Integral Eco-awareness Training and Practice
Sustainability from the inside out

First workshop gathering held in Berlin in 2008.
IEA Training and Practice was envisioned to be a one or two year long program,
Meeting 4 times a year, once each season, for a period of 10 days.
The project has been abandoned at the time due to lack of funding.
-> images on flickr

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Outline

This practice has been created as a response to a need for radical change.
It is an invitation to explore life through the personal experiential perspective.

Integrating awareness through the body and creative processes into our work we are providing a save framework for people to become aware of and dismantle their cultural believe system in order to allow new ways of perceiving, thinking and experiencing to emerge.
We want to allow new ways of behavior, relating and organizing.

Humans are an integral and inseparable part of the living, dynamic Earth system.
We have co-evolved with plants, animals, microorganisms, rivers, mountains and forests. We are an integral part of the Web of Life, of the Earth Community, that evolves through intimate and interdependent relationships with every being, every element within this system.

Integral Eco-awareness offers a strong grounding in a deeply felt, connected and integrated understanding of oneself as a part of the living earth.

Integral Eco-awareness is the ability to perceive oneself, to feel, to think and to act as a part of a greater living system that is the Earth.
It demands a shift from an anthropocentric towards an ‘eco-centric’ worldview, fully realizing and integrating man’s embeddedness in the web of life.

We give individuals the possibility of refining the senses so that they can use them in a more complete way, detached from judgment and preconceived ideas, thereby becoming aware of his/her own perceptions with as little outside interference as possible.
Eco-awareness through the body includes both an awareness of the human body and of its interconnectedness with the planet.

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The objectives of the Integral Ecoawareness Training and Practice:

refining the senses
sensing the body from within
releasing tensions and energy-blocks
recognizing patterns (mental, physical, behavioral)
awareness of one's own way to perceive
reconnecting to intuition
alignment of body and mind
experience the embeddedness in a greater system
question and dismantle cultural believes
ability to identify with nature
intellectual understanding of how life sustains itself
comprehension and experience of the earth as a life-supporting system
understanding emergence
allow creativity
flexibility to adapt and change accordingly
ability to cooperate
ability to surrender
enhance the sense of respect and self-responsibility
developing a sustainable, meaningful lifestyle
facilitate and support natural regeneration

‘Life coevolves. There are no separated individuals. The coevolutionary process of life cannot support isolation. Even as we draw the boundary of self, we also are creating an environment for others to participate in. (…)
Once we observe the self-creation process from a coevolutionary perspective we see that we simultaneously mold our individual identity and create a contribution to a greater whole. (…)
If our self-expession is not meaningful to others, we will not survive.’
- M.J.Wheatley

We see ourselves as facilitators, supporting the pedagogical paradigm shift from outside authority to self-responsibility.

Integral Eco-awareness Training and Practice addresses:
Facilitators, organization-leaders, decision-makers, knowledge-multipliers and seekers from all areas.

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The Method /How it works

Integral Ecoawareness Training and Practice should be seen as a continuous, interrelated process. Every individual will integrate whatever he/she needs in their own pace.

Sensory work provides one aspect of the process. We focus on refining the senses so that one can use them in a more complete way, becoming aware of judgments and preconceived ideas.

Another important aspect of our work is the use of Somatics.
Working with Somatics allows a person to pay attention to the ever-changing movements (both subtle internal bodily cues and large external movement) of the living body. Somatic approaches support you to develop body connectivity, re-pattern habitual alignment and movement patterns, expand your dynamic range, increase kinesthetic awareness through embodied anatomy, and learn skills for deepened communication with self and others, thus creating community-mindedness.

We also draw exercises from the acting process. The acting process offers the possibility to learn what it means to be in the moment, what it means to use all of your senses, to use your imagination, to be open and perceptive. You learn about empathy, rhythms, impulses, your emotional life, your mindsets, your blocks. You get to know yourself as your own instrument.
This engagement allows the individual to find out what it means to serve a greater context. One can make the choice to shift perspective/dimensions (in acting you would say you ‘become somebody else’) and dive into an experience that can be profoundly revealing, providing you with access to information that could not be accessed by a conventional way of research.

Zazen meditation and integrated somatic-based psychological work enables participants to observe, recognize and deal with personal emotional patterns and dynamics.

Through dance (Contact Improvisation, Tango Argentino) the awareness is widened into the fields of motion and contact with another person.
Also the practice of Shiatsu and other Massage Techniques supports the simultaneous awareness of oneself and another person, the simultaneous awareness of inner and outer space.

The introduction to the surrounding eco-system, basic skills and knowledge about organic gardening herbal medicine and food processing, an introduction to the permaculture concept, aquiring skills in musicmaking/improvisation and consensus practices, and of course the common experience of the process of the Integral Ecoawareness Program provide possibilities for developing and integrating an understanding of community-ability.

The philosophical and intellectual background for Integral Ecoawareness Training and Practice can be found in Living System Theory (Capra, Wheatley), Earth Democracy (Shiva), Deep Ecology (Lachapelle, Naess), the knowledge and practices of indigenous cultures and traditions, and Taoism.
The teaching of these thoughts and ethics will be integrated in the practical program, individual research will be supported.

The essential framework for Integral Ecoawareness is the direct exposure to nature herself.