We Will Dance with Mountains is designed to be a highly experimental un/learning journey. The outcomes of this convergence are unknown and emergent. In creating this container, we are consciously opening to the fugitive and the trickster, to the provocative, the unexpected, and the rogue – even with our longings to practice sanctuary-making.
Those of us on the organizing team imagine that the community of participants in this course will espouse many different cosmologies, worldviews, political opinions, cultural backgrounds, and so on. This may mean that tensions arise. These tensions can lead to new insights, possibilities, and connections; it can also lead to conflict, fragmentation, and even trauma. We ask that you try to hold these tensions generatively and experience them as potential places of growth.
We have developed a set of community guidelines to support us throughout We Will Dance with Mountains. These include the following kinds of practices:
This experience will call for you to share your stories, dreams, questions, failures, ideas, and challenges. Speak what needs to be spoken. Speak with an awareness of the impact of your contributions on the group. Please share openly and honestly while trying to stay connected with heart, mind, body, and spirit.
Stay with the trouble. Try to be constructive.
Sit with the possibility that we don’t know what’s needed and we don’t have the answers. Can we soften the urge to fix, solve, or transform our reality? Try to observe, listen and honour what is shared without trying to explain, advise, or offer solutions. Keep in mind that conflict is not abuse. If conflict arises and/or someone expresses something you don’t like, consider if there are constructive ways of engaging. Be aware that various cultures have different ways of communicating and engaging in conflict. Some may be more passive, quiet, or avoidant while others may be more direct, expressive, or assertive.
Aim for kindness, settle for curiosity or even avoidance.
We do not need to come out of this experience as friends. Still, try to be kind and compassionate to one another. If that feels too difficult, try to stay respectful and curious. If that feels too difficult, then maintain a safe distance and carry on.
The full set of guiding principles will be shared with participants upon their acceptance.
While each person is responsible for his/her/their personal experience, we also invite an awareness of our entanglements and our impacts on each other and the larger whole from the outset. We invoke the spirits of mutual care. Our intention is to create a context in which we can continually practice cultivating curiosity and skillful means within the complexity of our unfolding relationships. The organizing team also recognizes the importance of offering minimum, elegant structures to support the community in navigating challenges, conflicts and emotional difficulties that may arise from this experience. We Will Dance with Mountains is not a safe space, but we aspire to support one another and co-create a container (albeit a broken one) where we can all take risks together.
One such structure is the WWDWM Care Team. The Care Team is woven from a group of fellow participants in the course – dedicated to providing care, and protecting this community in its intention to come together and create an experimental space. Care Team members are experienced in supporting conflicts and accompanying people experiencing strong emotions, especially in cross-cultural contexts. They are available to anyone experiencing strong emotions or desiring support through conflict, and will also moderate and respond to any concerning remarks within the community forum.