Be The Change. Youth for a Future Without War.
Findhorn Community member, Geash Bowler, shares her personal experience at Tamera’s Summer University.
“May the sound of my heartbeat be the soundtrack for the new revolution.” Israeli Peace Activist at Tamera
Visiting Tamera this summer was a challenging, rich and fascinating experience for which I feel deeply grateful. I came away with a far greater sense and appreciation for what it means for me to live in the support of, and be part of, an intentional community. Tamera is an international educational and experimental centre in the south of Portugal for the development of Peace Research Villages and Healing Biotopes worldwide.
A ‘Healing Biotope’ is the term given to a centre where people are working together towards giving evolution a new direction. Here human beings, animals, plants and nature spirits are living together in non-violent cooperation and joint evolution. Emphasis is on learning to live in functioning communities where fear and separation are replaced by trust and contact. About 200 people live at this global healing center, working and studying, with a collective focus to recondition the entire organism of humanity towards peace. At Tamera it is believed that the root of all planetary war stems from the separation, blocked energy, pain and war between the sexes, so the collective emphasis is on healing the wounds and liberating the energy flow between men and women.
I attended the Summer University, ‘Be the Change, Youth for a Future Without War’ in July. This offered an intensive experiential ground for creating love not war, for experiencing living transparently and healing our collective wounds, starting personally for planetary benefit. The guidelines at Tamera, including mutual support, truth, transparency and responsible participation, help create a united, intentional community of peace as an anchor point for spreading peace out to the rest of the world. I’m passionately interested in how youth are held in any community and found the cooperation between the generations at Tamera inspiring. The Summer University was held mainly by the young people and there was a strong sense of support and accommodation for youth.
We were about 400 people from all over the world coming together for these 10 days. From the moment I arrived off the train, thick dry dust covered everything. We settled into different zones across the campus, the ‘place of the children’, the solar village group, the media group and the social activism group. I felt such a deep sense of pleasure arriving onto the hot, earthy land. Instantly my body slowed down, the whole pace of life held an easy relaxed calm in a climate that I long for. The peaceful nights were cool and loud with the frogs and eternal stars shooting through the brightly lit black sky. I decided to join the social activism camp.
It was a culture shock to land from Findhorn, both intentional communities, but on the surface seeming worlds apart. Of course the climate has an impact on the way people dress and hold themselves physically so this already was a huge change from North East Scotland. The most dramatic difference for me was that at Tamera there is no ownership, no possession: People generally don’t have their own private houses. People can choose to sleep communally or alone and the spaces are not fixed, people learn to live with change to accommodate what is needed. People learn to be flexible to find solutions to any problems. I found the community quite intellectually-orientated. Most of the community is solar powered, there are luscious gardens, lakes with healthy abundant eco systems, a gorgeous field of sunflowers, a cafe/bar for people to gather and hang out, healing love spaces for couples to meet, an expansive youth area, standing stone circle, trees to sleep under, and much more.
Every morning we (the social activism group) met together for a forum. The ‘forum’ is a group tool originating in Zegg for addressing whatever issues are present for individuals or the group. For us this began with the space to share dreams from the previous night. We shared our dreams from the present moment as if the dream was happening right now to give a sense of the emotional content and feeling that we were bringing with us into this moment. The forums in the social activist group were content rich with our daily life and experiences in the landscape of this experiential “love school”.
I felt uncomfortable and displaced at first in this environment of such open, transparent, exploratory love and sexuality, but as my understanding expanded about what the terms “free love and free sexuality” actually mean there I found myself being able to settle. My understanding became more grounded as the teachings were repeated and from the direct experience of living in this way. Within myself I had some internal struggle of having to integrate this way of living and for some moments around some men I wished I could be recognised as a human being not just as a woman.
After my initial overwhelm, where all my energy was going into struggling to stay centred in this new environment, I realised it was just about being myself, taking my time and being honest. This experience highlighted to me how honesty, pure transparency, was lacking in my life. My love story here was a friendship with a beautiful man. With him I enjoyed a relaxed, intriguing, playful ease with no goals or agenda, allowing me space to have the courage to show up to liberate my creative force. This was a beautiful field to explore following my impulses as they change in each moment. This is not necessarily about sleeping with loads of people, or anyone, but about being true and respectful to oneself and others. This is about exploring and learning what it really means to love. My love story was a contact improvisation dance.
Emphasis is on building a supportive, transparent community. This is essential for embracing the lessons of transcending jealousy and possession. Other key learnings were focused on: experiencing what it feels like to trust, creating solidarity between women, and creating a new code of living to change the genetic core of humanity in order to create the globalisation of peace and healing of the Earth.
The political theory which was taught is simple, if one person learns something new then the consciousness of that is spread out. Have you heard the 100th monkey story, where one group of monkeys leant something new and then the monkeys over on the next land learnt it too? Just like acupuncture works on the human body, at Tamera they believe these ‘Healing Biotope’s’ are like acupuncture points on the Earth. When something new occurs here the whole living organism of the Earth shifts and changes. On a personal level I take it as my responsibility to be happy, free and peaceful thus spreading light out into the world. Recognising that some overwhelmingly high percentage of us humans and the planet is water, I ask myself what message or information do I wish to send out across the waves through the world right now?
Sami Awad, from Palestine, who was one of the inspiring speakers, encouraged us to become like children again. We are all born as babies with no identity. Babies are born without religion or nationality; they don’t care what colour of skin someone has. Behind every mask there is a human being if we look. A Colombian killed by a Gorilla, a Palestine killed by an Israeli bomb, an Israeli killed on a bus by a suicide bomber, a mother losing her child….. it is all the same pain. At Tamera they teach that all political problems come from the core of separation between the sexes, jealousy, possession, ownership, and that if we can heal our inner war and conflict we can heal the world. Every lie we tell to ourselves or others is a war within ourselves….. imagine growing up in a community where you felt so safe you only spoke the truth and never told a lie. Imagine if we all became like children again.
My personal understanding is that war stems from separation between humans regardless of gender. I felt unsettled with the language of the lectures and forums being exclusively directed at heterosexual relationships. I need to have all relationship preferences included to feel a sense of united peace. It would be great if the use of language was modified to be more inclusive.
November 9th is Global Grace Day. In our Social Activist camp there were many inspiring projects being planned around the world to promote peace. On November 9th I will be on Ambae in Vanuatu dedicating the day to building positive, non-violent family relationships, living peacefully and creatively with my parents… I figure there is no point me marching with thousands if I do not have this core family relationship integrated harmoniously. I invite you to tune into this Global Grace Day and ask yourself “How can I Be The Change right now?” Take Action Now for Peace. I ask myself…. “What is my purpose, my commitment?”….. I dream into this and then I take action. May we get our hands dirty in our dreams!
Will we creep through life trying to avoid anyone ever judging us, just to get safely to our death….. or will we live full lives? I invite and encourage you to become a Pioneer for Change. May every thought and action be one which will create and inspire peace. It is our own responsibility to be happy and free, our contribution to the benefit of the whole world to be happy and free.
Gandhi said it….. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
To find out more about Tamera