The Path of the Four Elements

Participants should be able to connect individually to the four basic elements and to the emotions resulting from them.

The exercise can be implemented in several ways. However, it is important to take some conditions into account:

  1. participants should walk through each station alone
  2. before the trail, we can prepare the exercise by sitting in a circle, listening to soothing music, possibly supplemented with an art activity (painting, coloring, drawing)
  3. participants start individually on the path from the big circle and they return there
  4. while the individuals are at the station, the other members of the group can receive a short thought-provoking, inspiring text every few minutes in addition to the music
  5. when the individuals return to the group, we can ask them to write about their experience a short poem

The success of the exercise depends on the openness of the participants, so the trainer must strive to create this safe space for the group.

Easy Songs

Easy songs can be used in a very wide range of ways for almost any facilitation need:
opening or closing a ceremony
forming bonds amongst a group
soothing hearts after conflict, tender sharing, or grief
empower participants, put them in touch with their power & energy
meditation or contemplation
and more!

The Power of Yet

The Power of Yet is a simple exercise of shifting the language we use to be more empowering. In this method, we identify a situation we’d like to change and add “yet” to a statement about it. When we say this statement to ourselves or to a partner, insights may arise and energy may move in our bodies. It’s amazing!

Setting your Intention

The purpose of Setting Your Intention is to clarify, both within oneself and within the group, what each person’s aim is.

Dreaming Circle

The Dreaming Circle is one of the essential skills of Dragon Dreaming. It is the process by which, in a win-win way, the project of an individual becomes the project of a team. In the Dragon Dreaming pathway, this is the first stage. The next stages then are the planning, the doing and the celebrating, which are not in our focus in this description.

Working on a project that has been started by someone else always generates less personal motivation than working on a project collectively owned by a group. And yet every project is always started as the dream of an individual. But, all too often the dream is not shared. And yet as Carl Gustav Jung and Australian Aborigines knew, we rarely ask, “where do such dreams come from”. Failure to share our dreams in an appropriate way is one reason why 90% of all projects get blocked in the dreaming stage. It is easier to work on “our project” than to work on “his project”, and yet every project starts as an idea of one person. How can this apparent paradox be resolved? 

Catherine Baldwin calls this first process “calling” or “casting the circle”. This is the first stage in converting an individual intention into a collective one for Dragon Dreaming, and is a process by which “project ownership” is transferred from the individual to the group. Rather than maintaining a sense of possession, the group becomes custodians of the collective dream of the project. But to do this it needs a “Dream Team”, an initial circle group that can be drawn from friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances, or people you have identified because of their possession of special skills, who come together to share a dream.

Round of Gratefulness

The purpose of the Round of Gratefulness is to practise the attitude of gratefulness. This brings deeper peace, greater well-being and an enhanced capacity for joy and self-empowerment.

There are five guiding principles that can serve as touchstones to support the practice:

  1. Life is a gift
  2. Everything is a surprise
  3. The ordinary is extraordinary
  4. Appreciation is generative
  5. Love is transformative

The tuk-tuk game

The tuk-tuk game is an activity in pairs which aims at giving the participants the sensation of trust: receiving trust to lead and giving trust to be led by someone else. It has different levels as it can be carried out by people who have known each other for a long time, or it can also be tried out in a group where the participants have only been working together for a short period of time.

Group Input

This tool comes from the Kaospilot school for creative business design and social innovation. It was used when students pursued their final projects, working individually on their chosen topic. The class came together weekly to support each other. The input from others helped to maintain a feeling of being part of a bigger cohort, even if everyone was working individually. Even when used with strangers it can elicit much gratitude towards the group.

Metaphoric Cards

There are different types of Metaphoric Cards. In general using cards is a way for people to exchange feelings, fantasies, and ideas within a framework that protects privacy and vulnerability. In this game everyone wins. Each deck can be used on its own or in conjunction with any (or all) of the other decks, like building blocks for creativity. Unlimited variations are possible. Easy-to-follow instructions for play and work are included with every deck.

Tonglen Meditation

Buddhist teacher, author, and nun Pema Chödrön gives tonglen instruction as follows:
“On the in-breath, you breathe in whatever particular area, group of people, country, or even one particular person – maybe it’s not this more global situation, maybe it’s breathing in the physical discomfort and mental anguish of chemotherapy; of all the people who are undergoing chemotherapy. And if you’ve undergone chemotherapy and come out the other side, it’s very real to you. Or maybe it’s the pain of those who have lost loved ones – suddenly, or recently, unexpectedly or over a long period of time, some dying. But the in-breath is – you find some place on the planet in your personal life or something you know about, and you breathe in with the wish that those human beings or those mistreated animals or whoever it is, that they could be free of that suffering, and you breathe in with the longing to remove their suffering.
And then you send out – just relax out – send enough space so that peoples’ hearts and minds feel big enough to live with their discomfort, their fear, their anger or their despair, or their physical or mental anguish. But you can also breathe out for those who have no food and drink, you can breathe out food and drink. For those who are homeless, you can breathe out/send them shelter. For those who are suffering in any way, you can send out safety, comfort.
So in the in-breath you breathe in with the wish to take away the suffering, and breathe out with the wish to send comfort and happiness to the same people, animals, nations, or whatever it is you decide.

Do this for an individual, or do this for large areas, and if you this with more than one subject in mind, that’s fine… breathing in as fully as you can, radiating out as widely as you can.”