through a very difficult time.  Immanent and Transcendent Spirituality can be both immanent (meaning focused within the person) and transcendent (meaning reaching beyond the person). The W o r m in James Broughton's poem (previous page) speaks of a spirituality that is immanent. The questions and the wisdom we seek are within us. From the Jewish and Christian tradition the following passage from Deuteronomy 30:11 and 14 also hints at this immanence: Surely this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away.. .No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe. (New Revised Standard Version, emphasis added) Although in a pejorative tone, the Worm in Broughton's poem also speaks o f the transcendent aspect o f spirituality. This is when we look outside o f ourselves for guidance and assistance. The popular saying from the various 12 Step Programs (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.), "Let go, let god," is an example o f the power  We both seek truth; you i n outer life, I within In the heart, and thus each is sure to find it. If the eye is healthy, it meets the Creator without; If the heart is healthy, it surely mirrors the world within. (Johann Christoph Friedrich cited in Steiner, 1918/1995, p. 253)  and the importance o f this aspect o f our spirituality.  Material and Spiritual In the West, the relationship between the material and spiritual worlds has been rocky at best. Christian theology has often pitted one against the other, claiming that the material is antiSpirituality and Planning  24  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning thetical to the spiritual and vice versa ( M c G i n n , 1985). Other traditions, however, have a different understanding o f the relationship between the physical and the spiritual. Some Eastern traditions view the physical and spiritual as pathways to better understanding the other (Anderson, 2002; Bullis, 1996; Easton & Hardy, 2004). Numerous earth-based or pagan spiritualities view the physical as being required for the spiritual to manifest (De Grandis, 1998; Starhawk, 1977/1997). Some Christian theologians are even starting to rethink the traditional spiritual/material dualism (Burns, 2002; M a g i l l , 2001; Ruffing, 2001). For an excellent review of various understanding o f the relationship between the material and the spiritual, I recommend Chapter 6 o f Goodison's (1990) Moving Heaven and Earth: Sexuality, Spirituality and Social Change.  Connection and Isolation Spirituality expresses a perennial human concern, today often understood as the search for becoming fully human, and that means recognizing the rights o f others and striving for an equal dignity and respect for different races, sexes and classes. But it also means to seek something greater outside and beyond the narrow confines o f oneself, something or someone who transcends the narrow boundaries o f our individual experience and makes us feel linked with a community o f others, with a much larger web o f life - in fact, with the whole cosmos o f which we are all a tiny part. (King, 2001, p. 6) For me, this is perhaps one o f the most ironic paradoxes o f spirituality. Spirituality, in part, is about our connections or relationships—our connections with our self, with others, with the world around us, with something larger than ourselves, with,our past and with our future. Many spiritual practices, however, require us to isolate ourselves from one another and the world around us, at least for a period o f time, to learn about these connections. When I enter the sweat lodge, though I may be i n the lodge with other people, the journey is my own between myself, Creator and my spirit guides. During my vision quest, I was isolated from all the people I knew and from my regular routine. M a n y spiritual retreats and meditations from various traditions require similar times o f isolation while often helping participants to learn insights and wisdom about their place i n the world and how they relate to other beings.  Discovered Personally, Lived (Tested) Communally I am because we are; we are because I am. (African proverb quoted in Tisdell, 2003, p. 190) While we discover our spirituality and spiritual lessons or insights in very personal ways, we live or embody them among our community (Baldwin, 1994; Wheatley, 2002). It is through Spirituality and Planning  25  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning discussion with our peers that we receive support and challenges to our interpretation o f our experiences and the lessons we think we are learning. After my vision quest, I participated in a talking circle where I spoke about the things I had learned and then heard other people's reactions and thoughts. This helped me to integrate the lessons. Hearing other people's stories and thoughts also provided some challenge to how I had interpreted some and ignored other parts of my experience.  F u l l of Pride and Ever so Humble A s I have journeyed on my spiritual path, I have gained confidence in myself and my skills to do many things. I have learned to walk with pride. I have come to trust my intuition. In the words read by Nelson Mandela, I have learned not to play small but instead to manifest the glory within me. A t the same time, I have learned that I am no better than the animals and plants that live around me; that I can easily fall victim to my own self-confidence and arrogance; and that when I approach situations as i f I know everything and have all the answers, I w i l l cause myself and others a great deal o f pain. Pride and humility are both part o f spiritual experiences. For me, pride in myself must be balanced with humility (an awareness of my limitations) and recognition o f the sacredness o f everyone I meet. I can not place myself in either more or less esteem than the  Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. W e ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Y o u are a child o f God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around y o u . . . W e were born to make manifest the glory o f God that is within us. It is not in just some o f us; it's in everyone. A n d as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Williamson, 1992, p. 165, read by Nelson Mandela, on the occasion o f his Inauguration)  people I meet.  SPIRITUALITY LEADING TO SELF-AWARENESS/SELF KNOWLEDGE There is a growing academic and self-help literature on spirituality and self-awareness. Even in planning, a recent master's thesis by Jill Atkey (2004) demonstrates the importance of self knowledge or reflexivity for planning practitioners. Most authors hold out spirituality as an important way to access information about ourselves, our motivations and often even our life's purpose or calling (Canda & Furman, 1999; D . Evans, 1993). The following quote from St. Spirituality and Planning  26  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning George, the Dragon and the Quest for the Holy Grail is an interaction between George, the narrator and main character in the story, and a Dragon who is about to become George's guide for the quest he embarked on earlier in the day. N o w it didn't make book sense, but I found myself liking this tired old dragon with his scarlet scales and great five-clawed feet.. .From this position high on his humped back, I noticed that the dragon's body was covered with old wounds. Whenever the dragon breathed forth fire to light the path in front o f us, I noticed that the wounds glowed golden^red in the dark.. .The old wounds, however, arouse my curiosity and when I asked about them, the dragon replied, " O h my friend, I have been slain a thousand times, but I have always arisen again. These old wounds are the source o f my power and my insight. A s I said, our greatest and worst enemies are not the monsters who roam the forest or even wicked witches or evil wizards. N o , it is our scars, our wounds and old injuries that we must fear.. .Each wound has the power to talk to us, you know. They speak, however, with crooked voices because o f the scars. But, allow me to tell you a story that w i l l make my point clear.. .Once upon a time," began the dragon, "a great samurai warrior with two great swords hanging from his belt approached a monk and said, 'tell me, holy monk, about heaven and hell.' The orange-robed monk looked up at the warrior from where he sat and replied in a quite voice, T cannot tell you about heaven and hell because you are much too stupid.' The samurai warrior was filled with rage. He clenched his fists and gave a fierce shout as he reached for one o f his swords. 'Besides that you are very ugly,' added the monk. The samurai's eyes flamed and his heart was incensed as he drew his sword. 'That,' said the little monk, 'is hell.' Struck by the wisdom o f this teaching, the warrior dropped his sword, bowed his head and sank to his knees. ' A n d that,' said the monk, 'is heaven.' " Y o u see," continued the dragon, "the words o f the monk touched old wounds, perhaps wounds that were made when the warrior was a child and was called stupid, dumb or ugly. It was his wounds that caused hell to capture h i m . . . " "But," I said, "your wounds glow with great beauty and you said they are the source o f your power and magic. H o w can my wounds become a source o f power?" "First," replied the dragon, "you must not give in to the voice o f your scars... Instead, when those voices call you to react with envious or jealous feelings, do exactly the opposite. When they say 'run away,' you must stay. When they whisper, 'distance yourself,' then come all the closer. Y o u must transform their power, not destroy it!...(Hays, 1986, pp. 13-14. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) B y taking the time needed to learn how our past wounds and current relationships affect us, we are better able to react to the situations we encounter, as we encounter them, rather than reacting from unresolved emotions from past experiences.  Spirituality and Planning  27  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning  JUNGIAN LANGUAGE AND SPIRITUALITY A great deal o f the Western literature and thinking regarding spirituality and spiritual development employs the language o f Jungian psychology as evidenced by the plethora of authors that cite him and use his concepts. A student of spirituality in the West w i l l be hard pressed not to hear phrases like: "the importance o f getting one's ego out o f the way," "the power o f going into one's shadow," or "the collective unconscious." A l l o f these phrases were popularized in contemporary spiritual movements through the work o f Carl Jung and his followers. Understanding at least a few o f these concepts is necessary to understand much o f the contemporary writing on spirituality. •  Ego, a word borrowed from Freud's work, refers to the part o f us that is concerned with our own desires and pleasure (Myers, 1989). In Jungian psychology, it is something that needs to be over come to develop connection with other people and to discover true meaning in life (D. Evans, 1993).  •  The shadow consists o f a person's mainly unconscious motivations which are usually viewed as being negative. Jung believed that a person needs to enter and seek to understand their shadow to reduce the influence these factors have on his or her life.  •  The collective unconscious, Jung defined as "a reservoir o f images derived from our early ancestors' universal experiences. This inherited unconscious includes deeprooted spiritual concerns and explains why people in different cultures share certain myths and images." (Myers, 1989, p. 415).  TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCES Transcendent experiences (visions, out of body experiences, feelings o f awe and connectedness, etc.) are one o f the constants noted throughout human history (Newberg, D ' A q u i l i , & Rause, 2001). They are also experiences that scientists and many modern people have great difficulty relating to. People often describe these experiences with phrases like 'it felt timeless,' T was a part o f everything and everyone,' or 'I saw the face o f god.' (Newberg et al., 2001) Some authors have described these experiences as a time when the separation between self and everything else fades, the ultimate i n connection which many believe is at the heart o f spiritual experiences (Newberg et al., 2001; Palmer, 1998). Such experiences often precipitate deep personal change and often both the person who had the experience and those around him or her are uncertain o f how to talk about them (Campbell, 1949/1968). It should be noted that these experiences Spirituality and Planning  28  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning may be dramatic like the stereotypical vision or conversion experience, but they can also be slow and subtle, slowly bringing new awareness and wisdom to consciousness (Compton, 2002). Ellor, Netting and Thibault (1999) propose a model describing transcendent experiences as being connected with either divine being(s) or other humans. While this helps to expand the usual perception o f transcendent experiences being limited to an experience with divine being(s), it misses people's transcendent experiences with non-human things around them (i.e. the trees, the animals, the earth, etc.).  SPIRITUALITY AND DEEP LISTENING "Spirituality is also about listening with the heart, a discipline which has to be learnt." (King, 2001, p. 10) Listening with the heart requires the listener to listen in an attempt to understand what the other person is saying. This means the listener cannot be attempting to formulate her or his next response; nor can she or he be immediately judging what is said. Instead, listeners must set their ego aside for a time to help draw out and reflect back to the other person what he or she is saying. Many forms o f spirituality, however, require listening not only to other people and what they are saying, but listening to everything in and around us. In this sense, listening includes paying attention to the environment around us, to the spirit beings ( i f we believe i n them), to the non-verbal behaviours o f other people around us and to our own hearts and intuition. Wisdom comes from listening, not from speaking. So, in moments when we are seeking to learn it is i m portant to know how to listen. Listening was a topic discussed at length by the participants i n the field research so I w i l l return to this topic again i n Chapter 5 and 6 where I present the results o f this research.  SPIRITUALITY AND PERSPECTIVES ON WHOLENESS  The Whole Person Ancient Hinduism saw human nature as a house with four rooms, one for each of spirituality, emotions, the physical body and the mind (Crompton, 1992). In this story, it is said that all rooms must be visited regularly, aired and kept clean to avoid mildew. If one room is neglected, the foul air from it w i l l seep into the other rooms and foul them as well. Similarly, some First Nations traditions teach that i n each o f the four cardinal directions in the Medicine Wheel resides one of the body, emotions, spirit and mind (Tamas, 1996/1999). The Wheel represents both the person and the community and is only complete and in balance i f all four are present and balSpirituality and Planning  29  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning anced. Ignoring one, or illness in one throws the whole out o f balance. Many other spiritual and religious traditions contain similar insights into the nature o f human wholeness and the interaction between different aspects o f humanity's existence.  The Whole World, Universe or Creation Different spiritual traditions believe that different components make up the world. For example, the Shona in Africa believe there are three worlds: the spiritual, human and natural worlds (Gonese, 1999). They believe that all o f these worlds interact with one another in specific ways. Other traditions have different ways o f seeing how humans, spirits, divine being(s), animals and plants interact with one another. These understandings greatly affect people's interaction with each other and their world (Baldwin, 1998; Gonese, 1999; Ryan, 1995; Tamas, 1996/1999).  SPIRITUALITY, SYMBOLS AND MYTHS M y point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally. (John Dominic Crossman cited in Harpur, 2004) There are few words in English that are less understood or appreciated than the word myth (Harpur, 2004). Despite the work o f Joseph Campbell (see Campbell, 1949/1968, 1972, 1988), a popular figure among the men's spirituality movement and co-author o f the television series entitled "The Power o f M y t h with B i l l Moyers," as well as the work o f theologians like John Crossman and A l v i n Kuhn, myth and mythology continue to be seen as derogatory terms (Harpur, 2004). In T o m Harpur's words, a myth is "more eternal in its meaning than history." (p. 5) Myths help us see, through symbol and allegory, deep truths about our existence and our experiences. In much o f Western culture, we seem to have lost the ability to see the truth beneath the stories contained in myths. Perhaps, this is in part because we fail to recognize many o f our own myths as myths and mistake them for fact (Campbell, 1988). In the television series, Campbell encourages people to study the myths o f other people and other cultures to help us see the power o f our own mythologies. Perhaps, this is due to a lack o f training in our education process, or perhaps, as Harpur (2004) argues, it is because through much of history, and especially since the Enlightenment, the Christian church (one o f the most influential social institutions in the development of Western cultures), has valued exoteric meaning (open or surface meaning) over the symbolic esoteric Spirituality and Planning  30  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning meaning (inner or hidden mean often employed in myths to protect the meaning from those who may abuse it) in its own myths. A myth is what never was and always is. (Joseph Campbell in Harpur, 2004)  SPIRITUALITY AS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION Several years ago a friend o f mine Heather M c C l u r e compared her life's journey to that of climbing a mountain. When she first started her journey, she was struggling with many things. She was walking up the side o f the mountain. A s she approached the top, the climbing got easier, the clouds cleared and she started to feel relief that her journey was almost over. When she got to the top, however, what she found was that she could see the tops o f many more mountains that she previously did not know existed. She realized that the point o f climbing up the mountain was not to get to the top and finish, but to get to the top to see where else she could (or needed) to go.  SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL CONTROL Out beyond ideas o f wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I ' l l meet you there. (Rumi, translated by Barks et al., p. 36) t  With the long history o f spirituality and religion being used to control the behaviours of others, I would be remiss not to address it here. Sociologists, feminists, theologians and others have explored how religious institutions have, through their theologies, ideologies, and power, tried to set the range o f acceptable behaviours often exercising incredibly harsh punishments to those who violated these codes (A. Evans, 1978). The strength o f conviction that can accompany spiritual beliefs has led some to try to impose their understandings on others. Planning practitioners need to understand this so they can watch for it in those they are  When I follow only the oughts, I may find myself doing work that is ethically laudable, but not mine to do. A vocation that is not mine, no matter how externally valued, does violence to the self—in the precise sense that it violates my identity and integrity on behalf of some abstract norm. (Palmer, 1998, p. 30 original emphasis)  working with, and so they can observe and hopefully stop this behaviour i n themselves. The fear o f spirituality being used for social control has been articulated in the literature o f other professions (see Chapter 4) and by the professionals I spoke with (see Chapter 5).  A FINAL THOUGHT For millennia, humans have sat around camp fires and spoken to one another about their Spirituality and Planning  31  Spirituality: Towards an Understanding for Planning experience and understanding o f what we now call the spiritual. They could see each other's physical reactions, sense their emotional responses and intuit the lessons that each were learning. Only relatively recently have we tried writing about spirituality. When writing we do not have the benefit o f observing one another's reaction, nor can we intuit the stories and lessons that would help the individual we are 'talking' with to better understand what we are trying to convey. Spirituality is best experienced face to face and so I encourage any one wanting to build his or her understanding o f spirituality to seek others interested i n spirituality (be they teachers or learners and preferably both in one), meet with them face to face and talk through your questions, concerns, scepticisms and insights. Better yet, go with them to the country and build a camp fire under a star-filled sky and be enveloped by the awe and mysteries while having these dialogues. Let the warmth o f the fire and the grandness o f the sky participate in your discussion.  SUMMARY I am sure that you, as the reader, are expecting and maybe even hoping for me to offer my revised definition o f spirituality. It is tempting to do so; however, my exploration into spirituality has lead me to believe that in planning practice, having an abstract, theoretical definition of spirituality seems less important than having a solid understanding o f the breadth and diversity of human spirituality. I want to encourage all o f us to engage in a dialogue with the people we are working with to discover the different ways they understand, experience and develop their spirituality. W e also need to find ways to help them better understand one another's (and our own) beliefs and experiences. I do not want to limit what spirituality is for you or the people you work with, which I fear a definition may do. Having thoroughly explored the term and concept o f spirituality, we are now ready to explore some o f the lessons other professions have learned regarding the integration o f spirituality into professional practice. After which, we w i l l investigate how spirituality is currently integrated into planning practice in multicultural contexts.  Spirituality and Planning  32  CHAPTER 4 - W E A R E NOT ALONE: LESSONS FROM OTHER PROFESSIONS  Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes o f all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread o f the hero-path. A n d where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center o f our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. (Campbell, 1949/1968, p. 25) Although integrating spirituality is new to the field o f planning, other professional and academic disciplines have been exploring the challenges and rewards o f integrating spirituality into their theory and practice for the last 20 years. Planning can draw on the lessons learned in these other professions to anticipate some o f the pitfalls, possibly avoid a few o f them, and take advantage o f these professions' achievements. In this chapter I draw on the literature from many different disciplines including international development, social work, education, conflict resolution and medicine. These profes11  sions share many things in common with planning: they all work with multicultural and diverse populations; all have practitioners trained in academic settings who, everyday, must translate the theory they have learned into applied actions that affect other people's everyday lives; and most are public or quasi-public professions. The rest o f this chapter identifies lessons from these professions that are helpful for the incorporation o f spirituality into planning practice, theory and education. I have tried to present the lessons starting with those which are most aimed at practitioners and move to lessons that are focused more on the benefits for the people planners are working with. These two concepts,  11  1 have, drawn this literature mainly from adult and higher education literature because much o f  the literature for child and teen education focuses on the use o f spirituality for moral education and tends to promote a single global or secular spirituality that is contrary to the notion of a very diverse human spirituality articulated in the previous chapter. Spirituality and Planning  33  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions however, are arbitrary and not mutually exclusive, so occasionally one topic w i l l address implications for practitioners as well as for participants. The chapter ends with a review o f some of the concerns and cautions raised in other professions about the incorporation o f spirituality into their theory and practice.  USE AND TRUST INTUITION Intuition may come in answer to a question; more often it comes unbidden, like a bag o f diamonds offered to us with no forewarning. But they are diamonds in the rough, raw and unpolished by social niceties; they come as a gut feeling or a current that stands the hairs on the back of our neck straight up. To intuit is to know without knowing exactly the process by which the knowing has arrived. (LeBaron, 2002, pp. 124-125) Not long ago, i f a professional admitted to basing a decision on a gut feeling or their intuition, he or she would likely have found their career options greatly diminished. Recently, however, as Luoma (1998) so clearly articulated, intuition and the role it plays in decision making and interpersonal interactions have received more and more attention in fields from psychology to business management. It has even been getting additional attention in the field o f planning (Atkey, 2004; Flyvbjerg, 2001). Intuition has been defined in various ways, from that quoted above from LeBaron to social workers Imbrogno and Canda's (1988) assertion that "it is a non-rational grasping o f the whole...and goes beyond the rational analytic decomposition o f systems" (in Luoma, 1998, p. 32). There is tension i n the literature over the nature o f intuition and its relationship to spirituality. A g o r (1986) views intuition as a "highly rational decision making skill.'''' (p. 5 original emphasis) The 19 century philosopher Rudolf Steiner, however, viewed intuition as being the th  spiritual equivalent to our physical senses: O f this spiritual essence we can say it becomes present to our consciousness through intuition. Intuition is the conscious experience, within what is purely spiritual, o f a purely spiritual content. (Steiner, 1918/1995, pp. 136-137) This disagreement on the nature o f intuition has been going on for quite some time and it is unlikely to ever be resolved. What is important for planners to understand is that a great number of people view their intuition as being an important component o f their spirituality. Despite these differences in definitions and the nature of intuition, researchers investigating its role in decision making and human interactions agree that planners rely on it far more than was previously thought (Atkey, 2004; Flyvbjerg, 2001). Spirituality and Planning  34  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions Intuition has been found to have a critical role for helping to know what to say and how to say it when we are speaking to one another (especially in tense moments) (LeBaron, 2002), and in helping us to come up with new and creative responses (Canda & Furman, 1999; L e Baron, 2002; Luoma, 1998). Developing a place for intuition in planning theory and practice, therefore, would seem appropriate given the amount o f conflict planners regularly facilitate and the interventions they are called upon to assist with in their development and implementation. The importance o f intuition and encouragement for its development and use does come with a few cautions. For example, Lewis (2000) points out the importance o f cultivating and training people's intuition. In this sense, intuition is seen as a skill that can be honed. Like other skills, there w i l l be some people who are naturally more gifted with its use; however, most everyone can improve their ability to intuit and to reflect on their intuition given practice and time. For people who have developed their intuition, the sense o f knowing that comes with it can be very strong. It is easy to forget that we do not always interpret our intuitions correctly. LeBaron (2002) suggests seven questions we can ask ourselves to help check ourselves and our intuition. •  • •  • • • •  A m I intuiting that someone has a selfish motive because they remind me o f a diabolical character earlier in my life or because the combination o f factors I am synthesizing leads me to know it? A m I checking out this intuition in other channels when possible rather than acting impulsively from it? A m I taking time to sit with my intuitive take on a situation, noticing whether it "checks out" with my somatic and emotional ways o f knowing? In other words, how does it feel i n my body? What do my feelings tell me about my certainty or doubt about this intuition? H o w can I check this out with the parties to get confirmation o f my intuition? A m I communicating with co-interveners about my intuition and eliciting their feedback to help me reflect on my intuitions? A m I noticing cues i n the room from others including what they are communicating nonverbally? (p. 136)  Given how often planners interact with others and are called upon to come up with creative solutions to problems, it seems appropriate that they be encouraged to hone and learn to trust their intuition. It is equally important that they learn the importance o f articulating and doublechecking what their intuition is telling them. I encourage readers who desire a more complete review of intuition to see Luoma (1998) (from a social work perspective), chapter four in L e Baron (2002) (conflict management) and Agor (1986) (business management). Spirituality and Planning  35  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions  CREATE SAFE ENVIRONMENTS In education, teachers are encouraged to be proactive in creating environments where learners feel safe to engage their entire beings (including their spirituality) and where they feel safe to take risks (Tisdell, 2003). There are many ways to do this, the simplest of which may be for the facilitator to model speaking about spirituality and to take risks themselves. Examples o f how planners may create safe environments w i l l be explored through the responses o f the practitioners interviewed for this project. Their ideas and practices are offered in Chapters 5 and 6.  MEET AND RESPECT PARTICIPANTS WHERE THEY ARE A T International development and social work theorists now discourage the messianic form of assistance that has been common i n both disciplines (Canda & Furman, 1999; Ryan, 1995; Tamas, 1996/1999). The experience o f researchers and practitioners i n both fields, echoed by the experience o f educators (Freire, 1970/2000), is that solutions imposed on people from the outside are rarely as successful as those developed by the people directly affected by the situation. In both social work (Canda & Furman, 1999) and adult education (Hood, 2001; Tisdell, 2003), authors have expressed the importance o f practitioners meeting participants where they are at in terms o f their spirituality and spiritual beliefs. The risks o f making assumptions about participants' spiritualities, or o f trying to change their spiritual beliefs, are great and have very unpredictable outcomes. Canda and Furman (1999) suggest one way to meet participants where they are at is to create an atmosphere o f mutual learning so it is clear that all involved are there to learn and to offer insights, wisdom and knowledge. For many planners, this w i l l be a very different role from what they Spirituality and Planning  H A N N A H : Y o u had a vision P R I O R : A V i s i o n . Thank you, M a r i a Ouspenskaya. I'm not so far gone I can be assuaged by pity and lies. H A N N A H : I don't have pity. It's just not something I have (Little pause) One hundred and seventy years ago, which is recent, an angel o f God appeared to Joseph Smith in upstate N e w York, not far from here. People have visions P R I O R : But that's preposterous, that's... H A N N A H : It's not polite to call other people's beliefs preposterous. He had great need o f understanding. Our Prophet. H i s desire made prayer. His prayer made an angel. The angel was real. I believe that. P R I O R : I don't. A n d I ' m sorry but it's repellent to me. So much o f what you believe. H A N N A H : What do I believe? P R I O R : I ' m a homosexual. With A I D S . I can just imagine what y o u . . . H A N N A H : N o you can't. Imagine. The things i n my head. Y o u don't make assumptions about me, mister, I won't make them about you. (Kushner, 1995, pp. 253-254) 36  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions are used to, as to some extent it means they must give up the traditional role o f the expert and be willing to enter into discussion that, as Atkey (2004) notes, may transform the planner as much or more than the participants.  (SPIRITUAL) DEVELOPMENT IS CYCLICAL Tisdell (2003) compares both spiritual and professional development to the great spiral. Rather than being linear, always moving forward and never looking back, she claims that most people's experience o f spiritual development is that o f cycling through issues and insights again and again, each time learning more and making a little more progress, like peeling off layers o f an onion. We all have lessons to learn and each time we learn a little bit about one o f our issues, it allows us to then learn more about it the next time we are faced with it. It is important for planners to remember this in their own spirituality so that i f they feel they are wrestling with an issue they think they have dealt with before, they w i l l know they are not alone in this cyclical relearning o f lessons, and that it is a natural part o f spiritual development. It is also important for planners to keep this in mind as they develop processes that are sensitive to and inclusive o f spirituality. There needs to be room in the processes for participants to spiral 'back' to issues already covered. Traditional planning processes have been focused on linear progression and so often have not allowed for this kind o f fluid re-examination.  CONFLICT AND SPIRITUALITY Planners are often called upon to mediate between communities in conflict with each other or with the governance structure. Tisdell (2003) points out that practitioners can use spirituality to help build a sense o f "at-one-ness" with their participants. In addition, LeBaron (2002) claims that our sense and understanding o f connection (to others and to something larger than ourselves) is a vital, though rarely written about, component to working our way through conflict. This sense o f connection can help participants in conflict to see why it is important to find a resolution and act as motivation to commit the energy it requires to find a solution. It can also help facilitators understand how the parties in conflict may see them as the role they are in (i.e. representative o f the government or organization) and that even though some comments may, on the surface, appear to be personal attacks, they are, most likely, expressions o f frustration and anger at systems. Being confident in your connection (or being grounded) can help facilitators to deal with the emotions and underlying concerns rather than reacting to the surface comments which may distract from the actual conflict. Spirituality and Planning  37  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions Crossman (2003) argues that a growing number o f conflicts exist between people who feel a need to protect their cultural identities in the current context o f globalization. She argues that it is essential that we start to understand the interaction between spirituality, culture and identity so that we can better understand these conflicts and find creative ways to deal with them. I strongly encourage readers who are interested to learn more about spirituality and conflict management to read Michelle LeBaron's (2002) excellent book Bridging Troubled Waters: Conflict Resolution from the Heart. Her book goes into much greater detail about the relationship between multiple ways o f knowing, spirituality, and conflict than I can cover here.  SPIRITUALITY MUST BE TAUGHT IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS For practitioners to be prepared to deal with other people's spirituality in sensitive and appropriate ways, they need to be exposed to issues o f spirituality and professional practice during their education (Canda, 1997, 1998; Russel, 1998; Stamino, 2001). This w i l l help give them the language they need to have discussions about spirituality, and help them to understand their own spiritual beliefs and biases (Canda & Furman, 1999, p. 186). It may also help them to tap into and develop their own creativity in developing interventions (Ryan, 1995). Writing from a social work perspective, Russel (1998) argues that faculty members teaching spirituality related courses in graduate level programs need to model appreciation for spiritual diversity and dialogue by discussing it themselves and by creating a safe place for students to discuss and explore it. He notes that it w i l l probably be most difficult for faculty to do this and to maintain a safe environment when they encounter students who are not tolerant o f spiritual diversity. H e maintains, however, that we must find ways to do this for spirituality to be successfully integrated into practice. Both Russel (1998) and education theorist Tisdell (2003) have explored the importance o f allowing students to gain experiences in different kinds o f spiritual experiences. These experiences often involve experiencing altered states of consciousness such as meditation. Not all students w i l l be ready to experience things like that and so both authors emphasise the importance of these exercise being optional and o f faculty to be non-judgemental about students opting out. Faculty also need to be aware that the exploration o f spirituality may bring up traumatic memories and/or "cathartic expressions o f feelings" (Russel, 1998, p. 26). They need to prepare students for this possibility and be prepared to 1) let it happen, 2) talk about it after, and 3) be ready to refer to professionals i f a student needs or wants to discuss their experience further. Spirituality and Planning  38  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions Knowing these things, i f educators don't feel able or prepared to teach about spirituality, then instead o f excluding it from the education, Canda and Furman (1999) encourage them to bring in resource people who are experienced covering this kind o f material.  SPIRITUALITY IS AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE FOR PARTICIPANTS For many people, spirituality is an important resource in their life (Canda, 1988; Canda & Furman, 1999; Ryan, 1995; V e r Beek, 2000). Processes that ignore or suppress it deprive people of easily accessing this resource (Canda & Furman, 1999; Ryan, 1995). If, as Atkey (2004) suggests, good planning practice requires planners to access all the resources available to them (and by extension to assist individuals and communities to access all the resources available to them), then we have a responsibility to ensure our processes are sensitive and responsive to spirituality.  USE RITUALS Humans mark important life transitions with rituals. Rituals help mark transitions, create transitions, celebrate them and help us pass through them safely (Canda & Furman, 1999; L e Baron, 2002). In addition, rituals can be used to make or mark meaning and to help create community (LeBaron, 2002). Unfortunately, their value has been largely forgotten in the West where many people now understand ritual to be either limited to very formal situations such as Catholic mass or the actions o f fringe spiritual groups and cults. In reality, rituals do not need to be elaborate. They can be as simple as lighting a candle, as described below by Baldwin (1998): The teenage son o f a friend asks, " M o m , why do you always light a candle when you want to talk seriously with me?" The mother says, "The candle sets the tone. I want you to notice that this is going to be an important conversation and to pay attention to me in a different way from when we're just passing each other in the house." "Okay, cool," he says, and they are in circle, (p. 3) They can help to set a mood, focus attention as well as mark the transitions and meaning o f life. A l l o f these events are encountered regularly in planning and so it would behove the profession to look more closely at how we can utilize ritual. Tisdell (2003) warns, however, that when rituals are used they need to be authentic. If the facilitator is uncomfortable leading rituals or i f it is drawn from mythology or symbolism unfamiliar to the group, it is less likely to be effective. Planners need to gain experience creating and leading rituals to increase the comfort level with them. In addition, it is important to recogSpirituality and Planning  39  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions nize that rituals do not need to be complex. In fact, some o f the most powerful rituals are very simple. Canda and Furman (1999) offer social workers ten suggestions for creating rituals when they would like to use more complex ones. Their suggestions are outlined in Table 1 (next page) with slight modifications for planning practice.  ACCESS CREATIVITY In both education and social work, theorists have argued that spirituality helps both participants and facilitators to transcend the current situation and see potential solutions that could not otherwise be seen (Beare & Slaughter, 1993; Canda & Furman, 1999). When processes are spiritually sensitive, the ideas for potential interventions or solutions may be more creative and more numerous. M i l a n i (2002) also suggests that in social change movements, processes that engage people's creativity and call them to advocate for a positive alternative last longer and are more effective than ones were people only oppose the status-quo or other people's proposals. Planning practitioners, then, to help sustain participants' involvement, would be wise to engage their creativity by encouraging them to articulate a vision o f the future they would like.  SPIRITUALITY AND PERSONAL IDENTITY A newly emerging line o f thought in adult education and international development explores the connection between spirituality and personal identities (Ryan, 1995; Tamas, 1996/1999; Tisdell, 2003). A s with so many things in spirituality, this has at least two components which may seem contradictory. Tisdell (2003) explores how helping people to connect to their spirituality can help to reaffirm their identity, especially when living among people o f other cultures and identities. She claims this w i l l help them to find ways o f expressing their differences from a place o f security and confidence rather than from a place o f fear and anger. Karenga (1995) also explores the importance of the relationship between identity and, among other things, spirituality using the African American holiday o f Kwanzaa as his focus. Other authors, however, have suggested that spirituality can be used to help participants see commonalities among their identities and beliefs (Beare & Slaughter, 1993; Ryan, 1995; Tamas, 1996/1999). These authors often emphasize the commonality o f high level moral beliefs that stem from many spiritual and religious traditions (such as loving one another).  Spirituality and Planning  40  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions  1. Identify Your Intention •  What ideals, values, accomplishment, relationships or events do you or does the group want to celebrate and affirm?  • What situations, relationships or events do you or they want to change? 2. Symbolize Your Purpose and Hope • Find, create or invite the participants to find or create images, stories or objects that represent whatever you or the group wants to celebrate or change. 3. Symbolize the Process of Celebration or Change • Consider the actions that could be performed to represent the process o f affirmation or transformation. •  What inspirational stories and persons can be recalled as models for the action to be performed. 4. Create a Meaningful Time and Place • Where can this ritual or ceremony be performed that w i l l be safe, empowering and significant? • Choose a time during which you w i l l be undisturbed and that w i l l be significant. 5. Invite Participants • Determine i f anyone outside the immediate group should be invited and who the group is comfortable inviting. •  Are there nonhuman beings you would like to be present, such as favourite animals or plants?  •  Are there ancestors, spirits, or other sacred forces you would like to invite and may want to symbolize their presence with objects or images? 6. Open the Ritual or Ceremony • Mark the beginning as a special event. • State your intentions and purpose (if appropriate). • Welcome all participants. 7. Enact the Celebration or Transformation • Carry out the symbolic actions o f celebration or change. 8. Make a Commitment to the Future • Encourage every one to reflect on the insights for their continued growth and lifestyle. • Make a commitment to act on these insights in daily life. 9. Give Gratitude • Thank all the participants and sacred forces who participated. 10. Close the Ritual or Ceremony • Bring the ritual to an intentional close so that all involved know the 'special' time is complete. Table 1 - Suggestions for Designing a Ritual or Ceremony (Source: Spiritual Diversity In Social Work Practice: The Heart of Helping by Edward R. Canda, Ph.D. and Leola Dyrud Fuhrman, Ph.D. (p 306). Copyright © 1999 by Edward R. Canda, Ph.D. and Leola Dyrud Furman, Ph.D. Reprinted and adapted with permission of The Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. All rights reserved.  Spirituality and Planning  41  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions Planning w i l l need to hold these two aspects in balance. Using spirituality to find commonalities while ignoring difference would be fool hardy in ignoring much o f the recent planning literature on multiculturalism, and denying the important differences between people which are an undeniable component o f our identities.  CONCERNS RAISED IN OTHER PROFESSIONS Having examined some o f the lessons learned through the experiences o f practitioners and theorists in other professions, it is important that we also take a moment to learn from the concerns and objections raised i n these professions. This w i l l help planners anticipate potential objections to incorporating spirituality into their practices as well as give a more complete picture o f the work o f integrating spirituality into professional practice.  Proselytizing/ Recruitment A fear raised i n both the social work and education literature is that practitioners w i l l use their jobs to proselytize or recruit people into specific religious or spiritual traditions, or w i l l i m pose their personal views and beliefs on others. (Canda & Furman, 1999; Crossman, 2003; Hood, 2001). This is a legitimate fear and one that must be addressed in both planning education and through theoretical writings. While we w i l l never be able to completely eliminate this possibility (which could happen regardless o f the presence or absence o f theory encouraging the integration o f spirituality into practice), with articulate theory, the profession can build suggestions for appropriate uses and initiate dialogues about the ethics o f incorporating spirituality into practice. This is also an i m portant reason for helping practitioners to learn about their own spiritual beliefs and biases (Hood, 2001) and why it is critical that practitioners strive to meet people where they are at, rather than promote a specific set o f beliefs or normative form o f spiritual development (Canda & Furman, 1999).  Maintaining Colonial and Patriarchal Institutions A few authors have expressed fear that the use o f spirituality in professional practice w i l l be used to maintain discriminatory and oppressive structures and institutions (Crossman, 2003). This criticism is often based on observations o f history, where religious and spiritual communities or leaders have tried to force their beliefs on people around them. Again, this is a legitimate fear and one that needs to be addressed through education and professional standards for practice. Spirituality and Planning  42  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions  "But It's Unscientific" In social work, some authors have claimed that adding spirituality to their profession would undermine its foundation i n science and make social work practice 'unscientific' (Canda & Furman, 1999; Stamino, 2001). Others claim that spirituality is hostile towards science, asserting that spirituality and spiritual traditions are "anti-scientific" (Crossman, 2003). What both these claims fail to realize is that in both education and social work (where this criticism has been articulated), practitioners have to interact with people and their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects regularly (Canda & Furman, 1999; Crossman, 2003; Stamino, 2001). Planners also have to interact with people on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels regularly. This alone is an important reason to teach practitioners about spirituality and to continue to investigate how spirituality impacts planning, its processes and its interventions.  Unsubstantiated Claims Medical researchers have cautioned against the tendency to claim benefits associated with incorporating spirituality into professional practice that can not be substantiated (Sloan, Bagiella, & Powel, 2001). Sloan et al. detailed the difficulty o f quantitatively evaluating benefits in medical treatment. Thankfully, planning is not limited to quantitative evaluation. Evaluating the benefits o f integrating spirituality into planning practice w i l l require us to be brave and creative in proposing and testing new methodologies and ways o f thinking about evaluation.  Appropriation of Sacred Knowledge and Traditions "There is a fine line between being influenced by another cultural tradition and stealing from or colonizing (or being colonized by) another cultural tradition. " (Tisdell, 2003, p. 193) Unfortunately, the literature has, to date, not offered many suggestions for how to avoid appropriating sacred knowledge and traditions. One way I have been taught, through my work with First Nations communities, is to always follow the other culture's protocols regarding the use o f other people's knowledge and rituals. It is also important to acknowledge who you learned the knowledge, tradition or ritual from. This helps to ensure that they receive the credit and honour for their contribution to your knowledge. This was a theme raised by a couple o f the people I interviewed for this thesis and so I w i l l revisit it as I present their insights.  SUMMARY Other professions have wrestled with integrating spirituality into their practice. Planners have access to an amazing breadth o f material to help our deliberations and experiments with Spirituality and Planning  43  We Are Not Alone: Lessons from Other Professions integrating spirituality into our practice. The lessons explored in this section should help practitioners, theorists and educators in the field o f planning with their work. The professions who have gone before us i n integrating spirituality into their professional practice continue to reflect and write on their experiences. It is, therefore, essential for planning to stay on-top o f this progress not only in the field o f planning, but in these other pioneering disciplines as well (Sherman & Simonton, 2001). Having established a broad understanding o f spirituality and examined what other disciplines have learned about integrating spirituality, we are ready to investigate how some practitioners are already integrating spirituality into their planning practice. Chapter 5 presents what the five practitioners I interviewed had to say about using spirituality i n their professional work and Chapter 6 offers a reflection on the insights for planning practice derived from the literature reviews and the insights from the interviews.  Spirituality and Planning  44  CHAPTER 5 - W E ARE ALREADY DOING IT: SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING IN PRACTICE  The professionals I interviewed spoke freely and comfortably about their professional experiences and their attempts to integrate spirituality into their planning practice. Some had integrated it more consciously than others and some were more comfortable talking about it than others, but all had wonderful insight into the practice o f planning and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to reflect on and discuss how they integrate spirituality into their practice, an opportunity most thought did not occur often enough. Originally I thought that planners in different fields o f planning (i.e. natural resource management, land use planning, housing, social planning, etc...) would integrate spirituality into their practice in different ways. What I found as I reviewed the interviews, however, was a surprising amount o f overlap among the interviewees despite working i n very different kinds o f planning work. The differences in how they used spirituality seemed to have more to do with their personality and life histories than with their field o f work (this may have also been because of the small sample size). One o f the interviewees commented that she believes everyone has a way of being in the world, a unique perspective to offer the world (Norma-Jean McLaren 2:8390).  12  I definitely saw this i n the interviews. While there was significant overlap among the in-  terviewees, each interviewee also had unique ideas to offer and often the interview would circle around one or two main ideas while touching on or covering many others. In this chapter I present the themes that emerged from the interviews with the five professionals I interviewed between M a y and November 2004. The implications for planning practice and planning education are discussed in the next chapter where I draw together the findings from the literature reviews (Chapters 3 and 4) and from these interviews. A s i n the previous chapter, the themes presented in this chapter start with those that apply mostly to practitioners and then move to those that apply to their processes and the participants in them. Again, it is important to 1 2  Quotations from participant interviews are identified by their name or pseudonym. The num-  bers after the name refer to the page and line numbers o f the transcript for their interview. Spirituality and Planning  45  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice note that these categories are arbitrary and not mutually exclusive so some themes contain ideas that apply to both. The chapter ends with a review of concerns these professional identified regarding the integration o f spirituality into planning practice.  MEET THE INTERVIEWEES A s discussed in Chapter 2, Flyvbjerg (2001) asserts that it is essential for people learning from other people's practice to understand the context i n which the exemplary practice is carried out and the context in which they w i l l implement their learnings. To assist readers in understanding the contexts that the themes presented in this chapter grew out of, it is necessary to give a brief description o f each participant. It is my hope this w i l l also allow the reader better insight into the breadth o f planning practice from which these comments come.  Larry Beasley, C M . Larry is in his 50s and is a Caucasian male. He was raised in a very supportive family and often relies on his partner and close friends to help h i m gain clarity on his goals and aspirations. He completed his university education in urban geography and then in planning. He came of age in the 1960's, a time that he describes as one where he felt "there was a strong sense that cities were headed towards a disaster." (Larry Beasley 1:33) H e found, and continues to find, inspiration in the robustness o f places like the inner-city where people continued to have social organizations and assert their dreams for the city despite apparently overwhelming circumstances. Jane Jacobs and A l a n Jacobs have also served as inspiration and had a large effect on his planning practice. H e has been a member o f the Canadian Institute o f Planning his entire career. During his approximately 25 year career, he has worked mainly in land-use planning. He is the Director o f Current Planning and Co-Director o f Planning for the City o f Vancouver. Most recently he has been appointed a member of the Order o f Canada. He describes his current planning work as planning through encouraging and mentoring the staff he oversees, with occasional ventures into direct community consultation process regarding land use planning and envisioning the city's future.  Norma-Jean McLaren Norma-Jean is also i n her 50's and Caucasian. She started her working career as a Child and Youth Care worker where she worked primarily with street kids and kids working in the sextrade industry. Her experiences in Child and Youth Care created her interest in multiculturalism. After a few years o f working in child welfare, she returned to school to complete a Master o f Spirituality and Planning  46  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice Education degree in cross-cultural education. For the last 18 years she has worked in the area of multiculturalism, anti-racism training, and conflict resolution in communities conflicted along racial identities. She also conducts trainings in personal development and communication skills. Early in her career she worked for the City o f Vancouver, but for the vast majority o f her career, she has been an independent contractor and trainer. She has worked in both urban and rural communities and has spent a significant amount of time working with and learning from First Nations communities. Her work with people from First Nations communities taught her "the effect o f a set o f spiritual beliefs, in the wide sense of that word, on the way that communities worked with each other, listened to each other, [and] related to each other." (Norma-Jean McLaren 2:505-52) She describes her approach to the work she now does as being heart-based.  Keith Keith (a pseudonym) is a middle-aged, First Nations man working and living in the interior of British Columbia. He is a father and a leader in his community. He has worked in community development in Aboriginal communities since he graduated from high-school. Originally from the Cariboo area o f British Columbia, he has worked at home, i n the Y u k o n and now in the Shuswap area o f southern British Columbia where he works for a First Nations educational centre as well as for a forestry research group. He has spent a significant amount o f time working on race relations. Most recently he has been working on natural resource management where he brings traditional First Nations knowledge to the management o f natural resources regardless o f whether they are officially managed by the provincial government, private companies or First Nations bands. He also encourages research on natural resource management to be completed within a First Nations traditional knowledge paradigm rather than from the Western "sciencebased" paradigm.  Mark Lake man Mark is a 30-something Caucasian man who was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. His parents are both architects who attempted to teach him to view the world from the perspective o f a "modernist object maker." (Mark Lakeman 1:6-7) H e completed his degree in architecture and started professional practice. Dissatisfaction with corporate architecture and a growing sense that there are other, more harmonious ways to live than those he found in the hegemonic cultures o f the north-western United States, he embarked on a journey to learn from cultures that had had minimal contact with Western cultures. He returned to Portland after several transforSpirituality and Planning  47  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice mative experiences with a deeper understanding o f people's relationship to each other and the world around them and with a radically different understanding o f the grid and North American planning processes. Since returning, Mark has worked with others involved in the City Repair project (see their website at http://www.cityrepair.org) to reconnect people to place-based communities and to help citizens reclaim and re-inhabit the grid.  Kamala Todd Kamala is a 30-something Metis woman who was born and raised in Vancouver. A s she was growing up, her mother helped her learn about both her own Aboriginal culture (Cree) and the cultures o f local First Nations. In university she finished her bachelor degree in urban geography and then completed her master degree looking at the re-development o f downtown V a n couver and the effect it had on the street kids who had been resident to the area for several years and now found themselves i n conflict with new, wealthier neighbours. Her studies have given her a keen eye for the interaction between culture and the built environment. She currently works as the Aboriginal Social Planner for the City o f Vancouver and is also a film-maker. In fact, Kamala describes film-making and working i n the arts as her first love and preferred job. Through her work in the arts, she encourages Aboriginal people to tell their oral histories and their stories o f the land i n mediums accessible to larger audiences. Having introduced these innovative pioneers who are integrating spirituality into their planning practice, I now present the themes and insights that emerged from their interviews.  * * *  WORLD VIEW INFORMS PRACTICE Authors in social work and international development identify that clients' world views affect how they w i l l respond to potential interventions and how they w i l l engage i n processes (Canda & Furman, 1999; Ryan, 1995). The same appears to be true for the professionals involved in planning processes who participated in this study. The practitioners often spoke about how their world view, or their understanding o f the cosmos, affects their work. Mark Lakeman's view of humanity and our innate abilities changes how he interacts with the people he works with. / came away from those experiences with indigenous people having their own minds, living in very sustainable, integrated, holistic system, driven by relationship building, that we are good, that we are beautiful and astounding; that we 're miraculous, that you know, our capacity to create is an aspect of us that is scaleless. Like, we might be small beings, but our ability to emote and feel and see and Spirituality and Planning  48  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice create is, truly, god-like. (Mark Lakeman 4:152-157) Similarly, Kamala Todd spoke o f how a change in her world view affected her: it was so powerful for me to know that it was not just you and me, or just my mom and I, but like everything, all related and interconnected and dependent upon each other, and, even past people and the people to come, so the spirits and the generations to come and the land, everything, we are all related. That's a really beautiful way of looking at the world and it really changes how you look at the world. (Kamala Todd 3:117-121) Practitioners' world views, however, are not limited to how humanity fits into the world, but how all things interact, sometimes even removing humanity from the centre o f existence. And so when I think about how we take care of things. It's like if I thought about the water, for example, and the meaning of water in my life, and the connection of water to my life and how water connects me to every other living thing on this planet and so my whole survival is connected to the water. Or else, if I thought about the trees or the plants that either are a medicine or something else to me, like there is a survival issue that connects me to that thing. And so you have to think about that reality as well and you also have to think about the issue of, how do you say it? The issue of, like let's say for example, from our perspective, our indigenous perspective, if I can think, feel, plan, strategize and all that, why can't a deer or a fish or whatever other plant or animal do the same? At some level there must be—so there is emotion, social networks, there's intellect, there's spirituality in each of those, you know, like realms, as there is in our realm... to me there are some incredible misconceptions that go on there because of the thing about, you know, like "natural resource management" and like those resources are out there for us to manage, kind of. There is a real misconception there about the purpose about—what is the purpose of that mountain full of trees and whatever else is contained there. What is the purpose of that? Is the sole purpose of the forest for humans to rape and pillage or whatever? And, I know there's a whole world economy based on that kind of thinking. And it's all based on this whole thing, like we were talking, about the place of humans in nature or the place of nature in humans, or however that goes. That's one of the huge wrongs or misconceptions that I think requires some attention in terms of re-learning and some new creativity. (Keith 4-5:137-148, & 174-184) The spiritual understandings o f some o f the practitioners interviewed affect the range o f factors they examine i n their work. Kamala, for example, has learned from the Coast Salish people about some o f the supernatural beings that they believe live in and around Vancouver. She now tries to ensure that the supernatural beings and the Coast Salish people's traditional relationship to them are given consideration in planning decisions. And then here there are supernatural beings here that the Coast Salish people recognize. It's hard, it's really hard for me to see it, but I believe it. I believe Spirituality and Planning  49  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice that the spirits are here, that the ancestors are here, and that there maybe supernatural beings. So much of the time I see kind of a sterile, built up environment it's hardfor me to feel that sacredness. (Kamala Todd 3:129-133) Recent planning theory has encouraged planners to explore and be conscious o f how their biases and cultural perspectives influence their practice (Forester, 1999; Sandercock, 1998a). It seems that planners should also be encouraged to explore their world views, how these may differ from the world views o f other people, and how to gain a better understanding o f the world views o f the people they are working with.  WORK TOWARDS UNDERLYING VISIONS A l l o f the people I interviewed have ideas about what they are working towards, their v i sion or hope for a better future. They see almost every small action or project as contributing towards a larger vision. There are things that I do now and there are things that I've been doing all the time. This is one huge process—/ mean, each one of the pieces that we design and create is in itself a discrete piece, but the overall project is what I'm focused on. (Mark Lakeman 2:65-67) Similarly, Larry Beasley is driven by a strong vision o f the better city. you remember [earlier] I said that the most important thing you had to have was a good idea about the better city...People say to me: "Well, tell me then, what influenced you the most. " Well I can't really remember. Ijust know what to me represents a well functioning, comfortable, socially fulfilling, you know, humane, equitable city. I know when it works. I know when I'm seeing it. I know when I'm not seeing it. And I know when I'm working toward it and I know when I'm not working toward it. And, it's just a very strong visceral level sense of what the city could be, should be. (Larry Beasley 2:58-59, & 60-66) He also sees part o f his job as being responsible to help others articulate their vision and hopes for the city. In other words, he encourages people to dialogue about their diverse visions. But, also something that's constantly interfacing with their views of the city and helping people to realize that they have views of the city and realize that they can be better or worse, and they can do things about that. And then with me, it's an awfully lot of, of trying to guide and mentor people that are doing much more direct work than I get to do anymore. I rarely get to get down on the ground and measure and draw and you know, and that. Ijust can't. But, I have to make sure that the people that are doing it also are not doing it in isolation, not doing it in random, a random thing and that we are headed towards something that we conceptualize as being better, in terms of urbanism, in terms of responding to all the social and physical and economic things we have to aspire to. (Larry Beasley 4:152-161) Spirituality and Planning  50  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice While working towards a vision is not limited to people who work with an awareness o f spirituality, the people I interviewed did see it as being connected to their spirituality. It helped to focus their work, connect them to the future and in some cases to future generations o f people.  SPIRITUALITY USED TO MODERATE RATIONALITY Larry Beasley told a v i v i d story o f the danger o f 'pure' rationality regarding the use of very logical, very rational systems in N a z i Germany. He asserted that relying exclusively on rational analysis can lead to disastrous results, in part, because regardless o f how good the model of analysis, it w i l l always miss some o f the important components o f the problem. He believes using spiritual ways o f knowing (intuition, ethics and values) can help prevent, or at least moderate, such failures. And, that can help you to get beyond the obvious cause and effect or the formulistic kind of view of the world. 'Cause, it will cue you with some things that don't fit the pattern, that there is a deeper complexity than your simple cause and effect formula of the world of the methods for getting you there, than the systematic view has, and that's good. And that goes with—that's just kind of a manifestation of intuition. (Larry Beasley 9:358-362) Norma-Jean M c L a r e n also believed spirituality was an important balance to rational analysis in her practice. She, however, placed this in the context o f the Medicine Wheel and her belief that she needs to approach everything she does as a complete and whole person. Both Larry and Norma-Jean recognized the importance o f rational analysis and neither advocate for it to be ignored, rather they want it to be complemented by spiritual analysis. The place of it is, in my sense, for me, is partly around the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Because, without spirit, part of it, part of us, isn't there. And, so if we present to communities, to our workplaces as whole, then spirit, in however we experience that, has got to be present. And, when I meet community workers, it's present virtually all the time in some form or another. That doesn't mean they don't have to sit by a computer and work out, you know, policy analysis, but it does mean that when they are with other people, in their work places, in their, you know where they do their work as well as their co-workers work, that, they open themselves to possibility in a way that allows this to happen. (Norma-Jean McLaren 10:411-419)  SPIRITUALITY AND THE PRACTITIONER The practitioners in this study drew on their spirituality as internal resources, to inform their interaction with other people and when designing and implementing their public processes. In this section, I present how they use their spirituality to support the internal processes and chalSpirituality and Planning  51  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice lenges most professionals face. H o w they used spirituality to assist with their external processes is discussed later in this chapter.  Spiritual Teachings as Motivation A couple o f my interviewees spoke o f how they used their spiritual understandings and spiritual teachings as motivation to keep going in difficult times; how they sustained hope amongst despair. In the following quotation, Mark discusses two spiritual teachings he has received that help h i m through difficult times. He's like, "don't be overwhelmed by this sense of guilt. Just remember that we are one family. We are here together, we have a common destiny. We have come from the same place, we are going to the same place. We return to the same source. "...He's like, "look around, you know you have to look around, you can't think this is just some sort of theatre. " He's like, "the forest is falling around us, you think that your landscape will be any different? " He's like, "Most likely what is going to happen is that we will return to formlessness that will not be characterized by like and like. This is most likely our destiny. Almost everyone here in this village sees that this is our destiny. " He's like "But, I'll tell you that there is a chance, but you can't even believe there's a chance. " He's holding my head saying to me " We are brothers. We are one family. You just must know this inside of yourself. " That reminds me of something Elk River [a Cheyenne Elder] said. He's like, "When you get so discouraged that you don't know what to do, just remember that water, earth, air, community and love are the sacred things. " Like, "It doesn't matter how you love or who you love, love is sacred. " He's like, "When you have been utterly reduced and you don't know what to do, the way to begin again is to realize those things. " There was a point where I really needed to remember that just before City Repair and the tea-house began. (Mark Lakeman 19:834-836, & 838-849) Keith also drew on his spiritual training in his professional practice as well as all the roles he has in the rest o f his life. He believes others could benefit from integrating their own spirituality into all they do. / think in a way, in terms of this understanding, let's say for example, understanding your role as a parent or as a grandparent or understanding your role as a person who maybe a role model or be put in leadership situations and understanding your role as a person that maybe charged with certain responsibilities in the community whether they be management or planning or whatever, whatever roles, teaching, leadership. I think that that kind of training [spiritual training] prepares you for those kinds of roles (Keith 7:305-310)  Life Purpose and Transformative Moments as Motivation Working from a sense o f one's life purpose was an important theme discussed by all of Spirituality and Planning  52  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice the people I interviewed. Whether it was Larry Beasley talking about his quest to be o f service or Keith relating his professional work to the rest of his life (seeing the professional/personal separation as a false dichotomy), all related their current work to an understanding o f a greater meaning or purpose for their life. but what her [one of Norma-Jean 's teachers] work really taught me was that there is something that each of us is supposed to do in this life. We each have a path. We can either accept it or not accept it, and, it's not that it's one single path; it's one way of being in the world with a particular focus that comes out of that. That focus can shift over our lifetime, but it is like a honing of intention. And, once that happened through her intensive work, I really got that when I got me out of the way, and settled into—I supposed, I think of it as into the light, but it's stepping into, umm—[pause]—this is a place where the words are hard isn 't it? (Norma-Jean McLaren 2:83-90) The course o f Mark Lakeman's work was, and continues to be, influenced by a transformative experience he had in a forest in Central America while attending a community ritual o f a Mayan community. Anyway, he just kind of sits back and he's kind of, he's been sitting like this and he sits back and he's, they are all wearing these beautiful, long white tunics and I was wearing one too. And, he just kind of sits back like this and is just kind of balancing [on his bottom] and he reaches up and the butterfly leaves his shoulder. And, he's just kind of moving his hand around and the butterfly is kind offlying above his hand. It wasn't a hypnotic trick, it was a real thing. But, as he's balanced there, he brings his other hand up, and he starts to go like this around the butterfly as it's flying. And, he stops and the butterfly is sitting on his wrist and he goes like this, and it just sort of hops onto his other wrist and he goes like this, and it hops to here, and then it crawls out onto his hands and he kind of brought his hands together and it walks, literally walked up his fingers and then just stood there with it's little wings, going like this, and he leans forward to me and he goes, "put your finger up. " So as I've tried to figure this out over the years, I think he was, after all the time he 'd spent with me, swimming, making arrows, conversing, he was saying, "alright, white man, with all of your biases and the things you are trying to unmake, let me show you something. " So, he did this thing which was completely mind blowing to me. And, I leaned forward and I put my finger up and he leans forward and he's sort of talking to it very subtly, and quietly in Mayan. I have no idea what he was saying, but he was kind of going like this, blowing on it slightly. Anyway, it hopped onto my finger and then it sat there for a while. I'd never had a beautiful thing sitting on my finger like that before. And, maybe that was enough, but it flew over and landed here [pointing to shoulder], and it landed here, and then it landed here, and then it landed here, er, here, and then it flew away. And, after that, we walked into the forest and there was this whole series of wonderful things that happened. We went to this tree, we knelt at this tree and we prayed. I don't know what we said, see I was repeating Spirituality and Planning  53  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice what he was saying. So, what was unmaking about that was that I—like when he did that with the butterfly, I remembered this distinct feeling as if there was a 10 year old inside me who was just going, from back in the 70's, "Yes! I KNEW there was more! I knew there was more! To this banal reality that we've been forced to dream. " You know, Ifelt—like at the same time as there was this "Yes!", 1 was unshackled. I remember this feeling like I was melting, like something was falling apart, deconstructing. I think I was being freed in some way and I think that was his point. 'Cause, I got to see that we can have a different relationship... And, that sent me back here so that I was like, "So, the grid is like forced upon us and we never agreed to it. " Fine, we '11 paint it! Or, "Oh, so meeting houses have been obliterated, my parents are crazy because of this isolation, my friends are all half nuts—maybe they are not even my friends and we are all crazy, " you know, I'll build a fucking meeting house and not even ask permission, " engage the City in a little bit of fighting over it. Get the neighbourhood pissed off and then we '11 rise up and paint the street and when the city says no, we '11 rise up even more and it will polarize the whole neighbourhood and, you know, like it wasn't hard to stir things up when I realized how much had been designed away and that sacredness had been obscured! (Mark Lakeman 20-21:892923, & 925-934) Times o f revelation and understanding deeply affect those who experience them. Whether they are a small "ah-ha" moment in a meeting or a more dramatic event like that described by Mark, unless we seek to understand them, we may have difficulty understanding and relating to the approach someone is taking or to where their passion comes from. If, as planners, we have the skill and are brave enough to allow participants to talk about and explore these experiences, everyone i n the process w i l l have a better understanding o f those around them and the actions being taken. A s LaBaron (2002) points out, often increased understanding leads to increased tolerance and to finding creative ways to work together.  Take Time to Develop Spirituality Kamala Todd and Keith both spoke explicitly about the importance o f taking time to develop and nurture their o w n spirituality. Keith acknowledged that different people and traditions have different methods for spiritual development, but both he and the literature reviewed in Chapter 3 assert the commonalities between these traditions are that it takes a conscious devotion of time, and that some o f it needs to be outside of a person's regular routine. / don't know how other people do it, but I know how we as indigenous people do it, especially. And there is a spiritual discipline or training program that people undergo. It's like everybody is born with a certain amount of gift or are gifted in someway. And some of our spiritual leaders have huge healing power and that kind of stuff—I certainly don't, but hopefully I'm just a common man, but I think that the training regime for us is similar and I guess it's that whole connection Spirituality and Planning  54  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice between yourselves and the rest of the living world is a huge part of that training. And so you put yourself into those kind of things, for example, the vision quest that people hear about and read about in books like Black E l k Speaks [(Black Elk & Neihardt, 1932/1988)] and some of those other books about some of those shaman, like our medicine people training. That was a fairly common thing and I guess there is something that happens to you when you abstain from food and water for a period of time and you sit in nature. I think that there is some understanding that you gain. That connection between you and the rest of life on the land is more clear to you from that. Our whole ceremonial realm is a process of that kind of learning where you—things like the sweat lodge or things like fasting, different ceremonial processes that you are put into this environment where you can engage life in a way different way than your regular routine. (Keith 7:268284) Kamala spoke about some o f the things she does to take time to further her spirituality. She also spoke o f the consequences when she does not take this time. Interviewer: What do you do to help yourself get to that place [of groundedness]. Kamala Todd: Well, [laughter] not as much as I should, that's for sure. And, I know that is part of the problem. 'Cause, you know, when I learned about that we are all related, is also when I learned about the Medicine Wheel. And, that is totally what guides my life, but I don't necessarily live it everyday. So, by that teaching, it's, you know, the four directions and you need to be in balance, the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. And, it's so true, cause if I'm just working, you know, and just being cerebral all the time, I'm totally out of balance, and Ifeel awful and stressed. So, if I start to exercise, you know, if it is the physical's neglected, then Ifeel much better. But, all the time I'm neglecting the spiritual. I used to smudge, but I don't anymore... but I have to take the time. Whether it is smudging, or just being mindful for a while, and giving thanks and all those things. If I was doing it, what I would generally do is, you know, a morning prayer or something, or just giving thanks, and just kind of being and just being calm, and maybe setting my intention for the day too, instead of seeing everything around me as falling apart, just seeing the love around me and to feel love from people and to feel hope. (Kamala Todd 8-9:341-349, &351-356) Other interviewees spoke o f the importance o f taking time for personal retreats (Larry Beasley), and to develop their intuition and other spiritual aptitudes (Norma-Jean McLaren) in order to maintain the quality and focus o f their work.  Stepping Beyond Your Ego And, once that happened through her intensive work, I really got that when I got me out of the way, and settled into—I suppose, I think of it as into the light, but it's stepping into, umm—[pause]—this is a place where the words are hard isn 't it?... It's a place where it's not about me, it's not about them as the other individuals. It is in someways about them, but it's more stepping out of my own agenda, my own ego. Yeah, stepping beyond ego into the place of spirit. And, Spirituality and Planning  55  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice when that happens, they 're safe, I'm safe and stuff just opens. (Norma-Jean McLaren 2-3:87-90, & 92-95) Many spiritual traditions teach the importance o f having perspective, o f allowing divine being(s) to work through you, o f focusing on service rather than personal glory, o f moving beyond your own ego and self-centredness. A l l o f these are different ways to describe similar concepts. The people I interviewed also spoke o f this principle and how their work improved when they were able to put aside their personal agendas and allow their connection to something larger then themselves to guide their work. Kamala Todd spoke o f the importance o f this, but she focused on the importance of decision makers (or politicians) to understand this principle. She works to help them not only understand it, but also to put it into practice. I think humility is really important and that's a big part of de-colonizing. It's like you can go to City Hall and it's a big wall of white men who have always been the ones who get to decide for the city, and I think that a lot of dominant culture still has that sense that it is the caretaker of the city and it gets to decide if the rest of us get to contribute. I mean, we can go to a meeting here and there, but it's ultimately up to them. So, some stepping aside and some humility is also, I think, really important. (Kamala Todd 7:305-311)  Being of Service I got into planning because I, I was interested in two things. One I was interested in the built environment and secondly I was interested in public service. So I started actually in architecture and then shifted to general education, political science, geography and then finished in planning because that was the way that it put together my interest in the physical environment and urban environment and my desire to be in public service. I didn't want to be in the private sector, I wanted to commit myself to service and so planning is a great place to do that. (Larry Beasley 1:5-11) Until my interview with Larry Beasley, I had not heard anyone talk about being o f service since I left theological college several years ago. It is a concept that has been largely lost from our vernacular, especially in secular society (though some would argue it has also been lost in many spiritual and religious traditions as well). This concept is very similar to the concept o f stepping outside o f one's own ego discussed above, but merits separate discussion due to some historic associations with the notion o f service. First, some people have had a tendency to 'be of service' to people whether or not those people want that service. Unfortunately both overseas and locally, some well meaning people have committed what we now see as atrocities in the Spirituality and Planning  56  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice name o f service when their service was neither wanted nor helpful. It is important for those motivated by wanting to serve to ensure the people they are 'serving' want that service, and that they deliver it in a way that does not rob others o f their humanity. Mark Lakeman spoke about the importance o f being able to receive as well as to give service as one way to try and avoid the hubris o f forcing your service on others. Like, well, the night before the tea-house opened, my friend, Elk River, the Cheyenne person I was telling you about, he came to the tea-house and he said "Okay, so you've gotten really good at giving, but now you have to learn how to receive. " Like, once you learn how to receive and you enable other people to be giving, then it's all going to start to work. (Mark Lakeman 7:304-308)  Use and Trust Intuition The tension that exists in the literature regarding whether intuition is perception o f a spiritual nature or a process that alerts you to things your physical senses are perceiving but that you are not consciously paying attention to was also present among the practitioners I interviewed. Larry Beasley saw intuition as being a result o f physical observation. intuition to me is sub-conscious registering what the conscious might not be registering and it just kind of cues you, I'm not getting something through here. So, yeah, I try a lot to listen to it. And often Ifind that if a thought about something comes into my mind, it will happen a little bit later. And it's not because prayerscience or anything like that. It's just that intuition tells you that A is leading to B is leading to C. (Larry Beasley 8:341-345) Norma-Jean M c L a r e n , on the other hand, sees intuition as coming from something other than our senses, as "messages o f spirit" (Norma-Jean M c L a r e n 9:361). She and I (among many others including Steiner (1918/1995)) believe that intuition is often the source for significant breakthroughs, sometimes called paradigm shifts. Norma-Jean McLaren: people throughout the ages have experienced massive leaps in learning, in every different kind of thing, through their intuition. And, through messages that, well [laughter] that isn't in the book. Interviewer: I read a quote recently that said that Albert Einstein said something like great discoveries don't come from science, they come from intuition. It's not planned, the discoveries. They just happen. Norma-Jean McLaren: They just happen. And, how many of them, how many of the people who have—you know, Einstein certainly talked—and, I think that people who he scared as a scientist, really were seeing that it was not just that "okay, I thought this one through and that leads to here and that leads to here and okay, now I've thought that through, " but somebody who could leap to a place that wasn't Well, you have to have assistance to do that. And, he knew that. He knew it was coming. (Norma-Jean McLaren 9:377-388) Spirituality and Planning  57  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice Norma-Jean's intuition often cues her about how to connect with individuals or the group, and helps her to know what to do or say next. In her own words: it is, is just practicing what's going to come out of my mouth when I get out of the way. Cause, how it comes to me now, and it's not even conscious, but for many years now it has come to me as "Get out of the way. " Don't use your own mouth to translate this, just get out of the way, it's coming through. (Norma-Jean McLaren 9:367-370) Despite their different understandings of intuition, both Larry and Norma-Jean use it in similar ways and both encourage using it in combination with rational analysis. Intuition compliments rational analysis, and sometimes leads to previously ignored lines o f inquiry. Probably the most powerful situations is when you can do both. When you discern something that's—you probably don't even understand why you are getting this basic feeling and then you can put some analysis and evaluation and begin to take it apart and put it back together. (Larry Beasley 3:127-130) Larry uses his intuition extensively. He notes, however, that despite its importance to his practice, intuition was not a skill that was taught or honed during his graduate education in planning. Well, Ifrankly rely on my intuition in all my work. And in fact, I had to teach myself to listen to my intuition because I was educated like you've been educated and everyone is education in our field, to depend upon the kind of analytical and methodological, mechanical view of the world. (Larry Beasley 8:333-336) Norma-Jean and Larry's endorsement o f intuition as an appropriate tool for planning does not come without cautions. Both spoke o f the importance o f having opportunities to practice and hone your intuition. Norma-Jean also spoke o f how easily intuition can be manipulated when people confuse their personal desires with intuitive messages. one of the things you can see people doing is messing with the messages of spirit... I think a lot of us, if we want something badly enough, we can say "Oh, I really know, Ijust know I should be doing this. " And, there's ways we fool ourselves about that. (Norma-Jean McLaren 9:360-361, & 364-366) Larry added the caution that it is possible to rely too heavily on intuition and so not be able to relate to others who may not value it in the same ways. He also cautions against allowing yourself to become so confident in your intuitive abilities that you believe you are the only person with accurate intuition. By the same token, there are, there are circumstances where people deal with the world on these intuitive basis and actually can't really any longer communicate Spirituality and Planning  58  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice and can't balance their personal experience with the experience of other people. And that can be, in my opinion, just as dangerous cause we are social creatures and no matter how much I might feel about something, when I interact with you, I need to take that energy and balance it with your energy and then the next person, the next person, the next person, the next person. (Larry Beasley 10:430-436)  * * *  SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING PROCESSES Having explored how practitioners use spirituality internally, it is time to investigate how they incorporate it into the external or public practice. What are the strategies and skills they employ when integrating spirituality into their planning practices i n multicultural contexts? F o l lowing are several ways the planners i n this study have successfully experimented with spirituality in their practice. It is important to remember these are not offered as a recipe where all ingredients are required, but rather as a number of tools to be added to a tool box and used as appropriate. Individual planners need to experiment with what strategies work best for them in which situations. These ideas are presented here to demonstrate there are a wide variety o f ways to integrate spirituality into planning practice. In Chapter 6,1 w i l l do more analysis and commentary on these ideas.  BUILD CONNECTIONS NOT JUST BUILDINGS, STREETS AND PLACES Like, when I was with the Rocky Mountain Maya, this guy was sitting there. It was almost like he was talking to me like a psychologist or something. He was like: "Okay, so we've been talking for several months and I've noticed that you seem to think that ecology and the economy... " like he's speaking Spanish and I'm kind of having to paraphrase, but he's like: "it's as if you think these things are separate, it's like you think of them separately. You think the problems of your society are separate from the problems that nature is facing because of your actions. " He's like: "Well, first of all you need to understand that all of these things are all related and they all, like you are wondering how to solve these problems, but unless you realize they are all one problem, and they all have a common root, you 11 never know what to do. "...So, he talked about this essential disconnection between ourselves and the creative source, and then between ourselves and then internally. This gets back to spirituality and religion. (Mark Lakeman 13:554-564 & 567-569) Relationships exist on many levels and between numerous combinations o f people, objects and spiritual beings. The practitioners I interviewed saw building, nurturing and helping others to explore these connections as a central part of their work.  Spirituality and Planning  59  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice  Connect People Last night we were in a meeting, the discussion was going on until finally someone said, "well what it's really about then, what we are talking about is relationships ". YEAH! Because, to me, the one thing I've learned in the last 18years is that's ALL it's about! And when we come into relationship with each other that creates that space between us for something to happen, to be honest and safe— and not always safe, but scared sometimes, at risk sometimes—that we can create miracles. (Norma-Jean McLaren 3:126-131) A lot o f Norma-Jean McLaren's work involves helping people to understand the central ity of relationships to the issues they are working with. A s she points out, relationships are not always the wonderful, friendly things we sometimes fantasize them to be, they can also be messy, angry, and scary. But, only by remaining i n relationship can issues be addressed and resolved. Norma-Jean works hard to help others understand this and to keep people from walking away from one another when the relationships get difficult. Mark Lakeman spoke about how he learned to make building connections between himself and those he works with as his first priority. Like, this is one of the things that was said to me by this Mayan fellow, he's like: "You don't study people, you make friends with people. Like, we are not objects, we are not subjects, we are here to learn not only who we are, but you are also here to learn how to be a person 'cause you have been taught not to be a person. " So like, I came away from there realizing that wow, my first priority for every interaction is to relate to people as a human being. (Mark Lakeman 16:J07-711) While this comment was set i n the context o f the research he completed i n Central America, he has translated it into his everyday practice in Portland. Although he has very strong convictions about what needs to be done to make North American cities more liveable, he tries to prevent those ideals from getting in the way o f building relationships with those around him. Building these connections, especially i f it is between people who are significantly different or who may have personality clashes, is not easy to do. One way that both Mark and Norma-Jean address this is by seeking similarities between people as a place to start building a better relationship with people. Mark seeks to find these similarities between himself and others. In this comment he talks about the similarities he most often finds. So, coming at it from a sense of connection, I have received kind of a sense of— that I am connected to all of this condition in an interdependent way, I can empathize with all of those people, and I can related to them all in a personal way. So, that enables me to see that they all kind of want something in common. Like, they want each other. They want safety, they want security, their needs are actually Spirituality and Planning  60  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice not very great. (Mark Lakeman 7:282-287) Norma-Jean also seeks to find similarities between people, but her work requires her to do so between people from communities that often have a history o f conflict. And so through the years what [my work] has narrowed into and, in some ways, has become my passion, is working within communities where the communities are separated by history, by belief, by practice, by systems, by dominance and, exclusive/inclusive practice and so on. And, that we take them a step backwards into a place where there is some kind of connector where we can begin again. (Norma-Jean McLaren 1:41-45) Despite often very deeply rooted conflict, her approach has been very successful in helping the communities in conflict to find similarities and then move forward from there to rebuild their relationships i n a way that celebrates their commonality and honours their differences. But, in her processes it all begins with finding some solid ground o f commonality. Another way to build relationships with people is to find and honour the differences between them. Mark looks for what different people can offer to the rest o f the group. In this example he speaks about working with people from different cultures, however, the concept can be applied to almost any form o f diversity. But, in those cases, I try to show them images of their own culture and help them feel proud of where they came from. Like, if we are saying to them, you know, like you might like things about this culture, but there are also things that are really missing, and we think that you know more about some stuff that everyone needs to know (MarkLakeman 12:524-527) The participants in this study identified several benefits to building good relationships between participants in their processes. Norma-Jean has found that good relationships, where people are able to experience the full range o f emotions and feel safe enough to take risks, facilitate .better and more creative ideas by reducing the cynicism that may otherwise be present. Norma-Jean McLaren: Yeah! That's it. We've created the "with " instead of the "separateness, " which means that anything I say or do is judged on the qualities of everybody else. We are now WITH, and that also then gives rise to the kind of spontaneity where you can get absolutely ridiculous ideas but, you know, that's a fascinating thing, OR, inspired ideas. Interviewer: That may grow out... Norma-Jean McLaren: That may grow out of the ridiculous. In fact, the ridiculous can go through some transformations and become the best of all. (NormaJean McLaren 14-15:600-606) Building connections between people can also increase the number o f people working Spirituality and Planning  61  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice together on an issue. Consider this story told by Kamala Todd about her mother and Leonard George, previous Chief o f the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and what they found when they started to build coalitions and stronger relationships with other people i n the Vancouver area. Well, part of it is getting rid of that anger. That's what Leonard taught me, like when he and my mom were in the political days, like in the '80's, and really angry, 'cause there is a lot to be angry about, and they were always asking for more and being critical of how the government was doing things. And, he said, you know "we lost a lot of chances because of that. " They were trying to get a school going, a native school going, and they were pissed-off at the government for something, or not doing something and it [the school] didn't happen. He said, they really blew it a lot of times and so now his whole philosophy is about working with people. And so, I'm trying to do that too, even in just how I relate to people. If I see someone who I would normally judge as a privileged, kind of out of touch person, in the past I'd have a lot of resentment towards them. Now, I just try to be more open you know—and, that's the only way they are going to learn any different is by listening to or spending time with somebody who has different views. So, I'm really trying to do that and not just be attacking or criticizing people at government meetings. You know, try to be more inclusive and work together ...And so, it really inspires me about working WITH people and seeing that they have a common goal. And then, Leonard says, you know, "we are all in the same canoe. So we are trying to find ways to work all together. " And, it's great just because it brings a lot of people on board who wouldn't necessarily be working for you. Leonard has all these people working for him now that help to further his goals. (Kamala Todd 13-14:558-571, & 588-593)  Conflict to Build Connections? LeBaron (2002) asserts that conflict only exists when people are already in relationship, otherwise the conflict would not involve the passion that it does. Mark Lakeman takes this notion and turns it upside down. He uses conflict to strengthen previously weak or non-existent connections between people. So, we eventually closed the intersection with permission of some people in the department of transportation who wanted us—who knew that we were going to paint the street illegally. And yet, other people who were in-charge didn't know, so it was kind of a collaboration, it was a very beautiful thing... So, it lead to this whole controversy and this polarization, but that was what we were trying to create. We wanted to bring—we wanted to wake up the dead and make them speak to each other. Like, people down the way at the waterfront and the condos that drive through the neighbourhood too quickly cause they don't know anyone and they treat us like we 're just the poor people that live along the driveway to their place. Suddenly, they were angry because we painted in their street. And, we were angry because it was our street where we lived. And, before too long everyone is like slowing down and waving and speaking and dancing together in the street, so, some people would look at me and be like: "Look at how mad we've Spirituality and Planning  62  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice made people. " And, I would just be smiling, like: just wait, just watch. (Mark Lakeman 5:208-211, & 216-226) For Mark, this method has proved very successful in building relationships and reconnecting people to place-based communities. He does warn, however, that for this strategy to be successful, you must be willing to stay committed to working through the initial conflict even in the face o f sometimes very heated and sometimes very personal attacks. In addition, he acknowledged that he uses this tactic very strategically and always with a clear sense o f purpose. This is not a licence to be a rebel without a clue, but given the right issues, context and skills, can be a very effective way o f building strong and positive connections between groups o f people.  Connect to the Land In the past, planning viewed the land as a relatively blank canvas on top o f which almost anything could be done. Streams were re-routed or covered over, hills where levelled, trees removed and land paved. The only value the land had was economic. In recent years, many First Nations have challenged this notation and challenged Western planners and politicians to recognize that there are other ways o f viewing and valuing the land. The spiritualities o f many First Nations are connected to the land and its stewardship. For the Coast Salish people, the land is also the home o f ancestor spirits and supernatural beings important to their understanding of the cosmos. And then here there are supernatural beings here that the Coast Salish people recognize. It's hard, it's really hard for me to see it, but I believe it. I believe that the spirits are here, that the ancestors are here, and that there maybe supernatural beings. So much of the time I see kind of a sterile, built up environment it's hard for me to feel that sacredness. (Kamala Todd 3:129-133) A n d , despite many o f these sites having been built over with no consideration of the significance o f the land, the Coast Salish people continue to view them as sacred places and to view connection with the land as an important component o f their spirituality. like one of the subjects of the video we did on the downtown easts ide was John Thomas, he's an Elder and a pipe carrier, and he's a really, really spiritual person, and he does leave the city from time to time and go on different trips, but he's extremely spiritual right in the heart of the downtown eastside, and that's inspiring to me too. You know, you can be spiritual anywhere, it's just harder work. And, he acknowledges that, that it's harder work to connect with your spirit and connect with the land in the city, but it can be done. (Kamala Todd 16:666-672) Kamala Todd, however, does not limit her work o f encouraging people to connect with Spirituality and Planning  63  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice the land to First Nations people. In fact, she believes it is important for everyone who now lives on the land to connect with it so that more people are helping to steward it. last time I had a long conversation with Leonard George, he said, "You need to see this as your home because we need people to treat it as their home. As soon as people start seeing it as their home, then they will treat the land much better. " It's not about this isn't your home, it's only our home, it's just about acknowledging. And, that gives the land so much more power, and all of us benefit from acknowledging that it's all of our history! (Kamala Todd 7:287-292) Therefore, through her work she finds ways to help people learn about and connect to the land. She accomplishes this by encouraging local First Nations people to tell the stories of the land and the spiritual beings that live on it in videos and through public art installations which make these stories accessible to a larger audience.  Connect to Past and Future Generations Keith draws on his spiritual understanding that he is connected to his ancestors who have come before him and to the generations that w i l l come after h i m when he is making decisions. to me there is a real common sense connection between me and the water, between me and the animals and the plants, there is a real common sense connection to that. And if I think about that connection, it's the same connection that my ancestors had, and the same prayers they had for our generations—like how old is the blood that runs through my veins? I think about how old that blood is and how many generations of my ancestors have carried the same blood that I carry, you know, the blood lines. And so when I think about my responsibilities for the future I think about my children and their children and their children for generations down the road, and to me that's how I come about my responsibility. (Keith 9:383-391) Notice that Keith did not mention that his connection to his ancestors and future generations required a specific course o f action, but rather give a larger context and a longer-term outlook on the decisions he makes i n the present.  The Connection of Connections to Sustainability Several participants identified a strong connection between successfully moving towards the goals o f sustainability and spirituality. Mark Lakeman identified the importance o f building connections between people and between people and their environments with a more holistic outlook as a necessary part o f moving towards sustainable living: Well, when we are talking about sustainability, I think that it's creating that place of possibility where things can interact, that underlies sustainability itself. Like I think, we '11 see in a few years when we look back at the ecological movement, that when people were talking about sustainability, they were short, they were falling Spirituality and Planning  64  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice short of understanding sustainability in it's deepest, fundamental sense. Like, they are saying, you know, living roofs, because we want to capture rainwater and mitigate run-off and things like that. Or, we want to build with straw bale cause that's healthier, and it's a waste by-product and there is less embodied energy, and all this sort of technical terms. But really, engendering a culture of mutuality and interconnection or awareness, is really what is the fundamental basis for our caring about each other and therefore the world. (Mark Lakeman 11:451460) Kamala Todd believed that connection.to the land and to the wisdom o f the past hold i m portant keys to moving our society towards sustainability. Like, the majority of people you could ask them who are the indigenous people here and they wouldn 't know that the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam people are still living here and have always lived here, and what they went through, to the point where, the people are actually visible. So, I really do believe that if we start to be honest about the history and learn about the history, and teach children about the history, and new residents, and started to listen once again to the people that are from here and who know the land, and let them, once again, guide how we live on the land, even just if it's philosophy, or how we do things or how decisions are made, or just small things, I really believe we can change, to some degree, how we live here. Cause, people are really big on Vancouver and what an amazing place it is, and it is! But—there's people who are really caught up in sustainability and all these amazing, progressive things that people do here that are wonderful, but they are still not embedded in the indigenous knowledge and indigenous perspective. Until they are, they are going to be really limited, I think, in what they can achieve. (Kamala Todd 4-5:176-189) There is also a growing awareness in the literature that sustainability and spirituality are linked (Kalton, 2000; Mies & Shiva, 1993; Newman & Kenworthy, 1999, chapter 7; Plant, 1989; Suzuki & M c C o n n e l l , 1997). However, traditional knowledge or a connection to past generations is rarely a component o f this. Instead, authors usually focus on what people's spiritual beliefs should be so that they would act in a more sustainable manner. While this is a noble investigation, it assumes people act consistently with their spiritual beliefs and that their beliefs are currently the cause o f unsustainable practice. While this is probably part o f the cause, it is far from the only cause. Instead o f preaching what others should believe (a dangerous form of pride i f you ask me), we need to examine our own beliefs and encourage others to examine their spiritual beliefs for how they may or may not inform their relationship with the environment. It is a topic that needs far greater investigation and is o f more importance that I can do justice to within this broader study.  Spirituality and Planning  65  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice  CREATE SPACE FOR POTENTIAL And I think that piece, coming back to what we were talking about before about what transpires when we behave in a way where spirit is present, is always to me about the opening ofpossibility. And that as we do this kind of work, we are working with possibility all the time. Potential. And, it doesn't matter if we are trying to put together a new policy around transportation issues for the core of the city, or if we are out working between a crown corporation and a First Nation Band, we have to be working with possibility and potential or we wouldn't be working with a community, we would just be here it is, here is what's happening. Why would we be with them if we weren't looking at possibilities. (Norma-Jean McLaren 15:611-619) Here, Norma-Jean M c L a r e n identifies the key role o f planning as working with possibility, with 'what is not yet.' Mark Lakeman and Norma-Jean both believe that when we are creating things is when we are most in touch with our spirituality, or at least when we have the most potential to be in touch with it. A s Mark said: Like, we might be small beings, but our ability to emote and feel and see and create is, truly, god-like. (Mark Lakeman 4:152-157) Both Norma-Jean and I employ the image o f working in a sacred circle in a lot of our work even i f we do not physically form a circle. When we are facilitating a group we both see one o f our roles as maintaining the space (both physical and spiritual space) o f the circle. In the following quotation from our interview, we stumbled onto a new way o f viewing that role that helped both o f us to have a clearer symbolic understanding o f what we do as it relates to helping to create a space for new ideas to come forward. Norma-Jean McLaren: So, when we are working with possibility, we 're working with, this is simplifying it in a way, I don't mean it quite this starkly, but something out of nothing. But, I, it's the only way I can think to say it, but, what isn't. We are working with what hasn't been. What isn't. And, for humans to go beyond that, they have to find all sorts of different ways to be able to make that jump [Between what is and what isn't (or what isn 'tyet)J. Interviewer: Yes. And for me—Ijust got the image of this space—of opening this space, if you are going to work with what isn't, you need 'what isn't' to be there. Norma-Jean McLaren: Oh, that's beautiful Michael, that's exactly what it is. I've never thought of it that—/ often think of it as opening the space, but it's the space for what isn't. Interviewer: Yeah, and to go back to what you said [earlier in the interview], it's—when you open space, it's getting the dust out of there. Well, the dust is something, right and so you need to get enough space for the - nothing - to be there. Norma-Jean McLaren: The nothing to be there. It's a beautiful way of looking Spirituality and Planning  66  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice at it. I love that. That's a lovely, lovely image. A space for nothing. (NormaJean McLaren 15:621-634) The rest o f this section outlines more concrete ways the people in this study create space for potential i n their processes.  Get People Out of 'The Usual' When people know what is coming next, or think they know what is coming next, it w i l l often be a self-fulfilling prophecy. While routine is comfortable and sometimes allows for greater efficiency, it does not as easily allow for creativity and new ideas to emerge. When Norma-Jean leads a process where she wants people to connect with each other spiritually and wants new possibilities to emerge, she works to break people's expectations. there are certain exercises, there are processes that allow, I think, that space [spirit filled space] to open up more between us and most of it is stepping out of the ways that we normally do things. This may be going from meeting using Robert's Rules of,Order, to a process of hearing each other's stories. And, when that happens, we are in a different space. (Norma-Jean McLaren 6:243-246) She finds that breaking people's expectations about how a meeting w i l l or should be run helps to give them permission to think and act outside o f their usual boxes and to take a step into the unknown (a concept that I explore in more detail in the next sub-section). Similarly, M a r k Lakeman attributes the success o f one o f City Repair's earliest projects to breaking people's expectations. And, people would walk in, and they would just almost cry because it was so um, it was built out of the most modest materials possible. So, it was reversing the way we usually go into a place that has been built with great attention. It's usually like pretty expensive, kind of intimidating, inaccessible. So, this was reversing that, it was saying, okay, accessibility, humility, humour, um, and all of these sort of design tricks about asymmetry and light, space, form. (Mark Lakeman 8:347-352) Getting people out o f their regular ways o f thinking and acting as discussed by both Mark and Norma-Jean is intimately related to the next concept o f taking risks.  Take Risks Both Norma-Jean and Mark spoke o f the importance o f being willing to take risks in order to help the group to enter into spiritual relationships and to create the space for new futures to be discovered by quoting the same poem. As long as you have the faith that—there is an incredible quote that has been— and it's quoted here, there and misquoted here and there, but it goes something Spirituality and Planning  67  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice like this: "When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we have to believe that one of two things is going to happen. Either there will be a place to stand or you 're going to be given wings to fly. " And, it's that stepping into the unknown, especially as young planners ...I'll take the word young out of it, anything that we think we are supposed to be expert at, or doing, for us to say, "I don't know, let's just jump, " is the scariest damn thing you can imagine. And yet, without the jump, at some points, nothing can happen. And, that jump, to me, is a jump into the place of spirit. It's a place of trust. (Norma-Jean McLaren 4:137-146) 1 3  Mark described one event where his and the group's willingness to take a risk (in this case closing an intersection to traffic without permission) allowed connections to form between people who did not know each other, and allowed for a magical moment that many o f the people present still talk about and that continues to serve as inspiration for the work o f City Repair. and then the last night of the tea-house, this dance troupe, Gypsy Caravan, showed up, and there was nowhere for them to dance. They couldn't get into the tea-house, it was packed, there was no yard space, so we closed the intersection. It was very beautiful. I think now, that the whole process was guided cause only so much of it was conscious on my part. What happened that night that the dancers showed up, was that we brought out all these orange cones and we stopped traffic and we took the intersection for them to dance in. So they danced for about a half an hour, I think, or more. And then they pulled the neighbours into the intersection to dance with them. I would maybe guess that the Goddess was present with us that night and her priestesses pulled us in to dance together and that night we reclaimed the cross-roads. (Mark Lakeman 5:184-194) Helping groups to take risks, however, must be done carefully and with skill. A s NormaJean pointed out, it also must be done by planners who are willing to enter into that space with the rest of the group. This is not a task that can successfully be done by a detached, distant 'professional.' Norma-Jean McLaren: And often, when I work with the police—especially with the police—but, no, with community groups too, 'cause with some of the commu13  The poem they both referred to is entitled 'Faith' and was first published by Patrick Overton  (1975). It is, however, often attributed to Barbara Winter (1993) even though she attributed it to an anonymous poet (p.236). The actual text o f the poem is: When we walk to the edge o f all the light we have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things w i l l happen— There w i l l be something solid for us to stand upon, or, we w i l l be taught how to fly. (Overton, 1975, p. 91) Spirituality and Planning  68  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice nity groups, when I work with them, we really go deep. We are going WAY past comfort place for people. And, one thing 1 say is "no one is going to die—you 're not going to die in this. It might get mighty uncomfortable, for you and for me, and you are going to take me on in ways that I'm not going to be comfortable. " Interviewer: And so it's the mutuality as well. Norma-Jean McLaren: The mutuality is the absolute essential in this! You can not be doing this kind of work from a safe distance or from, "You do it and I'll watch, I'll let you know when you've got it right. " It is continuous and it is TOGETHER. (Norma-Jean McLaren 4:161-170) The mutuality builds trust that is required for people to feel safe enough to open up and make themselves vulnerable.  Let Go of "The Plan" and Allow Spontaneity Which Ijust think is hilarious, but also very honouring because it tells me that my very head-spaced partner has moved in many ways to his own understanding of his intuitive work and his work which opens that space—to accepting that "the plan " includes places that are the unknown and that are created by spirit to spirit, human to human. I think we all know that in someway, but when we go into a workshop, or into a planning set, we say okay, we have this agenda, we are going from A to B, come hell or high water, and we are going to get there by 3 o 'clock and by 3 o 'clock we are going to have accomplished these steps. There is a place for that kind ofplanning work, but it's not in the part of the co-learning or the creation of relationship that is community. (Norma-Jean McLaren 3:117-125) Planning often requires the production of specific deliverables on very detailed timelines. The practitioners I interviewed, however, asserted that when you are striving to incorporate spirituality and encourage a space for potential, there needs to be far more flexibility. I'm thinking in terms ofplanning, it's a real needfor people to kind of let go of their agendas, you know and the way they think it has to happen. And, that's why Native people either won't participate or are reluctant or they will walk away, because so much of the time, that's what has happened. You know, it's like, come to this meeting, but we have to put a report out in two days. It's like, well, what's the point? (Kamala Todd 11:482-487) Mark Lakeman takes this concept so far that when he enters into a process he tries not to have any preconceived notion o f the outcome. / was just really intentional about having a conducive atmosphere where people feel at home, they feel comfortable, they can talk easily with each other, to get together around food, and if possible, in this crazy society, to get together around a different pace of interaction. Not even necessarily around accomplishment. Like, if the group decides to do nothing, you know to let that be okay. (Mark Lakeman 15:656-661)  Spirituality and Planning  69  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice Despite this currently being an unpopular idea among funding agencies and municipal governments who are both very focused on outcomes, Mark has had amazing success at building relationships and at helping communities to plan and implement projects. I see this concept as being related to the concept o f having a clear space, a space of "what isn't" to allow for everyone to work with the potential. If, as facilitators, we have a nonmalleable view o f what the process needs to produce, we w i l l limit the creativity o f the group and restrict the relationships that could be formed. A s Norma-Jean acknowledged in her comment which opened this sub-section, there is a time and place for that kind o f planning, however, it does not work as well when you are trying to incorporate spirituality and spiritual ways o f knowing.  Access Creativity A s noted earlier i n this chapter, some o f the people I interviewed believe that humans are at their most spiritual when they are being creative. Creating space for potential is, in large part, about getting people to access their creativity.  14  Kamala Todd does this by encouraging people  to tell their stories. Mark Lakeman helps communities to work out a vision o f what they want their neighbourhood to look and feel like, and then helps them to manifest that vision. Mark and Kamala have found that helping people to access their creativity appears to have all sorts of benefits. Mark notes that the energy and passion levels in a group rise and Kamala spoke about increased confidence and emotional healing in her participants (this is discussed further later in this chapter in the sub-section entitled Stories and Myths i n Planning Processes).  CREATE SAFE SPACE (SOCIAL-SPIRITUAL, NOT PHYSICAL) Almost all o f the participants in this study identified the importance o f taking steps to create a social-spiritual space where people feel safe. While creating safe space is not limited to planners incorporating spirituality into their practice, it is a pre-requisite for those wishing to do so. People w i l l not allow themselves to connect with one another unless they feel safe. They w i l l not make themselves vulnerable unless they feel safe. They w i l l not risk stepping out of the light they have known into the unknown unless they have a sense others are also doing that and that there is someone there to support them should they stumble and fall. Mark Lakeman de14  In this use, creativity is not limited to the traditional creativity o f the arts. I use the term in its  broadest sense meaning that creating anything (be that words, art, a building, ideas, a new vision for the future, etc.) is an act o f creativity. Spirituality and Planning  70  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice scribes the feeling he tries to create and a couple o f the techniques he uses to achieve this feeling. / was just really intentional about having a conducive atmosphere where people feel at home, they feel comfortable, they can talk easily with each other, to get together around food, and if possible, in this crazy society, to get together around a different pace of inter action...So, from the workshops where we are working with people and the settings that we try to set up for people where they are sitting down with any number of—like a baker, and shoemaker, and homemaker, a teenager, these unlikely characters all just busting with this dam of creative frustration. So, everything is okay. We try to make it so that every idea is fine. (Mark Lakeman 15:656-659, & 673-677) The factors that may hinder people from feeling safe are very diverse and cannot always be predicted in advance. Larry Beasley spoke o f some o f the situations he has encountered that have prevented people from feeling safe. But, it's finding techniques that will allow people to, you know, really take part in that [building the city]. For example, sometimes there is fear and danger involved and so you have to create safety. Sometimes there is discrimination involved so you have to create a sense of mutual respect and of not being judgmental. Sometimes there is illness involved and you have to create a circumstance where you can manage illness so that people can still contribute. You know, there's all sorts of things involved. It's to really discern what each person needs to participate and then help them. (Larry Beasley 5:179-186) He makes another important point i n his last statement. Because so many o f these factors cannot be predicted, it is important to work with people individually to help them feel safe. There are other techniques that the professionals I spoke with utilize to help create a safe space for themselves and the participants i n their processes, which are outlined below.  Use Self-disclosure One way to help people in a group feel safe is to demonstrate that nothing horrible w i l l happen when personal information is revealed or when we make ourselves vulnerable. NormaJean McLaren often accomplishes this by openly and honestly disclosing parts o f her life-history that are relevant to the discussion. So, you know, I talk to the police about my history of drug addiction, I always talk to them about that, my history of mental illness. I don't walk out into the room and say here, I'm Norma-Jean McLaren, and it's like an AA meeting or something, [chuckling]... There is just a point where it is appropriate. (Norma-Jean McLaren 11:438-440, &447-448) Norma-Jean has found this kind o f self-disclosure also helps others to be able to talk about their own issues that may otherwise be considered taboo in a public or semi-public setting. She also Spirituality and Planning  71  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice notes the importance o f not using self-disclosure to compare your history to the history of others because o f the differences in power and privilege in our society. one of the people I worked with in [Vancouver Island town name] recently said, "You can say those things to people (about my addictions or mental illness) and even the way you say that is contrived because, you can say those things because of who you are in the society. If you were a person who was poor and had a mental illness and you said these kind of things in a group, it wouldn't be acceptable. " And that—there is an element of that that is true and just as important, there is an element that is also true that by my saying them, makes it that much safer for somebody else to say it. (Norma-Jean McLaren 10:431-438)  Admit Mistakes A s professionals, we are trained to avoid making mistakes and often we have our identities and sense o f self wrapped up in our ability to do our job nearly flawlessly. When we do make a mistake we act to correct it and bring as little attention to ourselves as possible. While in our culture o f increasing litigation this may be a good strategy, it may not be the best approach for practitioners wanting to build a sense o f safety in their planning processes. Norma-Jean McLaren uses her mistakes as a way to build a connection with others in the group by admitting to her mistake or other short-coming. This helps the rest o f the group to see her humanity and see that even though she is the 'expert' i n diversity, she continues to struggle to fully integrate some o f the concepts she is teaching. So, in doing this work, something about eldering has shifted that place so that I can say: "I don't know. " I can say "this learning is really for me " or "boy did I get that wrong". For example, I was training with airport security people and it's one of my favourite pieces of diversity training... So, there is one fellow there and he is very alert, bright, good looking, 40ish male. Pale skinned, but you know looking at his eye and his nose he clearly has Arab, Persian something in his background. And, it turns out he's from Iraq—in fact, he's from Baghdad as a refugee between the wars, and he's about to become a security guard and of course I look at him and think "Oh hell, what did you leave behind? " So, I said, "What did you leave behind? " And he replied, "Well, I was a camera man and a film director. " Well, his camera work was a very specialized kind, but a director and producer of films, documentaries, television and stuff. And I said, "That's quite a thing to leave behind and come to Canada and never be able to do again. " He said, "I'm doing it, I'm working with Shaw. " I said "Okay, ah, it's good to be wrong about that particular thing. I'm glad to be wrong, occasionally, I'm really glad to be wrong in this case. " You know I was wrong. Ijumped to conclusions. As experts we are always leaping somewhere that the person goes "ahh, no actually... " (Norma-Jean McLaren 5:197-201, & 206-218) Mark Lakeman extends this concept to acknowledging that even though he maybe the Spirituality and Planning  72  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice facilitator there are many things he does not know. / did a three year teaching process with some kids in north-west Portland, and learned really in a deep way there, to let go of my creative predilections and biases. Some of the things the kids wanted to do seemed so outrageous and so silly to me, but when I would take their work and synthesize it into something and make it structurally feasible, the stuff we created was out of this world original and so elegant. Ideas I would NEVER have let myself try any more. And, Ijust learned: "Okay, I don't know. I'm no expert. " (Mark Lakeman 16:678-684) Both o f these examples show facilitators admitting their vulnerability. They successfully model that they can open themselves up, maybe even be uncomfortable, with minimal side effects; the group process did not fall apart and no one attacked them. This w i l l help others in the group to feel they can also admit their vulnerabilities which is an important way to help build connections among people.  Group Guidelines Group guidelines help group members to feel safe in the group as they provide a solid basis for understanding how the group is supposed to interact with each other and usually also offer reassurance for what w i l l happen with the information revealed in the discussions. They usually include understandings around how it is decided who w i l l talk next, i f cross-talk or direct replies are allowed, provide examples o f acceptable discourse (i.e. use o f T statements), and may outline how and i f new members can be brought into the group. The participants in this study have found group guidelines are most effective when they are developed by the group through a group process. Some o f the participants noted that in their processes, the guidelines remain open to renegotiation throughout the process to make it easier to deal with changing contexts and to be flexible to the dynamic life o f a group, which often seems to take on a life and culture of its own. Norma-Jean M c L a r e n adds an additional dimension to group guidelines. She gets the members o f the group to not only talk about what they need to feel safe, but also to let the group know what each member can offer to the group. Guidelines are usually one sided, "I need this to be safe in this group and I need that. " But in our guidelines, they are on two sides, I think I showed them to you. On one side of the paper, "What do you need to function safely in this group? " and on the other "What do you bring to help the group function safely? " So, once the new person comes in and sees that stuff, this is like a manifesto. Here's where we are. You with us? Or you not with us? 'Cause if you 're not with us and can't accept this, you need to talk to us about what's not acceptable and we '11 deSpirituality and Planning  73  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice cide if we can all work together. Or, we '11 change the guidelines in the group if you are important—you know if we feel you are important enough to be here that, but, we need you to speak what you need. Once that happens, the outsider nature of that person shifts. (Norma-Jean McLaren 12:475-484) Norma-Jean also uses the group guidelines to help incorporate new members into the group. She was the only person interviewed who spoke about integrating new members. I was surprised she was the only person to talk about this important aspect o f working with groups, and specifically o f creating safety within groups, the nature o f which often includes changes in membership. Finding such methods for incorporating new members into established groups could be an entire research project in itself, and one very worthy o f pursuit.  Use Stories and Story-telling Two participants i n this study rely heavily on story-telling in their work. Fortunately, there has been a significant exploration o f the use o f story-telling i n planning practice (See Eckstein & Throgmorton, 2003; Sandercock, 2003a; Throgmorton, 1992). What became clear to me as I reviewed the interviews, however, was the importance o f story for coalescing collections o f people from individual members to a cohesive group, a concept that I had not previously found in the literature on planning and story. Here is how Norma-Jean M c L a r e n describes this phenomenon. I believe that if you ask for people's stories it builds pathways to heart-based place—and I guess if there is one thing that, to me, opens the channel for relationship to happen is for people to be able to tell each other their stories. And stories, for planners are a difficult place because it can be like "Oh my god, here we go again. " [slightpause] "When will they stop talking this time? " Though, I do believe it is a bit like the ancient mariner, you know, we '11 talk until we 're heard. And so if I invite the story and I give the story back, something opens between us that then allows us to relate at a completely different level, and to everybody in the group. And, that's why the security company brings me in on the very first day. They say it's because when I work with these people they become a group from that moment on—They are a whole. It's nothing I did; it's because I asked them to tell their stories. (Norma-Jean McLaren 6:227-237) Other ways that story-telling is used in spirit-conscious planning w i l l be explored further later in this chapter. For now, note how Norma-Jean has found it effective in creating 'safe space' in her planning processes.  ENCOURAGE SELF-REFLECTION AND SELF-AWARENESS If I say there is one basic thing about any good practice, it's to put you in touch with some very basic things about yourself. What motivates you? What are you Spirituality and Planning  74  -  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice prepared to do? What are you not prepared to do? (Larry Beasley 7:303-305) Echoing what was found in Chapter 3, for the planners in this study, self-reflection was a  very important part o f both their internal and public processes. A l l o f them were very aware of their strengths, weakness, and emotional triggers (or as they were called i n Chapter 3, their scars). They also identified the importance o f working to heal their emotional triggers in order to improve their practice. I mean trauma is trauma, they live in your head and they are there on a daily basis, but I think that the healthier you get, the more—the less control they have over you, the more control you have over it. (Keith 9:366-368) A s people gain control over their traumas, they have the ability to choose how to react to situations that remind them o f the original incident. This is an important skill for planners and for anyone working with the public as we are sure to encounter people who remind us o f characters from our past who caused us harm. It is important that we are able to react to the people in front of us today and their actions, and not to the actions o f people from our past. Keith's experience has also shown him that spiritual training or consciously exploring one's spirituality can help people to know their own strengths. This often allows them to deal with situations that previously may have been overwhelming. And I think that it's through that kind of training that you have a total different understanding of your place in the world. You get an understanding of what you have in terms of internal resources. Things like tolerance and helping and dealing with conflict and dealing with, whatever, strife and all of those other human issues. So, you know, I think you find that you have way more internal strength than you probably think you have. (Keith 7:284-289) In spirit-conscious planning, self-reflection is not limited to the facilitators or planners, nor is it only encouraged by these professionals. Keith noted that it can help people to identify the skills, knowledge and wisdom that they have to offer to others. M a r k Lakeman recounted a situation where a participant in the process was encouraging everyone else to reflect on their relationship to their environment. One time he [Elk River, a Cheyenne Elder] was, he came through. He was looking at people doing chalk drawings on the intersection. He was kind of this Yodalike character. And he stood there, and he's like "Well, so you are drawing circles, colourful circles. Well, your houses are grey and brown and everything is square around here, but you keep drawing circles. Why are you drawing circles? Where are all your circles? How come everything's... " And, he was asking these provocative questions of the kids and the adults. (Mark Lakeman 5:201-^207) Spirituality and Planning  75  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice Norma-Jean M c L a r e n and Larry Beasley both spoke about the nature o f the selfawareness that comes from self-reflection. They acknowledged that self-awareness is not a linear and constant progression, but rather it is a process o f learning, forgetting and re-learning. A s Larry described it: it's constantly a process of doing better and sliding back and realizing you did terrible and doing better and sliding back and you know, that's a constant process of realization, ofpersonal realization. (Larry Beasley 6:232-234) Norma-Jean echoed his comments and acknowledged some o f the things that may cause practitioners to 'slip' back into old patterns o f behaviour. Well, first of all, I want to back up a little bit. I don't believe you GET to it. I believe you are always getting to it. And, depending on how much sleep you had or, you know, you have a fight with your lover or something, you may be less in that place from hour to hour. So it is never getting there—and, ...I have to remember each moment that I have to remember. (Norma-Jean McLaren 7:293-296, & 298299)  MAKE ROOM FOR THE WHOLE PERSON (OR, AN INVITATION TO PLAY) Before I started my field interviews, I read a paper by John Forester (in-progress) where he explored the importance and role o f humour in planning practice. A s I read the paper, it struck me that humour, spirituality and planning were somehow interrelated, but I could not clearly articulate the connection. In several of the interviews, the interviewees mentioned humour as being important. When I asked questions to encourage them to talk more about its i m portance and how they saw it related to spirituality and planning, I got more than I bargained for. The participants quickly moved to talking about how humour relates to the importance o f welcoming or making room for all aspects o f a person in their planning processes. A number o f the participants spoke about wholeness using the metaphor o f the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel has four cardinal directions and each o f them represents a different component o f human beings: physical, emotional, spiritual and mental. The Medicine Wheel teaches that to be whole or to be complete we need each o f these four aspects in balance in our life. Most o f the participants in this study integrated this belief into their work. The place of it [spirituality] is, in my sense, for me, is partly around the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Because, without spirit, part of it, part of us, isn't there. And, so if we present to communities, to our workplaces as whole, then spirit, in however we experience that, has got to be present. And, when I meet community workers, it's present virtually all the time in some form or another. That doesn't mean they don't have to sit by a computer and work out, you know, policy analySpirituality and Planning  76  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice sis, but it does mean that when they are with other people, in their work places, in their, you know where they do their work as well as their co-workers work, that, they open themselves to possibility in a way that allows this to happen. (NormaJean McLaren 10:411-419) Speaking from a slightly different angle, Mark Lakeman spoke o f the importance o f making room for the full range o f human emotions in his work and relates it to our creative abilities. I'm thinking about the design environments, architecture and planning, where it [humour] hasn't been present and so I'm coming partially from a point of rejection and departure from that. Then I'm also thinking about how just by bringing people together in a non-self-serious, non-professional, non-specialized process, you start to see the innate capacity that we have to envision and create with our full emotional capacity. (Mark Lakeman 14:618-623) Norma-Jean M c L a r e n also spoke o f the importance o f allowing herself to experience and express her full range o f emotions when she is facilitating a process. So, when we are in the circle, I guess the importance of the humour is that it is one side of the human experience. You know that lovely thing, the masks of tragedy and comedy. What they really need to be is not two different masks to me, but one mask that has all of these things in it. 'cause it's us. You know, our lives are an extraordinary mix of those things and all the other things between it. So, as much as I use humour in a group, I will cry. I will lose it. (Norma-Jean McLaren 13:517-522) She has found that by allowing herself to express the full range o f 'human experience,' that it gives other people permission to do the same. It teaches them it is alright to be fully human in whatever work they are doing together. She has found that humour can also be a useful tool for helping to shift people out of their habitual way o f acting, a strategy she uses a lot to open up the space for potential as mentioned earlier in this chapter. Interviewer: Is it [humour] related to getting them outside of their usual? Norma-Jean McLaren: Yes. Especially in what we think of as our usual in terms of how we have to act in group, outside family, outside people you really care about, but it is turning a kind of a vulnerability and a playfulness that says "if I'm not taking myself that seriously it's okay for you to risk that too. " Cause, I'm not dying here and you '11 be alright. And, it's also an invitation. Interviewer: Invitation to? Norma-Jean McLaren: To play. To come at the world through the whole of the Medicine Wheel again. It's like the whole of human beings. You don't have to cry with me, and you can. You don't have to laugh with me, and you can...Because, again it shifts the expected. It shifts the habitual, it shifts the experience of how people think meetings are going to go or work is going to be Spirituality and Planning  77  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice done. And, so it is again that thing of opening the space where relationship, you know and what I mean by spirit can come in—the whole of us can show up. Yeah, humour is massively important. And, so is the tears. (Norma-Jean McLaren 14:563-571, & 577-580) Humour can also help increase the sense o f safety in the group; it can help to create safe space. And, I can risk. There is something about I can step outside. Because, what if we were running a regular community meeting and it's all very serious and I said something and people laughed, but they hadn't laughed before and they didn't laugh after. I would never be able to speak again. But, if when we are together and this means we laugh, we cry, we eat together, we tell stories and so on, I put this thing out, it comes into a different place. So, it's already starting—Does that make sense? It starts at a different spot. (Norma-Jean McLaren 14:589-594) Norma-Jean also cautions, however, that to be effective, humour needs to be spontaneous, appropriate for the moment, and i f it is directed at anyone, it should be directed at one's self. The first part is that humour always to me is a mirror to the soul. If it comes, if it is spontaneous and, what I'm talking about as humour, very much is humour at either my own expense or this situation, or whatever...So, Ijoke, I make puns—I make puns a lot—and it's, so it's being playful in the times that it's okay to be playful. I think I said that in the interview with [Name of Planning Theorist], is that it can't be at someone else's expense. And, it can't be at a time when in fact what is in the room right now is pain. (Norma-Jean McLaren 12-13: 504-507, & 514-517) Larry Beasley spoke about allowing room for anger in his processes. A s I re-read the transcript o f his interview, I was reminded o f the lessons learned i n other professions about professionals using spirituality to help them to stay grounded and not take things personally (See Chapter 4, Conflict and Spirituality). Sometimes it's just people that, they are so angry and they are so worried about something that the only way they know how to express it is anger. And, if you react in anger it just reinforces the worry, but if you embrace their anger with them and they begin to feel a sense of I must have an interest in hearing them then you can move on from there. And I think what you try to do is—what I try to do is—/ believe that everyone participating has a particular way to do it. It may or may not be helpful, but at the grain of it all is an important contribution... also, you have to realize that most of the environments in which we work, while it is expressed at you, it's not meant for you. It's meant for an organization, a circumstance, of which you are seen as an agent. Once Ifigured that out early in my life, and that those terrible things that people would say are not really meant to hurt you, except to hurt you enough to get your attention—that they are really directed at something else, then, in a sense you can honour the anger. (Larry Beasley 5-6: 201-208, & 256-261) Spirituality and Planning  78  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice  BRIDGE CHASMS WITH TRANSLATION (BRIDGES OF TRANSLATION) Well, it's all about translation. [Joseph] Campbell used to say that there is this archetypal journey of the hero that you go forth to find the boon or the grail and you come back, but that's not the end of the story, 'cause like there are so many people who have gone forth to find the grail, and they come back and they get crucified or they get wiped-out cause they don't learn how to translate, or they don't learn how to have the patience to come back and serve. So, we work with so many different communities and the trick is to translate and to communicate in people's terms. (MarkLakeman 11:487-493) 1 5  The phrase that came to my mind when Mark made this comment was, "Meet people where they are at." It was a phrase that The Rev. Douglas Wilson, my Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor, said to me many times, and it is a skill that all o f the people I interviewed saw as a vital part o f their success. Not only do these practitioners meet people where they are at, they are experts at reading their audience and choosing words and concepts that w i l l help them to communicate in a way that their audience w i l l be able to hear. So, when we talk to radical activists, we can totally let it hang out and tell the whole story, but when we are talking to politicians or testifying at City Council, we know that everything that they say they want to accomplish, we can accomplish and so we also know that there are these goals and objectives that they speak to all the time, but they think it's impossible to achieve because they need money to do it. But, we know no amount of money is going to achieve those goals without participation and freedom. So, we speak to those goals and we say to them, we 11 satisfy these goals and objectives in these ways if we just get a 'yes', and we don't even need [financial] support. (Mark Lakeman 12:511-518) While Mark often spends his time translating for members o f the public to the municipal politicians and planning staff, Larry Beasley spends a great deal o f his time interpreting for the municipal staff to politicians and members o f the public. And then part of my job is interpreting that out to the world. I spend a lot of time talking to the world about, about not really urbanism, but the processes we have to engage people to talk about urbanism and planning certainly. (Larry Beasley 4:161-163) Kamala Todd spoke o f her ability to interpret or bridge between cultures because o f her background o f having more than one etnno-cultural heritage. But yeah, I guess bridging. Cause, I'm also, and I guess that's one thing that 15  To learn more about Joseph Campbell's archetypal journey o f the hero see The Hero with a  Thousand Faces (1949/1968). Spirituality and Planning  79  We Are Already D o i n g it: Spirituality in Planning Practice mixed people can do, you know, because of both cultures, I'm familiar in both and can kind of do that. (Kamala Todd 6:254-256) Many others have also noted this ability among people who exist in more than one culture. The most influential writer on my thinking around this has been Harry Hay (1996). Hay, writing mainly about gay men, asserts that people who live in multiple cultures are able to do this bridging work because they know the language or discourse o f both cultures. Because they tend to live at the periphery o f at least one o f the cultures, they have a perspective that is more difficult for those at the symbolic centre o f the hegemonic structures to understand. The views from the centre and the periphery are always different though both receive great benefit from seeking to understand the other. Planners who exist on the periphery are able to offer this different perspective; those who exist i n the centre w i l l be able to access it by listening to others on the periphery.  RITUALS IN PLANNING PROCESSES Four o f the five people I interviewed spoke about rituals they used in their work. A l l four used these rituals to mark transitions in the process (beginnings, change o f context, endings, etc.). Norma-Jean M c L a r e n marked the end o f every training with police recruits with a prayer. Kamala Todd acknowledges the traditional people o f the land and sometimes follows other protocols and rituals, and Keith spoke o f how Elders take care o f events in a spiritual way by offering prayers and other rituals which help to take care o f the people and connect them with all living things. Mark Lakeman and the City Repair group engage people in setting up the wings of the Tea Horse. Here is how Mark spoke about the effect o f this ritual. Like the neighbourhood shows up, the truck is there, everyone helps to set up the wings and then they are like: "oh my god, look at what I—I guess WE just created. " So, it gives everyone a chance to do something together where before they'd only said hello, or never even said hello. (Mark Lakeman 9:379-383)  FOLLOW PROTOCOL Both Kamala Todd and Keith spoke o f the importance o f following traditional protocols. For Keith, the importance was in part connected to being able to access the wisdom and guidance of the land, animals and other spiritual beings. So, we brought an Elder's group together a couple of months before the conference and we were given a list of issues that they thought was important to include in the conference. They told us that if we were serious about having it done based on their instructions we would follow a process for the conference and they wanted us to open the conference in a traditional way and then throughout the conference each day we would start in a traditional way which is making a prayer Spirituality and Planning  80  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice offering and that we would take care of the things like the food. If you think about the land and the plants and the animals and all of that, you know, in a spiritual way just as humans are, you know like there is a spiritual connection between the two and so if we were to talk about natural resources in the same level that we understand, like what we are thinking about is that we would connect with them on that level and so each day we would make sure that we take care of the food in that way because that's plants and animals right? So we were making offerings and so that was a very big part of that conference. (Keith 3:89-100) For Kamala, following traditional protocols helps to connect her with the past, helps her express her gratitude and is part o f the way she works to deconstruct lasting effects o f colonialism. So, part of it is out of a sense of gratitude, like wanting to acknowledge and thank, like personally that's what I do. You know, that I get to be here in such a beautiful place. And, knowing just what they had to give up so that we could all be here. And what they had to give and what they lost, and how much it has changed around them. And, it's also what I was taught, you know that's what you do. You always acknowledge, anywhere you go, you know, whose land you are on... So, protocol is like that really important acknowledgement that needs to happen, and there—to me it's about de-colonizing. As long as people pretend that it doesn't belong to Coast Salishpeople, then it's still this colonial denial. (Kamala Todd 7:272-2 77, & 295-298)  STORIES AND MYTHS IN PLANNING PROCESSES One thing many planners do is tell and facilitate the telling o f stories (Sandercock, 2003a). Planners wanting to integrate spirituality into their planning practice also rely on stories and story-telling as one o f their tools. I am not going to recite the ways stories are used in professional practice, that has been thoroughly covered by other authors.  16  What I w i l l review here  are the ways that the planners I interviewed use story that is different from what is already in the literature  Stories for Healing Kamala Todd has witnessed and used the power o f stories to help individuals heal from past traumas. Her work o f helping people to tell their stories and providing a forum for their telling has touched many residents living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, economically one of the poorest neighbourhoods i n Canada. I am not sure either she or I understand exactly why this  I encourage readers to read Sandercock's (2003a) Cosmopolis II, especially chapter 8, for a comprehensive and powerful analysis o f the use o f stories in planning practice. Spirituality and Planning  81  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice has worked so well, but from the examples she shared with me in our interview, it is clear to me that it does work. So, if people, if they are fortunate enough to come to a place of healing, where it is sort of this revelation where they are told by somebody, actually you are worth it, you were just told by somebody that you weren 't, but you are. And, you know, the sort of healing work that's being done and the sort of anti-colonial work that's being done, and people come to that and they start to look at what they've lived through and why they are messed up, and what's been affecting them, and they are just like, you know, just so happy and angry and they want to tell their story because it explains so much about why they are where they are and it helps get the anger out. I've met so many people who went through residential schools or grew up on the downtown eastside, and just the hell that they lived through and they just want to get it out. So, I guess it is healing to tell your story. (Kamala Todd 9:373-382) A s Kamala noted in her interview, the telling o f the stories is only one part o f how she utilizes stories for healing. The other involves having the stories heard. Kamala spoke about how when people that she has worked with felt they were heard, breakthroughs would occur often for both the person telling the story and the people hearing it. A l l o f the participants in this study acknowledged the importance o f listening in planning practice that integrates spirituality and so I explore it in greater detail later in this chapter.  Encouraging Multiple Mythologies In any multicultural community there w i l l be numerous mythologies that help different sub-communities situate themselves in the history and present context o f the place. Unfortunately, usually only the mythological stories o f the hegemonic culture get told and retold in public ways. Kamala Todd works to have mythologies from non-hegemonic cultures, in her case First Nations cultures, told and re-told in public ways. But, it was also a way to create this illusion that the land was empty and didn't belong to anybody. And, that myth of empty land has been really deeply embedded here. I believe it's still with us. And so it's all part of the myth that the great white fathers came and cleared the land and civilized the land and made it a beautiful, you know, what it is today. And, in telling that story, it erases the value and the rights of the people who were already living here and the way they were living. It also allows people to act as if there are no laws or rules or values that we should be following. They say, well you know, this was empty land so we are starting fresh and we are building it according to our values. (Kamala Todd 4:152-160) The addition o f other mythologies can help those who come from cultures outside of the hegemonic culture to more easily see themselves as part of the history o f the city and the land (KaSpirituality and Planning  82  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice mala Todd 9-10). It also helps those in the hegemonic culture to see that there are different ways of viewing the history, the land and the community. It can help them to connect to a fuller, more complete version o f the city they live in. We can see a similar principle at work when Mark Lakeman recounts a story o f a neighbourhood woman challenging the dominant mythology o f what is legitimate to consider for urban design. like, in Sellwood, when we were having this mediation process with the wealthy condo owners, they were saying, "Well, it needs to look like all the houses around it. It needs to be sort of square, you need to use real wood. " And there was an old catholic woman living on one of the corners [of the intersection], [Woman's name], and she said, "Yeah, but the trees are there as well, why not have the work we do resemble the trees? " And, that was just as valid to her. (Mark Lakeman 17:759-764) The woman in this story challenged the mythology in urban design that asserts all design must fit with pre-existing design by adding that it was also legitimate for it to fit with the natural environment as well. Mark uses a similar strategy when speaking to architecture students. He tries to encourage them to learn a new identity story, a new origin myth o f the profession. When I do presentations at architecture schools, I bring them back to that original question. Alright, remember the question whether architecture leads or reflects, alright, in City Repair, we unask the question. We realized that the question—it supposes that it's okay for architecture and society to be separate. The whole question is wrong. So, architecture doesn't lead, it doesn't reflect. It's— cause you can't separate society from design. They have to be together. (Mark Lakeman 17:749-755)  SYMBOLISM OF THE GRID Both Mark Lakeman and Kamala Todd spoke o f the symbolism o f the grid. Despite never having met each other, never having even heard o f each other, their comments were almost identical. Mark describes the grid as a tool o f separation and subjugation. / came back from there with this knowledge that the grid was an imposition. And, I was told very directly and consciously that it's not just what we've done to the people of this land, but that this whole thing was laid out in a way that divides us and converts us to a workforce and struggles and unhappiness that are perpetual for us are a function of the design that we never participated in creating. We built it, but we were forced to, rather like building a great pyramid or something. (Mark Lakeman 4:142-148)  Spirituality and Planning  83  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice Similarly, Kamala described the grid as a tool o f colonialism. now that I'm more aware of the environment around me, the grid is SO, so uninspiring and imposing, and it's just—the way it regulates our lives, and now that I have a better understanding of how the land was here, not very long ago, you know, just a few grandmothers ago, I really get a sense ofjust how much that kind of grid and the clean lines and the rationalized order in space, how much that transformed the messy and the beautiful and interconnected landscape that was here before... Yeah, it was a very colonial landscape because it was built, you know, the majority of it was built by colonial power and colonial values about how we should use space and how things should be ordered and what makes a community. So that to me is a lot of it. I look around and I see values that are very different from my own, and that don't reflect my cultural teachings and what I believe about how we are supposed to live, and what I've been learning about other views of how we should live on the land. (Kamala Todd 2:56-62, & 67-72) Mark explains that the cross-roads are a symbol themselves. In cities that grew organically (slowly over time and by families or individuals building the structures), the pathways (roads) lead to intersections which "get to be places" (Mark Lakeman 9:397). These intersections are where people used to meet, and interact (a requirement for new things, for potential). Mark told a story about an African god that explains this concept. in an even more ancient principle that comes from the mother religion in Africa, Aliquaw, the African spirit or god of the cross-roads, it's just the principle that at the cross-roads is being, it's possibility. So, you go to the cross-roads and you meet other people. But, it's like this. Here's an organic molecule floating through the ether, alone. Here's another one and they don't quite touch. Nothing happens. Suddenly, they intersect, something happens. Perhaps life, who knows? But, it's just like that, like with you and I right now. So, the principle of being itself is like the principle of the cross-roads. (Mark Lakeman 10:417-419) Mark and all the people at C i t y Repair work to repair the lack o f opportunity to interact in the intersection so they "can realize and re-inhabit this [points to a drawing o f the grid]. It's really about transforming the world back into our habitat." (Mark Lakeman 10:439-441) Readers interested i n learning more about how City Repair works to reclaim the intersections should visit their website (www.cityrepair.org).  THOUGHTS ON LISTENING A l l o f the practitioners I interviewed identified listening as one o f the most important components o f their work to integrate spirituality into their planning practice. Part of it has to do with some simple habits. To, you know, shut up and listen when people start to talk—not to immediately dive in. I notice a lot of people, they never actually listen because they are preparing their response after the first Spirituality and Planning  84  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice bit and they don't hear most of it. And then they give their response which is insensitive and they don't listen to, they don't notice the insensitive—the reaction they are getting. (Larry Beasley 6: 234-239) A l l of them make conscious efforts to improve their listening skills and most o f them also try to improve the listening skills o f the other people they are working with. In our discussions about listening, as Kamala Todd points out, for many people, listening does not just include listening to other adults, but to our children, the animals, the land and the spiritual beings around us. Listening is like—/ am writing a series of books called Listen. Listen to your Child, Listen to the Land, Listen to the Ancestors, because, I think that is a huge part of the problem is that we don't listen anymore. That's what I was saying about, you know, not just about Native culture, but non-Native society in general, you need to listen to the people who live here and listen to the stories of the land. Like, there is just so much to be learned, and I guess, I guess there is so much noise, and I guess people—I don't know, there is such a focus on self-gratification in the city, and in pop culture and everything, it's all about our own pleasure, and our own satisfaction. There is less focus on listening (Kamala Todd 10:422-429) Since before recorded history, humans have gathered to talk and listen to one another in circles (Baldwin, 1998). In more recent history, especially in Western traditions, we have all but stopped meeting in circles" and instead meet in two opposing lines (as in opposite sides o f the board table). M a n y authors have noted the increased likelihood o f direct and escalating conflict from such arrangements (Baldwin, 1998; Wheatley, 2002). These same authors have also noted a marked difference in communication styles when the people are arranged in more o f a circular form. Mark Lakeman explained that at City Repair they have come to a similar conclusion. So, we employ sort of womb-space, womb-geometry. You could call it sacred geometry, except it is very curvaceous and not symmetrical. But, we are constantly finding that people want to create enclosing, curvaceous spaces. Since the beginning of City Repair, since our very first project, we've been very aware that when people get into those kind of spaces, they communicate better. (Mark Lakeman 3:131-135) Norma-Jean M c L a r e n reminds us o f how easy it is to stop listening, even when you are as highly trained and experienced as she is, and o f the importance o f self-monitoring. On Monday when I was working with the airport group, this one person said, "So, why do we bother doing this. There isn't any hope of human's changing. They will always be this way and they always have. " Well, if anything can get me going, it's a statement like that. So I immediately began to go into my old argumentative way—well, I wasn't particularly argumentative but 1 had to kind of stop myself. And 1 did—I went "Oops, stop, let me back up here. Tell me more about what you mean by that. " Because, that's Spirituality and Planning  85  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice the first thing we don't do; we don't ask for more, we ask for less... I don't want to hear anything more because I've already made up my mind. (Norma-Jean McLaren 7:272-285, & 287)  Listening Does Not Equal Agreeing In our interview, Norma-Jean made a very important observation. She noted that in Euro-Canadian culture, most often listening is perceived to be related to agreeing. She works to change this perception i n her work as she has found it severely hampers peoples' ability to really engage with one another. It is the MOST important thing that people have to hear when they are going to hear each other's stories is that in this society—and I know you've heard me say this before, so I'll preach it two more times—in this society we have a thing about "If I actually listen to you it means that I agree with you so I mustn't listen to you. If I really disagree with what a racist, sexist, homophobic stuff, if I listen to you, you '11 think I agree with you. So, I must not listen to you. " So, as a result, when someone says something we think is racist. We never see where that comes from or what it means to them. We 're shut down from the get-go and out of relationship with that person—we tend to be. So yeah, one of the hardest things is for us, for all of us to say, all the time, to say "Hear it. " Hearing a person's story has got NOTHING to do with agreeing, but it also has nothing to do with disagreeing. What you are hearing is their story. It's got nothing to do with the way you experience the same situation. (Norma-Jean McLaren 6:251-262)  SPEAKING OF SPIRITUALITY—TO USE OR NOT TO USE THE *S' WORD The general consensus among the people I interviewed is that they generally do not speak in terms o f spirituality i n their public processes unless they have developed a long and solid relationship with the other members o f the group. From my perspective, this is an interesting contradiction with the notion that some o f them identified o f the importance consciously speaking o f other difficult topics to help give the rest o f the group permission to explore similarly uncomfortable or difficult topics. This is an issue I w i l l explore further i n the next chapter where I synthesize the information from the literature reviews and from these interviews. The following comment from Keith is representative o f comments made by most o f the interviewees. I guess it has to do with trying to take—you go talking about God and spirits and stuff like that, like everybody is not on the same page. Some people are coming at it from a Christian view and some people maybe coming at it from—well scientists claim their atheism, and stuff like that. So you can't come talking like that, but you can talk about it from the point of view of human health and well-being and our common responses to—to whatever, like the land and the water. You can talk about things and connect on levels that are not dogmatic and not ritualistic and not—you know, whatever, steeped in mystery and all that kind of stuff—where Spirituality and Planning  86  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice people can feel connected to and warm up to and so I think you have to be conscious of where people come to with this. (Keith 10:425-433) * * *  CAUTIONS WHEN USING SPIRITUALITY IN PLANNING PRACTICE The literature from other professions identified concerns and cautions regarding the integration o f spirituality into professional practice. In their interviews, the practitioners in this study also identified some things they think the field o f planning needs to consider.  Perception of Being Unscientific/Not Academic I suppose in the spoken, the danger is, the danger we perceive is the danger most of us feel (not me so much any more) is the danger of being marginalized by being not academic enough, not professional. I don't believe that's as true as it was, but again, I can't tell if it's the gift of age, or time has changed things. (NormaJean M c L a r e n 10:397-400) Echoing exactly the concerns raised in the social work literature, Norma-Jean McLaren identifies that she believes many planners may be hesitant to incorporate spirituality into their planning practice because they would feel vulnerable to the attack o f being unscientific or unprofessional.  Don't Get Too Esoteric In the section on intuition i n this chapter, I wrote about Larry Beasley's concern that people may take the incorporation o f spirituality too far and be unable to relate to others who may not have similar understandings. Keith shares a similar concern: / feel like we are sort of bent on mysticism and untouchable, unreachable things and I think that for me, a lot of my experiences have helped me to take all of those complexities out of the equation, so 1 don't see no big mystery and I don't see no big—it's really common sense and it's really simple and the simpler the better. (Keith 9:379-382) His suggestion is that planners incorporating spirituality into their practice stick to relating it to concrete things around us and not get lost in dogma and esoteric theology. so there is something that for me is hard to understand when I think about this whole issues of heaven and how you prepare for heaven and everything you do and everything you are not supposed to do, so to speak. And, itjust doesn't connect for me. I don't know how, that to be true, it's just my understanding of that whole Christian world where is the place of water, for example, or the place of land or the place of the plant world or the insect world, or the animal world or the bird world, or the world that—the heavens, whatever life forms that happen up there or below us. (Keith 3-4:127-134) Spirituality and Planning  87  We Are Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice  Messianic Leaders Norma-Jean raised a concern that incorporating spirituality into planning practice may make the people involved in the processes vulnerable to messianic leaders, people who want to act as mediators between divine being(s) and other people. Put another way, she is worried about people full o f hubris using planning as a forum to impose their views and understandings on others. To me, the danger is still my, I can't think of any other way to say it other than getting in the way of it—which is the great interpreter. It's like I'm being spoken to, I'm acting on principles that are above and beyond us. So, I'll tell you what they are all about. 'Cause, that's not what I think the place of spirit is about, not me as interpreter to others. (Norma-Jean McLaren 10:407-411) This is indeed a concern, but as I w i l l discuss in more detail in the next chapter, I believe it is also a danger when spirituality is not integrated into planning practice. What could be worse when spirituality is absent is that fewer people have the understanding and the words to use to recognize and challenging this kind o f abuse o f power.  More Danger i n Planner Ignoring Spirituality Norma-Jean M c L a r e n had an interesting response when I asked her what some o f the dangers of integrating spirituality into planning practice might be. She turned the question upside down and explored the danger o f N O T incorporating our spirituality into our planning practice. The danger to me is when we don't do that [incorporate spirituality into our practice]. When we remove ourselves from the equation—I guess that's part of it. When we go out to do work and don't take ourselves along...you know it's like we are a walking head to visit somebody, or a walking mouth or a walking judgement. When we don't take our whole selves along, our insights, our mistakes, our history of getting it wrong and getting it right, and our ability to listen to each other, then you know, I think we are a danger to a community. We are certainly a danger to ourselves. (Norma-Jean McLaren 10:419-421, & 423-427) It was my turn to be challenged, to be knocked out o f my habitual way o f thinking. Until Norma-Jean said this, I had been approaching this thesis apologetically, as an explanation for why it is important to incorporate spirituality into planning practice. Until then, I hadn't thought that maybe it was the profession that needed to write the apology to justify excluding spirituality.  SUMMARY The planners in this study have clearly articulated that they are able to integrate spirituality into their planning processes without reducing the diversity o f the participants. They draw on Spirituality and Planning  88  We A r e Already Doing it: Spirituality in Planning Practice their spiritual understandings as an internal source o f motivation and inspiration and use their knowledge o f their own and other people's spiritualities to design processes that help people to feel safe, explore possible futures and even start to heal from trauma and injustices. In the next chapter I explicitly outline considerations for planning practice and educations and present recommendations for future exploration o f the interconnection between spirituality and planning.  Spirituality and Planning  89  CHAPTER 6 - NEW STEPS FOR OUR DANCE: SUGGESTIONS FOR INTEGRATING SPIRITUALITY INTO PLANNING PRACTICE AND EDUCATION  Joseph Campbell tells the following story set in Japan at a conference on the history o f religions. A n American philosopher, after experiencing several Shinto shrines and ceremonies, said to one o f the priests: " Y o u know," he said, "I've been now to a good many ceremonies and have seen quite a number o f shrines, but I don't get the ideology; I don't get your theology." The Japanese (you may know) do not like to disappoint visitors, and this gentle man, polite, apparently respecting the foreign scholar's profound questions, paused as though i n deep thought, and then, biting his lips, slowly shook his head. "I think we don't have ideology," he said. " W e don't have theology. W e dance." (Campbell, 1972, p. 102) A n d so it is for our understanding o f spirituality in planning. Spirituality in planning is not about ideology and not about theology. These are aspects o f religion that lie outside o f planning practice. Spirituality as it applies to planning is a system o f beliefs through which we interact with others i n a process o f building relationships, building connections. It is a way o f being in the world rather than a particular ideology. It is, i f you w i l l , choosing to dance, choosing to be engaged fully in the world. But, what is this system o f beliefs, this way of being in the world? I turn to my guides in this research, to the practitioners I interviewed and the numerous authors who have come before me to illustrate the steps o f this new dance. The practitioners spoke o f the importance o f paying attention to connections. In their practice, they help themselves and their participants to be conscious of the connections they have to the earth, the animals, spirit-  Spirituality and Planning  When you get so discouraged that you don't know what to do, just remember that water, earth, air, community and love are the sacred things. It doesn't matter how you love or who you love, love is sacred. When you have been utterly reduced and you don't know what to do, the way to begin again is to realize those things. (Elk River as quoted by Mark Lakeman 19:845-849) 90  N e w Steps for Our Dance beings as well as other humans. So, spirituality in planning is, in part, about being conscious o f the relationships between and-among all that is around us Spirituality in planning includes approaching things holistically. The practitioners viewed humans as being comprised o f different aspects that need to be in some kind o f balance. They spoke o f the importance o f bringing their whole self into their work and inviting others to do the same. They also saw the world holistically, seeing that there are many components which make up the whole; acknowledging that often the whole  They see the tree as a tree, and not as a collection o f trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, fruit. They see the forest as a forest and not a collection o f different kinds o f trees, animals, birds, insects, streams and other life forms. They look at the world and see it whole (Kumar, 2002, p. 177)  is not simply the sum o f its parts. Spirituality, or at least a spiritual way o f knowing, recognizes that there are other ways to see the world than the dualistic manner embedded in much o f the Western tradition. Spirituality in planning is used to moderate the cold, potentially heartless edge o f rationality. Planning is "managing our co-existence in shared spaces." (Healey, 1997, p. 3) Spirituality in planning reminds practitioners and participants that the reason we manage is so that we continue to co-exist, not simply for the sake o f managing. Through all this, it is important not to forget the mystery and mysticism that are central to spirituality. Intuition, spirit guides, awe and wonder were regularly spoken o f by the participants in this research. These ideas and experiences, as difficult as they are to write about and for the academy to embrace, are important to planning's understanding o f spirituality. To embrace diverse spiritualities, practitioners must be familiar with their own experience o f spirituality. Self-awareness, or a strengthening relationship with one's self, is an essential component o f spirituality in planning.  17  Palmer (1998) explains the importance o f self-  awareness in this way: When I do not know myself, I cannot know my subject—not at the deepest levels of embodied, personal meaning. I w i l l know it only abstractly, from a distance, a congeries o f concepts as far removed from the world as I am from personal truth. (P- 2) Exploring and understanding other people's spirituality requires us to explore our own. See Atkey (2004) for an in-depth analysis o f the role o f self-awareness (what Atkey calls reflexivity) in planning. Spirituality and Planning  91  N e w Steps for Our Dance Connections, holism, moving beyond dualism, mystery, mysticism, valuing pluralism and self-awareness are the new steps we need to learn to integrate spirituality into our planning dance. They help to frame spirituality into a concept that can be used for both theory and practice and allow us to distinguish what music and moves fit within our dance, and what ones fall beyond the scope o f planning. This understanding o f spirituality in planning, combined with the results from the rest o f my research, has implications for planning practice and planning education. In the remainder o f this chapter, I explore these implications and in Appendix C I make suggestions for future research in all o f these areas. Before leaving the concept o f spirituality in planning, however, I must take a moment to offer a warning about a significant danger inherent i n this attempt to integrate spirituality into the domain o f planning. I want to be a flight attendant; I can save you all. Look to me for your instructions when the plane begins to f a l l . . . I ' l l fly out every day knowing death may take this flight I ' l l be so strong and ready, pushing open the emergency doors and pushing you out, down the inflatable slide, into the water, each o f you holding on to your seat cushion as your personal flotation device.... A n d I w i l l be the last to leave the plane. When even the pilot's safe, I ' l l push off and swim away as the plane bursts into flames. A n d my knotted scarf w i l l stay in place, and the waves w i l l lap my strong face and I w i l l have saved you all, oh I want to be a flight attendant.. .(Cadell, 1991) There is a danger in integrating spirituality into planning practice. The danger is that we will lose the balance between humility and confidence—that we w i l l seek to be the "flight attendant" wanting to save the world with no time or patience for others' ways o f doing and being. The planners in this study value the pluralism o f the spiritual beliefs they encounter as they work. Valuing the diverse spiritualities helps them to avoid becoming saviour figures or evangelic preachers o f their particular beliefs and experiences. Spirituality in planning, therefore, requires appreciation o f spiritual pluralism and openness to learning from others' experiences.  SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING PRACTICE The literature from other professions that have already started to incorporate spirituality into their practice and theory offers many insights useful to planning. There is also considerable overlap between this literature and what the practitioners in this study have discovered about inSpirituality and Planning  92  N e w Steps for Our Dance corporating spirituality into their practice. In reviewing the ideas from both the literature and the interviews, I have organized the ways that spirituality may be incorporated into practice into two main categories: self-nourishment and building connections. The literature encourages, and my interviewees reiterate, that practitioners  Spirituality in Planning Practice  can draw on their spiritual experiences for internal understanding and motivation. Practitioners, at least according to the literature and the ones in this study, also design processes that allow themselves and others to interact with one another from a spirit-based place. F i g ure 2 visually represents what I see as the major concepts i n both o f these areas.  Building Connections  SelfNourishment  •Atmosphere of Mutuality  •Self-awareness •Bring Whole Self  •Safe Space  •Intuition  •Work with Potential •Build Relationships and /  Bridge Differences •Mythology and Stories •Rituals •Listening  The dotted line around the ways spirituality may be used for selfnourishment represents the interaction  Figure 2 - Spirituality in Planning Practice  between what we do to nourish ourselves and how we interact with others (Palmer, 1998). It also represents that these categories are not rigid or mutually exclusive. It is important to note here that the self-nourishing uses o f spirituality are not necessarily limited to planning practitioners. The participants in planning processes may also draw on their spirituality i n similar ways; however, further research is required to have a better sense o f how participants bring their spirituality into processes.  Spirituality as Self-Nourishment Se If-awareness I take [planning theory] to assess planning as deliberative action that shapes others' understandings o f their cities, their selves, and crucially, their possibilities o f action, for better or worse. (Forester, 1999, p. 6) Self-awareness was identified by the practitioners i n this study as playing a very important role in their planning practice. They also linked their increased self-awareness to their spirituality, seeing spirituality as an important method for gaining increased self-awareness. Both the literature reviewed and the practitioners identified self-awareness as being important for working Spirituality and Planning  93  N e w Steps for Our Dance in conflict and to help increase understanding o f other people. It seems that the better we understand ourselves, the better we are able to.understand others. Maybe it is for planning as Palmer described for teaching: Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique: good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.. .my ability to connect with my students, and to connect them with the subject, depends less on the methods I use than on the degree to which I know and trust my selfhood—and am willing to make it available and vulnerable i n the service o f learning (Palmer, 1998, p. 10 original emphasis) But, we can only make ourselves vulnerable i f we both know our vulnerabilities and know we are strong enough to deal with them. For similar reasons, the literature also encourages practitioners to encourage selfawareness in the people they are working with. Some o f the planners I interviewed encouraged others to increase their self-awareness, though this was not a universal practice among this group of planners. Nevertheless, it does seem like a technique that could help to change the dynamics in a group and help people to relate "spirit to spirit, human to human" (Norma-Jean McLaren 3:120). It may also be a way to engage people in dialogues about how their understanding o f the cosmos, or their world views, relate to the issues and potential interventions at hand.  Bring 'Whole-Self to Process The professionals in this study were very clear about the importance o f bringing their whole beings into the processes they participate in. They were equally as passionate about helping others to do the same. According to theorists in other professions, this is an important and positive practice. It helps to build trust and safety among participants and allows for a diversity o f epistemologies to inform the process.  "Socrates was a misunderstanding," Nietzsche writes, "rationality at any costs...in opposition to the instincts, has itself been no more than a form o f sickness." (quoted in Flyvbjerg, 2001, p. 24)  Intuition In both the literature and among the professionals I interviewed, there is controversy over intuition's connection to spirituality. Some view intuition as nothing more than the unconscious paying attention to physical sensory information that the conscious mind is not attending to. Others view intuition as the spiritual sensory system, or the way we receive information that does not stem from our physical senses. This controversy is unlikely to ever be resolved, but I believe it is sufficient for planners to know that many people see their intuition as being a part o f their Spirituality and Planning  94  N e w Steps for Our Dance spirituality and draw on it heavily to aid in their work and relationships with others. Whether they saw intuition as being related to their spirituality or not, the planners in this investigation also used their intuition extensively. While some people seem more naturally intuitive than others, intuition is something that can be developed and honed (see Spirituality and Planning Education later in this chapter).  Spirituality as Building Connections with Others Atmosphere of Mutuality This study identified that planners who incorporate spirituality into their practice rely on building atmospheres o f mutuality. They strive for mutuality in learning, mutuality in risktaking, mutuality in giving and receiving, and mutual levels o f comfort and discomfort. A n atmosphere o f mutuality helps to build trust, connection and safety among participants, in part, by demonstrating that everyone is i n a similar position. Remembering to build atmospheres o f mutuality may also help to prevent facilitators from turning into the messianic or saviour leaders which so much o f the literature and the findings o f this study warn against.  Safe Space The participants in this study use the development of group guidelines, self-disclosure, and admitting their own mistakes to help create a sense o f safety for every-  R i n g the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. (Leonard Cohen, 1992)  one in the process. While physical safety is necessary during spirit-conscious planning, this item refers more to the psycho-social space o f the group. The sense I got as I completed the interviews was there was a feeling that unless participants in planning processes feel safe to go where they need to go, and explore what they need to explore, the process w i l l be stilted and superficial.  Work with Potential Several o f the participants identified this as the core of what they strive to do through their planning practice. One of my favourite phrases from the interviews was the importance o f working with "what isn't." It is working in a space that, as much as possible, is unhindered by preconceived agendas, limitations or judgeSpirituality and Planning  don't establish the boundaries first, the squares, triangles, boxes of preconceived possibility, and then pour life into them, trimming off left-over edges, ending potential: (Ammons, 1965, p. 116; quoted in Wheatley, 2002, p. 116) 95  N e w Steps for Our Dance ments. Some o f the techniques used by interviewees to reach this space include breaking expectations, taking risks (or stepping into the unknown), letting go o f the plan, and encouraging participants to use their creativity.  Build Relationships and Bridge Differences The relationships we have to one another, to the environment around us, to the land, and to past and future generations figure prominently in planning practice that incorporates spirituality. The planners i n this study encourage others to explore and expand their relationships and seek out new connections, sometimes even with people who on the surface seem very different. Connections or relationships are also seen as central to spirituality. Spiritual understandings influence the relationships we think about, often expanding them to include non-human beings such as the animals, plants, spirit-beings, and divine-being(s) (Campbell, 1988; Canda & Furman, 1999; Sarkissian, 1996). Practitioners striving for spirit-conscious practice need to be prepared to talk about these kinds o f relationships even though it may be foreign to their understanding o f the cosmos.  Mythology and Storytelling Some o f the planners in this study encouraged participants to share their mythologies with one another and with people outside the process to help build a more complete understanding o f the history o f the land and the community. Others encouraged multiple mythologies in an attempt to help people understand there are many ways to view human existence and that all o f them have lessons to offer to others (and, therefore, lessons to learn from others). Stories are also used to assist with group formation and to help individuals and communities to heal from trauma and oppression. Kamala Todd, one o f the interviewees, indicated her amazement at the depth o f healing that she has seen occur when she helped to provide a forum for people to tell their personal histories and their sacred stories (or myths).  Rituals Rituals were used by most o f the planners I interviewed.  They were used mainly to  mark transitions. A s one o f the planners noted, sometimes the rituals are the most memorable 1 8  In chapter 5 o f his book, The Deliberative Practitioner, Forester (1999) explores the roles ritu-  als play in participatory processes. It is an impressive review o f the range o f effects rituals can have on participants. Unfortunately he does not relate it to either the participants' or practitioners' spiritualities. Spirituality and Planning  9i  N e w Steps for Our Dance part o f the process for the participants. It is important to remember that rituals do not need to be complex. In fact, often the most effective are simple and grow out o f the experiences o f the group. The literature suggests that in addition to how the planners in this study use them, rituals can be used to celebrate, to remember, and to explore meaning. Creating authentic rituals that do not alienate people from different religious and spiritual traditions takes skill and practice. A n insight I w i l l pick up again when I explore the implications o f this study for planning education.  Listening A l l the planners I spoke with discussed the importance o f listening in their work. Listening honours the other person and their experiences. It is the primary way we learn more about one another. Listening, therefore, is vital for building connections between people. In addition, listening can facilitate healing. The gift o f listening is one o f the most valuable and powerful gifts a person can give. I have also found that being given the privilege o f listening to another person is can be a great gift. To know that a person trusts me with their sacred stories and some of their innermost thoughts and feelings is both a huge honour and humbling. I have learned so much from people who have shared their stories with me that I cannot even imagine where I would be had I not had those opportunities. Listening is, however, hard work and a skill that must be learned and practiced. There are many misconceptions in our society about listening, not the least o f which is the one NormaJean McLaren expressed i n our interview: i f I listen to someone, it implies I agree with them. A s she pointed out, however, listening has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. Unfortunately, most o f us need to unlearn this confusion so that we can really listen to the people in our lives and work.  SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING EDUCATION In the previous sections I have outlined some o f the ways that spirituality can be and is being integrated into planning practice. To advance these efforts, however, current and future practitioners need to be exposed to the possibility o f incorporating spirituality into their practice and need opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to do this. I am not so naive as to think that all future planners w i l l integrate spirituality into their planning practice just because they are exposed to it during their formal education; indeed, it would not be appropriate for everyone to do. I do think, however, that graduate and continuing education i n planning could offer more support to those who do wish to integrate spirituality into their planning practice. CurSpirituality and Planning  97  N e w Steps for Our Dance rently, at least at The University o f British Columbia's School o f Community and Regional Planning ( S C A R P ) , students are exposed to the possibility o f there being a relationship between spirituality and planning though the occasional comment by faculty members, through faculty members' support o f student's research into this field and through peer discussions about their research. M y initial thoughts on how planning schools could offer additional support to students wanting to explore spirit-conscious planning are outlined below. One o f the biggest difficulties encountered in other professions and in the academic writing on spirituality is a lack o f language to express spiritual concepts and experiences (Rodger, 1996). Planning education could introduce students to some o f the more common spiritual concepts encountered in planning practice and give them an opportunity to discuss them. The literature suggests this could also give students an opportunity to encounter conversations about spirituality designed to better understand other people's spirituality as opposed to the conversations more common today where people try to convince others that their belief is better or correct. These discussions could also give students an opportunity to sit with and hopefully become more comfortable with paradoxes inherent i n spirituality. Rituals are an important, but often misunderstood aspect o f spirit-conscious planning. Planning education offers an opportunity to familiarize future planners with the use, design and implementation o f rituals. It would also be important to help students explore various kinds o f symbols and actions that can be incorporated into rituals. Planning education also offers an opportunity to help students learn ways they can learn more about themselves, ways they can become more self-aware and increase their experience o f their spirituality. This w i l l , however, require that both students and professors "do something alien to academic culture: [they] must talk to each other about [their] inner lives—risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract." (Palmer, 1998, p. 12) Thankfully, even from within the field o f planning, we have some helpful examples o f faculty who have started to integrate this kind o f learning into their classes. A t the School o f Community and Regional Planning, Leonie Sandercock offers a course entitled Cross Cultural Planning where, through journaling and other exercises, students are encouraged to learn about their own cultural biases. These techniques can easily be adapted to help students learn about their own spirituality. In the field o f education, authors such as Sefa D e i (2002) and Egley (2001) outline methods they use to help students learn about their own spirituality. Spe-  Spirituality and Planning  98  N e w Steps for Our Dance cifically, Egley (2001) recommends methods such as journal writing in place o f essays, valuing silence, nurturing relationships and establishing community as ways that professors can assist university students with their spiritual development. I would recommend that planning faculty considering the integration o f these kinds o f activities into their courses seek out Clinical Pastoral Education supervisors as they are familiar with combining deep self-exploration with graduate education. I also recommend faculty read Parker Palmer's (1998) book The Courage to Teach. In fact, I encourage them to have their students read the book, or at least selected passages from it, as much o f what Palmer writes about teaching also applies to the practice o f planning. Intuition and listening are two skills which were identified by the planners in this study as being central to their professional success, but that were not addressed i n their education. Both are skills that can be developed through a combination o f theoretical and practical experience. They do, however, require time and an experienced teacher to develop them. These skills are valuable for all planners, and an increased focus on them would help students wishing to explore a spirit-conscious planning practice to have the skills they need. Finally, it is important that planners are exposed to the concepts o f safe space and of working with potential. These concepts are central to the practice o f the planners in this study and, as outlined in Chapter 5, there are certain techniques they use to help them achieve these somewhat abstract goals. These techniques, or 'tricks o f the trade,' could easily be included in the education o f planners in courses and professional development workshops that focus on public participation, negotiation and conflict resolution and social planning.  CONCLUSION A t the beginning o f this study, I set out to answer two questions: " H o w can spirituality be understood so that as a concept it is relevant to the diverse communities that planners in North America work with?" and, " H o w do North American planners currently incorporate spirituality into their planning practice?" I discovered that a single definition o f spirituality would be less helpful to planning practitioners and theorists than exploring a broad range o f spiritual experiences and understanding. Planners, however, need a conceptual framework to help them distinguish spirituality being incorporated into planning from attempts to incorporate religion, theology or ideology into planning practice. I hope that the framework presented at the beginning o f this chapter w i l l help both planners with and without a solid understanding o f spirituality to be Spirituality and Planning  99  N e w Steps for Our Dance able to discern the difference between these concepts. It appears that the discussion o f how planning and spirituality interrelate is just getting started, and is certain to receive increased attention. It is my hope that this thesis w i l l start wider and more public discussions on the role o f spirituality in planning in multicultural contexts. Judging from recent master's theses and projects (Dampier, 2003; M c L e a n , 1997; Turner, 2004), doctoral dissertations (Sarkissian, 1996) and even book chapters and journal articles (Newman & Kenworthy, 1999, chapter 7; Wight, in-press), it appears  i  ; : This Is It #2  the discussion o f how planning and spirituality interrelate w i l l continue to receive increased attention. I hope this thesis has offered you opportunities to reflect, to be challenged, to be validated, and to see new and exciting ways to bring spirituality into your practice. It w i l l take brave individuals to make spirit-conscious planning more common in our field. The challenge, however, is worth the risk i f it allows our participants and  This This This And  is It. is really It. is all there is. It's perfect as It is.  There is nowhere to go but Here. There is nothing here but N o w . There is nothing now but This.  ourselves to more fully engage in the management o f our co-existence in shared spaces. M a y your life and work be filled with joy, love and blessings.  Spirituality and Planning  A n d this is It. This is really It. This is all there is. A n d It's perfect as It is. (Broughton,1990, p. 89)  100  BIBLIOGRAPHY Aberley, D . (2000). Telling stories to the future: Integrative approaches to planning for the new millennium. Plan Canada, 40(\), 24-25. Abram, D . (1997). 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H . S., & Oman, D . (2001). Spirituality, religion and health: Evidence, issues and concerns. In T. G . Plante & A . C . Sherman (Eds.), Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (pp. 15-52). N e w York: Guilford Press. Throgmorton, J. (1992). Planning as persuasive storytelling about the future: Negotiating an electric power rate settlement in Illinois. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 72(1), 17-31. Tisdell, E . J. (2003). Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Turner, H . (2004). A Sense of the Sacred: Site Analysis and Redesign of Seaforth Peace Park. Unpublished master's project, University o f British Columbia, Vancouver, B C . Tyndale, W . (2000). Faith and economics in 'development': A bridge across the chasm? Development in Practice, 10(1), 9-18. van Eijk, T. (1999). Science and spirituality. COMPAS Newsletter, February 1999, 36-37. Ver Beek, K . A . (2000). Spirituality: A development taboo. Development in Practice, 10(1), 3143. Wheatley, M . J. (2002). Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. White, J. (1996). Education, spirituality and the whole child: a humanist perspective. In R. Best (Ed.), Education, Spirituality and the Whole Child (pp. 30-42). London: Cassell. Whitman, W . (1995). Whitman's Men: Walt Whitman's Calamus Poems Celebrated by Contemporary Photographers. N e w York: Universe Publishing. Wight, I. (in-press). Placemaking as applied integral ecology: Evolving an ecologically-wise planning ethic. World Futures. Wilber, K . (1977). The Spectrum of Conciousness. Wheaton, I L : The Theosophical Publishing House. Wilber, K . (1979). No Boundary, Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth. Los Angeles: Centre Publications. Wilber, K . (1981). Up from Eden. N e w York: Doubleday/Anchor. Wilber, K . (1983). Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm. Garden City, N Y : Anchor Books. Wilber, K . (1995). Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. Boston: Shambhala. Wilber, K . (1996). A Brief History of Everything. Boston, M A : Shambhala. Wilber, K . (1998). The Essential Ken Wilber: An Introductory Reader. Boston: Shambhala. Wilber, K . (2000). A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality. Boston, M A : Shambhala. Williamson, M . (1992). A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles. N e w York: HarperCollins. Winter, B . J. (1993). Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That you Love. N e w York: Bantam Books.  Spirituality and Planning  108  Appendix C -Recommendations for Future Research Research and theory into integrating spirituality into planning practice is in its infancy. A s a result, there are many areas that need further exploration. In this appendix I outline suggestions for future research within three main foci: understanding spirituality in planning; spirituality and planning practice; and spirituality and planning education.  UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUALITY IN PLANNING While I tried to present a comprehensive exploration o f spirituality, I was limited by time, research focus, and experience. There are several areas o f exploration that could increase our understanding o f spirituality and merit further research. First and foremost, our understanding o f spirituality would benefit from an exploration of the topic that was researched and written by people from several different spiritual, religious, and cultural traditions. While I have tried to represent experiences and understanding from multiple traditions, all are presented through my biases as a person raised in the West in a Christian tradition with a bias towards individualism and dualism. A paper exploring spirituality from several different cultural, religious and spiritual traditions would greatly expand our understanding. I recommend that at least some o f the sections originally be written in languages other than English as another way to encourage different concepts and themes to emerge. John Friedmann (2003) encouraged doctoral students at the State University o f Michigan to research the connection between spirituality and planning. He encouraged them to investigate both the constructive and destructive side o f spirituality. W h i l e occasionally acknowledging some o f the destructive sides o f spirituality, my research has focused on its constructive aspects. It is very important, however, that further investigations explore the destructive sides along with ways to better understand and mitigate them, maybe even with a view to exploring how to transform them into constructive forces. A t the end o f Towards Cosmopolis, Sandercock (1998a) calls for increased attention to the interaction between sexuality and planning, or what she calls the City o f Desire. While few have taken up her challenge, how society can plan and make space for desire and eros remains a significant gap in planning theory. A s researchers investigate and reflect on the City o f Desire, it w i l l be important to include in that investigation how the City o f Spirit and the City o f Desire interact. Bullis (1996), a social work theorist, has explored the interaction o f tantra and ecstatic (or sacred) sexuality with social work. He concludes that many o f the concepts o f tantra could Spirituality and Planning  112  be important resources for social workers in clinical practice. Unfortunately, he did not explore the connection o f sacred sexuality to the macro-social level. H i s work may, however, provide a good launching ground for the exploration o f spirituality and sexuality in planning practice. Researchers exploring the City o f Desire and the City o f Spirit would do well to explore the significant work that has been done by queer writers on the connection o f sexuality and spirituality (to start, see Barzan, 1995) K e n Wilber is transpersonal psychology's seminal theorist and most prolific writer (Wilber, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000). "Transpersonal theory calls us to go beyond the limits and biases o f egoistic and ethnocentric views o f the self, the world, well-being and justice." (Canda & Smith, 2001, p. 1) Seen as one o f the most innovative explorations for integrating spirituality into social work practice (Canda, 1998), social work theorists have begun to explore lessons and implications for social work stemming from transpersonal theory (See the collection o f articles edited by Canda & Smith, 2001). Transpersonal theory may offer many valuable lessons for the field o f planning. Wilber has developed his theory, in part, by identifying similarities between spiritual traditions. Exploration o f transpersonal theory and the integration o f spirituality i n planning practice, therefore, would need to examine if, by focusing on the similarities between spiritual traditions, important aspects o f difference are negated or glossed over. Although I drew heavily on the writings o f social work theorists, most o f their work focuses on how spirituality can be integrated into clinical social work practice with individuals. They have only begun to articulate how spirituality can be applied at the macro or community level o f social work practice (see especially Canda & Furman, 1999, chapter 9). It would benefit both disciplines to work with each other to further identify the promises and challenges o f integrating spirituality into work with groups and communities.  SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING PRACTICE Social work has done a lot o f research into the attitudes and practices o f social work practitioners as they relate to integrating spirituality into their practice. Unfortunately very little research has been done into the affect it has on clients (Russel, 1998) or into clients' perception o f how it is being incorporated. Planning could easily fall into this same problem. Future research, therefore, has to investigate not only the attitudes and experiences o f planning practitioners, but also the experiences o f the other participants in the planning processes. Spirituality and Planning  113  In addition, future studies on the integration o f spirituality into planning practice would benefit from observation o f practitioners in the field (Patton, 2002). While interviews provide one important insight into planning practice, they are only one way to access this information and, as noted in Chapter 2, the more perspectives we can observe a phenomenon or process from, the better we w i l l be able to understand the complex interrelation o f the players and other aspects. While planning can not be reduced to a recipe style formula (Atkey, 2004; Flyvbjerg, 2001), there are techniques and exercises that some practitioners have found to be consistently successful in their attempts to integrate spirituality into their work. Documenting these exercises or experiences and the contexts in which they have been used could be helpful to planners wanting to start integrating spirituality into their practice. Some o f the literature and some o f the practitioners in this study make claims about benefits that are realized by including spirituality i n processes. Claims such as movements grounded in spirituality lasting longer or having lower levels o f burn-out need to be evaluated (Sloan et al., 2001). While it would be a mistake to evaluate them solely quantitatively, it would equally be a mistake to avoid evaluating the claims because o f difficulties i n methodology. W e w i l l need to come up with creative ways to investigate such ideas. Transformative learning theory has informed a large part o f this study, however, the connection between transformative learning, spirituality and planning could be explored further. The writings o f Paulo Freire (1970/2000), the work o f the Highlander School (Adams & Horton, 1975; Horton & Freire, 1990) and o f the Ontario Institute for Studies i n Education (OISE) (O'Sullivan, Morrell, & O'Connor, 2002) could all offer significant contributions to this exploration. Because this study represents the first comprehensive examination o f the relationship between spirituality and planning, the focus was kept broad to provide a high-level overview o f the potential for integrating spirituality into the field. Further work, therefore, could be done to examine the potential o f spirituality to support the work o f communities that insurgent or radical planners work with. Canda and Furman (1999) encourage investigation into how spirituality can be used to sustain collective actions for social justice. In addition, I think questions such as, "how can insurgent planners help people express and have their spirituality heard and taken seriously?" are ripe for further investigation. Schugurensky (2002), a theorist in adult education, has  Spirituality and Planning  114  started to look at this from an educational perspective using the Participatory Budgeting in Porto Alegre (and now used across Brazil) as a case study.  SPIRITUALITY AND PLANNING EDUCATION To successfully incorporate education on spirituality and planning, we w i l l need to understand the receptivity or hesitancy o f faculty and students to having it included i n planning curricula. Part o f this work could be to develop tools and suggested curricula to assist with teaching on spirituality i n planning. It may be necessary to develop professional development courses to help faculty members to be more comfortable with the topic. Currently, finding literature on spirituality and planning is a difficult task. A n annotated bibliography on spirituality and planning would greatly aid with the teaching and researching o f spirituality in planning. A similar bibliography as already been produced for social work and may provide an excellent start to one for planning (see Canda et al., 2003). Further work needs to be done to help faculty members wanting to encourage selfexploration among their students. The expertise to incorporate self-exploration into graduate education already exists, however, compiling it into one place and adapting it for use in the field of planning would be incredibly helpful for faculty wanting to further promote the importance o f self-awareness for planning practice.  Spirituality and Planning  115  


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