There are so many values to community, we need it to survive, but the day-to-day practicalities and interpersonal challenges that arise can make living in community seem too difficult. There is a lot to unlearn, and to relearn. We have all inherited different strategies for survival, such as individualism and competition. Healthy community requires us to show up in a different way to how many of us have been socialised.
Building community is to the collective as spiritual practice is to the individual. - Grace Lee Boggs
Community with our fellow humans is one aspect of this work. Building community with the natural world is another. By living with the land, with respect and reverence, we open to a wider community full of sacredness, wisdom and connection.
“ The time of the Lone Wolf is over! We are all about to go on a journey, we are the one's we have been waiting for!"- Elder of the Hopi nation
Community Life Practices:
Learning to live in community.
Playing Games, telling stories, singing songs.
Exploring group dynamics, conflict resolution, and decision making.
Learn facilitation skills.
Questioning and dismantling dominant structures.
Taking part in ceremony and ritual.
Giving and receiving feedback.
Finding out how we show up in community.
Using and playing with different tools, the intention is to discover and create beautiful interconnected systems. These involve caring for our practical needs, working creatively together, showing our vulnerability, stating our needs, practicing honesty, sharing gratitude, collaborating, being willing to work with conflict and creating brave spaces.
"To choose the positive future, we need the imagination, the commitment and passion that can never be commanded but can only be unleashed in groups of equals." - Starhawk
Personal tracking Practices:
Exploring how fear shows up,.
Creating art and poetry
Regular group sharing.
We start by simply travelling on foot, and sleeping under the stars. The fire becomes our hearth, the land our home. These simple but radial shifts in the way we live can change the way we relate to our environment and bring about a deeper sense of belonging.
By deepening our connection with nature we can learn to dismantle dominant ways of being like the ones that tell us we are the owners of nature; that we can take whatever we want. We can move from a consumerist and colonialist interaction with nature to one that is mutually beneficial. We can create and embody a new story, in which humans play a positive role in regenerative nature cycles and are responsible and equal members of the global ecology.
“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”
- Robin Wall Kimmerer
"Nature has taught me so much about moving with the seasons, that we need to honour times of harvest and times of rest. That the frenetic pace of doing, doing, doing, without being present with each other and the season we are in, what is happening around us, is unnatural and counter to life” Benda Salagado
Nature Based Practices:
Bird language and sit spots.
Playing nature games.
Living with cycles and seasons.
Noticing, paying attention and listening.
Basic Earth Skills:
Building confidence and resourcefulness living outdoors.
Learn foraging & fire making.
Practicing Map reading.
Meeting the ever changing conditions of the natural world.
Learning can take place anywhere and everywhere in a multitude of forms, if only we choose to engage and participate. When we take responsibility for our own learning journey, we can reclaim our natural state of curiosity. Using new and old ways, self and peer led learning, we can explore learning through the cycle of reflection, inspiration, motivation, taking action, resting and integrating, harvesting and sharing.
“Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning.” - Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom
Self Directed Learning Practices:
Diving into explorations and curiosities.
Following learning passions and sparks.
Finding structure and accountability with a committed group.
Rooting in and commitment to learning everyday.
Sharing and running workshops.
Inspiring and being inspired.
Following the 8 shields natural learning cycle.
Creating a culture of support, sharing, accountability, peer mentoring and helping one another get the most out of explorations and inquiries, is key to integrative learning. By having shared practice sessions and regular study check-ins, spaces of support are created for individual and collective learning processes, where we can deepen and find our edges.
At university you do a masters, how about setting out for a year to do a mistress: Doing a Mistress: What the f* does that mean?
“In order to learn together, you have to be good at humility and curiosity.” Autumn Megan Brown