Our Nature Based Education Workshop last June in China was a wonderful ‘hands-on’ and fun exploration of the value of creating meaningful connections with the natural world.
To open the Nature Based Education Workshop in China 30 adults gathered around a fire, waiting our ” fear ” of nature and putting it in the fire to burn it with a commitment to work on overcoming that fear. Feeding the fire, smelling the smoke, and then leaping over the fire were all “warm ups” to the warm ups of playing games with stones and pine cones all the way to the 2nd activiity at the fish pond.
“Goethean observation”, or” Nature based sense impression meditation” at the Fish Pond. Workshop participants drew something that “drew them in” :what they saw or a representation by making pictures.
Gathering on the lawn area, we explored WHY would we make an effort to learn from nature & what are the gifts that nature has for our own development? What is “nature deficit “and what are the resulting illnesses and cures?
We examined items from nature like the Pine cone and witnessed the “sacred Geometry ” that actually forms it in its own archetypal way. ie Fibonacci Principle that is present in all these “flowers, forms of nature that grow as a “spiral.” We then sang “From you I receive to you I give, together we share by this we live. ”
We created a sculpture from Bamboo roots. Sandra told a story of the Nature spirits awaiting in the spruce and bamboo forest beside.
We practiced “playing ” in the forest, individually and together.
We explored the vegetable garden and then the fruit orchard and chicken and goose pens. Some people climbed the fruit trees, others held or stroked a chicken for the very first time.The point was for adults to experience what children do when they are allowed to climb a tree or explore in the woods. HOw do We develop as individuals by spending time alone in nature. How do we develop respect for the earth and plant and animal kingdoms.
We made a merry parade to the pipe music of the XIAO instrument played by a workshop participant.Down the bamboo hill to the farm like panda bears we slipped and slid. The canola stalks were stacked and drying on tarpaulins. Participants jumped on the stalks and laid on the stalks and the seeds poured out of their casing. Yes the farmers were helped that day. The seeds would be processed in to the oil used for the kitchen’s cooking of the year. (100 people a day)
Our closing circle people shared their learnings and the WONDER of the day. “Wo de tien a” was the expression of the day” as we marvelled in the glory that nature presents us if we only look and listen and feel and receive in gratitude it’s gifts. Of course “what can I do” as a willing participant in supporting nature leads to the answer: appreciate nature and ike others to it, especially the children; protect it, the land, the water, the air and plants and animals, get involved in your local communities so that these resources ARe available to your children to grow in. BE AMBASSADORE to NAUtRE. For NAture.