Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What is Dragon Dreaming and Why is it Important?


Why do only one in a thousand of our dreams ever achieve reality? Why do, when we succeed in creating organisations or projects to fulfil our dreams, we finish up so often feeling burned out, or else are caught up in power hierarchies, in which the organisation itself seems part of the problem?

Dragon Dreaming, an approach pioneered over the last 21 years in Australia, and now used in Africa, Egypt, Britain and the USA, makes the claim that it can make your dreams come true through the running of outrageously successful projects.

So we asked John Croft, one of the founders of the Dragon Dreaming method what it was all about. What exactly is Dragon Dreaming?

John Croft: Dragon Dreaming is a process pioneered in Western Australia, to assist individuals, community organisations, and ecologically responsible businesses develop, undertake and complete outrageously successful projects. With an experience of over 611 projects, it draws its inspiration from chaos and complexity theory, ecological living systems theory, New Physics and Aboriginal Dreamtime wisdom. Using this method, it creates a game, which when played by a team of people, will make your dreams come true.

What are the dreams for and how does it work?

John Croft: The Dragon Dreaming Training works on three levels
1. Firstly it is to demonstrate the usefulness of the method and apply it to make your personal dreams of projects for the Great Turning of our culture more successful.
2. Secondly, it aims to be the beginning of a process of training Trainers, who can use the method for their own and for other’s projects, and who can pass on the skills, so that other’s dreams can come true.
3. Thirdly, all projects meet the three objectives of the Gaia Foundation of Australia, namely every project has to be
a. A project of personal growth: - a commitment to your own healing and empowerment
b. A project that builds community: - a project that works to strengthen important communities of which you are a part
c. A project that works in service to the Earth: - that works for enhancing the wellbeing and flourishing of life generally.

What is “The Great Turning of our Culture”?

John Croft: The “Great Turning” is a term pioneered by the Deep Ecologist and Buddhist Scholar, Joanna Macy, and subsequently used by the development economist David Korten, in a book with the same name, to describe the shift from the militaristic unsustainable Empire of the Industrial Growth Society towards the life sustainable Earth Communities cultures we need for our future.

You say that the forms of organisation we use for our projects are often the source of our problems. What do you mean?

John Croft: So many of our organisations are based upon violence, and use militaristic command and control structures that may have been sufficient in the past but they are inappropriate in the 21st century. The scope of our problems we face; global warming, peak oil, economic insecurity, world hunger and the loss of biodiversity, means that win-lose games played in such circumstances produce lose-lose outcomes for everybody. Everybody suffers. We need to move beyond systems of education that are themselves incapable of learning and change, health care systems that are sick and diseased, criminal justice systems that are becoming criminally unjust, defence strategies that just perpetuate warfare, governments incapable of governing themselves, or economies like our own which is proving incapable of economising. Fortunately, based upon the latest organisation chaos and complexity and living systems theories, informed simultaneously with the New Physics and drawing inspiration from Aboriginal wisdom, we do have models that can produce win-win outcomes for us all.

You speak in Dragon Dreaming of the Aboriginal wisdom of the Dreamtime. What do you mean and why is this important?

John Croft: We live in a culture which has been greatly damaging its own life support systems and calling this progress. This is a form of insanity that is ultimately suicidal, and unfortunately for us such insanity has come to seem “normal”. This “Business as Usual” will lead inevitably to collapse. How do we recover our sanity?

We can do this only by looking outside ourselves and our way of life. Australian Aboriginal people developed through the concept of Songlines of the Dreamtime a fully sustainable culture that has lasted at least 70 thousand years and has much to teach us.

For example, our left brain activities of Planning and Organising, needs to be balanced by our right brain activities of Dreaming and Celebrating, if our planning and doing is not going to result in still further destruction and death. Aboriginal cultures have been based upon the recognition that the wisdom of the group is always greater than the experience of any one individual, and to make the best decisions we need deep egalitarian structures which capture the wisdom of the group, whilst supporting individuals in their activities. Finally, we look at the moment at our resources, our land, water and now even our air as the possession of private individuals or corporations. Aboriginal people know that this is insanity, and that we humans belong to the Earth, the Earth can never belong to us. Only when we build such realisations into all our activities and projects at a deep level will they have any chance of real success in the future. Dreamtime is in our culture seen as subjective fantasies, but Aboriginal people know it is the source of the collective consciousness of reality, and the source of all creativity and innovation. Dreamtime is not in the past, it is the 4th time, the “Everywhen”, where past, present and future coexist and interpenetrate, as Einstein showed in Relativity Theory for the Space-Time continuum.

You speak of a game that makes our dreams come true. What is this?

John Croft: Yes, once you have a project team, after the Dreaming or a Creation Circle, Dragon Dreaming leads to the creation of a Karabirrdt, a Nyungar Aboriginal word meaning “Spider’s Web”, a board game or art work on which your team uses the "Song Lines" and plays the game. When the game is complete, your project is up and running. Dragon Dream also requires that you recognise your enemies as the source of the greatest assistance to your project, helping you discover what you don’t even know that you don’t know, and helps you run successful meetings, or raise large amounts of money for projects very quickly using an Empowered Fundraising technique.

This sounds almost too good to be true. What to do if I am interested and want further information?

John Croft: Contact myself, John Croft, either by email at jdcroft@yahoo.com or by telephone (International Call 0049 7553596, or in Germany on 07553 596).

What does the Training Require?

John Croft: Initially the Dragon Dreaming requires a minimum of a weekend residential course from a Friday evening to a Sunday afternoon, although shorter half day explanations are possible. You would need to bring your dreams or visions for a personal project, a sacred object (that could hold the energy of the Training when you return home), a journal or note book, and art materials or objects that can gratify the senses that can be shared with others in Celebration. To maximise your benefits from Dragon Dreaming, come with one or two partners who share the interest in your project and who would be prepared to be on your team.

For those interested in deepening their understanding and using it more for their own current and future projects, you may be interested in our week-long Dragon Dreaming Course that can be used either as a stand alone program, or can be the first part of a six month Certificate Program in Ecologically Sustainable Community Economic Development.

Can I come just by myself or for a weekend course?

John Croft: Yes, completely. Dragon Dreaming will benefit anyone who has a dream they would like to see come true. Many who have even half a day exposure find it really accelerates their vision into reality.

Can I get access to the material even if I cannot come to the courses in Tuefingen in Bodensee, in Munich, Sieben Linden or Berlin?

John Croft: Yes, if you have a dream for a project, and can build a team to support it of at least 5 other people and can arrange suitable time and can meet the minimal costs, a personalised Dragon Dreaming half day or two day workshop can be run that meets your needs, and will begin the process of making your dream a reality. Information can also be provided through email or on the web.

What does the 6 month training require?

John Croft: The six month training requires a group of not less than 12 people who live in close proximity, each of whom has a personal project they would like to see completed in 6 months. At the completion of the 6 months, Trainees receive a Community Certificate which will become active once they have served as a Mentor for someone else’s 6 month Dragon Dreaming project, and then organised and assisted at a weekend Dragon Dreaming workshop for others.

How many can do the training?

John Croft: In Australia we have run the program with groups of people from 6 to 600. Clearly the more people who enrol, the lower the individual costs for tuition. Fixed costs for food and accommodation, of course, will of course not change.

For John Croft's Curriculum Vitae go to http://world2change.blogspot.com/


John said...

Dragon Dreaming has 12 steps. It is not the step that is of real importance. however. What is of real importance is getting from one step to the next, as this is what will lead to the flow of the process. The following exercises are designed to shift from one step to the next.

Process: Gathering a Group Through Running Successful Meetings

Process: Dreaming Creation Circle

Process: Community Sustainability Assessment

Process: Effective Participatory Goal and Objective Setting

Process: Force Field Analysis

Process: Creating a Karabirrdt, and Generating the Commitment

Process: Empowered Fundraising

Process: Greenskills and Community Enterprise Strategic Alliances

Process: Low Cost Assessment and Evaluation Systems

Process: Self Designed Conferences and Writer's Workshops

Process: The Deep Celebration of Appreciative Enquiry Circles

Process: Debriefing - Letting Go - What works/didn't and improvements.

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