Transformation

I am being way slacker than I should be with this blog, but I think that way of prioritising things has shown up in my marks – I’m doing pretty well!

I felt confident about the basic ideas that have been introduced in this class, and just the last couple of weeks have had the time to go a little bit deeper. The group dynamics, and powerful personal learning experiences have all combined to mean there are a lot of spun out people walking around. I am having minor reveleations every second day as I start to see the way I relate to others, the relationships in the class, the nature of the sustainability challenge, and even the nature of reality, through new eyes.

Before I go into that more, a minor aside for some context. I have had a few ‘revelations’ during my life. All of varying magnitudes, and some of them repeatedly as I forget the amazing idea I had just a short time earlier. Then, when I sit down to write it down…find that I had already written it down three months ago. I told someone in my class about this, they suggested I ‘reflect on that’. Hmmm. I might not have reflected much, but it did spur me on to update my ‘learning journal’ more often. Maybe I’ll post that on here someday.

More context. Through my practice of Vipassana and my own life experience, I think there are a few different levels of understanding:1) wisdom gained by listening to others, 2) intellectual, analytical understanding, and 3) wisdom based on direct personal experience. The last one is what I want, where you have floods of strong emotions accompanying this deep learning that becomes part of your being, not just an idea in your head.

So, I have been having a few of these deep learning experiences lately, and love it. Well, love it most of the time. A diagram I found a while back helps explain why, although I love learning, it is not always fun: http://www.sustainablesonoma.org/keyconcepts/transformation.html To really deeply learn, often you have to let go. Really let go. And get dizzy and disorientated. Especially when you start getting into the fundamental interconnectedness of everything, questioning the existence of an ‘independent self’ and trying to think how that relates to what you do everyday.

This sort of thinking has been sparked by a week or so that we spent on ‘leadership’. I read way too many articles, and much of what we were given to read spoke about the types of things I already aspired to practice and model. Lots of it was not about military-style leadership, or leadership in different contexts – thanks to Rick Finney for his assumption-exploding email on that topic. Most were more about how to have honest dialogue, meaningful conversations, servant leadership etc.

And, lots of it was bringing in quite a few ideas about recent learnings in many fields of science (esp physics and complexity), how we perceive ouselves in systems (society, organisation, universe), and relate them to the most effective way to bring about a ‘transformation’ – exactly what is required to shift from unsustainability to sustainability. For the easiest introduction to some of these ideas, I can recommend watching http://www.whatthebleep.com/, reading some of Fritjof Capra’s books http://www.fritjofcapra.net/, or sitting quietly for a long time http://www.dhamma.org/ (This has been the best way for me to understand this stuff at ‘Level 3’ – see above). Actually a few people in my class are on a bit of a spiritual journey at the moment – taking on ‘Ramadan’ a month of fasting during daylight hours.

Revisiting many of my ideas and understanding new concepts has really helped my own personal awareness, strengthened my meditation practice, and allowed me to re-imagine my role in groups and in this class. It also opens me up to even more and deeper learning.

See my leadership essay for where I was at with this stuff yesterday: next blog.

Bravo!


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