Awakening the Dreamer, changing the Dream

Symposium facilitator: Tom Pickens


The workshop delivered on its promise to disturb, inspire and force real action on environmental sustainability.

Awaking the Dreamer, changing the Dream was held at Providence Motherhouse in Kingston on Saturday, February 27th. Designed with the collaboration of widely recognized experts from around the world, Awakening the Dreamer pledges to wake people up from the destructive dream in which we are devouring the planet, and step into a new dream.

It explores the current state of our planet from a new perspective and teaches steps to reduce our environmental footprint in order to reclaim our future. The workshop offered tips on creating a world that is sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just.

It explored four questions: Where are we? How did we get here? What is possible for the future? Where do we go from here?

Bridget Doherty of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, with a small committee, organized the one day symposium. Bridget was invigorated by the final exercise of the day.

“We were asked to answer three questions; what makes us happy, what are the biggest problems we see at this time and what can we do to help fix this problem. For many, the answer to the third question directly linked to the first question. This gave people hope and they found that they too can be agents of change.”

Awakening the Dream, changing the Dream was presented in partnership with the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul and the Pachamama Alliance. It’s message is deeply rooted in the connection between the earth and indigenous people. Loosely translated, Pachamama means Mother Earth.

Tom Pickens and Jennifer Eiler facilitated the workshop. Similar workshops are held across the world. Tom says it’s good to be shaken up and reminded that we are on an unsustainable path. “ Our ecological footprint is an accounting program, and we need to get out of debt”, concluded Tom.

Sister of Providence Shirley Morris, left, shares a reflection with Kingston city councillor Vicki Schmolka. Sister Shirley is a long time ecology and conservation enthusiast. Sister helped organize the event.