Deep Ecology, Nature Connection & Natural Farming
9th – 30th September 2018
Deepen our connection with nature through our head, heart, hands and spirit.
This course on Deep Ecology aims to give us the tools & knowledge to deepen our connection with this beautiful Mother Earth & all its beings. It is our wish to see that this course will benefit all beings one way or another.
Join us for this three weeks contemplative learning where we will learn together What is Deep Ecology as a philosophy, and as an approach to deepen our connection with nature and as a way of living.
This two weeks program is designed to have balance of the learning through different channel of our being:
Head: Theoretical learning, critical thinking, debate, discussion, deep reflection & deep questioning. The learning through the head help us to understand deeply of what is happening around us and in the world. Understanding and deeply questioning the reality presented to us is a way to liberate ourselves from it.
Heart: listening to what we are feeling when we engage ourselves in nature and her stories. Allowing the heart to feel the love, joy, compassion or the feeling of sadness & fear allowing ourselves to feel the pain of the world & Mother Earth. We will use the activities of The Work That Reconnect of Joanna Macy and other practices to help our heart to learn deeply. We need the learning through our heart to bring about transformation at a deep level.
Hand: Mindfully working with nature in the garden. When we are mindful we love, respect and connect as we are physically engaged. Practical work help us to ground our believes, philosophy and vision. It empowers us and assures us that the new reality we wish for is possible. It makes what’s in our head and heart become real and tangible.
Spirit : Spirituality, Meaning & purpose. Learning at this level is about being conscious of our values and purpose, seeing ourselves as part of a greater universe and realizing our connection, relationship and responsibility in that picture. a learning at this level helps us to stay connected with our core and bring meaning to life.
The course will run through what we call “the wave of energy” where we go through different phases of learning and eventually the wave reaches the peak of high motivation and deep commitment at the end of the journey. This process is designed based on & inspired by various philosophies and practices such as Joanna Macy’s Works That Reconnect, Buddhist teachings, Process Work & Ecovillage Design Education. This process has been used to create NextGEN groups in different Asian countries.
The phases of learning include:
Community Building : At Gaia Ashram we value community & living together as a community. We will work together on creating a space for openness, opening our hearts and minds, building trust, cultivating compassion toward each other, drawing shared values and we creating the community glue together. This acts as the important foundation for the whole program. This phase of learning includes:
- embracing diversity
- community building
- trust building
- common ground
Gratitude : Feeling nature, raising our eco-sensitivity, spending time in nature, connecting with nature, expressing our love and gratitude to nature from a deep place and deep reflection. In this phase we will be working on:
- eco sensitivity
- deep experience
- feeling nature
- observing nature & being observed by nature
- be nature
- nature expression
Honouring Our Pain for the world : Acknowledging and honouring our pain for the world, looking inside ourselves into what concerns we have for ourselves, for the world, for the future generations and for all beings, studying and addressing the crisis’s we are facing and its roots. In this phase we will be:
- deep questioning our society
- acknowledging and honouring our pain for the world
- looking into the roots of our crises
- Discussing on materialistic worldview
Seeing with new eyes : Looking into the shift that is taking place, transformation, The Great Turning , initiatives each one of us are taking. In this phase we will reflect on:
- What inspire us to change?
- The call from inside
- The Great Turning (Joanna Macy)
- Seeing with New Eyes (Joanna Macy)
Going Forth , Action Plan: Flower for the earth. How can we ground all this knowledge to become active caretakers or deepen our roles as earth stewards and guardians of nature?
- Deep Commitment
- What block us from taking action and engaging in the world?
- Creating a realistic and committed action plan as flower we offer for the earth
- Networking/connection: Why is networking important, looking at different networks & how can we do networking?
Natural Farming : Training & Practice
from 24th – 29th September, after we have done two weeks of process work of Deep Ecology & Nature Connection, we will be learning about Natural Farming from an expert who have applied natural farming successfully. This learning will bridge our deep connection with nature from the previous two weeks into the ground. From the heart to the hand, from love and respect of nature to working with nature.
How each day looks like during the course
- We will start of the day in the morning, before breakfast, with medication & yoga or other contemplative exercises
- there will be daily mindful gardening practice of one hour everyday.
- Process work on Deep Ecology, Nature connection and Works that Reconnect will take place in door or in nature.
- Art, ritual an celebration will be included as appropriate.
Email us a motivation letter why you want to attend the course, then sign up and pay your registration fee through Eventbrite link. We will send you Registration form to fill in your personal information along with information package for your preparation to participate in the course. Then you are booked!
What are the fee?
We have made three sliding scale fee to be able to give more chance for youth and people with low income to participate in the program. We wish that people with more income are willing to pay the recommended fee or the gifting fee which are the amount that will enable us to continue doing this work and give more space to youth with low income.
750 USD / 620 Euro – Dormitory
800 USD – 645 Euro – Shared room
840 USD – 675 Euro – Single room
Cancelation Policy :
This course requires a minimum of 13 participants. We ask people to book and pay the deposit of 100 Euro before 5th August 2018. As soon as the minimum number of 13 participants is reached we will confirm that the course will take place. In case there are not enough participants signing up, we will announce the cancellation of the program by 9th August latest. If Gaia Ashram has to cancel the program, the paid deposit of 100 Euro will be fully refunded.
In case a participant cancels his or her participation in the program, the deposit of 100 Euro can not be refunded.
Facilities: Gaia Ashram provides basic facilities and the basic needs of participants will be met.
Accommodation: Dormitory, shared rooms and single rooms. Mosquito nets, cushions, bedding and blankets are provided.
Common Space for sessions: Indoor session will be held at the first floor of Gaia Sala & the Mini-Sala and practical session will be happening on the land, in nature.
Toilet and Shower: compost toilets and showers for men and women.
Internet: Internet Shop in the next village is usually available everyday. We have a few bicycles available. We will provide trip to internet on Sundays.
Food: Healthy local vegetarian & vegan food will be served by local cooks. Participants will team up to cook breakfast in turns and on Sundays there is the space for participants to also cook lunch and diner.
Gaia Ashram’s policy on drugs & alcohol
We allow no alcohol or drugs on the Gaia Ashram property. We ask people to smoke at the smoking corner only. This will help to provide healthy environment for learning and living together for one month. We encourage people to take this one month as an opportunity to have a break from their smoking or drinking.
Any further information you need about this course, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the rest of the profit from the course will be spent on water harvesting and irrigation at the Gaia Ashram (building water tanks, installing gutters, buying pumps and install solar energy system for the pumps etc.)
For more information on Deep Ecology you can look at: