Facilitator Profile

Facilitators are members of the Pachamama Alliance community who step into leadership by hosting Symposiums and spreading the message of Up to Us.

Dennis Lucarelli

Dennis Lucarelli
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
  • Primary Language: English
  • Facilitator Since: 2007

As a Facilitator, I am Committed to

  • Symposium Presenter
  • Symposium Host
  • Symposium Producer
  • Media Generator
  • Community Coordinator

I serve on the Board of the Transition Salt Spring Society as VP and Membership Chair.  I am part of a dynamic team that regularly plans Transition events and I collaborate with other Victoria, BC area Awakening the Dreamer Facilitators.

Professionally I help leaders, organizations and project managers face complexity, uncertainty, and resistance to change by developing the vision and translating it into a plan of action.   I enjoy a long-time affiliation with the Center for Project Management, and independently I work with community groups toward a sustainable, just and fulfilling human presence on earth.

Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish.
Education: Brown University 1974; Boalt Hall School of Law 1977; Project Management Institute (PMP certification) 2005.

I've been a Facilitator since 2007. I have delivered 6 events with a total of 155 attendees.

Why I'm a Pachamama Alliance Facilitator

Two moments in my life stand out:

One, when I was eight years old I stepped outside and sat down on our front porch in the mid-afternoon.  I still love how the bright sunlight of southern California plays on the trees and the plants and the sky.  The natural world calls to me since as early as I can remember -- a wild canyon sloping down behind my earliest home, near downtown Los Angeles in the 1950s, where coyotes howled at night and I once tried to throw rocks at the full moon (lucky for Moon she is too far away but she knew that I was tossing missives of love her way).  After sitting myself down on that front porch I suddenly saw all in my view in a kind of mild technicolor and felt my body say something I did not understand at that moment: "This world looks fake to me".  I lived in a grid-streeted suburb with leafy trees spaced neatly apart on a grass parkway beyond the sidewalk;  our front yardsand lawns were well-manicured;  my family had moved far far away from that wild canyon where I had lived the first five years of my life.  Growing up I got my parents to send me to summer camps ... always in the mountains ...  and once to a horse ranch in Utah where we went on all-day hikes to distant lonely places.

I sat with my love of nature and my alienation from Earth for decades, living in cities and always longing, longing to feel the sense of connection I'd had as a child.  Eventually I came to realize that my moment of "the world looks fake" was a profound child-like awareness of an eight-year-old that some things in my world did not make true sense.

Awakening the Dreamer zapped that perception into sudden sharpness and my participation has brought me to live in a rural place (though I could just as easily be affiliating with local gardeners and hikers within a big city, as I did for decades earlier).  How I came to Awakening the Dreamer was a miracle proving that "there are no accidents".

One week I went to Esalen Institute for a personal retreat with my friend Beth Hird. First night there we sat down at a large table next to two gentlemen whose names were David Ulansey and Robert Swimme.  We didn't know them from Adam but we did come to love the lectures they were giving and the conversations we got to join as they were there with California Institute of Integral Studies.  We both went home, Beth to the Bay Area and me to Vancouver BC.  A week later Beth called me super-excited.  She had just gone to an ATD Symposium at Spirit Rock in Marin County, simply because a friend had said "Beth, come to this 'thing' with me at Spirit Rock on Sunday".   That 'thing' was the Symposium and of course, seeing David U. and Brian S. on the screen gave her -- and me to hear it -- a sense that there was some divine purpose going on, that "there are no accidents", there is a universal consciousness.

That was it.  We both enrolled in the very next available Training, which was led by the incomparable Tracy Apple along with Leslie Whiting, Jon Symes, and Chuck Putnam.  40+ of us had -- in my view -- the experience of a lifetime during that weekend in Santa Barbara in late 2007.  That weekend was like a sapling was planted, my young 55-year old body, into the Earth.  By now, that sapling, of my consciousness and of my commitment to serve by means of channeling the flow of all the ideas and teachings that are gifted to me daily by other people and in early mornings by the dreams that I have, has become a tree that already is bearing much heavy fruit, to be given away and freely shared.  All that I do is in service of the whole, which equates just as well to personal fulfillment.

As one of my local mentors Jean-Claude Catry (founder of the Wolf Kids School) teaches, in connection with Jon Young's "8 Shields" programs including "Renewal of Creative Process", a gift received becomes a gift only when it is RECEIVED BY OTHERS FROM ME.  I believe we are all blessed to live in such exciting times of great moment for Earth. 

Events I've hosted as a facilitator:

  • I hosted a Symposium in on October 4, 2014
  • I hosted a Symposium in on July 2, 2014
  • I hosted a Symposium in Victoria on September 29, 2013
  • I hosted a Symposium in Capital, Subd. A on March 18, 2012
  • I hosted a Symposium in on April 16, 2011
  • I hosted a Symposium in Salt Spring Island on March 12, 2011

If I could change the world

Children will be brought up the indigenous way (as I understand it to be):  each child is set free to explore nature and receives daily guidance in the form of questions asked.  The questions they ask guide what their mentors and elders teach to them and in that way, each child is guided by their own curiosity into the areas of knowledge and the personal passions they were gifted with at birth.

One child may thirst to listen and understand the language of birds and that thirst is nurtured and guided by elders and by older children.  Another child may have been gifted with a passion to sing, or dance, or make things, take care of other people, observe the sky ... all kinds of every type of human experience, all of which are part of what human communities need.

So education is one thing I would change about the world today,especially for children:   permaculture, natural farming (as taught by Masanobu Fukuoka), and reconnecting with the wildest most magical parts of our human nature and the most intimate and sharing parts of our social personalities.  We all belong in communities.  I yearn to live in an intentional community, though I see that it is others, not myself, who are gifted with creating those things;  my gift might be to communicate with and to make connections for people as those communities begin to appear and evolve.

Needless to say, a transformation of how we educate our children would result in a transformation of how we humans related to the natural world, each other, and our spiritual selves.  Stores and shopping, corporations and competition, will be supplanted by sharing and cooperation.  I see the beginnings of these, and know that what is happening now in the world is beginning to make sense, which is to say, WE are starting to make sense of things.  

We are awakening the dreamer and we are changing the dream, and this is happening through forces that I can only begin to understand, but fully trust.

This is who inspires me

My father, Roxie Michael Lucarelli.  When I was 18 I told him how uncomfortable and inadequate I was feeling in my first year of college, located far away from home.  He told me, and my mother was present in the car as we talked on our way home from the airport during Christmas break, that he had experienced feelings of being picked upon and belittled as a boy.  He told me he had learned to fight -- as he is rather short in height, and was especially so in his childhood.  He said he knew I was not going to have to use my fists, but that he also know I would gain the courage and the confidence to stand up for myself, and to do so in a way that was loving and respectful, and that I was already well-liked and well-loved by all.

Being an activist for social justice and for the natural environment and as a community organizer, feelings of fear sometimes visit me.  I notice them, and I shoo them away, by remembering that I am a part of something larger than myself, connected in mysterious ways I may not fully understand.

Pachamama Alliance is a kind of home, for me.


Experiences I'm proud of

I and fellow activists were once invited to host a radio show for one afternoon while the regular host -- a well-known radio personality with a reputation for talking to a very right-wing audience -- was away on vacation.  He had been gay-bashing and thanks to a campaign of calls and letters and some picketing, the advertisers had persuaded the station that this shock-jock should back off from his gay-bashing remarks.

During the three hour show we fielded calls from that supposedly hostile audience. I took the calls with calm confidence and just a touch of nervous fear ... mostly because I had not hosted a radio show before.  At the end, I realized that people who we see as enemies or opponents often turn out to be respectful and truly curious.

There might be rattlesnakes out there which we dare not tread upon, rather must simply avoid.  But for the most part, most of those 'animals' out there are friendly, curious, and they want connection.

We collectively stood up to bullying, overcoming our fear and letting go of our hurt anger.  And we got results by remembering the decency and respect which our parents had instilled.

What I'm passionate about

I love gatherings and conversations, and I love to co-facilitate gatherings of people talking about everything that's important and meaningful.

I love to play with words and song and poetry.  To boil big or complex ideas down to their very essence so that nobody misunderstands and everybody "gets".  I could have been a really effective marketer for products and for capitalism.  But now, I see that I have a love of honing the words and combining the right-brain elements of music and art into something that speaks beyond words.

I long to be more connected with others and to not rely so much on the written word for that to happen.  This may be a contribution I can make to the "great great grandchildren" of the future.  Possessing the keyboard skills and the wording skills, it's fun to exercise those.