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Applied Zen: Creating the World Around Us

Ji Hyang Padma

Every thought affects the world around us. In the thirteenth century, Zen Master Dogen wrote about this using the metaphor of water: “Some see water as the seven treasures or a wish-granti- ng jewel; some see water as a forest or a wall.” In what we choose to see and how we frame it, we create the world around us. By choosing to focus on mindful awareness, we can respond to stimuli rather than react, and thus develop resiliency and create positive outcomes. This is tangible; it begins with ordinary people and their own mind- fulness practice, through which we return to our original luminous awareness, like clear water. This course combines Zen practice with creative approaches that support mind/body health to discover inner resources and create positive out- comes in everyday life. Activities include Zen practice, kido (chanting meditation), and person- al journey work. Using techniques from Riz Virk’s book, Zen Entrepreneurship, we will explore how to bring the creative process into the flow of work, through leadership that is aligned with the rhythms of life. We will also use group journeys, sacred ceremony, and metta meditation to har- ness the power of group consciousness for the purposes of personal and societal transformation.

Recommended reading: Padma, Zen Practices for Transformative Times; Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty.

Ji Hyang Padma has taught Zen for 19 years. She directs Spirituality and Education Programs at Wellesley College. She also teaches at Babson College and Omega Institute. She is the author of Zen Practices for Transformative Times.

Improv Inspiration: Wit and Wisdom in an Instant

Paula Shaw

This workshop is an adventure in releasing pro- grammed patterns and discovering the delight of spontaneous creation. The joy of playing improvisational theatre games comes from sur- rendering to the process. Each game has focus points that allow you to suspend your accus- tomed automated and controlled thinking. The liberation that follows fully opens up your mind to imaginative freedom, your voice to new and surprising sounds, verbal humor, eloquence, and flowing physical grace in movement.

In this work, you are never alone. The easy-to- follow instructions and coaching tune you in with the other players, and when that connec-


tion is made, instantaneous creativity issues forth effortlessly. Once you’ve allowed yourself to join in, each improvised piece takes flight, with truly amazing results. As a participant in these games, you go back and forth from being a player to being the audience. You play from both positions, and both are filled with fun.

The program is an experience of how wonder- fully well life can flow when you get out of your own way, and the learning is what it means to be able to do that. It is also full of falling-down laughter.

All are welcome. Prior improv experience will be forgiven.

Leader bio on page 86.

Social Entrepreneurship: From Spiritual Values to Effective Action

Susan Collin Marks & John Marks

There is a growing longing in many of us to do something that will have a positive impact on the world. We hold a vision of infusing our spir- itual values into the political, economic, and social life of our planet to create a kind and dig- nified world for all. We want to be social entre- preneurs. This workshop offers the accumulated experience of Search for Common Ground, which grew out of meetings at Esalen in the early 1980s into the world’s largest non-profit organization in conflict transformation. The keys to Search’s success have been profound cre- ativity, nimbleness, and an unswerving, compas- sionate vision, which is reflected in the range of their work: TV and radio soap operas that reach tens of millions of people, multiethnic kinder- gartens in the Balkans, a Common Ground News Service in the Middle East, and consensus building among polarized communities in the US.

During this workshop, Search founder and president John Marks and senior vice president Susan Collin Marks will take you deep within yourself to unfold and define your own vision. They will share the Principles of Social Entrepreneurship and offer individual coaching through a clinic that draws on their experience as well as the wisdom of the group. They will lead you through the possibilities that abound when you grasp your inner potential to make the difference you long to make, and the world needs, right now.

For more information, visit

Susan Collin Marks, senior vice president of Search for Common Ground, is a South African peacemaker

Innovation in Experiential Education: A Permaculture Teacher Training Kat Steele & Michael Kramer

Permaculture is a holistic design system for cre- ating and sustaining regenerative human settle- ment patterns for healthy living. This permacul- ture course offers a new way to teach solution- based, eco-social design concepts by applying the principles of permaculture to the teaching of permaculture. Teachers and practitioners in any field can apply these skills and practices. This course will cover every aspect of being an effec- tive educator and promoter of mutually benefi- cial relationships for a more sustainable and just future. By taking the approach of whole person learning and using teaching combinations from educators from all over the world, this course provides invaluable information about facilitat- ing and how to frame concepts and ideas to peo- ple from all walks of life and cultural contexts. This course also teaches the basics of how to administer the core permaculture design course, as well as planning and preparing for specialized permaculture-focused workshops and practica.

Highlights include:

• How to identify learning styles and adapt to various audiences

• Techniques to help you organize and prepare quickly and effectively

• A comprehensive manual and DVD of permaculture resources and teaching materials

• Course planning, marketing, and evaluation

• Constructive critique of participant presentations

• Teaching tools and the core exercises of the permaculture curriculum

This course offers powerful teaching practices gleaned from the leaders’ many years of perma- culture teaching. Their experience, combined

who has won numerous honors for her work trans- forming conflict worldwide. She is the author of Watching the Wind: Conflict Resolution during South Africa’s Transition to Democracy.

John Marks is president and founder of Search for Common Ground, an international conflict transfor- mation organization. He also heads Common Ground Productions. A best-selling, award-winning author, in 2006 he was awarded a Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship.

November 25–December 2

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