The path from the darkness to the light is not an easy one to find. It can only be discovered through an opening of the mind and heart and spirit. It will not be found by answering multiple choice and true-false questions on a standardized test. It must be found through experiences that touch the body, activate the creative impulses, and reawaken the senses.
The path to the light will also not be seen if the time is spent entirely in a classroom. It is impossible to foster the kind of relationships with the world that deep teaching promotes while sitting rigid in chairs that are unmoving and unyielding, with climate control systems all around (usually with only two settings: too hot or too cold). With the teaching of adults, the educational setting is even more of a concern, since many degree completion programs that cater to working adults are conducted at night in office buildings or even hotel meeting rooms where the climate control systems are atrocious and the windows do not even open. Teaching in most academic settings only reinforces the already profound disconnection from the natural world.
In the classroom, the language we use and the myriad of assumptions and issues behind it is a powerful obstacle. Hence the power of movement, nature experiences, and art as a tool for the exploration of an issue are powerful communication strategies.
In this chapter, I present 54 experiential, discovery-based, deep teaching exercises to use with your students, family, friends, or just to expand your own personal relationship with the world.
I have developed an approach to teaching and living that assumes that we must face and embrace the bad news in order to fully appreciate the beauty in our world and to be motivated to preserve that beauty. This approach also involves improving our personal health and connection with our body. How can we appreciate that changing our consumption behaviors will result in improved health from fewer toxic substances in our world if we are used to not feeling all that great anyway?