“We are not preparing people for the world we grew up in, nor are we preparing them for today’s world. Instead, we must empower them with the creativity needed to solve problems that we cannot imagine.”~ M. Kolan & W. Poleman, UVM
Education today must critically engage inherited stories of separation and domination, and at the same time responsibly recollect a deeper human inheritance: stories of interrelationship, belonging, dignity and respect. From this orientation, the conditions for real systems-change begin to emerge.
Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education provides nature-based education for action at the confluence of ecological, social and personal systems change. We endeavor to:
- Immerse participants in experiences that remind them of the interrelationship of all life;
- Educate participants on how to more effectively interrupt unjust cultural systems that have created and perpetuated inequity and pushed the planet to the brink of collapse;
- Take actions that meet the imperative to care for both people and the planet.
The Weaving Earth Immersion (WEI) is a journey into the core practices of Relational Education (RE) that offers life-changing nature-based connection experiences. Approximately 35 participants meet for 12 multi-day sessions (5-10 days each) over 10 months, with options for 2nd and 3rd-year training.
Through the WE Immersion, we seek to draw out the inherent genius and collaborative spirit within each participant—the socio-ecological challenges we face require the perspectives, contributions and gifts of every person. Our students strive to become healthy cells within the bigger body.
“I deepened my relationship to listening and relating to our greater ecologies, anchoring my compassion in dignity, and learning to practice love with myself as an act of service to the whole.” ~brontë velez, 2018 WEI graduate and co-founder Lead to Life and Media and Development Director at Planting Justice
Learning takes place in a “Community of Practice,” in which participants explore, make mistakes, and grow together through human-to-human-to-nature relationships. RE emphasizes intersections and interrelationships and prioritizes the ability to ask and follow questions, acknowledging that every answer earned leads to more questions. Our primary audience in the WEI are activists, educators, entrepreneurs, systems thinkers and changemakers.
Discover and explore the possibilities that arise when we unite in an intentional, mentoring context:
Some of our practices include:
- Deep Nature Connection—bird language; ecological tracking; reading the landscape;
- Somatics—body wisdom, attunement, and resourcing; sensory awareness;
- Mentoring—deep listening; shared leadership; care for lineage; bearing witness;
- Permaculture—soil-building; watershed design; planting strategies; fire ecology;
- Wildtending—honorable harvesting; earth-living skills (shelter, water, fire, food, craft);
- Peacemaking—practices for navigating internal and external conflict and communion;
- Inner Tracking—reflection tools; analysis of social location; ancestry & lineage;
- Connection to Creativity—gratitude; song and personal expression; deepening relationship to the mystery; response-ability; personal leadership development;
- Holistic Leadership—community; privilege & oppression analysis; honoring transitions;
- New Economy—class/ism; right livelihood; resource alliances; gifting; spirit of service;
- Prayerful Activism—place-based action and prayer; local to global connections.
What graduates are saying about the program:
~ Kate, Beyond Boundaries – Year 1
“In uncertain and challenging times for our communities and environment, The Weaving Earth program has given me hope for the future and a desire to be fully alive and to develop into a transforming self. I have woken up to the natural world, and it will leave an indelible mark on my journey towards a peaceful existence and future. “
~ Chris, Bridge Builders – Year 3
“The WE immersion has given me hope for a beautiful future, as well as a holistic toolkit to help me be a part of the solution. This work is so needed and healing and I can feel the momentum growing behind it. May that momentum continue to build.”
~ Alexis, Fire Tenders – Year 2
“It might be impossible to ever fully describe with words the bounty of gifts I have discovered through this program– but the results show clearly in the way I walk and act in this world with not only the people in my life, but all beings. It has helped to open doors to deeper communication with myself and my environment (in nature and elsewhere) and has sent me out on a journey of learning how to really listen. I wasn’t expecting that when I signed up–but I think that’s the most valuable tool of all, and I’m infinitely grateful for the amazing reflections and support I’ve received. I feel humbled, grounded, and inspired by all the various forms of expression, knowledge, learning, and skills I have been exposed to in the WE Immersion — to co-create more fully and authentically in this beautiful, mysterious dance of life. I have also laughed so much along the way — maybe that has been the most healing and valuable tool of all.”
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