This article was written by TWIST: The Turning Wheel and reposted here with permission. You can view the original blog post here.

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Unconscious practices could very well dilute the power of possibility and inspiration. It’s real easy to go to sleep but it is not easy to stay awake. Awareness and understanding is the key for change and action. Those who are aware get an incentive to act. This makes the symposium ‘Awakening the Dreamer’ or ‘Be the Change’ so effective and powerful. It is given all around the world by hundreds of facilitators. Fedde conducted a couple of symposiums in China and Mongolia.

China where capitalism seems be growing as weeds on a fallow land, with its costs of cultural diversity. And Mongolia, a country where a nomadic life-style is still alive but where almost half of the population lives in the capital. Would these people willing to recognize that part of what stays away of a socially just and environmental sustainable world is the fact that the playing field has been skewed in favor of some groups at the expense of others. Or in other words that the game we are playing is a rigged. Which causes and effects do they identify for social unjust and ecological destruction. What makes them alive? What are their hopes and what is needed in this world according to them?

The symposium tries integrate the wisdom of indigenous people with scientific knowledge. It starts with a quote from an Indigenous Elder of the Amazon:

“If you are here coming to help us, then you are wasting your time. If you are here because you know that your liberation is bound up with ours, then let’s work together.”

The four leading questions are: 1. Where are we? 2. How did we get here? 3. What is possible now? 4. Where do we go from here? The day consist of short movies, meditations and group interactions games. I learned about this event from Chris LeBreton whom I met in Bali where my journey started. We shared the passion of cycling and inspire people towards a sustainable and social just world.

Together with Jane whom I met in Thailand we organized a symposium for 80 Chinese students of the environmental university class in Chengdu. Movies were shown with consensus scientific data on environmental and social justice issues. Some parts were familiar to them however the interconnectedness between these topics was new for most of the students. After a short meditation, they were asked to express their feelings. “Our government should solve this”, expressed one of the boys. “It is unfair” said a girl. We had to facilitate a bit more until feelings like disappointment, sadness and hopelessness were mentioned. We continued and I said “sometimes it looks like that we, people, change towards the system instead that the system is changing towards the nature of people”. At that moment the Chinese teacher had to intervene in Chinese. We continued and got very positive feedback on the end.

In Mongolia I gave two symposiums one at Lotus Children Center and one for a small group young women and men in the early twenties. In one exercise they had make 2 columns with where they write down 1) what makes them alive and 2) what is needed in the world. Accordingly they had to connect these two with an action to undertake. What got them alive was family, animals and nature however their dreams was still having a big car, own business and a house. They came up with interesting ideas like make a wind energy business, or a nomadic tourism company. One person told me he want to do mining so that multi-nationals cannot extract the resources without taking responsibility for effects on the long-run. It was interesting to hear that most of them didn’t really liked the city. Everybody enjoyed to be in the country side however non of them felt be able to adapt an nomadic life-style again. I think this is representing the difficult and challenging transition we are facing now. We don’t want to go ‘back’ but at the same time we need to change. Therefore we need to be creative and work from our inspirations. The workshop ‘Awakening the Dreamer’ facilitates this process. I am adapting the curriculum to my experiences so far and continue to China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for next workshops.

Everybody can become a facilitator.

Learn more about becoming a facilitator here