Alternative Holistic Holidays
- What Is Radical Psychology?
- Notes From the Bay Area Radical Psychiatry Collective
- Radical Honesty
- Healing Ourselves
- NVC Mediation— Maria Arpa
AUGUST FAMILY WEEKS
FACILIATORS IN RESIDENCE
Our affordable (€250 per week, inclusive) Living-in-Community programme welcomes you to stay on a week before or after your workshop to relax and enjoy this special, unspoilt region of Greece. Book now!
Community Based Holistic Education
The Kalikalos project claims to be about bringing something called holistic education to a summer holiday setting. So what *IS* holistic education? Here is what some of those who are actively developing it answer.
How Its Developers See It Evolving
Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. This is the definition given by Ron Miller, founder of the journal Holistic Education Review
(now entitled Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice
). The term holistic education is often used to refer to the more democratic and humanistic types of alternative education. Robin Ann Martin (2003) describes this further by stating, “At its most general level, what distinguishes holistic education from other forms of education are its goals, its attention to experiential learning, and the significance that it places on relationships and primary human values within the learning environment.” (Paths of Learning
Education in the Findhorn community is experimental and transformative, a journey of self-discovery that changes people's lives and is helping to create a sustainable peaceful world. Living education is an integral part of the community's work. Recognising the interdependence of all life is at the heart of education here. Taking time for inner reflection, building relationships with others, and co-creating with nature are essential to the fabric of community life. This kind of experiential living, and transformative education becomes increasingly important as humanity comes to terms with global conflict, depletion of the world's resources, changes in our climate, and asks questions about the purpose of our lives and the values we live by. (From the www.findhorn.org
In and through [authentic] community lies the salvation of the world — M. Scott Peck, A Different Drum
One of the first changes in the new age...is that education will cease to be related to a specific time of life or to a specific kind of experience, such as sitting in a classroom for five hours a day and being the receptor of information or skills. We will see instead that everything we partake in is education in some form or another. Education has come to mean something entirely different from its original meaning. The word stems from a root which means “to lead out”...but education has [unfortunately] come to mean “putting in” — David Spangler, Explorations
, 1980, p.14.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has — Margaret Mead
Education is a natural community function and occurs inevitably — Paul Goodman, Community of Scholars
There are a lot of organisations that operate by what they think
is consensus, but it really is not consensus at all...to meet the definition’s requirements, you essentially have
to have what we call true community. Many institutions that try to get to consensus fail because they are not yet true communities. They aren’t ready yet to get to consensus, because they need to work on themselves before they start to make decisions. — M. Scott Peck
Much of the energy of the eco-village movement is focused on the development and use of “green” technologies such as renewable energy and energy efficient housing. These are very important for creating a sustainable society, but, in our view, the dominant issues are human ones. After all, the best technologies in the world are ultimately useless if we cannot learn to live and work together in harmony. The most important thing for the future of humanity and the planet is personal transformation. Aggressive, angry, competitive and alienated people cannot build a society that is peaceful, cooperative, sustainable and just. — Sustainable Communities
, Malcolm Hollick, 1998,
Holistic Holiday Centres
An Interview with M. Scott Peck
IN CONTEXT #29, Summer 1991
by Alan Atkisson
In modern times, the idea of "community" has increasingly been expanded to include not just the place where one lives, but the web of relationships into which one is embedded. Work, school, voluntary associations, computer networks - all are communities, even though the
members live quite far apart.
Alan: In the first sentence of The Different Drum you
say, "In and through community lies the salvation of the world."
You've done five years of community-building work since writing those words.
Do they still hold true for you?
But according to psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck, for any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must undertake a journey that involves four stages: "pseudocommunity," where niceness reigns; "chaos," when the emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet; "emptiness," a time of quiet and transition; and finally, true
community, marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.
Peck's thinking on this subject is detailed in his 1987 book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (Simon and Schuster). He is the author of several other books, including the phenomenally popular The Road Less Traveled.
Peck - "Scotty" to all who know him - is also the co-founder of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, created to support community-building work, and he and other Foundation staff have since conducted over 275 community building workshops. Here he reflects on that experience and the challenges - and joys - of working together to be in community.
Very much so. I had very little experience with community
building when I finished the book in 1986. But I now have a great deal of
experience, having worked with organizations and groups throughout North
America and in the United Kingdom through the Foundation for Community Encouragement.
I'm more convinced than ever of the truth of those opening sentences.
can be one of those words - like God, or love, or death, or consciousness - that's too large to submit to any single, brief definition.
At the Foundation we consider community to be a group of people that have made a commitment to learn how to communicate with each other at an ever more deep and authentic level. One of the characteristics of true community is that the group secrets, whatever they are, become known - they come out to where they can be dealt with.
By other definitions, a community is a group that deals with its own
issues - its own shadow
- and the shadow can contain any kind of
issue. We have tried unsuccessfully at the Foundation to come up with a
sort of slogan, but one of the phrases that kept coming up was from the
gospels: "And the hidden shall become known."
Alan: Many groups and organizations in recent years have been experimenting with community building and consensus process. For some it works beautifully - but for others, seeking consensus seems to become a morass that sucks energy out of their efforts. What's the difference between groups for whom consensus works, and those who never quite seem to get there?
Scotty: Many institutions that try to get to consensus fail because they are not yet true communities. They aren't ready yet to get to consensus, because they need to work on themselves before they start to make decisions.
Alan: Assuming a group does make it to true community and
consensus, how does it stay there? What, for example, [does a group need] to do to maintain themselves as a community?
It takes a significant amount of effort to build community, but it takes even more effort - ongoing
effort - to maintain it. The biggest problem with community maintenance, as with community start-up, is the problem of organizations simply being willing to pay the price - which is, primarily, a price of time
Alan: What sustains a community in the long term?
Scotty: I'm not sure how sustainable community is unless it has a pretty clearly defined task. Healthy organizations have a mission statement, often along with a philosophy and a vision statement, which they continually update and revise. I suspect that there are a lot of intentional communities, for example, that either don't have a mission statement or haven't looked at it for years and years.
Alan: So communities of all kinds need to say, "This is
what we are going to do together."
And "This is our purpose
for being together."
And that statement has to be reexamined, ritualistically, every couple of years. Doing this requires that the organization's cultural values be explicit.
These values include openness, being willing to be challenged, to re-look at norms, being willing to change. There has to be love and respect, of course - but there also has to be a kind of tension between caring and a terrible dedication to reality.
A critical part of the art of sustaining community is integration of
. Task is working on your mission, and process
is working on yourselves as a community. This art requires an enormous amount
Alan: Often it seems to have been the business, management, and structure issues that have proven to be the Achilles' heel for many intentional communities.
Structure and community are not
incompatible. To the contrary, they mutually thrive on one another. If a task-oriented business group that is not well-structured builds itself into community, it will discover, I think, that their very next task is to define roles. Invariably, those roles are going to be in some sort of hierarchy.
The purpose of community is not to get rid of hierarchy. Again, part
of the art
of all this is for an organization to learn how to function in a hierarchical and highly structured task-oriented mode, and
learn how [and when] to function in a community mode. [So] it needs to learn the technology of switching back and forth. The more clearly defined the roles are, the more structured the organization actually is, the easier this switching back and forth becomes. The more blurred the structure, the harder it becomes.
The Different Drum you write, "An organization is able to nurture a measure of community within itself only to the extent that it is willing to risk or tolerate a certain lack of structure." Is what you're saying now a modification of that earlier view?
An elaboration of it. The only obstacle to building and maintaining community within an organization is not structural. It's political
. If you get somebody at the top who is not willing to relinquish the structure, even temporarily, or who has to dominate everything, there's no way you can have community in that organization. So the people in the organization, particularly at the top, have to be willing to temporarily lay aside their role and their rank.
[When they do that and] people see that you can attain community consistently - that there are rules and principles you can follow to get there - that fosters real hope.
Alan: So "the salvation of the world," as you refer
to it in your writing, is attainable.
Very much so. Let me read you part of the Foundation's
Philosophy Statement, which captures some of the essence of this vision:
"There is a yearning in the heart for peace. Because of the wounds,
the rejections, we have received in past relationships, we are frightened by the risks. In our fear we discount the dream of authentic community as merely visionary. But there are rules by which people can come back together, by which the old wounds are healed. It is the mission of the Foundation for Community Encouragement
to teach these rules, to make hope real again, to make the vision actually manifest in a world which has almost forgotten the glory of what it means to be human."
Being in community in an organization isn't a panacea. Reality still
exists. And as is characteristic of a healthy individual life, there's actually
more pain in
community than outside of it. But there's also more
. To me, what characterizes a true community is not that it's
less painful, but that it's more alive.
Environmental Ethics by Alan Atkisson
LIVING WITH MINDFULNESS
20 PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS TOWARDS
A SUSTAINABLE and HEALTHY SOCIETY
1. Remember to switch off lights and turn down heating when you leave a room.
2. Cook with lids on pots. Boil the amount of water you need.
3. Use washing machine at 40c instead of 60c to save a third of energy use. Don't use a tumble drier. Hang clothes up to dry.
4. Turn down thermostat – 1% less cuts heating bill by 10%. Keep refrigerator just 1c warmer saves 50 kg of greenhouse gases a year.
5. Turn TV, stereo, DVD, mobile phone charger off at the power point immediately after use. Standby uses 10-60% extra juice and contributes to fire risk.
6. Eat grains, fruit and vegetables. Eat organic regional, seasonal food and drink. Avoid GM food. Don't smoke – to stop tobacco crops, air pollution and harm to health. Cut down on alcohol. Avoid junk food, (A tin of Coca-Cola contains 12 cubes of sugar).
7. Use energy efficient Compact Fluorescent bulbs (CF bulbs), they last 10 times longer and saves half a tonne of CO2 in its lifetime.
8. Walk, cycle, public transport, car pool. Check emissions and tyre pressures. Cut down on flights. (Emissions of one Atlantic flight from EU to New York equals in emissions every passenger driving a car for a year - about 15,000 kilometres).
9. Use as much as possible renewable sources and cut consumption.
10. Minimise paper use and buy wood products from sustainable forests. Buy products with least packaging. Recycle paper, used bottles, tins and cardboard.
11. Plant trees and look after them. Grow organic vegetables and make compost.
12. Increase insulation in roof, windows and aluminium foil behind radiators (dull side to the wall). Install a solar water heater
13. Wear natural materials, such as cotton and wool, as much as possible.
14. Install double glaze windows and ignore air conditioning.
15. Cut down on purchases of consumer goods and only buy energy efficient appliances
16. Invest in ethical funds. Attend shareholder meeting for green resolutions. Press the corporate world to make policies for a sustainable society
17. Boycott multi-nationals that block or ignore transition to a sustainable society.
18. Support green politics, protests and actions. Support eco friendly business.
19. Don't support war and the selling of arms. War causes the greatest harm to people, animals, environment and infrastructure.
20. Make things last. Never forget the difference you can make. Have fun and change the world.
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE IN A SUSTAINABLE and HEALTHY WORLD