Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Greetings from Tamera! I am a week into my time in Portugal, fully immersed in my work with this Peace Biotope. We are involved in the Youth camp, a group of engaged activists and peace workers from all over the world. I have been touched by stories from Columbia, Brazil, Israel, Palestine, and beyond.
The people here at Tamera live peace in a holistic way, following the belief that the outer revolution in the world has to go hand in hand with the inner revolution. I am very moved by the way the international youth enter into this field, both listening deeply to the philosophy and sharing their work and insights in an extremely open way.
We, the Beyond Boundaries group, have been given the honor of a challenging task: to design a 'cosmogram'. Tamera has created a stone circle, a spiritual site connected to other stone circles in Europe and around the world. We are dreaming up a cosmogram to carve on the 'American' rock. It is to represent the healing of the United States. Whew! What a question, what a prayer to dream up! Our group has been deep in process about this topic. We have not yet conceived our image, but the conversation has been rich. I think it is a great issue to dive into as a community at the very beginning of our time entering into international community. We also are learning and practicing our rock carving skills, which is a whole other challenge!
We have also been doing early morning service work at the Solar Village, a very exciting project of Tamera. They are building a model Solar community, a test field for technology developed by Jürgen Kleinwächter. The technology is based on ideas of sustainability and ease, the materials used are things easily and inexpensively available on any corner of the planet. It is complex, utilizing a multitude of innovative means, and yet very much realizable. We have been cleaning and beautifying the construction area in preparation for the Summer University. In this short time I have learned new skills including how to make low cost and beautiful shade structures.
The Summer University begins tomorrow, and people are arriving from all over! The gathering will last for 10 days, and include focus groups to cover various aspects of the peace movement.
I leave you now with many thoughts and feelings brewing in me. In this full experience I feel the 'field ' of Tamera working on me, new questions are arising in response to the philosophy and way of life.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Ojai is hot! I am currently at The Ojai Foundation, home to 'the way of council'. The practice is a way of communicating in a circle format, with the intention to speak and listen from the heart. The Ojai Foundation has been around for about 30 years, and has been home to a lot of teachers and spiritual leaders. This past weekend I participated in the Gathering of Council Leaders and was positively inspired! A lot of people were from Southern California, doing the work in schools, prisons, corporations, and many other venues. The weekend was jam packed with activities, networking and councils. I finished the weekend with a sweat, it was long, healing, hot and powerful!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
While the youth went out on their solo time on the mountain the 'interns' were given a special treat... a mirroring workshop with Joseph Lazenka and Meredith Little, heroes in the Wilderness Rite of Passage world. The Beyond Boundaries crew was joined by members of the Ojai Foundation (where we will be going later this month). The workshop was amaaazing, packed full of learning. We had opportunities to go out on medicine walks each day, and in the evenings we shared our stories and practiced mirroring each other. The idea, as I understand it, is to listen deeply to a 'story' and reflect it back in an empowering way with love and respect.I feel a real calling for this work, I feel the lack of meaningful rites of passage in our culture. I see our youth struggling to assert their independence through drinking and other unconscious activity that is mostly unwitnessed by the elders of the community.
As part of our service work here in California we worked with the School of Lost Borders on the Youth Vision Fast. Gigi, Win and Will served as the guides of the rite of passage, and the rest of us had the opportunity to apprentice. I anticipated that the time would be challenging for me, the leadership style of the School is very different than my prior experiences. I slipped right into it, finding my way, deeply appreciating the space held by the guides and the youths' ability to show up and participate fully with the ceremony.
Our time at Three Creeks is busy! We are rapidly progressing in preparation for the journey ahead, having many 'sessions' on our community agreements, the eco-villages and communities we will be working with, and logistics. Every day we spend some time working on the land, I am working with the creeks and ponds. I spend my time weeding the ponds, clearing the water ways and allowing the precious water to flow freely.
The mornings and evenings are relatively free, and I love them! There is time to read and explore the beautiful dessert hills. I am currently reading Grace: Pilgrimage for a Future without War by Sabine Lichtenfels one of the founders of Tamera, our first stop on our international itenerary in Southern Portugal. It is an international training and experimental site for the development of peace research villages and healing biotopes worldwide.
For a while I played the role of yoga teacher for Aaron and Sam on 'the island' in the pond, now we have all settled into our own morning practices. There is an open invitation to meditation in 'club med' each morning.
Soon after arriving in Big Pine we headed out to the Mountains together, to fast and confirm our intentions. The time out was powerful for all, and afterwards we went directly to a Paiute ceremony in honor the opening of their new wellness center. I was so inspired by their choice to close their casino and create a new offering for the community. In the days that followed we shared stories and feasted together in celebration of our time, the land, and ceremony!