Teachers’ Retreat… Time to take a pause and ponder.....
“Travelers, there is no path! Paths are made by walking.” - Antonio Machado
When a group sets out on a journey along a road not widely traveled, it needs to take a pause every once in a while. This is essential to take stock, to look at the journey so far and focus on course corrections if required. It also gives the travelers a much needed break from the rush of day to day activities - to be with each other, share life stories and spend time together as a community.
What is the Retreat?
The annual retreat at Prakriya Green Wisdom School, Bangalore is one such deliberate stepping back by the teacher community to pause and ponder. It provides a space for teachers to commit to community building and to a shared vision. It is designed as a multifaceted, group participative process to foster creativity and vibrancy of the whole institution and people who make the institution.
Why a group setting?
The group setting enables the wisdom and experiences of the whole group to be available to everyone. In such settings what emerges are real issues that are ‘live’ within the group. The facilitators in the group keep the focus on exploring emerging issues and enabling the group to see the connections between them and the larger ‘whole’.
What is the methodology followed?
The focus is on self-level exploration and for this a unique learning methodology called ‘process work’ is followed. The underlying belief here is that every individual has immense potential. Exploring one’s life experiences, beliefs and world view in a group setting, offers opportunities to individuals to look at themselves from a spectator’s perspective. It also enables individuals to review the manner in which they have held meanings about themselves and the world. This then leads to asking difficult questions to oneself, adding fresh perspectives and exploring new possibilities.
What are the spin-offs?
For the individual- When significant discoveries are made about the self it leads to release of creative energy and an opening up of ‘new worlds’. A ‘seeing with new eyes’ happens spontaneously. Greater acceptance of the self and diversity held within each individual leads to greater acceptance of others in the group-be it adults or children.
For the group- When people tune in and are in touch with each other’s inner struggles and strengths, bonds are forged naturally. The intense sharing in the group followed by moments of lightness- during walks, daily shramdan, singing sessions or just casual chats brings the group together seamlessly.
The retreat thus allows the community to actively nurture the ‘self’ and the institution and tap into the synergy of the group. At the end of it there is a sense of having co-created fresh paths by walking together, there is the joy of having found many co-travelers and there is the anticipation of finding paths yet to be walked upon…..