Right Use of Power
May 25 / 9:00 AM - May 26 / 5:00 PM
Power is the capacity to have an influence, effect a change, or transform situations.
A common misunderstanding associates power with unwanted oppression, control, and
violence. However, power can also be expressed as wanted and enabling responsibility,
guidance, support, empowerment of others, and care. It can reflect core values of
compassion, wisdom, clarity, and connection. Like any form of energy, power can be
used skillfully, consciously, responsibly, and with care, or carelessly, selfishly, and
We are often ignorant of our own power or unskillful in its use because we have not
been taught how to use it appropriately. We are also suffering from experiencing or
witnessing abuses of power, large and small. This makes us afraid of power, or
alternatively, grasping of it. Right Use of Power is a dynamic way to explore issues of
ethics and power, both personal and professional. This study can be profoundly
restorative and empowering.
We can learn how to use our power skillfully and appropriately. And we can learn to
meet the power of others skillfully and appropriately. In situations involving power
dynamics, we can cultivate more humane and intelligent power relations in the service
of the larger good. We have the capacity to evolve more mature and wise uses of power
that support all life on the planet and provide care for all beings.
This workshop introduces the Right Use of Power training developed by Cedar Barstow.
It provides teachings and experiential activities to explore our own experience of and
relationship with power—our own and others’. Peace, harmony, and a life-sustaining
world depend on the appropriate understanding and use of power, not only by our
leaders, but by every one of us.
For questions regarding the program or regarding our generosity policy, please contact Lauren Newton.
Peg Syverson, Ph.D. was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2004. She has been a student
of Joko Beck, Jan Chozen Bays and Hogen Bays. She and Flint Sparks are senior teachers
at the Appamada Zen Center in Austin, Texas. Peg is one of three certified Teacher
Trainers in “Right Use of Power”. She is also an Associate Professor Emerita at the
University of Texas at Austin. For more details go to Peg Syverson.