The morning started off with Helen Mohan Elias sharing a prayer with the assembly. After which participants broke into their groups for morning community work. Co-founder of Lynedoch Ecovillage and Sustainability Institute, Eve Anecke then lead with a presentation on Building Community. Eve read from her own writing, sharing her journey to Lynedoch. Eve stressed that we do not choose our place in the world, rather, we are chosen by a place and turning one’s back on the place that one has been chosen by is to turn your back on your soul. The importance of connecting through speaking to one another was raised, with the dangers of getting lost in a world where we tend to communicate via impersonal mediums such as emails or other communicative mediums that remove the human connection that comes with the personal connection we have with our voices. She reminded us that our experiences need to be taken seriously and that each experience comes with validity. The essence of being able to be in a place of stillness, where one can reflect on our elders, our dreams and perhaps, drawing the answers to bring about great change through the timelessness of being still was considered. Eve brought up the need that humanity has to create and honour stories of our time and place, focussing on the rhythm of spoken language and embracing our voices. After her reading, Eve shared a video which gave an insight into Lynedoch and the Sustainability Institute. She ended off with asking What does it mean to be human? A question for all to give meditative thought to.

Groups broke off to do their daily reading, discussion and reflection on each reading. Lunch was served and then a variety of separate offers and request sessions were held which participants could choose to attend and contribute to. 

The afternoon session, The Promise- May You Live Every Day of Your Life was presented by Anne Kelly, A Montessori Dementia Consultant. Anne raised the point that Maria Montessori’s philosophy makes a perfect mission statement for aged care. A diagnosis of Dementia often results in the loss of rights for the elderly, which has harrowing consequences for quality of life for the aged.  Anne implored the assembly to consider that the children we encounter today are the elders of tomorrow. The Paradox of Dementia was highlighted with pertinent questioning as to what we can do to connect with those affected by Dementia through their strengths, interests and abilities. Identifying challenges with Dementia related disability is not enough, solutions need to be provided in order to ensure success for those affected. Anne raised the human tendencies and how, knowing that these tendencies are present throughout one’s life, they merely present themselves differently for the aged, and even more so for those affected by Dementia. Anne reminded the assembly that the Prepared Environment is beneficial to everyone, throughout our lifespan. Providing the elderly with order, choice and activities that make them feel like the valued members of the human race that they are, has dramatic changes in quality of life. Since implementing the Montessori Method for those with Dementia, improved relationships between carers, residents and family were observed. Anne concluded with what it means to honour and respect our elders, not only throughout their time on earth but also with how they depart from life. We need to honour those who have gone before us for who they were and what their contribution to humanity was.

After such an intense day, with much to reflect upon, participants spent time processing, conversing and connecting with one another. Dinner was served and participants parted ways for the evening.