I was in Portland for 5 weeks earlier this year and while I was there I wanted to make the most of Arny Mindell’s classes and as luck would have it there was one that worked well with my schedule.
In his first class titled ‘Education Creates World Change Through Creative Relations’.
He began with a quote from Nelson Mandella who said:
“ Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
Yes! This is why I started Metavision – to make a contribution toward the change that is happening and much needed in our world today.
Arny is asking us (as educators) to ‘commune’ with our students and their needs and perception rather than focus on the tests required by Consensus reality to show that you fit. He is not suggesting that we do not have structure and requirements in a program but that the relationships and inner dreaming be an important consideration in education.
Awareness of rank differences is an integral part the work Arny brought to the lecture as he applied it to education. He seemed to understand that theory is not always followed by practice, so he asked us to explore experiences of abuse of rank and power, in education, including in the Process Work Institute.
This exercise resonated for me and allowed me to burn some of my own wood around feeling abused by a Process Work supervisor in my role as student. It was good to see that the challenge for me was about picking up my own power more clearly and consciously.
As our roles change so does our sense of power and an awareness of it seems to grow. So a good way to test our ability to be fluid within power is to put ourselves in situations of different rank.
I also reflected on my other role as an educator at the Metavision Institute and have most likely been aware and unaware of my rank. I am sure students have stories of me as I have stories of others. It is through speaking up directly and communicating to the best of our ability that we as a learning community can make education a powerful way of changing the world.
When working with issues of criticism Arny urges us to go backwards and forwards between the roles until we get the other side. This is not easy to do when there is often previous hurt form educational abuse of rank and power. To get past polarities and reach a deeper essence requires a change of mindset. This is an example of the second training that Arny has developed and encourages us to get beyond polarities.
Oh dear this is a life long training. We are all in it together. We need each other to remind us when we falter and to cheer when we have breakthroughs.
But it is worth the effort. As we change, the world changes too.
Lao Tse in the Tao de Ching says: “The essence level is the darkness within the darkness, the gateway to all understanding”.
Now as I am in the final stages of preparing to return to Portland and PWI to take my Process Work Diploma exams, the path of life long learning stretches out before me.
Wish me luck. I will update you upon my return.