The Cultivation of Change Agents amongst the Youth in Aeko – Saenkumlue Village, using the Contemplation-oriented Transformative Facilitation

 

Abstract

 

The research project aims to facilitate a transformative learning process for a group of people in Aeko – Saenkumlue village (in Pangmapah district, Maehongson province) who were purposively selected as the participants. There are 3 objectives: 1) to study the inner transformation of participants
(or the inner potential), 2) to assess the achievement of projects for change in the village, driven by participants (or the outer potential), and 3) to promote the lessons learnt sharing between participants and other villagers. The results show various signals regarding the inner transformation (or the inner potential) found after the completion of the program, i.e. the ability to communicate one’s own feelings and emotions truthfully, the courage and confidence to speak up in front of the public, the ability to be mindful and have inner peace, the ability to make empathic sense and cooperate with others, the inspiration to become a good leader, and the better relationship among family members and friends. However, in the big picture, it seems to still lack of collective power to propel a job systematically as one team. For the outer potential, although participants can notably develop their skills of public talk, including the abilities to do the household savings account and project writing, yet they cannot show much potential to concretely initiate projects or works that are beneficial to the village as the whole. (However, months after the research has finished, many participants impressively came up with a citizenship project, helping those who has no Thai ID card yet to be on the process to get one.) Furthermore, activities among participants and villagers done have given rise to better understandings and relationship. In brief, as the outcome of the project, the participants’ consciousness has been elevated positively towards the interpersonal level, but has not reached the social system level yet. The suggestions regarding the continuing lessons involve the advanced practice
upon inner potential, the interconnection between oneself and ways of living & cultural root, and the skills of contemplative facilitation.

Keywords : change agent, contemplative education, Aeko-Saenkumlue, community




Hearts Grow: Contemplation-based Inner Stability Development in Female Inmates

 

Contemplative Education Center, Mahidol University

 

Researcher : Somsit Asdornnithee, Ph.D., Proetphan Daensil, Ph.D., Jirattakarn Pongpakatien, Ph.D.


Abstract

 

Inner stability is considered as one of the important qualities signifying the spiritual wellbeing. It gives rise to values, happiness, and power that one,
as a human being, could embody. The research aims to improve the female inmates’ quality of life in 2 purposively selected prisons by promoting the inner stability. Thus, the research has 2 main objectives: 1) to study the learning process facilitation appropriate for the inner stability development in female inmates, and 2) to explicate the female inmates’ inner experiences found during and after the completion of the program. The phenomenological result obtained shows that the contemplation-based learning could produce some significant inner changes in the participants. These include the more inclusive perspectives one possesses, i.e. the ability to make more sense regarding the interconnectedness between oneself and the surrounding people, especially those in family and the loved ones. Meanwhile, each participant can also see herself as more self-authoring and more responsible for her own actions, as her consciousness has shifted toward the higher rational way of thought. Besides, most participants start to have good perception toward Meditation / contemplation, as it becomes a useful tool allowing them to come back to take care of themselves from within, as well as to be aware of whatever state of mind they are encountering at the present moment. As a result, participants now realize how they could make themselves grow even further spiritually.
All these phenomena well correspond with the results found during the 8 rounds of learning process, which indicate that participants have developed their inner qualities in the following manner: to gain mindful awareness, to have desirable relationship with their fellow people, to become free from their old pattern of thought, and to attain freedom and values from within. As for the learning process facilitation appropriate for such inner development, it has to consist of 14 components happening during the sufficient time span. Such process shows 3 distinctive phases where one would respectively lead to another. These are the preparatory phase, the perspective changing phase, and the long-term stabilizing phase, while all are adjustable and learner-centered. Further, the success shall not overlook the importance of the facilitators whose being, inner qualities, and fundamental belief must be suitable and relevant.