Monthly Archives: April 2010

Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream

Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream is a masterfully compiled multimedia collection of video excerpts, music, photographs, quotations, animation, live presenters, dyads, group processes and wisdom snippets – from Joanna Macy, Thich Nhat Hahn, John Robbins, Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai and Vandana Shiva, among others – that, in only four hours, clearly distils the facts and elicits and presents answers to four questions:


Where are we?
How did we get here?

What is possible for the future?

Where do we go from here?

When I first experienced Changing the Dream, I had just watched the climate docudrama, Age of Stupid, and was keenly aware of the precariousness of our position on the edge of collapse, as cheap oil, the fuel behind our consumer society, runs out and its effects on our climate grow more severe. The symposium helped me connect my heart to the issues and see things through a wider lens.

A key concept is that we in the West have been “entranced” by years of marketing to believe that we need something outside ourselves to be satisfied, and that ever-increasing consumption is the answer. Although it is clear that our addiction to manufactured stuff is driving climate change, perhaps we are not so much “stupid” as hypnotized. Stores and manufacturers seduce us with brand images and logos and condition us to feel we cannot live happily without them.

Achuar RafaelThe Awakening the Dreamer Symposium was put together several years ago by the Pachamama Alliance in response to a heartfelt plea from the indigenous Achuar people of Peru/Ecuador, whose shamans had predicted that the world was on the verge of a terrible catastrophe, which only industrialized countries could avert. The version I experienced was a recent improvement that is taking the Bay Area (and beyond) by storm as more and more attendees are inspired to become facilitators and bring the symposium to their own groups and associations.

At the crux of the event is the revelation of one simple assumption under which we have been operating for centuries, the reversal of which will make it inevitable that we reduce our consumption, care more for the earth and each other than for profit, and rebuild our lives in resilient communities. Can you guess what it is?

The Symposium offers a beautiful, compact introduction to the Transition concept, so I am delighted to announce that the Pachamama Alliance and the Transition Network are currently formalizing a partnership. You can experience Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream yourself on June 6th at the Albany Senior Center (see calendar). We are asking $10 – $20 for the event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please invite friends and be prepared to be moved.

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Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2010

Albany Arts & Green Festival

Join us at the first annual Albany Arts & Green Festival where we celebrate both the arts and the environment!

Sunday May 2nd, 2010

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Transition Albany presentation at 2:00 PM)

Memorial Park & Veterans Hall

Performances |  Green Workshops

Food  |  Art  |  Green Orgs

Free Bike Valet Parking  |  Free Bike Tuneups

Kids’ Zone  |  Floor Lamp Exchange Program

Free Small E-Waste Collection

Albany today is developing a reputation for having a vigorous public arts program and being one of the greenest cities in the country. So it’s not surprising that this year we are celebrating “arts and green” together! Art helps see and appreciate beauty, and protecting the environment helps create a beautiful world!

Read more about the event on the City’s website.

Transition Albany presents at 2:00 PM

Inside the Veterans Hall workshop room.

Building Community Resilience, the Best Preparation for an Uncertain Future: An introduction to Transition Towns and Transition Albany

Transition Albany invites all of Albany to create a positive transition from fossil fuel dependency to vital, engaged, resilient, and interdependent community. Catherine Sutton will be presenting the principles of Transition Towns, with updates from her recent visit to some original Transition Towns in England.

Come visit the Transition Albany table inside the Veterans Hall!

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Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2010