Programme: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Dates: 24 July—1 August 2022
Venue: Bajari, okres Ropazu, Latvia
Please read the info-pack
National team size: 4 participants (aged 18-30) and 1 group leader (aged 18+)
Participants’ fee (collected by the hosting organisation): €50/participant
Hosting organisation: Mindful Journeys
Participating countries: Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Latvia, Spain
This youth exchange is a continuation of the project Werewolves vs. Aware Wolves (you can find more about the mobility here).
In its very essence, Werewolves vs. Aware Wolves challenges the rise of hate speech and hate crime within our increasingly globalised and diverse society, and allowing us to see how we us individuals contribute to it. It is turning us into agents of positive change in our daily context and letting us see how our actions can influence the world for the better.
The first phase, Werewolves, is a fun, active, dynamic environment, meant as a bridge for participants to realise how conscious living can 100% alter our everyday experience, what happens to us and how we perceive and act towards others.
The second phase of the project, Aware Wolves, will focus more on each participant acquiring specific mindfulness tools to help us deepen our compassion for all beings and integrate these practices into our everyday life.
ALCHEMIZE … your inner wolf
”Alchemy has been discussed for millennia and many are the texts that one can consult, all complex, occult, and suggesting experiments that are difficult to implement. Tradition handed down the image of the alchemist as a solitary researcher who, surrounded by flasks and distillers tries to turn lead into gold, manipulating toad tails, bat wings and other strange elements. His quest, a metaphor for human evolution.
But centuries pass, times change and disciplines and the ways to achieve goals are transformed, too. The alchemical laboratory, full of bottles, dusty books, protected from the light and the curiosity of the uninitiated is no longer needed. We live in a new age, and the alchemical laboratory is us. Everyone is an alchemist at work, the laboratory and the element that gradually changes and becomes the result of the Great Work. All at the same time.
Nowadays, alchemy means self-transformation with a desire to achieve spiritual results and more knowledge, acting on the laws governing time, matter and thought. The objective is to balance and learn to use the precious elements inside each one in order to become magicians, conscious creators of our spiritual path and our evolution.”
That is the objective of alchemy, as stated by Falco Tarassaco, and that is the objective of our gathering, Aware Wolves.
For many of us, there is a wolf, a shadow, a challenge, living inside of us, an aspect of our personality, an emotion, a memory even, that we wish would just go away. These are the rejected parts of our psyche that, often without our awareness, guide our behaviour and our overall wellbeing, and thus, the wellbeing of our communities and the world.
Try as we might, there is no escaping them, because what is suppressed in one place will find a way to emerge in another. The stifled wolf comes out as a werewolf, bringing with it destruction and suffering.
But perhaps there is a way to embrace our shadows and turn our challenges into gold…
Become aware of the wolf within and learn to treat it with love and compassion.
Recognising it as a precious gift and allowing it to be expressed in a way that brings healing to ourselves and our communities.
This is for your if… PARTICIPANTS’ PROFILE
- sometimes, you don’t know what is leading your life – your automatic patterns or your conscious decision
- re-wilding and grounding yourself by enjoying a complete off-the-grid experience sounds like a great idea to you
- you have experienced social exclusion, either on your own or in Werewolves game
- you long to belong to a soul tribe that would support you no matter what
- you are interested to explore different self-awareness ideas
- you have a strong desire to act and contribute to the rise of more socially inclusive environments in your everyday life
- you are up for the challenge to actively practice mindfulness for a whole month after the youth exchange and share your discoveries with your social circles
- you are between 18 and 30 years old and are a resident in one of the partner countries
- you have a valid EU digital Covid-19 certificate
Living conditions: We are going off the grid! Sleeping in tents throughout the program. (We hope not, but) possibly cold showers.
Our objectives: Let’s come together
- in a safe, diverse and stimulating learning environment where your comfort might be challenged, all so you can notice your automatic reactions in times of hardship
- to raise awareness on how your presence influences other individuals and whole communities
- to identify the behavioural changes you would like to make and implement them
- to share ideas, tools and methods for increasing self-awareness and compassion for others
- to engage and connect with the neighbourhood around our venue, actively creating an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance
- to implement an educational follow-up event in each partner country with the goal to foster the understanding and implementation of social inclusion principles in the local communities
- to increase the ripple effect of the project through a carefully curated Mindfulness challenge that will take place online, involving hundreds, if not thousands, of people
OUR PURPOSE IS HARMONY when I am at peace with myself I don’t need to fight with you
We live in a world of duality. There is light and there is shadow, there is suffering and there is joy, there are valleys and there are mountains. They are all here for us to experience the full spectrum of the magnificent experience that is life, and without one there couldn’t be the other. We couldn’t appreciate one without the other. So in truth, these contrasts are there to uplift each other, so we may find beauty in one and beauty in the other.
However, we do have a natural tendency to reach for whatever brings us most joy and pleasure. While it is reasonable and even essential, in this pursuit we also tend to criticise and reject the parts that we don’t enjoy so much. And by doing that, we also tend to increase the problem through our own focused attention upon it. With Aware Wolves, we are setting out to integrate both ends of the spectrum, so we may live in greater harmony and balance.
It is our belief that once we find peace with the wholeness of who we are, we gain a greater capacity to love and fully accept ourselves, and thus – love and accept others. When I am at peace with myself I no longer need to fight with you. I can be here with all parts of myself and all parts of you, and all parts of the world. There is beauty and there is value in each one, no matter if I see it now or I will come to see it eventually. And from this place, we grow our ability to form and maintain communities that are truly inclusive, allowing each individual to express their innermost being, and being judged for nothing. No judgment, just appreciation. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your gifts. No matter where you are, you are of value.
Digging back, back, back to to the very moments our personalities started to form, this attitude and acceptance is the attitude that babies know is their birthright, that each toddler screams for as they throw a temper tantrum, that each adult expects when they get into a never ending argument with their partner. We know that we are deserving of unconditional love! And if we cannot find it for and in ourselves, we demand it from others. We act horribly, yes, but we do it to test the love – is it really unconditional? Will I still be loved if I say and do this, or that?
And we demand this unconditional love because we know that unconditional love is who we are. Who we all are. And we challenge each other to find that love in and for themselves, because we want to live in a loving Universe on a loving planet. In our essence, through challenging one another we are also striving to uplift one another.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have the need for such challenges because it would all be unconditional love already. But while it’s not – let’s embrace the alchemists within. We are all on a quest for human evolution.