Waking up every morning to the sound of gentle waves and stepping out to a tropical beach is the wonderful setting of the Thai ToT programme. Many students enjoy an early walk, a swim or tai chi on the beach before class. A contemplative rhythm is encouraged with daily practices centred around the four foundations of mindfulness and deep relaxation. This calms the mind which along with the beautiful natural surroundings and diversity of participant centred activities creates an optimum learning environment. The TOT uses a participatory learning approach that builds a community of learning and draws deeply from participant experience and knowledge. Thus, conditions for participant empowerment are seeded and nurtured.
The course was an unforgettable learning journey for me. Through a combination of discussion, play, meditation, trust-building, and facilitation practice, we got to experience first-hand what happens when knowledge is not a one-way road from teacher to student, but co-created by the entire group – I leave this training with a deeper understanding of the synergies between mindfulness, facilitation, and empowerment.
Sara China /USA
This is the 12th year I have co-facilitated the ToT at Bornok with Pracha Hutanuwatr. For the last three years we have incorporated SDGs and Edge work and the course is now an important step of the Gaia Education Training of Trainers Journey. Participants were inspired by Edge work many seeing themselves in this role working at the cutting edges of society on thorny issues often created by social, economic and environmental injustice. Holding a course with 32 diverse participants including 14 Chinese who had simultaneous translation was a challenge and a blessing as a facilitator.
I learn so much from multicultural participants from China, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, France, Switzerland, USA and Sri Lanka. The diverse group were aged from early 20s to 50s and from a multitude of backgrounds from activist, CBOs, legal, NGOs ecovillages and many freelancers straddling many worlds. This was great fodder for edge workers to hone their inner and outer skills towards regeneration.
Special thanks Heaven Hong and Natha Dannonthadharm who made welcome additions to the facilitation team, alumni volunteers Petra, Phil and Kasey and the amazing translation team Freda & Seren.
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