Ecovillage Transition Asia
In today’s world, Asia has become world attention in many senses. For us, the most important aspect of Asia is her potential and actual contributions in non-anthropocentric paradigm deeply rooted in her diverse cultural and spiritual traditions. Ecovillage Transition Asia is a small initiative by a small group of like-minded people to interpret and reinterpret this ancient paradigm to find the vital meanings and relevance for the present and the future. We believe that good friends from other continents doing this approach as well.
We imagine a conscientised, empowered and spiritually-rooted Asian society, with its redesigned rural and urban habitats thriving in harmony with nature and in happiness.
What Organization do?
To promote and strengthen transition to more ecological and resilient ways based on Asian spiritual traditions, emerging holistic science and appropriate technology by providing consultancy, training, design and implementation of Ecovillage settlements in partnership with communities and people in Asia including individuals and organizations, governmental and non-governmental, business and non-profit, rural and urban.
Resilient Rural Reconstruction
Ecovillage Transition Asia will provide consultation services to organizations and individuals who want to design or re-design an ecovillage as an intentional community, initiated by people who are tired of living a lonely and isolated urban life and have awakened to the need to reconnect with other human beings and nature to make a healthier, richer, more sustainable and humane life.
Re-design a business organization into an eco-social enterprise. This is for those awakened entrepreneurs who see the urgent need to redirect their business to befriend nature and have principles of fairness towards their consumers, employees and shareholders. In this case, the principle of moderate profit will replace maximization of profit; cooperation will replace competition; sustainable use of resources will replace exploitation of nature.
Re-design traditional villages into ecovillages. This is for government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations and villagers who want to re-design and redirect an existing traditional village into a more sustainable, low-carbon way of life with appropriate technology that doesn’t harm the natural environment.
The core purpose is to empower young people for personal and social transition towards planetary resilience. We use participatory approaches in the holistic learning process where participants co-create the body of knowledge with facilitators. Youngsters learn to cultivate themselves with meditation for social action. They regain self-respect and respect others in the milieu of consumerism. They understand that consumerism puts everyone down, so everyone consumes more to feel better. They learn to say “no” to the mantra, “I shop therefor I am” and learn to serve society and find a more meaningful approach to life.
The need for a new kind of education and new ways of thinking that can de-learn the same thinking that created these problems and relearn how to move to a new way of thinking to recreate a new lifestyle and new way of reorganizing society that doesn’t harm oneself, each other and nature.
This “newness” may be hidden in old traditional wisdom – in indigenous cultures, in ancient religions and myths, maybe in the emerging non-mechanical sciences and the new experiments among intentional communities around the world.
In collaboration with SEM, we have completed trainings in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and China for the last two decades for resilient rural reconstruction where change agents are working to redesign traditional villages into contemporary ecovillages skillfully honoring and building on the low carbon footprints and intact social structures of traditional communities.
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Our Education Approach is an important as the contents of the course. Proper content with inappropriate educational practices will not bring about the result of empowerment and awakening we aim for.
Contemplative meditation, mindfulness practice and time in silence are integrated into the learning experience. From a Buddhist perspective, right mindfulness is the most important factor for awakening.
Participative participants or students and facilitators or teachers co-create the body of knowledge together. In practice, this means the sharing of authority in the learning community that we create during this course. Power sharing means empowerment; empowerment here means self-empowerment.
Reflective rigorous thinking and reflecting both individually and collectively on issues and experiences is a key part of the learning process. We emphasize learning how to unlearn and relearn as it is a critical component of being successful socially active Buddhists.
Assistant Professor Dr. Meechai Osuwan
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