Finding harmony with Self, Others and Nature
Download the Inner Transition Program 2016-17
Saturday 24th September 2016, Vision Quest Day. Download the details
Download the 2015-16 Inner Transition programme
Recovering the Wisdom of Gaia
Programme for 2015-6
We have structured the programme around a journey into the unknown in which we leave behind the familiar and embrace the mystery of unknowing, finally seeking to bring this openness back to our everyday lives. In so doing, we are seeking to increase our inner harmony, our harmony with others, and our harmony with the more-than-human world. The programme will consist of 3 terms, as follows:
- Entering the Unknown: We develop our willingness to leave behind our familiar ways of seeing and thinking about the world as a collection of things and realise that it is more a matrix of relationships and connections which we are a part of:
- September 28 2015- Recovering the Wisdom of Gaia with Raphael Bate & Melanie Jameson. Introduction to Gaia themes; ways of deepening the work we are undertaking together.
- October 26 2015 – Relationship & Interconnection with Robin Coates. Cycles of Being (This will be a Joint session with Transition Malvern Hills)
- November 30 2015 – The Heroic Journey with Hester Bate. What is the Heroic Journey you are on – and what is your next step?
- Embracing the Mystery: We recognise that we are more than a mind on legs. We connect to all of who we are – and to all that is
- January 25 2016 – Celebrating the Pleasure of Embracing the Mystery with Altair de Almeida. A gently experiential session using simple movements to help us safely explore our depths.
- February 29 2016 – The Divine Feminine Arising with Miguel Dean. Balancing masculine and feminine principles/energy for personal and planetary wholeness.
- March 21 2016 – Becoming Whole with Emma Gathergood. By embracing and nurturing our body, feelings, mind and spirit, we can become the change we wish to see in the world.
- Enfolding the Wisdom: We learn to live with the unknown, to be open, to be centred in our everyday lives.
- April 25 2016 – Braving the Unknown with Mike Munro Turner. Exploring how we can be more fearless when we feel vulnerable.
- May 23 2016 – Living in Harmony with the Other with Raphael Bate. In which we develop our ability to live in harmony with the mystery..
- June 27 2016 – The Wisdom of Gaia. Reviewing the year and gathering up the threads. Living life as enquiry. Deepening Community
Download the Inner Transition programme 2014-2015
November 2014 – The Vision Quest: Taking responsibility for My Connection to Our Planet – David Wendl-Berry
“Wherever you stand your feet are directly above the centre of the earth”
Twenty four participants came together to hear David talk about his work guiding Vision Quests over twenty years. Talking about such a huge subject in the time given by our meeting is not easy, but David set the scene for us by laying out in a circle on the floor objects symbolising the map of the universe.. outer and inner, with the four cardinal directions and their symbolic elements. The group sat around this circle.
A feather to the North representing Air, Water to the South , a candle to the East representing Fire , pebbles to the West representing Earth and a crystal in the centre representing the Centre of the Universe. Each culture/tribe would have different totemic animals connected with each of these. He told us of the Origin of the Vision Quests in numerous cultures: intended as initiation quests for adolescents moving into adulthood and usually consisting of four days and nights in wild places, while fasting, to get a deeper connexion with oneself and our planet. (In our culture, probably the Bar Mitzvah of the Jewish boy is the closest we come to this ritual. HB.)
David’s background journey took him from a hedonistic lifestyle of a media film maker to discovering his own teacher and becoming an apprentice of Sun Bear and subsequently a Vision Quest guide in the wild places of America and U.K. for the last twenty years. His stories of confronting oneself by isolation in nature, with darkness of the night symbolising darkness within was at times very moving: his stories illustrated the transformations possible for us all from ‘lost child’ to insightful adult.
Although not everyone in the room would be prepared to undergo the rigours of this type of Vision Quest, most of us were enthralled at the possibilities offered by the immersion in nature offered by this type of quest. Questions of safety were raised , especially the idea that for women the prospect of being out, alone, in darkness carries a greater sense of risk than it might do for a man. However, re-assurance was offered that the lands used were private property, and that wildernesses such as those found in the Highlands were not likely to be attractive to the criminal element… and that many women had completed the V.Q.s, to their own satisfaction.
Enthusiastic appreciation and thanks were offered to David, and there were some requests for a follow up to this session to go deeper into the Vision Quest, so watch this space. (Hesther Bate 26 November 2014)
October 2014 – Who Am I, Here and Now? – Raphael Bate
To be able to fall in love with our planet it is necessary to find out who we are so that we know who it is that is living our life. The obstacles (attitudes) to being closer to our planet will arise and we can go deeper beyond all the labels we or others have given us. During the evening we used a koan (a core question) such as ‘What is Life?’ or ‘Who am I?’, to explore the deeper layers of our identities to experience who we authentically are.
We worked in pairs using effective communication and contemplation methods to go deeper into who we are right now, the aim being to have a direct experience of the truth here and now.
September 29th 2014 – How to Fall in Love with the Planet – Raphael Bate
Following on from the very successful Polly Higgins session, Raphael introduced the Inner Transition programme for the year “Falling in Love with Our Planet: Next Steps in Inner Transition”. He then explored How to Fall in Love with the Planet by introducing some ways to get closer to our nature in nature.
September 19th 2014 – Falling in Love with Our Planet – Polly Higgins
Malvern Quaker Meeting House was full to bursting on the night of Friday September 19th when Polly Higgins came to speak to us on “Falling in Love with our Planet”. The title would seem to call for an emotional response but Polly began by asking us to consider how we might become stronger voices for the earth. Polly’s voice has been very strong – in fact her advocacy has moved things on to the international agenda, as she works to enshrine in law the imperative not to cause irreparable harm to the earth.
It was in 2010 that Polly Higgins proposed to the United Nations (UN) that an international law of Ecocide be made the 5th Crime Against Peace. An international law of Ecocide would impose an international and trans-boundary duty of care; transgressions would be tried at the International Criminal Court.
Polly reminded us that genocide, for example, was not regarded as a crime until relatively recently. In any area where great harm has been caused, she maintained, those responsible must be made to face the consequences. Picking up on terminology from a 1977 UN environmental convention, she drew out the meaning of the terms ‘widespread’, ‘long-lasting’ and ‘severe’. In the case of ecological crime, we are not just talking about the impact on flora and fauna, but also on people. The attributing of various major disasters to large scale human activity underlines the seriousness of her point.
A law on Ecocide has already been drafted. Polly’s strategy involves engaging with nations at the highest level to achieve the necessary signatories to amend the Rome Statute in order to include Ecocide. She is well on the way to reaching this target and is respected internationally for her drive and expertise.
We were encouraged to take personal responsibility and move from Harming our planet to Harmony with the earth, something that indigenous nations have always understood so much better than we have.
see http://eradicatingecocide.com/ for more information
June 2014 – Dreaming the Landscape – Hesther Bate
We explored how is the landscape in which we live reflected in our inner landscape, and vice versa, using guided visualisation, artwork and discussion to concentrate on the inter-action of our outer and inner landscapes, to examine if, where and how we might want to change.
May 2014 – Death and Transition – Liz Flanagan
This powerful session on “Approaching the Final Transition” was sensitively and skillfully led by Liz Flanagan. The smallness of the group was no doubt in part due to it being a bank holiday, but also I think because of the challenging nature of the topic. Whilst death is not an easy topic, we each found that being helped to engage with thinking about and feeling into it, whilst challenging, was also a moving and empowering experience.
April 2014 – Aspects of Stewardship – Melanie Jameson
We are familiar with the notion that we are stewards of the Earth and its resources. But could this concept usually be extended into other areas? What is our heritage and how do we pass it on? How do we nurture and harness our personal resources? How do we relate these aspects of stewardship to Inner Transition? What practical conclusions can we draw about exercising better stewardship?
March 2014 – Competing Commitments – Overcoming our Immunity to Change – Mike Munro Turner
As people interested in Transition, we are committed to making the transition to a more sustainable and equitable way of living. And yet we often fail to make the changes we are committed to. This doesn’t just happen with Transition – it happens with all sorts of things we want to get better at – eating healthily, losing weight, being more relaxed, drinking less, being more proactive, etc. So, what’s going on? Perhaps, if we are not making happen what we claim to be committed to, there is a stronger, competing commitment to which we are unknowingly committed. We will use a simple and effective process for uncovering this stronger competing commitment – and so begin to free ourselves up to make the changes we want to. So come along with something you would really like to change in your life, but have so far failed to change – it can be transition related or not.
February 2014 – Discover your Transition Mission – What is your mission in life, and in the Transition movement in particular? – Peter Goillau
Vocation can be defined as: “the intersection between an individual’s greatest talent or gift, and the world’s greatest need” (Richard Nelson-Bolles, What Colour is your Parachute?). In this session, we will explore our personal transition mission. The session will be divided into two parts: Head and Heart. In Part 1 (Head), we will identify our key Strengths (see Values in Action free character strengths test at www.viasurvey.org). We will also list our other talents / skills, and the things we think need changing in the world. We will formulate our individual mission statements to make a difference in the transition world. In Part 2 (Heart), we will ground our unique visions of a transition-friendly world through a guided journey visualization. The intention is to provide an insightful and healing experience and, through increased clarity of purpose, to help build a personal bridge between inner transition and outer action. There will be opportunity afterwards for sharing and discussion.
January 2014 – Ubuntu – the African word for compassionate community living – Penny Douglas
Penny is fresh back from 6 months in southern Africa and will be doing a session on UBUNTU and what we in Inner Transition can learn from it.
Ubuntu (/uːˈbʊntuː/ oo-buun-too; Zulu/Xhosa pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼú]) is a Nguni Bantu term (literally, “human-ness”) roughly translating to “human kindness.” It is an idea from the Southern Africanregion which means literally “human-ness,” and is often translated as “humanity towards others,” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”.In Southern Africa, it has come to be used as a term for a kind of humanist philosophy, ethic or ideology, also known as Ubuntuism or Hunhuism (the latter after the corresponding Shona term) propagated in the Africanization (transition to majority rule) process of these countries during the 1980s and 1990s. Since the transition to democracy in South Africa with the Nelson Mandela presidency in 1994, the term has become more widely known outside of Southern Africa, notably popularized to English language readers by Desmond Tutu (1999)
November 2013 – The World Game – the game that helps us build the world we need – Mike Munro Turner
Join us for our last meeting of the year to play The World Game. The World Game is a collaborative role-playing game about sustainability and resilience designed for groups wanting to place their activity into a wide view of current global challenges. It is a fun way to engage with the big picture of what is happening and what might happen in our world, that we will need to respond to. In the game, we role-play different ways of engaging with our real-world challenges than our usual one. This gives us permission to be creative and ‘think outside the box’. Like in any form of lateral thinking, often insights and ideas generated in the game turn out to be very useful in the real world.
October 2013 – Inside Out! – connecting inner transition with our actions in the world – Mike Munro Turner
We have the potential to make radical changes in the way we live our lives – most of the inhabitants of our planet live much more sustainably than we do, as indeed do some of our fellow inhabitants in this country. So clearly living sustainably is possible. And yet when we look at our own lifestyles, we (certainly I!) see a big gap between how sustainably we do live, and how sustainably we could live.
We will start of by exploring the causes of this gap – and then we will look at the 6 Sources of Influence model to help us explore how we can close this gap. This will be an experiential evening working in small groups, sharing what’s worked for us, and getting help with making the changes we want to make.
September 2013 – Evolutionary Consciousness – overcoming the blocks to out own potency – Emma Gathergood
As environmentalists, we can easily sabotage ourselves from being as effective as we might be. So how can we work to overcome the blocks to our own potency? With a life-long Greenpeace activist for a brother, who founded The Peace Squadron in Auckland that led to NZ becoming a nuclear-free zone, I have come to understand just how our inner blocks can affect our effectiveness in the world. For forty years he explored the outer world and I explored the inner world, and towards the end of his life even he came to see the importance of merging our two world views if we want to become more effective. As Einstein said “We can’t solve our problems from the same consciousness that caused those problems”. My forty years of expertise is around showing how we can raise our consciousness in order to become more effective at solving those problems.
July 2013 – A Buddhist Approach to Inner Transition – Kaspalita
June 2013 – The UK Values & IT Group Survey Results – Mike Munro Turner
We looked at the results of the UK National and Community Values Assessment which was carried out in October 2012, when 4000 people living in the UK were asked about the values that are most important to them personally; the values they currently experience in their nation and community; and the values they would like to experience in their nation and community. We also surveyed the personal values of our Inner Transition group. (Go to http://www.valuescentre.com/pva/ where you can complete a short survey – you will then get a report which will help you understand your personal values.)
May 2013 – Permaculture in Your Purse – Fiona Hopes
“Permaculture in Your Purse” is a brief look at the principles of Permaculture and how they apply to everyday living, including the financial systems that we currently use (financial permaculture). Permaculture is usually thought of as a system of growing food and gardening (which it is), but the same principles whole systems design can be applied in every area of life. This is an opportunity to look at one’s personal finances as well as the whole financial system from a permaculture viewpoint, and to see that there is much more than money to make you rich. Financial permaculture does not use visualisations and affirmations, and there is no ‘secret’ to it, just common sense and an holistic way of seeing and understanding the rich and varied world in which we live.
April 2013 – Review of activity to date, and exploring our focus as a group as we travel through the rest of the year – Mike Munro Turner
March 2013 – Why Transition Isn’t Easy … And How To Make It Easier – Raphael Bate
What makes change difficult, how to make it easier, how to change your habits, choosing Transition now. We will look at a multi-stage model of change and explore the small, manageable steps you can take on the journey to living a more sustainable, happier life.
February 2013 – Training in Active Hope – Will Tooby
How to face the mess we see in the world without going crazy – A short introductory workshop in the inspirational ‘Work That Reconnects’ developed by Joanna Macey. This work is designed to support you in building your inner strength and capacity to face the enormous challenges that we face in the world today. It will provide a space where you can share your own thoughts and feelings and begin to be inspired with new ways of looking at the issues. There’s more information on Active Hope at http://www.activehope.info
January 2013 – Non Violent Communication – Jane Charles
According to the back cover of Marshall Rosenberg’s classic book of the same title Non Violent Communication is “far more than a communication technique. You’ll learn to transform the thinking, language, and moralistic judgements that keep you from the enriching relationships you dream of. You’ll start to resolve conflicts with ease, more easily get what you want without using demands, begin to hear the needs of others with less struggle, strengthen your personal and professional relationships, and start living your fullest potential”. In the hour and a half that Jane will have I don’t think she will quite manage to teach us to do all this! But having been to some of her workshops I know we will have a fascinating and rewarding evening.
November 2012 – Broadening
We explored two areas:
- What can we take from out group to the rest of Transition Malvern Hills and possibly beyond to sustain them in their work and transitions?
- How can we build on what’s happening in the Malvern Faith and Science Weekend on Sustainability to promote Inner Transition?
October 2012 – Mythology and the Inner Journey – Hesther Bate
Both Transition and Journey are about movement from one place to another. Similarly, Inner Transition and Inner Journey are about change and discovery of our Inner Selves. Some think our ancestors mapped these Journeys of the Inner through Myth and Story. This evening will be a brief introduction to this process, using our own imagination and a familiar ‘fairy tale’. Be prepared to let loose your ‘Inner Child’, and have fun.
September 2012 – Emotional Freedom Technique – Lydia Lee
My intention is to share my passion for this exceptional “tool” to inspire others to use it for themselves. It’s something I use everyday for all sorts of situations, in fact a common phrase used for EFT is “Try it on anything!” I prefer the evening to be more interactive, and involved than people just listening to me talk. I will be telling stories and giving examples to illustrate the essence of this meridian tapping technique and hopefully we will also do some group tapping. I welcome everyone to this limitless gift of EFT, to explore and enjoy.”
June 2012 – Active Hope – Mike Munro Turner
Introducing the recently published book “Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy” by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, and then applying it to our own Inner Transitions
May 2012 – creating relationship with nature through sound and song – Susan Hale
As we make the transitions that our times are calling for many questions come to mind: Do you have a voice? Can you ask for what you need? Can you give voice to what you know to be true? Can you listen to your inner guidance? Voice work is a powerful tool to help you access your inner truth and free up blockages from the past that have kept you silent. The Civil Rights Movement gives us an example of the power of the human voice to mobilize change. Many of us have lost touch with our wild, instinctual selves, with our ability to listen to our bodies and our earth to give voice to what we hear inside. When you free your voice you free yourself. Working with vocal toning, chant and imagery Susan will guide us to explore layers of our natural voice and share what we find within the safety of the group. www.songkeeper.net
April 2012 – envisaging a future post-descent world
We continued looking at what the world could look like in 2030 as part of our process of clarifying what the inner transition we each need to make is to thrive and prosper in this new world.
March 2012 – envisaging a future post-descent world – Melanie Jameson
We had an interesting and stimulating session on envisaging a future post-descent world. We looked at what the world could look like in 2030 if we had successfully built a flourishing low-carbon sustainable community. We all found this a very useful, interesting and engaging exercise. I found imagining a compelling future surprisingly difficult in some ways and realised that I have put too much attention on what is wrong with the way we live now rather than what could be better about the way we might live in future.
February 2012 – Clarifying the Focus of the Group
We agreed to have two threads to our work together:
- developing a compelling and positive vision of the post-transition, post-descent, sustainable world that we believe is possible and desirable so that we have a clearer sense of what we are seeking to move towards, and why we should bother to!
- getting support with our own change processes and our own ability to make the journey to a more sustainable way of living and being. Helping us make the inner transition in terms of beliefs, attitudes and attachments to enable us to make the changes in our behaviour which will enable us to live more sustainably – for example though presentations/sessions on particular aspects of inner transition.
January 2012 – Open Meeting
December 2011 – Nic Harrington, Jonathan Penley and Simon Vivian
A variety of short sessions., including singing and a meditation.