Inviting Connections

Chris Corrigan shared this from an Art of Hosting conversation, linking back to the four-seasons view of Inviting Leadership Practice that we’ve developed over the last few years…

This reminds me of the “four karmas” in Buddhism, which describe how one acts skillfully, as an expression of compassion and in accord with the natural order. The correspondence isn’t exact, but I can see the same general direction flowing through your four categories. Which makes sense if we are talking about the same reality. There’s only one, after all!

The first karma is “pacifying” which is also about opening a space or portal of awareness, and taming the ground by clearing away any negative energies. There is no distinction between inner and outer in this sense. Or you could say, it is all inner. Or all outer. So opening and clearing one’s mind is expressed in how one relates to the environment or situation, and vice-versa. Pacifying is represented as a circle.

Then comes “enriching” which is a square, reminiscent of a square hearth or the foundation of a house. So something about cultivating the earth, drawing out the richness, generating something or letting something emerge and develop.

Third is “magnetizing” which is represented by an open half-circle, which invites possibility, play, communication, wealth, power. This is karma of leadership.

Fourth is about action. If the frame of reference is how you work with obstacles, this one is called “destroying.” i.e., you don’t cut until you have first worked with the other three. If it’s about how you take action in the world, this one is about accomplishment. This is a triangle.

I think it’s cool to see how aligned these patterns are.

In a related Shambhala system, there’s also a post-action piece, which is the letting go after the stroke or the cut. Opening up again, which is suggested by your arrow in the middle. Coming back to wide open space and wide open mind.

Easy to imagine the first one as a circle, an “oh!” that is Opening. The second as the square piece of paper that is posted as Invitation. The third, half circle, as the bowl space of Hosting. And the fourth, the triangle, as the spear of Action. Leading back to “oh!” and Opening. Nice.