Since childhood, my dreams include traveling. Much of July was spent on the road, hence the long period of silence. I didn’t even realize how long I was gone until I got back.
Travels began from Florence—my temporary home—to Damanhur—my real home. A quick 3-day trip, just enough time to say hello to the family and catch up on some rituals. Definitely not enough time to clean my room and spend quality time with Mysticat, which sorely needs to be done the next time I go. The cat has a way of letting me know when I am missed, and that directly affects the cleanliness of my room… ugh!
I won’t bore you with the details of every stop, I will just give you the highlights (if you want details, ask me in the comments, my life is an open book):
- Damanhur, Italy to Athens, Greece with Bioversum for the kick-off of the 4-year EU funded HYDROUSA project: regenerative and nature-based water management
- Athens to Mörbisch, Austria for the first part of the Circular Innovation Biomimicry certification offered by Bioversum.
- Mörbisch to Eisenstadt, Austria for more Bioversum planning and lots of wine tasting!
- Little glimpses of Vienna, Austria here and there for some personal time.
- Vienna to Florence, Italy… into the oven that is summer in Tuscany!!
The highlight reel of this trip is too long to share all at once, so I will focus on one life-changing encounter:
MEETING THE DREAM DEVELOPERS
11 years ago, after a chance meeting, Hermann and Katzi quickly discovered they had a common interest: dreams! Both dreamed of a society where everybody could do exactly what one loves to do. They both regularly encouraged people to tell them their dreams and looked for ways to help manifest them.
One day, a little boy of eight came to them with his father. Since he was six years old, he wrote books. His dream was to have one of them published. Hermann and Katzi wanted to help the boy realize his dream. Calling upon friends and colleagues, they had 100 copies of the boy’s book printed. They presented them to the boy as a gift with no need for any type of repayment.
Months later, the boy returned with his father to meet Hermann and Katzi. He carried with him a small box tied to his wrist. When he opened the box, inside was the money from the sale of the books. The boy was so thankful for the gesture, that he decided to donate a percentage of every book sold to Hermann and Katzi. This money was to be used to make the dreams of others come true. And this is how Dream Academia was born!
Since then, the Dream Developers—Hermann and Katzi—have gone on to help many others manifest their dreams. They have created a community of people that support each other at every level. They take no money directly for their actions, but instead encourage a gift economy where each person supports the other in any way possible. The most popular currency: passion. When you are passionate about something and feel supported in doing it, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Dreams Can Come True
I met Hermann and Katzi thanks to fellow dreamer and Bioversum colleague, Claus, at their little oasis: Dreamicon Valley. This cabin and small plot of land was donated to the group, along with nearby office space, as a place to gather, share experiences, and use freely. When I say a cabin, I mean a run-down shack in rural Austria, but what they have done to transform it is quite amazing with their gifted resources.
I was taken to an evening gathering where about 15 people grilled food, listened to music, and shared their dreams. Hearing that I come from a community where dreams are the currency of choice, you can imagine the conversation. At the end of the night, I was told that they planned to gather to work together on Tuesday morning, and I was more than welcome to come.
Just like the devotional hours I do as a knight across the various temples of Damanhur, I arrived on Tuesday (thanks for the ride, Regina, another Bioversum Dreamer) ready to work outside. I was met by Hermann and Katzi along with Kathrin and Ulli, two other members of Bioversum that are also Dreamers.
Together, we emptied and tidied up a container, sorted wood for building and burning, and to expand and beautify the area, we started to build a path from the cabin out to the neighboring trees where eventually will be built an area for mediation and contact with nature, a garden of medicinal/eatable herbs, and a compost toilet.
With buckets filled with rocks, laughter in my ears, and sweat pouring down my face, it felt like I was back home at Damanhur doing terrazzatura (devotional work).
Building dreams together is what community is all about!
Katzi gave me a ride back to Eisenstadt that afternoon, which gave us more time to talk about our own dreams. I look forward to hosting them both at Damanhur soon. I know they are going to feel the same connection I do between our communities as soon as they set food on Damanhurian territory.
Between the Bioversum core and the Dream Academia, I have found my Austrian tribe. In September, I will be back for a Bioversum/Biomimicry meeting, and have scheduled some extra time to head out to Dreamicon Valley and see where we are on the path. Note to self: pack work gloves and boots!!
Now if only I could get my German up to speed so I can flow across languages with them as easily as I do in Damanhur between Italian and English…
What are your Dreams and How can we Help You Manifest Them?
Also published on Medium.