LONG BEACH–When your great-grandchild asks you what was your contribution to the current environmental state of the world, how will you respond?
An intergenerational crowd of about 50 Long Beach residents explored this question and other environmental dilemmas at “Awakening the Dreamer,” Sat., July 9 at the Expo Arts Center, here.
The event, sponsored by Green Long Beach and the The Pachamama Alliance, involved residents in workshops merging spiritual wellness with a more green way of thinking.
“This program is inspired by the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and modern knowledge that will hopefully inspire you all to this movement that promotes a sustainable, more spiritually fulfilling, socially just world,” said workshop facilitator Salomeh Dastyari Diaz.
The Pachamama Alliance was formed in 1996 to support Achuar natives from the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador fight oil industry efforts to extract the land’s resources.
The series of workshops compelled participants to talk to one another on what they believed to be current major environmental challenges and possible responses to them.
“We can’t have social justice without environmental sustainability,” said David Bunem, a California Native Plant Society representative. “If we change our mindset and start thinking not just of how society can benefit us, but what we individually can do to preserve all of us as a living organism, then we can come together to create creative energy-saving solutions.”
Some of the local organizations present were Healthy Active Long Beach, Save Los Cerritos Wetlands, Housing Long Beach and Greenpeace, which has organized against fracking efforts in Long Beach.
Another workshop involved participants meditating to develop awareness of their decisions and surroundings.
“No one is really looking to each other for resources, so I thought it was really powerful to see each other in a good way as just humans that care about the planet and each other,” said Tiffany Chen, the event’s coordinator and organizer with Green Long Beach.
“We were all moving around as if we were going about our lives and then stopping and feeling connected just because we all knew we all want change,” Chen said.
For the closing workshop, all 50 or so participants gathered in what was called an ending harmonious circle. Each closed their eyes to receive a colorfully woven bracelet made by a native tribe member of Ecuador.
For more information, go to: pachamama.org/engage/awakening-the-dreamer.