Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beyond 2012

Watch the Video 'Tamera - Beyond 2012' and help to infuse the world with healing information!

"The Power on Earth no longer lies on the side of imperialistic violence, but on the side of those groups who today connect worldwide with the forces of transformation."

Greetings from Tamera, a healing biotope in Portugal. Beyond Boundaries has come to an end and I have returned to Tamera to participate in their peace education. The past month I have been in the Eco-village Design Education course, and I continue here for the next two months inquiring deeply into the peace work of our times.

Last night I was in a gathering of global activists, artists, farmers and peace workers celebrating hope. Coming from different life paths and cultural background, our common humanity was present. Our hearts opened from a moving presentation from two men involved in non-violent activism in Palestine, we shared our vision and dedication for a peaceful planet. We imagined what it would be like if we were the UN, what decisions would we make...

I am truly touched by the global situation, motivated by the urgency of our times. I feel so privileged to be part of this global campus, this week I am part of a Sepp Holzer Permaculture course, learning how to 'reawaken the dream of the land'. It is another international group, I am inspired by the plans being born for projects in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Palestine, Portugal and Spain. Simultaneously there is a workshop on the issue of children and education, and a dedicated group of community women are in an intensive time building the 'new women's field' of solidarity and mutual support.

With this privilege comes responsibility. I continue to walk my pilgrim path of service asking how can I serve? I am here as a student, learning from this model of peace work. Tamera is a community and a research center, deeply committed to the experiment towards a new culture of peace. The approach here, like many places around the world, is holistic, including personal, communitarian, political, environmental, economic and spiritual work. During this time of study I am engaged in deep personal work, focusing on being in peace within myself and in my relations with others. In this way I am preparing myself for the work ahead and offering support to those who are here now.

It is a new culture, a culture emerging from experimentation and research, a culture imbedded in a growing global community. In many ways, it is a 'new earth', very different than any other place I have been... and yet it feels like home.

Thank you for reading my thoughts, and thank you for viewing the video. Please pass it on to anyone you think might be interested.

I will have a 'Beyond Boundaries' report available soon, please let me know if you would like to receive it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Time flies...

A month at Auroville has passed, and tonight we begin the journey to Indonesia. Wow.

My time here at Auroville has been deep. Facing the plethora of projects and communities within this eco-city, we have been busy visiting and finding ways to support farms, reforestation projects, community centers and much much more.

Fully in the process, we all entered the field of Auroville as participants, finding our individual ways 'in'. A spiritual community based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, we began our time grounding in the philosophy and intention behind Auroville.

There is a strong field here, it is a place where I can feel the power of the work that is and has been done... a place that makes my heart deepen. I feel a real resonation with this way, and have loved the opportunity to meditate in the Matri Mandir, an amazing golden sphere structure at the central of this community.

Gathering and pollinating, making connections, this time has passed so quickly and I have taken in so much. I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of Auroville, and yet the founding member of one of the reforestation Projects here, Sadhana Forest, told us he has not seen nearly as many of the projects here as we have.

Well, 'go time' is approaching, tonight we have our final de-briefs and closing council before heading to the airport. Indonesia will be a whole other experience, and very quickly we will be in a remote location working with a very different community.

The depth and breadth of this work amazes me daily, and I feel myself moved. I am increasingly finding this pilgrimage to be an opening and training into my future work. I feel blessed to be here, and to have the opportunity to work with the other BBs for such a long, intensive time.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It has been a while since I last wrote... I spent the beginning of January in Udaipur, with Shikshantar, and now I have arrived at Auroville, reunited with the group.

Shikshantar is the name of a beautiful movement of regenerative culture in the city of Udaipur, a center for co-creative alternatives to education, zero waste arts, healthy cooking, local foods, and much much more. Shikshantar has a 'center' but is alive in people and connections throughout the area... the local wildlife preserve, NGOs, students, organic farms, and the hearts and minds of learners of all ages who have decided to 'walk out' of the system (or at least open up to alternative ways of learning, consuming, and working).

I have been interested in Shikshantar since I first learned of them through a co-worker at LEAPNOW in 2007. Having sent students there, I was intrigued by their strong mission and unorthodox ways. Entering in, I felt welcome to participate fully. From the first moment I was given so much (a place to stay, eager explanations of the work projects, oil free lunches, and good conversation) and asked 'what can you share?'.

I found this invitation to participate a beautiful mirror for my pilgrimage, as I and the rest of Beyond Boundaries enter into new regions and communities we listen for how can we serve. Here, the dialogue and invitation for exchange and offering was tangible. At first I waoverwhelmed with how much I received, and responding with some creative offerings.

I connected deeply with Swaraj University, an alternative to learning program slated to begin next month. It is an invitation for youth (18-35) to participate in an individual and community learning experiment. It combines self directed learning, work with mentors and community, and internships with specialists in sustainable technologies.

"Hind Swaraj is principally a fervent moral plea by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) to all Indians to reflect deeply both on their morality and that of the economic, political and social institutions that they wish to set up."

- Vivek Pinto,

from Gandhi's Vision and Values

I connected deeply with Reva, the coordinator, and offered some of my experience with leadership and fundraising. I was energized in our sessions of synergy and exchange.

The land around Udaipur is badly deforested, to the point of desertification. I loved visiting the wildlife preserve, and was asked to lead a meditative walk with young MBA students working with the park and learning to be guides. I found green initiatives abounding here; joined community members on a sunrise nature excursion on New Years morning, listened to a Forest Service Officer's dream for eco-community and saw initiatives to work with water in sustainable ways.

I visited a 'sustainable development' project working in some local tribal villages, and my visit raised many questions. What is sustainable development? Mono culture? Education? What kind of education? Where are these funds going, and how are the projects actualized? Snapshots of fields of channa (garbanzo beans), wells for extracting water (when I asked to see the water table restoration work advertised on their brochure), 40 students sitting in an empty lecture hall learning computers, English and 'personality development', and a bio-gas stove newly installed not yet hooked up the the open pile of dry grassed they pointed to when I asked where the bio gas compost site was (usually a fully enclosed system for wet manure). AND clean drinking water available on site, Village Information Centers with information on Malaria and traditional instruments to play. AND, big smiles, healthy bodies and a beautiful exchange with the local women, asking me what grains I know how to grow, what fruits grow where I live, and am I married?


The 14th of January was a holiday, a day of celebration of the Sun, harvest and the end of winter. I had a morning ceremony out on the land surrounding a medicinal plan ashram I visited, and took time to reflect on my Independent Study, now coming to an end. I arrived in Chennai full, ready to meet my group and make the transition into the third portion of our pilgrimage.

Now in Auroville, we are grounding and exploring. Our first couple of days were spent integrating, sharing stories and incorporating our experiences. We are staying at a beautiful quite community based on the spiritual principles of integral yoga, a perfect place to settle into the large and diverse community of this eco city and begin our inquiry into Auroville.