engaged buddhist training - empowering transformation

11th to 25th August

“Our times desperately call for both spiritual and social commitments. Without spiritual development, well meaning attempts to change the world will probably unconsciously replicate the very problems that we believe we are solving. …… But if the path of spiritual transformation is not socially informed, it too is at risk. There is the irony of attempting to overcome self-centeredness through spiritual practice while ignoring the cries of the world” Donald Rothberg

  • A training grounded in buddhist values and practice
  • Crucial practical tools for organising
  • The inner resources for sustaining inspiration and engagement
  • Skills for building a culture of compassion

In our times, personal and social transformation are intimately bound together. As climate change, peak oil and economic precarity articulate the endgame of this industrial growth era, spiritual practice that fails to face these conditions runs the risk of falling into narcissistic escapism. Meanwhile, attempts to engage with these social and ecological conditions need to be resourced by deep awareness, self-knowledge, and emotional intelligence. As they say, “Wisdom without action is lame, and action without wisdom is blind.”

So, this is a training for people who are awake to the needs and opportunities of our times. This event brings together a team of talented facilitators to offer tools that integrate the inner dimensions of personal transformation with practical skills in organising, community building, and designing effective strategies for social transformation. It brings together the best in activist education with Dharma based practice, to simultaneously empower personal and interpersonal change.

Whether our efforts can herald in a future expressing our potential to live in solidarity with each other and the non-human world, or our work simply creates resilience and capacity in individuals and communities to weather a complex and uncertain future, we cannot know. Either way, there is enormous creative potential for us to nurture in the years in front of us. This training aims to help us build the personal and inter-personal resources to bring that potential forth.

This training aims to:

  • enable individuals to learn and deepen their practice of meditation and other Dharma based methods for developing inner resources of clarity, insight, courage, patience, and emotional resilience.
  • develop an integrated understanding of how these inner based practices inform and support outer engagement and activity.
  • create a supportive temporary community, modeling key community building practices, in which individuals can reflect on their experience, go deeper in understanding their own motivations and concerns, and share experience and learning.
  • offer key organizing and community building tools and support the development of the skills required to use them effectively.

The Team

Alex Swain has been facilitating courses geared towards social and personal transformation at the ecodharma centre for the past 6 years, where she lives and works as Project Coordinator. She has been part of building the programs for engaged buddhism and sustainable activism at ecodharma as part of the Centre team, and supporting others to gain skills in building and propagating this work throughout Europe.

Her commitment to social justice and history of political activism have involved her in direct action and affinity group work focused on climate justice, ant-capitalism, queer politics and gender identity. A strong focus on the somatic dimension and embodied practice (informed by her work as a dance artist and yoga teacher) underpins both her approach to the dharma and work to promote social change. Her Buddhist practice has been influenced by teachers of various traditions and she’s currently undertaking the ordination training of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

Eweryst Zaremba is a social activist and trainer, and a member of SPINA trainers for social change collective and European Action for Youth (EYFA) network. Ewe leads trainings on group dynamics, consensus decision making, conflict resolution and sustainable activism. His work is primarily with grassroots groups involved in social and environmental struggles, as well as NGOs working in the areas of social and environmental justice, in Poland and internationally. Ewe is deeply committed to the work and involved also in trauma and emotional support for grassroots activists, currently dedicating most of his time to feminist, trans* and queer struggles through writing, performing and leading workshops. Ewe is also a WenDo trainer – a self defense and self assertiveness method for women and trans* people and he is passionate about working with body awarenesses and different bodywork methods as a radical means of deconstructing internalised systems of oppression.

Kathryn Tulip has campaigned on a wide range of environmental and social justice issues for more than 30 years and has been offering training and facilitation to grassroots groups with Seeds for Change and now with Navigate for more than 13 years. She is continuously re-inspired by the commitment and creativity of the groups she works with. She enjoys working in an organisation that values learning, where we continuously reflect on and evaluate our work, develop our skills and learn new ones. She’s passionate about working cooperatively, ending oppression, building strong communities of resistance and staying energised, balanced and resilient and supporting others to do the same.

For more background on the course and approach check out Self + Society: A Radical Response and Engaged Buddhist Training Series.

Suggested contribution in the Dana Economy €300 to €850 (euros). Make a booking. Some bursaries and/or work exchange options are available.

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