On Saturday, Oct. 29th I attended an “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” symposium in Port Perry, Ontario.
So glad I did! Wish everyone would!!
These workshops are a project of the Pachamama Alliance, & are taking place all over the world.
The workshops are run by trained facilitators, using a mixture of powerful video clips & short discussions. The material is organized into the broad categories of
- Where are we now?
- How did we get here?
- Where do we go now?
The video clips feature a veritable Who’s Who of internationally-recognized activists/writers. Very partial list: Vandana Shiva, Thomas Berry, Matthew Fox, Brian Swimme, Maude Barlow, Joanna Macy, Paul Hawken, Van Jones, Sister Miriam MacGillis…& on & on & on!!
All of them very knowledgable & with many insights about how we got here & where we might want to go.
I was alternately knocked on my butt, tearful (the mass extinctions & pollution taking place on our planet are surely enough to make anyone weep) & despairing – then later, wildly inspired by the level of caring, passion & activism taking place on dear old (sadly ailing) Mother Earth.
“Blessed unrest” – if you wanted to read a wonderful book that will devastate you one minute & thrill you the next, Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming (Viking, 2007) is just the ticket! (If you go here, you’ll find a review of it & some memorable quotations also.)
The workshop forces participants to think about our often-unexamined attitudes of privilege & entitlement, question some of our most basic assumptions, & re-think our own unique capacity to “make a difference.” (I like to say we all make a difference, we just have to decide what kind of difference it’s going to be!)
Can we together create a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just & spiritually fulfilling?
Could there be anything more important to be engaged in, than efforts aimed at doing so??
Martin Luther King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long – but it bends toward justice.” (He also said “Change is never inevitable, change is always carried in on the shoulders of those who bring change with them.” There is a small list of very inspiring MLK quotations here)
Pachamama Alliance co-founder Lynne Twist points out that each person has her/his unique role to play. One need not agonize or fuss over whether one’s role is small or large; one needs merely to discover what one’s unique role is.
Van Jones, a fabulously inspiring individual, advises us to live from our hearts, not our heads.
Lots of inspiring quotations offered. Inspiring people & sayings & events & poems.
It’s a must-do! Check out the Web site & find out when one of these workshops is coming to a place near you. Get involved! You won’t regret it.
As the poet Mary Oliver said, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
p.s. Watch this!! Wombat wisdom (Only 1 minute long.)
p.p.s. & check this out! Drew Dellinger’s 'Hieroglyphic Stairway’ poem. Brilliant...
p.p.p.s. weeks later...I forgot to mention in this post that a phrase that came up at the symposium was "urgent joy." We all need a little of this, hmmmm?