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S Korea, February 2015 • Nadine Hoover hosted an Advanced AVP Trauma Healing Workshop in Gangchon, Korea

Advanced AVP Trauma Healing Workshop

AVP Korea hosted an Advanced AVP Trauma Healing Workshop on 26-28 February 2015 in Gangchon, Korea. Team building was held all day on 25 February 2015. The workshop of 19 participants was residential at an Anglican Retreat Center in Gangchon facilitated by myself, Jonghui Lee, Cho-Nyon Kim, Oh Sang Yeol and Bin Duel Yuk. Kang Young Sil and Jungjoo did an amazing job of translating the entire workshop. They did so well sometimes I forgot we were being translated. Twenty hours of workshop sessions were held from 9:00 until noon and from 14:00 until 18:00 each day, except the last session was held from 13:00 to 16:00.

 

Drawings of Safe Place. With all the anxieties and troubles inside, it was nice to realize we also have a Safe Place inside that we can go to whenever we need to. A comfort to many.

The participants came from a rich array of backgrounds, who work at the Nonviolence Peace Force, Parker Palmer’s Retreats, Frontiers, two women’s associations, a mediation center, the National Council of Churches, Hanshin University, an alternative Buddhist high school and college, a middle school, an Indo-China humanitarian service group, an organic farming community, a spiritual meditative dance practice and a residential advocate on Jeju Island, working with homeless people, migrant workers, young people, North-South relations, families of the victims of the ferry tragedy, college students, farming, and so forth.

Young Sil, left, is a farmer from an alternative, organic farming community, who met me at the Seoul Airport late at night and took me to the Women’s Plaza in Seoul to spend the night with Jungjoo, who lives on Jeju Island as an advocate for the community against the oppressive actions of the military base there. She looked so friendly as I stepped into Korea. Young Sil and Jungjoo did a spectacular job of translating for me the entire AVP Advanced workshops. Thank you!

They expressed much gratitude for all the activities, an understanding of trauma, tools for resiliency and recovery, guidelines for being good companions to one another, as well as speaking out as an antidote to secondary trauma. They also appreciated the time to gather, tell stories and socialize with one another. They are all giving of themselves so much of the time, AVP offers an opportunity to nurture these nurturers. They went home elated, refreshed and invigorated, with more confidence in themselves, each other and the work ahead.

The participants choose very poetic affirming adjective names for themselves. Poetic language is a comfort and gift to them and they are good at bringing poetry and beauty into their lives. This is good both in general and in a rich cultural life. I did inform them that people who live in prolonged violence tend to loose 90 percent of their vocabulary and they tend to use only a very small set of negative words. Expanding our vocabularies, especially adding positive adjectives, counteracts the damage of violence. Attaching those words to our own names counteracts the loss of self-esteem that comes from violence. Hearing own’s real name spoken by other people on a repeated basis helps one feel like a full and present person and feel the attention of others. Speaking one’s own name in front of a group of people on a regular basis takes great courage and is empowering. I missed many of these powerful aspects of affirming adjective names and encourage them to think about how to incorporate that aspect of AVP in some way without losing the poetic beauty of their Korean way.

They practiced being more flexible in balancing the how much time each activity took to do, the flow from one activity to the next, the needs of the group at any given time and the schedule of the day for meals and rest. This was a challenge, but seemed to be a welcomed and appreciated challenge.

Their questions revolved around:

 

Those of us who are given the heart and soul of the peace worker need to support each other in doing our work well over hundreds of years. We are responsible to tend our garden, keep our soil rich, preserve what we learn, and welcome new young peace workers. In this time together it felt like we did this well. Thank you to all the participants and all the family, friends and community members who took care of our duties while we were away for this precious time together. And thank you to the land and the traditional people who have kept this land fertile for thousands of years, who allowed us to gather on this land for this short time.

-Nadine Hoover (March 2015)

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Deajon Friends Meeting

Nadine spoke to about 100 peace activists in Daejon. They asked about Peace and Transforming Power, so Nadine wrote a talk to give to the translator for preparation, but during the day yesterday many people came up to Nadine to ask her, tomorrow night will you please tell us the story of how you became a peace worker and were able to stay involved over your whole life. At first this seemed like too much to talk about, but stepping back to a bird’s eye view, some simple life stages are apparent, so Nadine hopes to share that this evening.

Deajon Friends Meeting was deeply moved by Nadine Hoover’s talk on Quaker faith and practice. She shared Douglas Steere’s statement that Quakerism is that we have experienced the Living Spirit, that speaks to our human condition and we choose to yield to let the Spirit guide and shape our lives. They learned new vocabulary such as convincement, to have met the Living Spirit and therefore be convinced; conviction, to have met the Living Spirit in those time we fail and are inadequate and therefore meet the strength of the Spirit in those places where we are convicted; and the conversion of manners, shaping our outward lives to reflect our inward experience. Nadine shared about how unhealthy inward guidance typically cannot stop and does not accept external feedback, therefore the silence in the meeting for worship and the testifying and asking for feedback in the meeting for business allow us to stay well as a people who are inwardly guided. Finally she shared about bearing witness to what we know is right and true based on this experiment with our daily lives. We shared tea and fruit at the rise of meeting, went out for a delicious lunch of rice and vegetables, shared coffee and fruit back at the meeting house, went to the traditional market and came back to the meeting house to clean up. It was a lovely day.