Friday, October 17, 2008




Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
18.30 Friday October 30th - 16.00 Sunday November 2nd, 2008
The Saal, Ueberlingerstr 23, 88682 Tuefingen-Salem, Germany

Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
18.30 Friday December 5th - 16.00 Sunday December 7th, 2008
The Saal, Ueberlingerstr 23, 88682 Tuefingen-Salem, Germany


Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
18.30 Friday January 16th - 16.00 Sunday January 18th, 2009
The Saal, Ueberlingerstr 23, 88682 Tuefingen-Salem, Germany

Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
18.30 Friday February 20 - 16.00 Sunday February 22, 2008
Sieben Linden, 38486, Poppau Oort

Intensive Course Dragon Dreaming
9.00 Monday February 23rd - 16.00 Friday February 27th, 2009
Sieben Linden, 38486, Poppau Oort

Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
18.30 Friday March 13th - 16.00 Sunday March 15th, 2009
The Saal, Ueberlingerstr 23, 88682 Tuefingen-Salem, Germany

All courses in English and German.

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 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

Sunday, October 12, 2008

History of Dragon Dreaming - the Beginnings

The History of Dragon Dreaming

The Beginnings

When did Dragon Dreaming Begin? As a form of training it has its origins in the Gaia Foundation of Australia's work over the last 21 years, but it is clear that the process of Dragon Dreaming is much older than that.

In fact when giving workshops in Dragon Dreaming people who have in the past conducted successful projects reconise the four quadrants and the twelve steps in what they have done. So when did the process of Dragon Dreaming begin?

I suspect that Dragon Dreaming is as old as humankind if not older. The four steps are reflected in the deep architecture of the human brain

For example the human brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and the right, with the right hand brain controlling the left side of the body and the left brain controlling the right side. The central connection between the two hemispheres is the corpus callosum, buried deep in the brain that allows the right and left parts of the body to generally work in a coordinated fashion.

These two parts of the brain, however, also have additional functions that are very different. The right hand brain is responsible for non-sequential gestalt or pattern recognition tasks. In the language of Dragon Dreaming the right brain is responsible for Dreaming and Celebrating. It is where we find the activity of day-dreaming, of ideas, creativity and innovation. It is also linked to the emotions and thus is strongly linked with both motivation and celebration. Our longest memories seem to be most resident in our right hemisphere.

The left hemisphere by comparison, is the centre of our short term memory, and is the place in which most sequential tasks are organised. By comparison to the right hemisphere the left is the site of analytical thinking, of logic and language. It is the site of reading, writing and listening, the arts of communication with others. It is also the centre for calculation, and in Dragon Dreaming terms seems most associated with the Planning and Doing functions of the process.

The connections between the left and right hemispheres enable us to function as a balanced personality, able to be creative and recognise patterns at the same time to work logically. But humankind seems to have an inbuilt balance to favour sequential tasks over the other, as 85% of the population is right-handed, indicating a dominance of the left side of the brain. This dominance is not problematic so long as the connection of the corpus callosum is strong, and the connection between the two sides of the brain allow easy communication.

But our culture has not been balanced since the rise of Patriarchal cultures in the Middle East, some 7-8 thousand years ago. The split occurred first with the ruling class. Here, with the establishment of priest kings, the masculine ego came to be associated with the short term planning and doing tasks, dominating the feminine concerns for multi-tasking, pattern recognition and the emotions. The tasks of the building of the pyramids and great temples of the ancient world were synonymous with this emergence of left dominant thinking, and the dominance of hierarchical male elites over the rest of society.

By the end of the Late Bronze Age, the shift in childrearing practices, and the increased authoritarian structures of childrearing, found in China, India, the Middle East, Israel and Greece, saw a restriction in permissive parenting and an increased importance on "disciplining" the child. Children in such cultures more often felt unsafe, isolated and alone, and this created a more fearful less trusting individual, and led to a restriction in the neural connections, particularly the emotional life, connecting left and right hemispheres. This led to the dominance of the left brain extending downwards throughout society, no longer being confined to the dominant ruling family or artistocratic upper class. Planning and doing achieved a dominance over dreaming and celebrating, a dominance which in the so called "civilised world" it maintains to the present day.

The brain archictecture also supports the second dividion within Dragon Dreaming, that between Theory and Practice.

Using Brodmann's functional areas of the human brain we can see that the brain is divided gorizontally as well as vertically, though with much less clarity, by the primary motor area, responsible for organising most of our voluntary movements. Immediately behind this motor area is a sesory area, where most of our sensory input from our bodies, and from the external world is organised. The close connection between the sensory and the motor functions is necessary as immediate feedback is required between our senses and our muscles in order to make sure that the motor functions achieve the tasks we wish for them. Primary sensory functioning for hearing is found in areas 41, where hearing takes place, and where the processing of sound to give meaning in area 4, interior to our ears. Paradoxically the processing of sight does not take place behind the eyes, but occurs right at the back of our brain, with visual processing occurring near area 18 and visual association and memory being found near earea 7. It is our senses, hearing and sight in particular, that connect us as individuals to the practical world.

By comparison, the theory part of the brain is associated in the forebrain, areas 6, 8, 9 and 10 with extensions to Brocas "speach" area, near 44. It is here that the processing of information occurs, and those atributes specifically human, the thinking functions of foresight and hindsight, are located. Area 6 is an interesting one because it seems to link the "thinking" parts of the brain to the motor activites. It is in area 6 that most of the planning of our activities seems to be located. By contrast, the "evatuation" of "monitoring our progress" seems most located in area 5 of the brain, just behind the sensory cortex where our sensory information is processed.

This patterning of the human brain closely follows the pattern of the four quadrants of Dreaming, Planning, Doing and Celebrating, found in Dragon Dreaming. With so close a connection to the organisation of our brains it is hardly surprising that we find the four steps occurred long before their recognition in the Western Australian Gaia Foundation, from the late 1980s onwards.

In fact, when we examine hunter gatherer lifestyles, that have existed at least for the last 180,000 years with Early Modern Humans, if not since the discovery and use of fire, half a million years ago, we can clearly recognise the existence of the "hearth circles" around which people gathered at night. The pattern of Dreaming occurs mostly in the period of shallow sleeping, just before waking. Planning occurs generally in the early morning, and as hunter gatherers, it was then that the collective decisions for the day's activities, hunting and gathering, would have occurred. This would be followed by the "doing", generally in which men set off to hunt whilst the women and children stay closer to the base camp, gathering fruits and other foodstuffs. In the evening when if successful, the men have returned bringing back what has been caught, then this is generally cooked in the hearth fire and then shared, with the early evening being taken up with story telling, evaluation of the hunt and Celebration, before sleeping once again. It is hardly surprising when we find that this same pattern underlies the human capacity for story telling.

All stories ever told begin with an introduction, in which we are introduced to the characters and their world. Eventually a protagonist emerges, who is seen as having a special role to play. As Joseph Campbell has shown in "Hero of a Thousand Faces", early signs of this character's special role may be given that are at first not recognised by others. The story then moves towards the climax, where the help given to the hero protagonist prepare him (or less frequently "her", remember in patriarchy it is generally the men who told the stories), and after some kind of "quest", the story results in a struggle in which, after considerable sacrifice, the hero returns to heal the wounds caused by the earlier loss of grace, and in the anteclimax of the resolution, the community comes together in a new way not available before.

Campbell showed that such a pattern is not just found in tales like those of King Arthur, but even in the stories of great religious teachers like Muhammed or Jesus Christ. That such a pattern is so widespread suggests that it is a universal way in which we human beings organise "meaning" in our lives, and would be expected from the pattern of brain architecture discussed above.

Thus we find the pattern of Dragon Dreaming, "Dream", "Plan", "Do" and "Celebrate" not only underlies every successful project. It is found in all human cultures, at all periods and is refected in the way in which the human brain itself is organised. Perhaps, since this pattern of brain organisation is also found in mammals such as chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants, we could conclude that this pattern is part of the evolution of complex life on the planet, and is part of the way in which, for millions of years, life has been engaged in the process of achieving ever greater degrees of self awareness and self control. If this is true, then the pattern may lie at the heart of life itself.