Tag Archives: Project Planning

Dragon Dreaming pt. two: the Dreaming Circle

You let your project go through its Easter – let it die for yourself and be reborn for the group – when you entre the Dreaming Circle: the Dragon Dreaming instrument to share and extend your vision during the dreaming phase (see an earlier post Dragong Dreaming pt. one).

It is the dreamer, the one who comes up with the project idea or vision who calls in a Dreaming Circle. He/She takes the talking stick and tells his/her dream. It is helpful to be grounded and clear in this moment in order to impress the listeners. From here, the talking stick moves around and everybody is invited to speak and express what the project should include for them to involve in it. A scribe writes doen the main points and ideas. To keep a postive energy flow in the circle and let the group take momentum and be creative, there are a few rules to be followed by the participants of a Dreaming Circle:

– The initiator keeps his/her description of the dream short and inspiring and is open for it to change and for other people to take ownership in the dream or the project idea (after all, that’s what it is all about);

– all participants talk only when holding the talking stick;

– sentences are short, expressing what they want, not what they don’t want; they are affirmative, supporting rather than diverting while allowing the original dream to guide them;

– participants don’t discuss with other participants about their contributions.

The people in the Dreaming Circle give ideas for any form of contribution and are willing to take at least a part of the responsibility for their ideas/contributions/dreams. At the end, a group (ideally consisting of 7 to ten people) creates a living document of the new dream/project and can start gathering information for moving into the planning phase.

Dragon Dreaming pt. one: an introduction

One of the most interesting sessions on the EDE in Sieben Linden was the one on Dragon Dreaming. Following is a small introduction.

Dragon Dreaming is an instrument for project design and group building developed by the Australian John Croft. If you break the word project into two you’ll find ‘pro’ and ‘ject’, ‘pro’ meaning ‘in front’ and ‘ject’ having the meaning of ‘throw, thrown’: it’s about a vision or a dream thrown in front of yourself. That is where the idea of John Croft is derived from, seeing that there are many visions and dreams alive in all of us, but only little realisations, actual projects. In this sense Dragon Dreaming is building the bridge between vision and project, dream and reality.

In today’s world, we grow up being told that we’re ridiculous when we’re sharing our dreams – “wishful thinking, illusions, impossible”. In aboriginal culture fromAustralia, it is common belief that next to the linear time that we create ourselves everyday, where people meet in separation, disconnected from their dreams, there is the dreamtime, the time in which everything is one. The first empowerment that we’ll need to help us reconnect to that dreamtime is the reconnection to our dreams. This reconnection is taking place in that moment where we share our dreams and where people openly listen to what we say.Australia’s indigenous people believe, like many other spiritual groups, that when we’re born we are one with the universe. Once we realise our selves, our individuality we become separated and we’ll spend our whole lives healing this separation. Knowing and accepting our dreams, we actually know what will happen in the future; in telling our dreams we’re creating our future.

That’s a little bit of background according to which the realisation of our dreams starts with the Self, and so does Dragon Dreaming. The process of Dragon Dreaming starts with the Self and his/her dream, which is the first phase. First, he/she puts in a lot of energy, telling the dream to others and developing it in theory with the group. As the process goes on, people start to dream together and the planning starts in the second phase (‘Projects never plan to fail, they fail to plan’). So the group starts feeding into the project/dream and the project feeds back into the individual, the Self. A healing process for both sides is already happening.

From there the process moves into the third phase, the doing. The theory developed feeds into practice. A lot of projects, especially in our modern culture tend to spend all of their time in planning and doing, never really feeding back into the dreams of the individuals involved, therefore not really being satisfying to anybody and unsustainable.

Research has shown that 90 % of all our dreams, never become theory; 90 % of the theory is never really planned; 90 % of the plans are never put into practice; and 90 % of our projects never get older than 3 years.

To make the cycle complete, we therefore find a forth stage: the celebration. The celebration is the phase where the project feeds back into the individual, where there is time for reflection, adjustments, reconsideration of wants and needs, new dreams and visions to start the cycle anew and let it expend like a spiral, starting small and adding experience as it’s moving forward.

The circle of Dragon Dreaming is a fractal: it is a process in which the big circle is repeating itself in the smaller circles which I’ll write about in one of the coming posts. We can look at how the circle fits on every individual, on all of our life projects and situations: are we dreamers, planners, do we spend most of the time doing and forget the celebration? There are different instruments used in Dragon Dreaming, like the Dreaming Circle or the Game Board that facilitate the process of design. I’ll try to write about all of that later.