The Dandelions Are Prophesizing: A Writing Workshop Through Plant & Mycelial Encounters
A 4-Week Online Workshop starting July 19, 2021
July 19 – August 14
Workshop Leader: Janice Lee
“The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. It is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
“If we are interested in livability, impermanence, and emergence, we should be watching the action of landscape assemblages. Assemblages coalesce, change, and dissolve: this is the story.”
– Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
“Medicine and sickness heal each other.
The whole world is medicine.
Where do you find yourself?”
– Yunmen Wenyan
“How other kinds of beings see us matters. That other kinds of beings see us changes things.”
– Eduardo Kohn
“Identity is the factoring out and performative denial of our own perceptual immersion or entanglement with forces that generate and undo the boundaries with which we mark ourselves as different from others.”
– Bayo Akomolafe
The dandelions are prophesizing.
What are you afraid to see, in the tenuous space you are being given? For you, what is on the other side of the portal and what pain do you have yet to experience? What more can you learn from the geese, the moss, the dandelions, the mushrooms, the concrete beneath your feet?
How can you orient yourself differently from within, to not see the world as broken—as something to be fixed or saved—but as an entanglement of becomings and worldings of which you are a small but integral part?
What is it that you are trying to protect? In your silence and complacency, what is it that has really been at stake for you? What have you been guarding, protecting, keeping close to you, keeping distant, what struggles have you avoided your entire life, what struggles are you avoiding still? In protecting what you have felt like you have earned, in caring about those in your immediate view, in using exclusivity when it comes to compassion and awareness, how have you contributed to everything that you can so easily criticize in language but have yet to understand your own intimate relationality with these so-called broken systems? How have you contributed to the environmental degradation of this planet, to systemic racism, to the real harm against black and brown bodies, to civil wars and genocides, to the violence in the streets and all over the world, to this pandemic, to all of the suffering in this world, to all of the imbalance? How have you forgotten that you are not an individual, not a self-enclosed ecology but part of a global body, connected to every other being, every other atom on this planet, all of the energy of the cosmos and the earth, of the past and present and future, how have you forgotten what you really are and what change you are truly capable of instigating?
This four-week online workshop will encourage you to expand your awareness and language through new encounters with plant and mycelial networks, to see the world as non-linear and entangled, and to imagine new futures that don’t depend on replicating the energies of the systems we seek to dismantle or the patterns we seek to heal from. We will investigate the speculative potentialities of futures beyond capital and justice-oriented systems, imagine identity and being through the lens of assemblage and permeability, and explore new and porous ways of working towards individual and collective change.
In this generative and healing-focused workshop, we will be supported by writing prompts, guided meditations, intuition exercises, personal medicine work, shamanic practices, divination, communing with plant and animal beings, Buddhist teachings, ceremony, and readings from multiple genres to explore the articulation of an entangled worldview. (Some of the diverse readings will include work by authors such as Bayo Akomolafe, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Vincianne Despret, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Wendy Burk, Brenda Iijima, Fred Moten, and Marisol de la Cadena.)
In order to accommodate both synchronous and asynchronous modes, the majority of the work will be asynchronous and can be self-paced for each week (ie. readings, writing prompts, exercises, discussions). There will be 4 synchronous meetings (via Zoom). The 4 sessions will be Mondays from 11AM-1PM PST: 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9). Though attendance at these meetings is highly encouraged, it is not mandatory. All meetings will be recorded and posted the next day, for those who are unable to make part or all of the meeting times, with guided instructions on any activities/exercises covered during the meetings to be posted as well. As well, all participants will have the opportunity to have one 1-on-1 conference with Janice during the 4-week period.
Limited sliding scale registrations ($150-$300) and scholarships for BIPOC and anyone needing financial assistance are available. Please email Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.