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Delvin Solkinson

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  • Joined: 08/02/2011
  • Last Updated: 08/02/2011
  • Location: Elphinstone , British Columbia, Canada
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  • Gender: Male
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Adventure Log : Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage Part 1

Posted by Delvin Solkinson about 3 years ago

A journal about permaculture teacher trainings in Australia.

Here are the adventures of Gaiacraft Team members Delvin, Ali Ma and Tamara taking advanced permaculture teacher trainings with some of the masters and maestras of the movement. This document will share the experience and some of the learning highlights from this adventure in education.

Chapter One : Initiation Rites

We met under the open blue sky in Melbourne as old friends do after a long time apart, bright with excitement about the journey to come.

It was a long journey from Canada via Melbourne including a minor taxi accident.

We arrive at the Permaculture Research Institute / Zaytuna Farm on 27 hectares in the Channon in Northern New South Wales, Australia. Its a lush permaculture farm of easterly slopes with forested valleys and open grazing for chickens, goats, ducks, horses as well as dairy and beef cattle. The farm is entirely solar power with no energy inputs from outside.


Waking up to a chorus of tropical bird songs under a canopy of wide open blue sky, truly we were not in kansas anymore. Walking along a path next to vegetables and fruit trees of all description, the morning began with a breakfast of fresh milk and cereals for 25 earthly looking permies bright eyed with anticipation for the week to come.

(photo : tamara)

Gathering together in a hexagonal cob classroom are people from Australia, North America, Caribean and Asia. I was pleased to meet 3 other Canadians in the course. 

To anchor us in we meet the chef. All the organic meat, fish and dairy come from the farm. Most of the vegetables and fruit also comes from the farm, picked the same day as they are served. Once we are comfortable with this Geoff begins to tell us about all the deadly animals on the farm including a wide selection of poisonous snakes as well as ticks.


It was incredible for Tamara and I to meet one of our most inspiring heros : Geoff Lawton.

After a rousing introduction along with a host of worksheets outlining the whole system of the course to come, we utilize the wonders of the web to link classrooms with a PDC course in one of the driest deserts of the world in Chile which gets about 5 mm of rainfall a year. Live with video skype, the students exchange information as Geoff flips through the Designer Manual noting Bill Mollison's comments on extreme dryland condensation harvesting and quanats (underground canals in the Middle East). Immediately Geoff offers to send permaculture experts from Iran to Chile to consult. Learning that the river into this town is high in salt and arsenic, flipping further through the designer manual and referencing page numbers, Geoff suggests using biological remediation by setting up reed and gravel beds. We begin answering questions from the students in Chile. When I ask them about the most successful permaculture techniques on their course, they say its the repetition of the core permaculture principles in different ways as well as working in small groups in design and dynamic conversations. With this exercise we have a very unique teaching experience at the very start of what is already a fascinating courseflow.

The first afternoon Geoff get's us warmed up by all of us doing a 1 minute presentation on something we feel comfortable with, on film!! Everyone did a wonderful job and Geoff took notes to give us feedback. In the evening the students all met up independently and we watched ourselves on the tv and shared a round of constructive criticism and confidence building feedback.

It was quite amazing how much it felt we had all grown together in just one day and how supportive everyone was of each other. Now cozied up in my tent, under the light of an almost full moon, I prepare to fall asleep to the sound of frogs and cicadas singing to the stars.

Chapter Two : Deeper down the Rabbit Hole

The morning began with the traditional Halal killing of a cow at dawn, long before I woke up, but I had the sense that I missed an amazing opportunity to be a deeper part of life's cycle.

I had a great solar hotwater shower and freshened up for the day. Here all toilets are composting toilets and all greywater is cycled using permaculture reed bed systems. The property features bamboo construction and straw bale housing. Everywhere you look there are gardens and food forests. It's truly a permaculture paradise.


(Super Ultra thanks to Tamara for all the wonderful photos that will illustrate this adventure blog)

 

The morning class was a fascinating lecture about teaching techniques, translation and cross-cultural education. Geoff's style of clear, condensed information and fascinating facts stacked with information and illustrating many different points at once is pure genius.


Geoff discusses the importance of indicators on many different levels. Plants and animals are indicators of soil and climate, and the reverse is also true, as soil and climate are indicators of plants and animals. In practice and in teaching there are many indicators of success and failure, earning warning signs or reassurances about the results of our designs. He even talks about body language of students being indicators of successful teaching.

Outside the sky is blue and a harmony of animals, plants and soil can be seen living together happily. Looking out at the hillside I am washed with gratitude to learn in such a beautiful place.


Stacking functions like no other teacher I have ever seen, Geoff demonstrates teaching techniques and successful blackboard writing while reminding us of his key Principle of Water : Channel water along the longest path over the most distance, travelling as slowly as possible, over the most time, rubbing up to as many things as possible, with the most passive friction, to create the most fertility. It's less about the amount of water you have than it is the amount of times you use it.


A brief break outside reveals a swale, dry now in the hot weather.

Surprising us with an impromptu presenting assignment, with only 30 minutes to prepare we all have to teach 3 minute vignettes from the Designers Manual. Everyone sweats it for a bit, stretching their skills to the limit with this surprise assignment that takes up most of the afternoon. In the evening we watch all the filmed presentations as a group once again, but this time there is very little critique, mostly supportive comments and a few particularly apt students note the improvements and follow ups on the critiques of the previous night.

Its an incredible and inspiring group of permaculture people that have combined their powers here to work on becoming better teachers and better humans.
Standing under a beautiful waxing moon and bathed in starlight, Tamara and I counciled about another day full to the brim with learning and growth. It's only the end of day two and we already feel like a global permaculture family bonding over both our weaknesses and our strengths while gaining momentum to take our permaculture experiences and put them into practice.

Chapter Three : Wonderland


The mornings come very early here with a cacophony of birds announcing the sunrise at 5 am. Freshening up with a hot shower fueled by a large rocket stove. This entire property is set up as an incredible permaculture demonstration site! Here is the amazing Alex stoking the stove for showers.


We had a wonderful morning featuring another brilliant talk with Geoff Lawton. He talked about running a PDC and outlined the flow between different topics. After teaching so many courses its no surprise that he has an intimate understanding of the psychological, emotional and intellectual journey most students go through as they pass through the different modules of the course.

After tea we had a wonderful surprise and a guest teacher : Nadia, Geoff's beautiful Bedouin wife who shares with us all sorts of fascinating and practical information about teaching in other cultures. In particular she shares about being a female teacher in traditional cultures and how she has learned to integrate into all sorts of radically different teaching environments than we have experience with.

Today we are surprised yet again with a 5 minute presentation on topics given by Geoff for which we had only 30 minutes to prepare. He asks us to focus on telling a story, making a funny, sharing a tearjerker or serious moment and including an analogue. We meet in groups to organize ourselves and the tension and stress was high. My group seems so intense that we could not jell as a group and instead people break off into their own individual space to prepare in the little time they have been given. So nice to have a pond right outside the classroom to reflect on.

After class I was blessed to meet a sweet fairy whose name means kind gentle one. We spent a small eternity wandering around the compound with her tiny hands grasping mine so she could balance enough to walk. I told her that I was an elf and i could see in her eyes that she already knew.

The day was completed with the amazing Tamara taking photos of this stunning property.

Chapter 4 : Illuminated the Path

The morning was a real highlight of the course as we launched deep into the heart of Teaching Permaculture. You really have to come and take this course to benefit from the incredible lifetime of experience, hints, successes, techniques and strategies that Geoff has power packed into this empowering training course.

(the beautiful land)

We learned how the PRI permaculture education system works, surfing the worldwide permaculture network website and exploring all the google earth integrated functions providing foundations for this growing planetary movement. Just seeing all the people and projects all over the world is an eye opening experience in itself. Like a seed ball, permaculture has truly taken root in all corners of our little blue planet.

(a chicken tractor on the farm)


Geoff is a dynamic speaker and presenter. Each of his points are multifunctional, demonstrating how to teach in innumerably ways while teaching how to teach, while giving us the experience of receiving pertinent information dense permaculture teaching. Truly Geoff is a student of Bill Mollison

(Zaytuna is a farm of happy ducks)


Our eyes sparkled and mouth fell open as we found ourselves totally fascinated by the story of how Bill Mollison first gave Geoff Lawton the old Tagari farm and instructed him to set up the 'Permaculture Research Institute'. It connected us to this amazing lineage of permaculture and anchored us into all the history that we were inheriting by choosing this path in life.

(happy permie)

Geoff reminds us that the PDC is a course for the planet not a course for the location. He also cautions us to anchor large global concepts so they are relevant for people on the ground. In a moment of brilliance, he says that as permaculturalists we are a constantly moderating pattern, navigating between specificity and generalization. With emphasis on the first four chapters, Geoff takes time to illustrate how the rest of the course is affirming and showing this in context of the world.

(the plant diversity here is epic)


That evening hearing a sound in the grass we discovered a beautiful big cane toad. It looked at us with wonder and we looked back. This toad, often mistreated by people since its an invasive species disrupting native habitat, seemed happy to have found some kind humans to share a friendly moment with under a nearly full moon. After this a tiny frog arrived dancing joyously under the starlight, celebrating the wide open world.

Chapter 5 : Into the Practice

The day started with storytelling. With twists and turns, laughs and straight faces, Geoff tells us a bit about the origin of permaculture, steeping us in a history rich with challenges and successes.

Tamara and I snuck out near the end of the day to join one of the exceptional humans here at the Permaculture Research Institute: Nick.

This amazingly outgoing, hilarious and knowledgable guide took us on a fast tracked tour of the farm out into the zone 2, 3 and 4 systems that we had not yet seen. This was an incredible climax and highlight of our time here. Seeing some of the permaculture systems up close was just what we needed to really anchor in our experience here. These photos illustrate this blog.

(zone 1 pond)

It was a wonderful yet exhausting last day. We all were to do 10 minute presentations but with 27 students and transition time this ended up taking more than 6 hours. A storm was brewing outside while the day stretched on, building a climatic climax to the experience here at Zaytuna.

(zone 2)


Its 11:11:11 today so at 11:11 am we joined people across the planet and meditated for peace and sustainability, praying that permaculture be empowered to do its work in the world.


(zone 4)

It was amazing to see how many of us had been empowered and supported to grow through this dense week of training. Truly the people coming out of the course were not the same ones that went in. We had been upgraded and tooled to go back to all our different communities and to travel to places of need to help contribute in whatever way we could to permaculture education and practice.

(shadehouse + greenhouse)


I realized today that the Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage is stacked in space and time. We hope that many of you reading this blog will seek out a teacher training here in Australia with Geoff or anywhere else in the world. The world needs more teachers and its only through students empowering themselves to become teachers that we will create collective change to collaborate on building a more sustainable place for ourselves along with the soil, plants and animals of our ecology.

(tamara is an animal person for sure)

Between talks Geoff jumps in with refreshing stories and sound bites that help break up the day. One highlight was the origin story of David Holmgren and Bill Mollison first connected. With a smile we learned how David had broken his leg and asked to stay with Bill Mollison which enabled him to have many meetings that culminated in his thesus around a proposal that Bills radical new permaculture ideas would work in practice. Its from this formative time of reflection and study that  Permaculture 1 was published as a proposal.

(anaerobic tea)

A few of the poignant sound bites from these transitional moments are :

"permaculture is Darwinian - it leads itself"
" the ultimate compliment to a teacher is when a student make you redundant"

When asked what is permaculture? Geoff said
" permaculture is a system of design that provides all of human needs in a way that is beneficial for all of nature "  and " permaculture is an ethical design science "

Geoff notes that he always does local designs and consulting for free as a way to honor the neighbours, taking classes there to do design exercises.

(compost)


One of the many awesome student permaculture presentations, Pat showed the ethics in Hawaiian.

" U a Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina i Ka Pono "
The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

" Malama Ka Aina "
Care for The Land Nourishes

(a laneway with electric fence curcumnavigated the entire property - a great way for animals and people to get around)

" Malama Kanaka "
Care for Human Beings

" Wai Wai"
Abundance (which is traditionally shared in the gifting economy)

(I presented my final 10 minute presentation on chapter 3 of the Designer Manual)

 

Chapter 6 : Post Meta

The course was amazing, recommended to anyone who already teaches as well as anyone with a PDC that wants to learn more about how to teach it. Whether you are going to teach a full PDC or just be more able to communicate to friends and family, this course brings many new techniques, strategies and toolsets for the novice permie or experienced teacher.

Geoff's style is a formal 'chalk n talk'. He packs alot of information into well organized and designed presentations using a wide variety of techniques and strategies for successfully sharing permaculture in an inspiring way. Perhaps if less of the course was spent on practice presentations we could have learned even more from Geoff (and Nadia too!), but the practice was definitely a huge challenge, evolution and help for everyone involved. Some of our evaluation processes were not facilitated by Geoff which created some chaotic process with such a large group having trouble choosing a collective approach to this important independent experience. Instead of facilitating the time limits of our talks, some people stayed on the mic way after their time answering questions or telling stories, the result was the timing of our course running over on most days. Getting in front of a group that you become increasingly comfortable with, and accepting constructive feedback was a successful way to empower our teaching practice.

The days were very well timed with 4 sections of 1 1/2 hour teaching modules broken up by wonderful and healthy meals and tea times. Very relaxed and easy going with things, Geoff facilitated our large group with mastery and great success.

When the new student facilities are implemented and faster internet for larger groups is achieved, this incredible institute will be even more of an incredibly inspiring setting to learn about permaculture in practice and spend time on the ground of a fully functional permaculture farm site. 

The focus of the course was on presentation skills, blackboard use, organization, and developing a diverse collection of teaching styles.

The jewel of the course was a pattern language and design kit of techniques, strategies, and approaches to becoming a better communicator, organizer, teacher and designer. I recommend anyone interested in teaching permaculture to take this super valuable course.


Chapter 7 : Back to Nature

Adventure Days

We had an incredible potent day connecting with two more pilgrims and incredible inspiring human beings, some of the most beautiful beings i have yet met in this world : Ali Ma and Jay.

We met the visionary culture in Byron Bay and explored a stunning sub-tropical rainforest.


I was overjoyed to meet new friends Ray and Elizabeth including meeting with their many cats, dogs, peacocks, and Ostrich amidst an incredible garden paradise.


In addition we got to meet the general community at the Channon monthly market, full of all manner of magics.

Touring through Robin Francis Djanbung Gardens was so incredible. Here I could come to do an 8 month program to get my Cert 1, 2, 3, 4 and accredited diploma. This would truly be an incredibly dream to accomplish and would give me the hands on farm experience in a sub-tropical environment which would compliment all the theory work that I have done.

(bamboo amazingness)

(bro ness)

(fire circle)

(permaculture gardens)

(flow forms)

(permaculture bathroom tech)

Chapter 8 : Creative Facilitation Training

After a 5 am awakening before sunrise and a long drive we arrived at last at the fabled Crystal Waters Community. We had moved from sub-tropics into the tropics and got there just in time for the 9 am start of class.

Robin started with a reference to the first nations and welcome to the land giving us map and talking about Crystal Waters. The course opened with a game where we draw pictures with symbols as a way to introduce ourselves. After this we did a long visualization followed by name game tossing around a ball.



We were learning in a beautiful rammed earth classroom overlooking the valley of crystal waters. This intentional community space was created more than 20 years ago by a team of permaculture people. Its the largest permaculture community design ever made. 


We did a resources tour moving around room and I began to notice Robins extra ordinary ability to facilitate the space. She told an inspiring story about the first ever permaculture conference which included 40 men and only 4 women. She began her path, along with Robyn Francis by doing a womans course and vowing never to lecture again. Instead she developed dynamic group processes that included students in all aspects of the learning.

With incredible skill in facilitation including amazing body language and sustained eye contact Robin held the space immaculately and modelled her incredible teaching techniques wonderfully.

Robin mentioned developing a fourth ethic : spirit care.  S doesn't use white board or blackboard instead preferring sticky carpet and butchers paper so people can read and add to later.

Lunch and dinner were delicious vegetarian feasts with huge salads, some of the best food I have had at any permaculture course with the exception of David Holmgrens.

The afternoon was filled with more dynamic learning including a cloud deck of course goals.


We went outside for another game enabling us to set our collective agreements for creating a successful and loving classroom environment. She explained to us that all activities have process and content. It's important to jump between content and process,  making space for 'learning moments'. Robin also talked to us about accelerated learning and active participation, as well as holistic and motivational learning.

Another unique activity had us all writing on small papers about what creates a dynamic group. People who had the same ideas posted their ideas together until the cork board was totally full.


We learned about visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning and how to cater lessons to include all three and avoid language that caters more to one or another.

By the end of the day I was completely exhausted but also very happy to be at another evolutionary learning course.

Chapter 9 : Dynamic Facilitation

Day two of this creative facilitation training was as diverse as the tropical rainforest that surrounded our eco-classroom. Birds and cicadas sang outside while Kangaroos hopped by regularly.

We began with a name game and check in and flowed into a long deep recapitulation led by Robin as a visualization. It was a long process of really anchoring in what happened the day before.


Using puppets and passionate presentation styles, Robin introduced the 7 intelligences, encouraging us to learn how we learn as well as how other people do in order to connect deeper to dynamic teaching. Using a special card game we reviewed teaching techniques that relate to each of the 7 intelligences.


For example Robin suggests using the following techniques to embody different types of intelligence :

nature
- nature journal
-- natural collage
- outdoor activities
- pick your own lunch

spiritual
- meditation
- ritual
- sacred space
- symbols

logical
- lineage diagrams
- research
- make lists
- key word cards
- cross words

linguistic
- write a story
- write a letter
- read
- rewrite notes
- diary
- journal
- write and give a speech

interpersonal
- discussion
- field trip
- study groups
- tea breaks
- small group work
- personal stories

intrapersonal
- private study
- individual research
- ask yourself
- questionaires
- meditation

spatial
- flow charts
- diagrams
- models
- mind maps
- video adventures
- plans
- art sculpture

physical
- hands on
- models
- games
- visualize acting out
- field trip
- role play
- cush ball


After tea we move outside and have unfacilitated group discussion about learning styles including guessing what percentage of people learn from hearing, speaking, reading and doing. Robin is holding space for the process but letting us bond over figuring out the process.


Back inside Robin talks about 'art of creative facilitation' in an incredible diverse way. Its incredible how many different teaching techniques, strategies and methods Robin as already used in the course. Incredible!

Introduced to concepts in course design we explore target groups, training objectives and competency needs, as well as program design and details.

Tamara, Ali Ma and I got into a group and selected three teaching techniques to guide our process : " Ritual, Sandbox and Treasure Hunt".

The day finished with a beautiful ritual where we all put our feet together in a ring.

Chapter 10 : Awakening the Teachers Within

It was a beautiful day on this conscious community land. Kangaroo's bounced by the window while all manner of tropical birds celebrated the sun with a chorus of beautifully orchestrated songs. We are staying in a bunkhouse which is clean and comfortable despite the cockroaches and massive spiders that seem to go unnoticed by the locals.

Stumbling down to the common building we find a spread of delicious fruits, breads and spreads, tea, coffee and cereals. The day begins with a check in, we are all asked what kind of tree we feel like today! Robin has us do a very interesting recapitulation process where we all write memories of yesterday on small scraps of paper. On the floor she places cups symbolizing breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and we all place our little papers across the board in a representation of the day and when things happened. Its amazing to see soo many memory fragments spread out across the floor. This also gives us a sense of the highlights as things like our incredible thai dinner the night before are celebrated by many different scraps of paper.

Next is group presentations, each lasting 10 minutes. These are very dynamic and including all sorts of games, songs, interactive activities, role plays and even a clay modelling module.



Our group presents an offering. We lead people down the path, ritually collecting natural objects from the ground on the way down. At the bottom near the community gathering place we circle under a huge Jakaranda tree, Tamara introduces us, Ali Ma sings a beautiful sundance song and I walk around the ring with a clearing stick of Paolo Santo.

We talk about pattern language in nature, culture and art then break off to collect more altar items and build a land mandala sun symbol as an offering to the community and demonstration of pattern application on many different levels.

The group comes to understand that everything around us and everything we do is a pattern and when we model healthy patterns we can inspire such patterns in others. The ritual ends with a wide open offering of gratitude to the sun that dapples are small learning ring.

The afternoon sees us using 'sticky carpet' to explore concepts around the three jewels of course construction : site, content and creative presentation processes. Its incredibly hot and Robin raises the energy with a series of music and dance related facilitation strategies.

Things get even more interesting when we brainstorm about needs based learning. This leads into us participating directly by all contributing things we would like to see presented about over the next three days of the course. We post these up on a board to organize topics and group areas of interest. Then each person can put 10 dots down on different topics so we can see which ones are more interesting to people. Robin then announces there will be 15 different 30 minute presentations all done by student dyads. This means each of us will work with different partners to facilitate a 20 minute segment with a 10 minute process evaluation afterwords each day.

Ali Ma and I were to break out and present about using cards to teach permaculture, right up my alley for sure. We worked into the night in the beautiful rammed earth classroom preparing for our morning presentation then headed up through a landscape endlessly full of frogs and toads.
Chapter 11 : Journeys into Education

At last the clouds returned and the 33 degree heat wave dispersed to a cooler clime. After showering in rain water at the bunkhouse we wandered by the ponds and lush tropical plants towards the eco-classroom.

The day began bringing in a natural object to describe how we are feeling and make a collective altar for the day. The morning was made from group presentations where different groups of two had a chance to apply and practice the incredible toolkit that Robin had bestowed upon us.

Tamara did an awesome one exploring the 7 intelligences and adding nature, animal and spiritual. It was a very energized and inspiring 20 minutes which included auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learning.

Ali Ma and I shared an offering about using card games in teaching permaculture. Perfect right? We opened up the circle with an oracular card game Ali Ma had created spontaneously the night before in which symbol cards cued people to communicate something about the landscape from which they had come. This icebreaker, trust game and getting to know each other game led into our plethora of uses for card gaming in permaculture.

We then used natural objects, sticks, a chunk of wood and a blanket to form a landscape playground on the beautiful wood floor and surrounded it in a ring of permaculture token cards.

We talked about permaculture design, zones, sectors, guilds, relative location, aspect, climate and other topics encouraging people to use the token to explore and apply their understanding of permaculture design.
With awesome music playing everyone created a collective permaculture design on the floor.

We then gave out blank tokens and had people create their own extensions of the game, placing them on the board where they seemed appropriate to reflect permaculture design.

The session ended with us giving out commemorative tokens as keepsakes and encouraging people to make their own permaculture games, encourage students in-class to make games as well as purchasing and developing games they could use in advance.

The afternoon included sessions on conflict resolution which featured puppet shows, role playing, brainstorming and class discussions.

This day Tamara and I got a chance to have a long inspiring visit with Robin, one of our heroes in a deep way. It was incredible to learn more about her dedicated life and see what beautiful work she was doing across the world to help save our planet and bring creativity to education. Dinner was fabulous once again and you could feel how all the students were connecting deeper and deeper with each other through this bonding experience.
It was another awesome day on the permaculture pilgrimage.
 

Chapter 12 : Creativity in Facilitation

It was a beautiful day at Crystal Waters and finally I feel I have climatized to this hot tropical environment. There are kangaroo's everywhere as well as cane toads everywhere I look. Today I pulled off my first tick as well, shizah!! but it did not bite me so I was all good.

We began with a fun recapitulation, a memory game where we did live theatre to create 'living photographs' of our memories of the day before. Its great that Robin does a comprehensive 'revision' of the day before so we comprehensively review and remember everything done the day before. This is a great part of our learning process.

Today Tamara and I gave a presentation on post-PDC learning and teaching including APT information. We used mind map brainstorming to get the groups input, each gave talks about more formal post-PDC learning pathways and had everyone write a letter of intention to themselves about next-step permaculture after this course which Tamara will mail to everyone in one months time for a post-meta reflection and affirmation.

Robin shared something about how to critique with respect. Coming from a heart place, filming presentations for self-critiquing and using non-violent communication.

Ali Ma dropped the science with a presentation on abundance and right livelihood.
This presentation was very clear and balanced, a transmission with confidence that empowered us on on our paths of manifestation.


I was so excited that we dipped into Robin's pattern card game. We matched images with patterns and talked about going to nature to get natural objects that matched with each pattern.

The day ended with a beautiful process called 'Windows to the World' . We walked around about 50 post cards slowly turning them over to view all sorts of amazing images. Selecting one we broke out into small groups and shared our choice and why we chose it. Building a group altar with the selected cards was next and then we shared a spontaneous story about how all our selections could be woven together to tell a story.

Chapter 13 : Deeper Still

Parrots announced the dawn and I knew I was officially on farmer time!

Our class began with a beautifully facilitated 'milling' process from the Deep Ecology toolkit facilitated by Ali Ma. We met eye to eye and connected with each other from a place of love, respect and support. It was an incredibly bonding experience to do on the last day of the course.

Robin followed with a module on brainstorming. She reminded us to write things on the board, making eye contact with each new person who was throwing in a comment, slowing down the process so it was managable and interactive.

Next came a module on getting started teaching permaculture. Some suggestions included buddying up with other teachers for support and check ins, carefully picking creative facilitation strategies, starting work groups to build confidence and gain practice, doing teacher trainings, starting by teaching friends and just jumping straight into it.

A permaculture speed rating game show was very high energy and inspiringly intelligent. Ali Ma was 'Resources' and I was 'Catch and Store Energy' and we won the game show as the most compatable element and principle of the group.

Next game a stunningly beautiful ritual presentation by Ali Ma and Tamara about female courses. We did a collective ritual with Robin, walking a recently build labyrnth. It was a time of reflection and initiation for the group, who realized the deeper potency of ritual as part of a transformative education toolkit.

An innovative presentation from Emma on presenting to the mainstream included an awesome large crossword puzzle, we were very impressed!

I was presenting last with the amazing Zoe who teaches permaculture in the prison system. We broke out all sorts of creative materials and encouraged people to flex their imaginations in a permaculture design for animals activity. We had a blast!

 

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Kelda Lorax
Kelda Lorax : Thanks for these summaries Delvin!! I learned a lot and look forward to chatting with you in person about so much of this!
Posted about 3 years ago

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