For thousands of years, our ancestors lived wholly immersed in the wonder of a living universe, intuitively guided and held by their nature-based cultures. Now amidst the pressure and pace of the modern industrial agenda, we have become alienated not only from the natural world but from our own deepest nature. As a result, we have lost contact with our instinctive knowing and deeper sense of belonging. People in all walks of life, however, are waking to the fact that we are not separate from nature, or each other, but are intricately woven into the ever-evolving, vibrant web of life.
We believe, in order to create a more resilient future for people and the planet, it is essential to facilitate a shift in consciousness – out of the predominant story of separation into a lived experience of being an inherent part of the unfolding web of life. If we are to create the world we know possible – where all beings have the freedom to co-exist peacefully in balance with the Earth – it is central to reframe and remember who we are in essence and in relation to the whole. When we see the world through a sense of disconnection and fear, we are more likely to react from that place. If, on the other hand, we are rooted in our deepest belonging, with an instinctive knowing that we are an inherent part of the deep intelligence of life, we support our ability to respond in a way that is life affirming for the whole. Through active engagement with what it is to embody and live into a New Story, a new way of being, we support our ability to think and act in partnership with life and to create thriving and resilient communities for future generations.
The Underlying Premise
Ecology of Awakening programs begin with the recognition that life is self-organizing and knows what it’s doing. As Cosmologist Brian Swimme says, “Take hydrogen and leave it alone for 13.7 billion years and it turns into rosebushes, giraffes and humans.” Our approach is to become more adept at listening and responding to this emergent creative force – our own deepest nature – and to directly engage with how Life – God – Spirit (whatever one’s particular name for ‘That’ is) speaks to and through each of us. The program as a whole is deeply inclusive, facilitating transformation for those who hold religious as well as secular views, as the work is about what it is to be fully human, no matter our beliefs or self-definitions. It is about listening and responding in a new way, in alignment and partnership with nature – the natural world as well as our own deepest nature. In this mysterious and fertile ground where our own creativity and the larger unfolding meet, we unlock our waiting potential and discover the way our unique expression fits into the deep needs of our time.
Ecology of Awakening is not a model or prescriptive formula. Rather, it is a framework made up of unfolding elements that create an ecology that supports a new way of being. All of our programs are anchored by a holistic curriculum that integrates ideas and practices from various fields to produce transformative change. Throughout our courses, we weave together a unique blend of earth based wisdom, evolutionary and ecological science, living systems, biologically-based resiliency work, and nondual traditions, set within a variety of spectacular California ecosystems. By design, our retreats are small to facilitate an optimum environment for engagement between guides and participants to support enduring change.
In order to honor the unique process that occurs for each person, we have designed our programs to meet participants where they are, allowing for a myriad of responses including, but not limited to:
- Seeing themselves and life from a new perspective
- Gaining clarity about their particular offering to the world
- Experiencing a heart opening or healing, in themselves and in their relationships
- Opening beyond previous false divisions
- Moving towards a new way of listening and responding to Life (their own inner guidance)
- Navigating the ‘space between’ where the old, personally and/or collectively, has fallen away, yet the new has not yet emerged
While many of us are conscious of the need to move beyond the habits and patterns of our collective trance and sense of separation, it is one thing to know this intellectually and another to realize it in the very fabric of our being. The journey is not always comfortable as we often become disoriented in the ‘space between’ where our old way of being in the world is no longer viable, yet the new way has not yet emerged. The journey is a process, and it takes allies to collectively shed the old and live into our essential nature and inherent place amidst the whole. Connection with the land and active facilitation from the guides and the village community create a vibrant ecology that supports participants in moving beyond an intellectual understanding, to the realization and sustained embodiment of what it is to act in alignment with life, community, and equity for all beings.