A look inside our programme:
where stories of transformation take place
What Our Participants Say
This experience was the most deeply I have felt that I was myself. It was a real gift to have the space to be myself, and I got a stronger conviction to work towards what I love and what I fear. In the West we talk a lot about doing what you love, but it’s also important to get closer and embrace what I’m afraid of.
Stories and Insights from the Journey
A RARE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN DISCOVER YOURSELF AND OTHERS AT A DEEPER LEVEL
The reason why I participated Awakening Leadership Training Program (ALT) is that I have been struggling for a while in my life. I have experienced depression, withdrawal syndrome, and that let me think deeply why I am living, the reason for being here. Although I tried to do several different things such as changing jobs, living in different places, and doing volunteer work, I found that my world view has not changed and I repeated same way of thinking and doing.
NATURE, MINDFULNESS, ARTS, LOVE AND CARE:
TOOLS FOR OUR SELF HEALING
I had moved from Brazil to Australia and I was feeling quite lost when I sat in front of my computer with the intention to find something that could help me to soften the void I was feeling inside me. I didn’t have much clarity of what I was looking for, so randomly I surfed on the internet and a website of a Tibetan Buddhism nunnery caught my attention. This nunnery was founded by the admirable Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo but at that moment I had no clue who she was. Nevertheless, I kept scrutinizing her website and at some point I spotted the name of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists organization. These 2 words, “engaged” and “Buddhists” together hooked me immediately. From here it was easy to find the Awakening Leadership Training website. While reading the content of the course a wave of excitement arose in me, however it didn’t last long as I soon discovered that the 2017 program was almost finishing.
REFLECTION FROM VIETNAM COMMUNITY OF INDEPENDENT LEARNERS
It has been 2 months since I came back from ALT, Thailand. Still, ALT has huge impacts on my life and my work, the memories these days are still alive vividly in me just as it has just been yesterday. I asked myself, what do I think about when I think of ALT? Clearly, “Transformation” comes up in my mind. I have seen myself transform a lot since I attended ALT. Five modules of personal inquiry, trauma healing and conflict transformation has turned me from a head person into a heart one with more empathy, deep listening and connection more than ever with myself and others. Not only transformative experience to me personally, but also ALT’s holistic alternative education benefits me, gives me more ideas for my current work on alternative education in Vietnam.
EXPLORING THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE
Ei Ei Khine, Myanmar
After coming back from joining part of the ALT training, I realize that I have become more aware of myself and able to feel the flow of my daily life more than usual. Now I am able to be a friend with my suffering, and I know how to accept what I have and be who I am. I learnt about paradigm shift, paths of transformation, to be a farmer and the story of seed. I enhanced my curiosity to explore the true meaning of life. I know how to connect to the energy of people and nature around me. For me it is just giving attention and recognising their goodness. Through that, I believe that I can be one with them.
10 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT MINDFUL FACILITATION FOR EMPOWERMENT (TOT)
10 things I loved about Training of Trainers on Mindful Facilitation for Empowerment + Global Goals for Sustainable Development – SDG’s and Edge Work, by Gaia Education & Awakening Leadership Training Program at Bornok, Thailand.
FINDING WONDER AT "THE NEXUS OF SPIRITUALITY AND SCIENCE"
India took me down a path of understanding the localization movement and how people are reimagining the way they live with relation to the Earth. That brought me to looking at ecovillages, which then brought me to a program based near Chiang Mai called Awakening Leadership Training.
A BREATHER IN LIFE
It has been a real joy to join the Awakening Leadership Training (ALT) program. It is education as it should be: inclusive, participatory, comprehending differences among ourselves and creating collectively. It is a model not based on competition but on co-creating knowledge based on everyone’s life experience. New approaches on a diverse array of issues makes us question many mainstream ideas we reproduce without being aware of it. The course in this sense is very stimulating, as we question old paradigms and challenge ourselves to think of new ones.
A PERSONAL REFLECTION:
EXPERIENCES LEARNING WITH ALT
I was so grateful to have an opportunity to join ALT. Thanks to all the staff who had worked so hard to make sure the program was efficiently run and participants could learn the most.
Responding to my personal and professional needs – and after seeking relevant leadership courses for some time -, I was recommended the ALT program. It was a great joy to join ALT and experience in-depth learning, acquiring more than knowledge and skills than expected to apply both in life and at work. ALT was such a wonderful gift of the year; it has changed how I mindfully work in my life in a freer way.
Awakening Leadership Training was one of the most illuminating and life changing programs I've participated in. Before going, I had a lot of hesitancy. I wasn't sure it felt right to travel so far to work with people I did not know, but I was quickly proven wrong. The Ecology Dimension (the only Dimension I participated in) was run by true teachers—people who practiced what they preached, people who were steeped in the sincerity and commitment that living a connected, spiritually-minded life requires.In turn, the program drew participants with these qualities. Facilitators had a way of bringing us together so that within days, we felt like a family. The support I felt during this month cannot be underestimated—it was exactly the type of container human beings need to grow, learn, and get in touch with their most genuine selves.
New discoveries and lessons learned
April 15, 2019
The Gaia Education Training of Trainers in Thailand took place from 27 February – 13 March, 2019 at a beautiful beach location, and with a wide diversity among the 31 participants from South, Southeast, and Northeast Asia, US and Europe. Under the title ‘Mindful Participatory Facilitation for Empowerment’, the experienced team led by Pracha Hutanuwatra and Jane Rasbash skilfully facilitated a powerful and transformational learning journey, reflected here by Sarah Horowitz
LOCAL SOLUTIONS – ALTERNATIVES IN PRACTICE IN RURAL THAILAND
January 23, 2019
Thirteen individuals representing eight different countries left Bangkok on the November 26th (2018) evening train to Surin—hoisting with them an assortment of coloring pastels, rolls of long white paper, sleeping bags, tents, and straw mats for sitting on cooled tiled floors. I was blessed to be a member of this motley crew and a documentarian of this process. By the end of 12 days, we had zig-zagged by train, plane, minivan, and once, even a puttering farm cart to almost every major region across the country.
NONG SARAI: WHERE YOU CAN DEPOSIT YOUR GOOD DEEDS
December 18, 2018
Nong Sarai community, like other communities in Thailand, has been facing the effects of the state’s economic development and top-down planning. Villagers were more than 100 million baht in debt because of the trend for economic growth and industrialisation. Yet, the problems were solved by natural community leadership and sustainable living. The community elders decided to focus on happiness and not on the level of GDP. Now the community has become a role model for other communities in Thailand. This article will present how the community moved away from the old paradigm of development and established their own ways.
TOWARDS A NEW PARADIGM OF HOLISTIC SUSTAINABILITY
March 30, 2019
The third running of Awakening Leadership Training, a collaborative effort of Spirit in Education Movement (SEM), International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), Ecovillage Transition Asia (ETA) as well as Gaia Education and Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), took place from 2 September 2018 – 15 March 2019 in Thailand. The Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) framework was integrated into the programme, expanding modules of learning with increased emphasis on self-cultivation and social transformation. The 5 areas of learning were ...