Reflecting on my learning journey I see deeper awareness in my self at several levels. Four of these levels are:
1. A rich experience of searching for, preparing and eating local food and bush medicines e.g. muka (witchetty grub), kangaroo tail and also crafting and creating from local trees boomerangs, coolamon and digging sticks with patience, presence and skill with Auntie Barbara and Uncle Rollie as well as dot paintings with Auntie Pixie and sisters.
2. A deeper insight into the perpetual and institutionalised paternalism and belittling by the machinery of government and administration of indigenous affairs evolved and refined into an industry over many years of colonisation. Australian indigenous people continue to be marginalised and dispossessed by a system that does not understand the rich gifts of deep honour and respect for people and nature that it could learn. Even though we considered ourselves as guests visiting our hosts’ homelands the administrative process of permits only allowed us to be the initiators and was disempowering to the traditional owners on their own country. More of the history of this story is graciously and powerfully explained by Uncle Bob Randall in his 52min film Kanyini
3. An enjoyable and embracing experience of unconditional love by living and camping with the Randall family, teachers and elders and my 12 mala mob colleagues. Especially relevant to me was to see and live in action the decision making process used in the Randall family by Dorothea and Uncle Bob and all family members to be in the present moment with unconditional love and include all points of view and gut reactions and intuitions from family members and guests. We as 12 guests also started to live in the present moment and make decisions with unconditional love together as a family honouring and respecting each other and our needs. I highly recommend living and experiencing being in community like this with any of your colleagues and family on any projects you are engaged in.
4. The most powerful insight for me comes from having an experience of stepping outside of my Modern/Western culture and into a totally different culture (like a fish out of the water it doesn’t see swimming in every day) to take a stance that Albert Einstein recommends when he said “You can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it”. I feel and experience daily how our Modern/Western culture is stuck and unable to take wise action in the systems of our economy, banking, finance, health, security, education, water, food and energy. Each of these systems improve by more involvement by citizens, with people and community solutions, rather than by trying to fix them with more money and treating people as consumers. By bringing together humanity’s richest wisdom, strongest fundamental higher order core values and mental models we can design and co-create a world that is prosperous, not based on greed and infinite growth, but that is a steady state nourishing system that loves all the children of all species for all time. Donella Meadows shows us that the highest leverage points for changing systems happen in our mental models. Indigenous cultures, despite their marginalisation and profound dislocation and pain, have a deep respect for mother nature and the earth systems that sustains and nourishes humans. At this time in human history we now have a great opportunity to relearn this long human tradition of wisdom and live in a respectful, compassionate and loving way on our planet, despite (or even as necessity to) the deep challenges we face.
My mantra for the new world is “Unconditional Love – get used to it!”
In deep gratitude to the teachers, elders and family members who hosted us.
For more visit Mala Mob wiki