Day 5 @EDE class: A Real Conflict, Launch My Website

Cheer up first

At the beginning of each class, Kosha always led us do a small exercise to boost energy, sing a simple song, play a simple fun game, etc. It seems that she has an endless collection of such exercises. The past few days have been emotionally and mentally intense. Some student shared a beautiful and meaningful painting drawn by his friend. With the approval of the painter, I post it here. It’s fitting to the EDE class.

Root deeply, grow slowly. (drawn by YU Guobiao)


A real conflict in the class

This is how it happened. We were asked to share thoughts on yesterday’s conference in Chengdu. Student A was talking. Before he finished, student B chimed in to express a different view, a little passionately. Before B finished, student C suggested A and C take the topic privately. The teacher was about to move on, then B asked for approval to make one more comment. Then she expressed with frustration that she felt judged by C. The rest of the class was shocked.

Just on Day #3, we studied conflict handling and non-violent communication. Now we got to see a classic example first hand how our teacher deals with a real conflict in this community.

Kosha suggested student B (the “felt judged” one) breath deeply to reconnect with herself, then try to describe her feeling.

What counts feeling?

Feeling “being judged”, or “being shamed” are not feelings, but irritated, sad, angry, fear, etc are feelings. Though in many languages it’s common to say that someone “made me feel …” Looking at the physiological and mental effect of feeling, nobody can actually generate your feeling but you. And there is a difference between saying:

  • I am sorry that I made you feel shamed
  • I am sorry that you felt shamed by what I said

I thought it may be of cultural reason that this comes as a new concept to many in the class. Student B insisted that “feeling being judged” IS a feeling.

Categories of feelings when needs are not met (screenshot from a GEN handout)

With student C, similarly, Kosha guided her to observe her own feeling, identify the needs behind feeling, then think about student B’s feeling and needs. Then see if she can  propose a request to student B. I sensed it was very painful for C to open up in front of 30 people, showing your vulnerability. However, she did it bravely.

No need to go on here. I am thankful that both students were courageous to expose their vulnerability and allow us to practice conflict handling together with them. As it becomes more involving, it becomes the class’ conflict. I wondered if allowing other class members to comment publicly would take away the pressure from the two individuals, by abstracting the conflict and removing center figures. But we didn’t get a chance to do so. Perhaps it’s wise like What Kosha suggested: give it a bit more time. After all, if we were really developing an ecovillage, the challenges will be are way more difficult .

Launch my website

In the session about leadership presence and power of story, we learned the skills of presentations. I like that the techniques emphasize connecting with inner self, such as breathing and grounding yourself.

I grasped the opportunity to be one of the three storytellers to talk about a work project related to sustainability. I designed a hook of my story that a hidden reporter sends secret messages to the outside world in the middle of night. But she uses only clear code! So you can find them at this address: So launched my website! I can tell almost everyone in the class was logging to the website from their phone at that moment 🙂

Storytelling exercise. The “secret reporter” is coming out (photo by ZHU Yu)


GEN presentation

Kosha gave a presentation on Global Ecovillage Network and did Q&A with us. We learned some great insider info 🙂

Cool data of ecovillage (Photo by the author)

Life here

Rules in the kitchen.

The sink is for washing vegetables only, not your mouth! (photo by the author)
Principles of making dishes: 1) Use minimal seasoning; 2) No spices for breakfast, at the most 1 spicy dish for lunch and dinner; 3) Focus, cook with loving care. (Photo by Shewen)


We are divided into 5 home groups to help with cleaning and maintenance work of the facility here.

Someone designed this clever tool to rotate assignments for groups. Inner circle: name of home groups. Outer circle: work items. (photo by the author)


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