We live in times of great societal disruption and turmoil, and many of us recognise that something radically new wants to be born. This new emergence requires us not only to work on ourselves (through spiritual and other practices), but also to be of service in the outer, collective spheres. Together, we need to re-envision our ways of being, so that humanity may find greater peace and may thrive in relationship with the Earth and her diverse ecosystems.
Between January 2020 and December 2021, with the help of charitable funding, Alef Trust delivered the first two years of the Conscious Community Project which has since grown into a multi-facetted initiative, exploring the intersections between inner integrative/transpersonal practice and social change. The Conscious Community Initiative (CCI) is now entering a new phase, with renewed funding until 2025, supporting a growing community of change-makers who nurture individual and systemic transformation around the world. The initiative has the following overarching aims:
Our inquiry report, Nurturing the Fields of Change [PDF] draws together insights gained from our first two years of inquiry with holistic change project facilitators engaged in the Conscious Community Initiative.
We are empowering members of our community to devise and lead transformational projects around the world, thereby cultivating the soil for societal and systemic evolution. The twelve local projects initiated by our community members in 2020-2021 have served the following range of contexts and causes which we have identified as being of critical priority:
The grant strand of the Conscious Community Initiative is open to Alef Trust students, staff, open learners and alumni of our postgraduate programmes, including antecedent programme variants. The projects we support need to embrace a transpersonal or integral framework and resonate with the following guiding principles:
A conscious community is not simply one in which all members contribute to the whole. For us, the term ‘conscious’ implies not only a reflective sense of awareness but also a commitment to enhancing professional practice through integrative, whole-person approaches which place the human being in the wider spheres of local, global, and ecological systems.
Learning and research are not simply intellectual but embodied and integrative processes. In the case of our aspirations to create a ‘conscious community’, learning is never complete without realising the fundamental human quest to contribute to positive change, serving the wellbeing of individuals and the whole.
Tania Botoulas: “Mend” – Stitching lives together (South Africa). A support group for mothers of children with severe learning difficulties, with activity focus around learning the art of stitching and appliqué.
Owen Fender & Lila Moore: Sentient – A New Kinder Media (UK). A deep-dive into how creative and transpersonal events can be co-created online and offline, using new technologies to build deeper human connections.
Paula Staunton, Earth Moves: Transforming Land, Transforming People (UK). A transpersonal permaculture project, transforming land and people.
We are also excited to announce that we are co-creating a new mentorship programme for Integrative Practice Leaders. We are evolving and piloting this programme with two grant recipients, who are establishing Integrative Practice in their respective communities:
Victor Jivanescu: Learning through Integrative Practice (Romania). A 12-week programme, introducing to Integrative Practice to adults in a community in Romania.
Laura Harvey-Collins: Integrative Yoga Programme (UK). An online course for yoga practitioners, nurturing their wellbeing and integrative development through and beyond yoga practice.
Tabitha Jayne (UK). Elf-Strength of the Earth: Developing an Earth Connected Facilitation Process. The project intends to create a multi-generational approach to Earth connected facilitation that can be used with short films or in other contexts, and invite coaches and facilitators who are our partners in this project to experience the process.
Sunita Pattani (UK). EFT in the Police Force: Addressing Ongoing-Trauma. This project aims to devise and test an Ongoing-Trauma EFT Protocol, since ongoing trauma and resulting PTSD experienced by the officers seems to require a different approach than the standard EFT protocol. Experienced EFT practitioners will work with frontline police officers to develop and deliver this new protocol.
Martha Sneyd (UK). Wild Refuge: Exploring Connection to Self, Others and the Transpersonal with Residents of Chy Rehab. The project hopes to create a bridge between clinical interventions and immersive transpersonal programs held in nature. This taps into the larger vision of Wild Refuge which is to integrate spiritually nourishing, holistic approaches with psychologically informed and trauma sensitive ways of working.
Lorraine Clewer (Mexico): Yoga Therapy for Labour Rights Activists: Self-care and collective-wellbeing for effective, sustainable and transformative social justice movement building. The project will share individualised and group-oriented Yoga therapy tools with women’s workers’ rights activists along Mexico’s border with the United States. It will then monitor and evaluate the impact of yoga therapy on how the women build their movement for improved labour rights in the factories where they work.
Ayesha Iftikhar (Pakistan). Journey to the Self: Taking Care of the Care-takers. Based on transpersonal and integrative principles, this programme will develop and use process-oriented group work and expressive arts to support therapists and educators who have been affected by the pandemic.
Adi Vickers: Integrative Practice for the Heart-Centred Teacher (Ireland/ Italy). The project will develop a teacher-centric rather than learner (student)- centric programme. The objective is not to train teachers in pedagogy or curriculum, but to honour the Selfhood of the person behind the role of ‘teacher’ and enhance their well-being through engaging with whole person integrative practices.
Join our mailing list to receive updates from the world of transpersonal psychology, news, events and updates on new webinars, courses and programmes.