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Embodying Permaculture

Embodying Permaculture Workshop is an experience designed to integrate mind, body, heart and spirit with the values and principles of permaculture. As facilitators we will take participants through a journey of body centered awareness practices including transformational theater, embodied movement, guided music creation, vinyasa yoga flow, and guided visualization meditations activating the 5 senses and permaculture. We will engage in interactive games and exercises for each of the 5 senses. We will also facilitate a Solutionary discussion counsel where the participants will have the opportunity to share their vision of being a co-creative change-maker in a thriving sustainable community. When we are fully in alignment with our true selves as multidimensional beings, we develop a strong connection to ourselves, our community and our environment.

Robin Liepman (Bloom) and Anna Combi (Anahata) have facilitated community workshops and permaculture action days together in Costa Rica, Canada and California and beyond. We are co-organizers of Blooming Biodiversity Tour: Solutionary Productions Presents which is set to tour the West Coast this Fall, offering events that bring together communities in transformational celebration to learn and practice permaculture. Anna is certified yoga teachers and bodyworker. Bloom is a Generation Waking Up facilitator. They have all studied eco-psychology, herbalism, and expressive arts. They have completed the Earth Activist Training Permaculture Design Course taught by Starhawk and Charles Williams.

Outline of the Embodying Permaculture Experience

          1. Introduction

  • Gather participants in a circle with the song “People of the Earth Tribe, Rise Up!”

  • Introduce ourselves & our Permaculture Tour

  • Everyone says their name with a dance move & a word or two that share what they love about the earth, and their favorite plant.

    2. Earth focused embodied yoga qi-gong and movement flow (15 min)

  • Participants embody permaculture ethics and their relationship to the environment, including plants and animals (with related poses).

    3. Permaculture Ethics

  • Gather participants in a Humandala while explaining the three ethics: Care for the Earth, Care for the People, & Fair Share

    4. Embodied Awareness Theater Warm Up

  • Participants mill around the space, wake around like they’re neutral, pretending to be on their phone, really busy, then they become really slow, walking with heal, ball toe, then crawling, then walking with feet first, hips first, hands first, eyes closed with hands first, walking backwards, Everyone gets their permaculture feelers out, taking in everything in the space, all the colors, all the shapes, and all the different energies surrounding, different people, using peripheral vision, looking to the left and right, using full spectrum vision while slowly walking.

    5. Permaculture Principles

  • Everyone mills around the space

  • For the 12 Permaculture Principles everyone acts out theatrical silhouettes embodying each ethic, while maintaining at least one point of contact/interaction with someone in the group. 

  • Bloom and Anahata will call out social and environmental examples of each principle (have them written down in preparation).

    6. Transformational Theater of the Elements

  • Everybody goes around in a circle and shares which element they are feeling that they are energetically, emotionally and physically embodying in this moment

  • Everyone goes into groups and acts out problem and solution in relation to this element. One person in the group can be a narrator and everyone else can be an actor. The outline of the skit is as follows: Part 1 is the problem, Part 2 is the solution. If anybody needs examples, we can come around and help give people ideas. We will be floating around to different groups, supporting people in their process. 

  • Everyone presents the skits.

    7. The Five Senses

  • SIGHT: Pattern game. Everyone sits in a circle. One person volunteers to leave the circle out of sight of the group. The group silently picks a leader who begins leading movements in patterns that the rest of the group copies. The guesser is called back, sits in the middle of the circle, and then has to guess who is leading the group. Everyone observes the nature mandala in the center and call out patterns they notice and patterns they see in nature on the micro and macro level. 

  • TOUCH: Everyone picks a partner. One person turns their back, and the other person draws patterns on the back. After a few minutes, the person being drawn on turns around and expresses what pattern they felt. Partners switch and repeat. 

  • FEEL: Buto, movement from seed to tree. With eyes closed, participants are lead through somatic experience, turning into a tree, growing seeds, going through the four seasons, releasing the seed, and growing into a new tree.

  • SOUND: Everyone sits in a circle, starting with one person making a beat, and going clockwise with everyone adding a sound until a permaculture symphony is created. People stand up and move around the room, continuing to make their sound. They find one more person to merge sounds with. The group of two meets another group of two to merge sounds. This continues till all have rejoined in a circle to re-create the symphony. Then we end with a low Om, a high Om, a harmonic Om, and then a rising Om. 

  • SMELL: Essential oils or plants from the garden of different varieties are passed that everyone is given four different herbs or essential oils. Participants are guided through a smelling meditation, connecting memories & mental/emotional response to the smells. Time is spent talking about how these oils are forms of medicine. Optional: Learning about toxic chemicals in more conventional soaps/products. Talk about wild-harvesting herbs and having a relationship to smells. Talk about allergies. 

  • TASTE: Eating Meditation. Participants are guided through smelling, feeling, seeing and hearing the food in their hands. The eating meditation guides the participants through a journey of where the food came from, from seed to sprout to harvest to packaging to distribution, involving all people involved, it’s whole story, and how it got here, and discussing food sovereignty. This is done with both something local and fresh, and something store bought.

    8. Solutionary Discussion Council 

  • Taking a stance: Everyone stands up. One axis is explained to represent viewpoint of the current industrial-growth complex model, with one side saying it’s the best thing that’s ever happened and the other side saying it’s the worst. Participants stand closer to the end they agree with most. A second axis is introduced representing time. One side represents that we have no time left, the other side represents infinite time. Participants stand where they feel most connected. Then people get a chance to share their reasoning for where they stand, making sure people on different areas of the map get to share. 

    Four Change-Maker Groups

  • Participants form five groups based on the type of change-maker they wish to discuss.

  • Community Organizing & Development

  • Direct Action, Activism & Education

  • Media & Expressive Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Film)

  • Policy/Politics 

  • Science & Technology

    These questions are asked to the groups: 

  • “What is the importance of this form of changemaking?”

  • “How do you see yourself in a change maker in this area?”

  • “How can your group work together with the other groups?”

  • “What is your direct action plan for making change in this form?”

    9. Visualizations

  • Guided Dream Eco-village Visualization Meditation

  • Entelechy exercise: Seeing and merging with your greatest, most evolved version of yourself. 

    10. Closing

  • Ending with a humandala & song: “We are the people at the full height of our power!” 

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