The energy of year-end seems to be calling us back to the root of our beings – why are we here? what matters to us most? are we living up to our values and potential? Echoing this calling, 60 of us – the seekers, the learners, the caretakers of Mother Earth – have gathered for a two-day gathering called Gaia Calling at Gaia Ashram in the Northeast of Thailand.
The majority of us are from Thailand – with others pouring in from many different countries such as Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, India, Maldives, and all the way from the US and Colombia. What connects us are the love for nature, the yearning to contribute to healing the wounds of the Earth, the longing to connect with like-minded folks; and of course the affection for the host – Gaia Ashram – to which many people have kept returning.
Within this gathering, Luvian and Kin from the GENOA Operations Team, together with two ecovillage founders (Om from Gaia Ashram, Thailand, and Arjun from Atlantida Ecovillage, Colombia), hosted a sharing session on ecovillages as the incubators for a new radical way of living addressing the multifaceted crisis we are facing in the world. The story of how Gaia Ashram and Atlantida came into existence brought rich insights into why the founders chose communities as their way of dealing with planetary collapse, the ups and downs they have gone through, and the powerful impact ecovillages are creating. The GENOA team then shared about the ecovillage network and how anyone either as individuals or part of a community project can join the ecovillage movement through connection, contribution and practice.
In celebration of the journey in life that led us to where we are, we enjoyed connecting the dots of the major events through The Flow of Life – this is also an opportunity for deep listening and mutual understanding as we had moments of pair-sharing and circle sensing. The whole circle was deeply moved by a 15-year-old Steiner student sharing one of his precious milestones in life via a window through the present moment – a great reminder for us all to live mindfully and wholeheartedly.
In deepening our connection to nature, we spent quality time with nature, listened to the sound of the land in Gaia Ashram, and write messages from our hearts to other beings. Everyone, later on, can roam around the garden and meet with these lovely messages reminding us of the magic of life on this land and anywhere else on Earth.
The Gaia Calling gathering offered spaces for everyone to share their gifts with the community by holding a clubhouse (a form of open-space). People went to the space of their choice among Kundalini Mantra, Massage as a bodily connection, Council of all beings, Eco-school construction, and Sound bath during the whole afternoon – enjoying a new experiences, new learning, and new connection.
Below are some photos from the Council of all beings hosted by GENOA – in which participants spent some time in nature listening to the call of a being, and then made a mask to embody this being in the council of sharing. We help space for what wanted to be spoken, for the whispering of the land and other more-than-human beings. It is also a space for humility and understanding to take place, as we deeply realize that humans are not the only inhabitant of the Earth and that we can learn so much from other brothers and sisters of different species.
How else have we listened and replied to the calling of Gaia? Rituals are a sacred way of honoring our interdependence and paying our respect to the land, nature, and our ancestors. The Gaia Calling gathering closed with the traditional blessing ceremony of Isan people of Thailand, and a Latin American land blessing ritual led by Arjun & Jessie (Colombia). With music and love filling the air, we bowed to the wisdom of Earth – Fire – Water – Air and the 6 directions (North, South, East, West, Above, Below) and asked for their blessings.
Through circle activities, heart-to-heart connections, story-telling, rituals, and ceremonies, we have come together to honor Mother Gaia, to celebrate the work dedicated to her healing, and emphasize our commitment to the regeneration of the Earth.
Cheers to the beautiful work that is being done by all members of ecovillages and eco-communities around Asia & Oceania! May our work benefit all beings, human and more-than-human!