As leaders at the top of the structures of global power show their utter inability to take necessary measures, small groups around the world are growing into the vacuum they leave to create change. My beloved Pachamama Alliance community, I write from my home in Mexico about my visit to China with Mary Klug and Maisa Arias where I saw first hand the power and possibility of networks of local groups coming together to create change.
I had already witnessed the depth of the commitment and discipline of our Chinese partners before we arrived from the communication we had and the materials they prepared, along with their seamless coordination. China is a huge country and yet the groups from the distant regions were in constant communication around planning, each contributing their own abilities to the tasks at hand and the responsibilities required. But it was their warm embrace and the wholesome presence I experienced upon arriving that was heartwarming and hope inspiring.
Our first stop was in Chengdu in central China. The Chengdu Pachamama Community called upon the Maisa and Mary dream-team to facilitate a weekend workshop in community enhancement, leadership development, and an interest they expressed in wanting to journey deeper into the spirit from which the Pachamama Alliance emerged. This group’s commitment to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling human presence shows up not only in continuing their process of learning more and going deeper, but they have collectively brought actions in their daily lives: a few in the group have acquired space and began a project making environmentally friendly soaps and other personal products while teaching others to do the same.
From there we went south to the Schumi Learning Center in Zhongshan, a transformative learning center near Hong Kong. We spent time with an inspiring group of young people who are expressing our shared values in their everyday lives, balanced between daily practices of group sharing, learning, and hands-on farming and community responsibilities.
Later we were off to Shenyang in the Northeast to guide a new group in an Awakening the Dreamer Facilitator Training, and then during our last stop near Beijing we worked with an alternative school and the local Pachamama group on leadership, community development, and the Drawdown Initiative.
On a personal note it was a privilege to work with and evidence the commitment and passion of Mary and Maisa in their love for this work and their embrace of China. For Mary this is no short-term commitment but rather a life calling, and you can see the impact of Maisa’s soul-print over the last few years as well; it moved me to see how this community embraces both of you with heart and spirit.