Immediacy – Overcoming barriers between us and recognising our inner selves.
Participation – Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play.
Leave no Trace– Respect the environment and leave no trace.
Civic Responsibility – We assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavour to communicate civic responsibility to participants.
Communal Effort – We value creative cooperation and collaboration.
Radical Self Expression – Arising from the unique gifts of the individual.
Gifting – Devoted to the acts of gifting. The value of the gift is unconditional.
Radical Inclusion – Everyone is welcome, respect the strange. No prerequisites for participation.
Decommodification – A community that is unmediated by commercial sponsorship, transactions, or advertising.
Radical Self-reliance – You must bring everything you need to survive for the entire event, to discover, exercise and rely on his or her own inner resources.
Some of the principles come very naturally to me. For more than two decades Qi has been safe haven for all sorts of people with respect for all age groups, cultures and beliefs we have embraced radical inclusion. Gifting on that scale was amazing to behold and it definitely reminded me the spirit with which we have been offering everyone free tea, coffee and chai for over sixteen years.. and how this simple act has helped to create genuine connection and community. Qi is a place for people to meet, to come together, to share, learn and grow.
Decommodification and leave no trace have made me think lots more about where I shop, what I buy and saying no to packaging and anything else that I don’t need. I have also seen massive shift in the past twelve months or so in the shop with more and more customers declining receipts and carry bags if they don’t need them. All this gives me great hope that a shift in consciousness is happening.
For seventeen years our annual Qi Open Day has been a free event offering the community an opportunity to come together in the spirit of self-exploration and discovery. Please join us again this year on October 26th & 27th 10 am-5 pm for free talks and workshops, and a free BBQ lunch. Just like other years we will have a free kids craft and activity table.
Entry is also free and there is no need to book for the workshops, choose to attend one or make a day of it and come to as many of them as you like! To me these days have often had a magical dream like quality that feels reminiscent of my experience of Burning Seed. Watching strangers meet, talk and mingle in such an open, spiritual environment. The sense of community on the day has often restored my faith in the good will of people as they open to the spirit of giving and receiving.
Whilst at Burning Seed, I kept thinking that we as people need more time to come together in this way. That if this immense beauty, self-expression, collaboration, sense of community and sharing can exist for a week why it can’t be like this more of the time and in more places.
(PS: You can read more about my experience at Burning Seed here!)