Working collaboratively is central to Dragon Dreaming based on the notion that no person or project works in isolation and that any individual vision can only be realised working in collaboration with others and nature. Working in ‘the circle’ represents the fire of creation and destruction, birth and death, and the power of collective wisdom.
The first evening of the course was setting up the circle by reflecting on and sharing something of our biographies, creating a mandala of our personal journeys, an object of personal significance and the beginnings of Dragon Dreaming project wheel in the centre of the room, ie a compass, and making group agreements. This was celebrating ourselves and building community. There was also an overview of the course:
- Friday – celebrating
- Saturday – dreaming, planning
- Sunday – doing, celebrating.
Personal journeys or ‘songlines’
In the course, we met and undertook a walking meditation to the course venue reflections on questions that would tell something of our biographies. We were to reflect on:
- a gift from your parents
- a joyful moment
- a suffering moment
- a turning point
- what is alive in you now?
- how would you like to be remembered?
We noted down these reflection points and attached them to a string representing our lives, put them in the centre of the room, adding to a mandala of the four directions of the compass, and shared whatever we wished.
The facilitator suggested we use consensus decision-making:
- clarifying round
- testing the proposal – thumbs up?
- any objections must have justification and a proposal for an amendment
‘Pinakarri’ was also introduced: an Aboriginal word for deep listening, this was a signal for a moment’s silence which was be called by anyone at any time.
The herb garden group
The herb garden was a personal vision of mine and something which I had envisaged as an individual initiative, rather than a collective project, and certainly not as a collective with people on a Dragon Dreaming course! This did not turn out to be a problem as the course participants were aware that we were practising and trying out the process with a group of people provided the fertile collective ground for realising a dream.
Certainly in the permaculture groups I work in, we have used similar tools to form groups, ie rivers of life, and group works tools such as creating course culture and go-rounds. The difference seems to be that this is an integral part of the Dragon Dreaming process, unlike in permaculture.