.Collaborating with nature, and working with children and teens
Providing a space for deep experiences to arise.
Our children are most directly concerned with the global challenges we face today. In their lifetimes, they will be experiencing the consequences of our current Industrial Growth Society and most importantly, called to summon the imagination, creativity and courage necessary to support the emergence of a life-sustaining society. The times we live in call for bold action, grounded in a sense of deep purpose.
While we wish to raise awareness in the new generation about the current state of the world , we certainly do not want to present them with a picture of "doom and gloom". Feelings of despair, guilt or anger are a legitimate and often natural response in the face of the destruction our species is wreaking onto our environment. However, we feel it is important to share that these emotions can be transformed. Our actions on behalf of the living Earth can be fueled by deep joy instead of fear. We needn’t be saviors.
As the Indian sage and ecological activist Satish Kumar remarks: "Saying, I want to save the world, implies a form of arrogance. And what a daunting task, at that! I cannot possibly save the world! But I can love the world. That I can do. Anyone can do that."
How does one fall in love with the world? How to inspire a relationship with the Earth as a living presence?
Anyone will agree that love cannot be understood through conceptual thinking- only direct experience will allow that extraordinary feeling to emerge.
The educational program of Ocean Seed was born out of this simple conclusion - we want to provide spaces for deep experiences to arise and help foster in children and teenagers a sense of deep belonging and inter-connectedness to the web of life.
Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, a mountain climber and scholar of Gandhi, coined the term "deep ecology" in the 1970’s. Deep Ecology is as much a philosophy as it is a movement, based on the core insight that all life has intrinsic value, irrespective of its value to humans.
Its approach invites individuals to explore the ethical implications of their sense of connectedness to nature. The deep experience is the starting point, which then gives rise to a form of deep questioning of our relationship with ourselves and the world.
The final stage is one of deep commitment - where we summon the inspiration and purpose necessary to fuel the actions that will bring about the changes we wish to see in the world.
In order to foster an environment of trans-generational learning, we will invite small groups of children and teens (from age 8 to 16) for set periods of time to contribute in the daily activities of the Foundation under our guidance and supervision: participating in the interactions with marine life, helping in data collection for the research, restituting their experiences through talking circles, writing, video...
Our aim is not to educate, but rather provide a safe and unique environment for young people to have their own experience of a direct connection with Nature. Offer them the opportunity to see their place in the world with new eyes so they can take back with them a wider sense of identity as a unique and integral part of the living body of the Earth.
In terms of the Deep Ecology process, we will focus mostly on the first two stages - direct experience with the marine species and initiating the deep questioning, during moments of self and group enquiry to assimilate the feelings and realizations that the experience brought about.
We wish to create a setting to encourage children and teenagers to trust their intuition, ideas and uniqueness. I.E. The talking circles can be a privileged time to open up to each other, ground respective experiences and explore the ways they can inspire their daily reality.
The third and final stage, Going Forth or Deep Commitment, which translates itself through imagining and designing practical solutions and implementing them through actions, can be carried out with the support of the community, schools, local businesses and local researchers.