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David Whyte participates in theological conferences and retreats through keynote lectures, workshops and discussion panels with practitioners and theologians of many traditions.
Using his own and other’s poetry, he brings the understandings of the poetic tradition to bear on many of the great cyclical questions of existence: how we see our lives, and our deaths; how we view others and their presence or absence; and, perhaps most importantly, what we dare to believe and what we are afraid of believing: an honest appraisal of our relationship to God, the natural world, darkness, the appearance and disappearance of form and friendship and the difficult apprenticeship to our own disappearance.
And yet his poetry has always stood independent of any context in which he has worked, with a readership looking at the poetry for its own sake.
For example, despite having spoken on the issue for over twenty years, he has almost no poetry directly written about the workplace.
THE BELL AND THE BLACKBIRDThe sound of a bell Still reverberating,or a blackbird callingfrom a corner of the field,asking you to wakeinto this life,or inviting you deeperinto the one that waits.Either waytakes courage,either way wants youto be nothingbut that self thatis no self at all,wants you to walkto the placewhere you findyou already knowhow to giveevery last thingaway.The approachthat is alsothe meetingitself,without anymeetingat all.His sessions have been woven into long term executive leadership programs with organizations such as Mattel, Standard Chartered Bank, The Gap, The Boeing Company, Thames water, Novartis, Astrazenica, RWE and the Royal Air Force.He is a faculty member of Templeton College, Oxford University, where he is an Associate Fellow.