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Satyana Institute

P.O. Box 1324
Freeland, WA 98249
United States

Tel: 1.303.588.7715
Email: info@satyana.org

www.satyana.org

Professional Facilitator Training

Testimonials

Testimonials on Gender Equity and Reconciliation

(By Country)

 

UNITED STATES

I was deeply moved and changed, and am profoundly grateful for the experience. … So many clients in my psychiatric practice are depressed and traumatized by gender violence, as is our entire culture.  The Gender Equity and Reconciliation vision is unique, and uniquely valuable to the world.

         — Peter Rutter, MD, Jungian psychiatrist, author of Sex in the Forbidden Zone and Understanding
            Sexual Harassment
 

 

 An extraordinary contribution to fostering gender reconciliation. . . . Practical and empowering [and] delivers people out of their polarization and into their character and humanity.

         — Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and author of The Four Fold Way and The Second Half
            of Life

 

Pioneering, passionate, deeply thoughtful . . . on the cutting edge.  This is crucial work.

         — Andrew Harvey, author of many books including Son of Man, The Direct Path, and The Hope: A Guide
            to Sacred Activism

 

Profound crisis in relations between men and women is . . . arguably one of the most important problems humanity has been facing. . . . This extraordinary and groundbreaking [work] holds great promise as a way to its alleviation.

         — Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Psychology of the Future, The Ultimate Journey, and Beyond the Brain.

 

Gender Equity and Reconciliation skillfully uncovers the pain of male dominance, and vividly reveals the joyful harmony that issues from forgiveness and reconciliation.

         — Robert McDermott, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Religion, California Institute of Integral
             Studies, San Francisco, CA

 

It was no longer necessary to wall off parts of myself out of a homophobic fear of being too feminine or fear that I would hurt someone if I expressed my masculine sense of power. Within myself, I now feel the inner marriage of the feminine and masculine. There is not a battle going on between my head and my heart. I can actually balance and integrate these two aspects of myself and feel whole.

            —Julien Devereux, Ph.D. Senior GERI Facilitator, Dallas, TX

 

I definitely appreciate the spiritual context for this work, in that I have long felt that feminism and spirituality are intimately connected… I think that this work is some of the most profound and important work that we can be doing to heal ourselves, and to prevent the annihilation of the species and the planet.

            —Shirsten Lundblad, Musician and Senior GERI Facilitator, Portland, ME

 

Thank you for a profound experience at your workshop.  If only something like your program had existed when I was a young man, so much of the suffering I went through could have been mitigated by understanding and compassion. And I might have avoided the bad behavior that inflicted unhappiness on others.

            — Professor and research scientist, San Diego, USA

 

Reflections from a participant more than 20 years after the workshop—this woman participated in one of the early prototype GERI workshops, held in 1992:

I have been forever grateful for the experience because it taught me, profoundly, how to transform rage into compassion. I’ve since understood that there is an almost equal relationship between the amount of anger, disgust, grief, etc. I experience, and the amount of resulting compassion that is possible. As I’ve continued my personal and my world work, . . . that shift from rage to compassion has been a powerful, bright guide for me over the years in so many outer and inner situations.

            —Kaia Svien, GR workshop in Osceola, Wisconsin, 1992

 


SOUTH AFRICA

 

I have been looking for a long time to find a way to bring healing and reconciliation between women and men. This work is the answer. We need much more of this work in South Africa.

            — Nozizwe Madlala Routledge, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Minister of Health,
               and Deputy Minister of Defence, South Africa 

 

“Gender Equity and Reconciliation International has been engaged in Gender Equity and Reconciliation for 20 years, and its work resonates with two of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation’s pillars—to advance mutual respect, and to enhance human wellbeing. … The work of racial reconciliation will never be complete without the work of gender reconciliation.”

         —Rev. Mpho Tutu, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

     

The Gender Equity and Reconciliation programme has the potential to prevent communities from self-destructing because of gender violence and HIV/AIDS.   [It is] the only tool that addresses the root causes of HIV/AIDS rather than just the symptoms.

            —Judy Connors and Jabu Mashinini, Phaphama Initiatives, Soweto, South Africa

 

The only practical tool I have experienced that has a realistic potential to heal and transform gender relations.

            —Rev. Keith Vermeulen, Director, Parliamentary Office of the South African Council of Churches.

 

This is the first time I have experienced a workshop that truly integrates both teaching and spiritual components.

            ––Ela Gandhi, Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi

 

Gender Equity and Reconciliation has really helped me to heal my relationship with myself as well as with my husband to whom I am married to for almost 23 years. To break through the internalized social conditions of a traditional man is not an easy thing to do. Gender Equity and Reconciliation is the way.

            — Loretta, participant, Cape Town, SA

 

“I am a therapist, but Gender Equity and Reconciliation is not a therapy. It has been the most sacred experience for me. I have never, even as a therapist, thought that it is possible for people to find healing, where gender issues have gone wrong.”

            — Dorothea Hendricks, psychologist, Univ. of Western Cape, South Africa, excerpt from Testimony
               presented to Parliament of South Africa,
House of Traditional Leaders, Nov. 21, 2011

 

I have not encountered this kind of depth and honesty, and the ability to directly access issues without skirting them, or going into denial—as I have in this work.  One is left with a profound sense of having been touched with a vision of what God envisaged of how men and women can be together.  I have experienced this again and again in this work, and it has made me know that gender reconciliation can happen, quite effectively and permanently.

            — Dorothea Hendricks, psychologist, Univ. of Western Cape, South Africa

 

Testimonies presented to Parliament of South Africa (House of Traditional Leaders), presented by Judy Connors of Phaphama Initiatives, Nov. 21, 2011:

“I’m glad to have seen women speaking from their hearts, about the ways they have been violated, because I myself as a man have done many of these things, and today I’m aware of the pain that I have caused.”

            —young male GERI participant from Soweto, South Africa;

 

“I used to hate every man, but now as a result of this work, I’m a new person. I’ve learned that not all men are the same, and I respect men.”

            —young female GERI participant from Soweto, South Africa,

 

I passed one of the guys who attended the workshop on my way to a meeting last week. Although we exchanged only a few words, in that moment, I sensed that we shared a deep “knowing,” and understanding of what it meant to be a man and a woman—having been violated as such, and of having found a new way of being, and commitment, to ourselves and others, as men and women. I suddenly became aware of the huge internal shift that had occurred since the workshop…Uncertainty, pressure and fear had turned into centeredness, empathy, grace and peace. What a wonderful blessing! Thank you!           

            —Anja Pienaar, participant in South Africa

 


INDIA

 

The process you took us through was very very deep. What I appreciated is the fact that you facilitators made yourselves vulnerable to us too—and it opened up another world for me. It opened up a space that has been so transforming, so healing—giving me so much hope. And with this hope I can go now, even to families, to youngsters, giving them this hope.          

            —Ligia Fonseca, Counselor, Mumbai, India, member of the Vatican Family Council

 

I have been working with and listening to women—all the time, for 22 years. And here, in a matter of days, as I was listening to the voice of men, I realized how much I have been missing out on.

            —Sr. Lucy Kurien, founder, Maher interfaith ashram, Pune, India

 

So much of religion, in all religions, has been very male dominated. We religious leaders need to be liberated from our male domination. I know many priests, in my personal experience, who would like to be liberated, but we don’t have a methodology to do that. Gender Equity and Reconciliation [for clergy] would be tremendous; it would offer a major breakthrough.

           â€” Fr. Prashant Olekaer, S.J., Jesuit Retreat House, Mumbai, India
 


AUSTRALIA

 

Gender Equity and Reconciliation combines healing, transformation, and community in a dynamic new way of seeing and understanding the relations between women and men. It takes us through our differences, to beyond our differences, in the context of a safe community and skilled facilitation—creating a space for reconciliation to occur.

We are bringing this work to Australia because gender relations in this country need to be examined and transformed. Nowhere is this clearer than in our public domain of politics.   Recently some abhorrent obscenities have been displayed, centering on our female ex Prime Minister. Gender needs to be reconciled, just as much in Australia as any developing country.

            —Esther and William Diplock, Brisbane Australia
 


KENYA

 

The miracle was when one of the gentlemen stood up, went to the center, and knelt down! You know about our culture; how men don’t give any space. And this gentleman knelt down, and said, “I want to apologize, on behalf of your uncles.” And the young woman just started weeping. And [later] she said, at that moment, when that man knelt down and apologized, she forgave her uncles—a hatred that she had carried for so long. And she was just cleansed. That was powerful. It was awesome! This work really changes peoples’ lives.

            —Karambu Ringera, PhD, Founder, International Peace Initiatives, Nairobi, Kenya

 


CANADA

 

The Gender Equity and Reconciliation workshop deeply touched my spirit and my heart, and I am profoundly grateful. For the first time in my life I am experiencing a fun, joyous relationship with a man — something I never thought would be possible.  Although it is still in its early stages, I firmly believe this would never have been possible without the healing that took place at the Gender Equity and Reconciliation workshop.  Thank you for helping me appreciate this very special moment in my life. 

            —Michelle, Toronto, Canada, written six months after GR workshop in 2012

 


COLOMBIA

 

Gender Equity and Reconciliation is really an inspiring pathway to serve this healing and transformation between men and women—bringing love and compassion to a country with more than 50 years of civil war. Thank you for all the love and light you brought to us in Colombia.

 

What an unforgettable workshop! The work done here during these three days has healed a lot of my family lineage.   The whole experience was to feel embraced—in a sacred temple—of the hearts of all who shared the experience.

            —Natalia Cediel Bogota, Colombia

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