Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shambhala ALIA Institute 2009 - Day Three

Another interesting day at ALIA - I even managed to keep my eyes open for most of the meditation session this morning :-).

Today in the module we looked at emergence, what is starting to emerge from our discussions on hosting etc. There was a lot of silence today - my God I never realized how powerful silence was - I plan on using it a lot more - again in the circle we were asked to say what had emerged for us - I said a deeper awareness and the knowledge that silence was as powerful or more powerful than voice or noise. The power and energy of the shared thoughts in the circle and in the room were quite palpable

We did a very cool exercise working with limiting beliefs. We were asked to pick a group (I picked learners), and to write down beliefs about them that were negative or limiting - so I wrote down things like frustration, lack of effort, not coming to class etc. The one I chose for the exercise was "Learners work hard at avoiding work". We then paired up (I got lucky and was paired up with Chris Corrigan - amazing guy...) and went through a facilitated discussion that was almost completely silent except for some guiding questions and gentle facilitating - I think it would be amazing to try with faculty or even learners. Some of the guiding questions asked were:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know it is true?
  3. How do you react - what happens when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without that thought?
Then we turned the thought/belief around - very powerful stuff.

Balanced rocks - what do they mean to You? Balance, synergy, community - connectedness? Hmmm...

We were then sent on a 10 minute silent aimless walk after which we came back and made an ink stroke on a piece of paper - mine was a diagonal line across the page - meant journey and two sides and a lot more to me :-)

Had an interesting session this afternoon on complementary currencies - some of teh examples include LETS Local Exchange Trading Systems (here is a link to a list of LETS worldwide) , the Onion River Exchange, Global Community Initiatives, and LASER were some of the resources mentioned - brief economics lesson on the difference between currency and money and then a look at different types of complementary currencies - there are a lot of them around - seen by some as the salvation of the world economies (complementary currencies are not new - depression-era "scrip" was one of the examples shown). Annapolis Royal has set up a complementary currency. The concept of the various kinds of complimentary currencies and the power and stability they can bring a community are some things to think about. How would the introduction of complementary currencies in Canada (besides the business ones we know like Air Miles, Aeroplan, and Canadian Tire Money...) effect our economy? Or do we already have large scale use of complimentary ecomonies hhere - we just call is volunteerism? I like the idea of a time bank as a way to increase community activism and engagement.

Another great day at ALIA - I think I'm starting to get the big picture of "Heaven, Heart, and Human" and how I might apply it to parts of my life. Another full day tomorrow...

(Currency and Community Image from Gwendolyn Hallsmith)


King of the Paupers said...

Jct: Best of all, when the local currency is pegged to the Time Standard of Money (how many dollars/hour child labor) Hours earned locally can be intertraded with other timebanks globally! In 1999, I paid for 39/40 nights in Europe with an IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours.
See my banking systems engineering analysis at with an index of articles at

Anonymous said...

Ooh, your description of the power of silence and your group processes makes me wish I was there and yet I must learn to be *here* not *there* :-)

I have developed a tool for groups thinking about setting up a new community currency system here:

It is important to stop, take a deep breath - as in meditation - and *think* carefully through the issues before diving into setting up a new system. That way we all evolve into more sustainable communities.

Good luck with your efforts!