Carol Sanford’s Seven First Principles of Regeneration – Further Reflections

Hey all. So I had the urge to surf along a little in the wake of the last episode, and reflect further on Carol Sanford’s Seven First Principles of Regeneration. Thus, in this episode I reflect on, unpack and further explore what Carol shared about the seven first principles and how they are enriching my own development.

My intention for the episode was:

I am continuing to explore Carol Sanford’s Seven First Principles of Regeneration…

in a way that supports listeners (and myself!) to better grasp and go experiment with them…

so that we realising together, any value they can bring to our lives, projects and the Making Permaculture Stronger journey.

Hope you enjoy and I look forward to hearing what you make of all this in the comments :-).

Further Reading, Watching, and Listening on Carol Sanford’s Seven First Principles of Regeneration

If, like me, you’re itching to dive deeper, I found this most helpful series of blog posts (and a separate series of short videos) where Carol clarifies:

Here’s a quote I really liked from the essence post:

Looking to existence, writing down our observations or collecting facts, will not reveal singularity. In order to sniff out essence, we must become trackers and look for it in the same way that native peoples follow the traces of animals who have passed by. Essence becomes apparent in the patterns that are specific to a person, those that reveal how they engage with the world, their purpose in life, the unique value they create as the result of their endeavors. The same is true for the essence of any natural system, community, or organization.

Carol Sanford

Finally, Here’s a 20m video (with poor quality audio but worth it) of Carol talking about what regeneration is. She gets into the Seven First Principles about 10 minutes in.

3 Comments

  1. A beautiful way to approach teaching a PDC! I am saving this comment so I can imitate this when I start teaching. I like it a lot that the students loved the lots of ways to go idea. Your sense of an intuitive-alive arts-craft while also fufilling an expandingly facilitative and educative social role is amazing. It’s a picture of how a whole new regenerative paradigm of society and culture would work. Thanks!

    1. I am flattered that you are inspired Susan. This is still an experiment in progress, but it has garnered very intriguing and promising results and I feel grateful to have had the liberty to try this out (hooray for the agility of small groups!).

  2. My working take away is that ‘essentializing’ is in the sincerity of trying (opening-up) to sense ‘essence’ and moreover it is in the relationship growing processes of that.. while also coming to appreciate that one’s development of understanding is a never-finished situation.. as the essence of the whole is also in process and so too is evolving. The processes of essentializing may be also unveiling one’s own essence (thus ripening potential for both).

    About nodes of permaculture education:
    I’ve had the opportunity to run a small group PDC spread out over 24 three hour sessions this past year as a living design process. I have not followed an existing lesson plan sequence. Several of the first sessions we’re all about exploring what I felt is the kernel of permaculture –a compassionate anthropocene era vision for Humanity and Earth living within her limits and abundance; coupled with a belief that a conscious human realignment with-as-for living systems is imperative.

    With just this we spent lots of time just trying out mentally and physically what this might entail (before even learning any of the established permaculture principles or ethics), harkening a time when Holmgren and Mollison had only a foggy notion.

    By the time we got to actually dipping into THE principles and ethics, they were unpacked as just one interpretation of the core concept (Mollison and Holmgren’s kick at the vision and hypothesis).. as well as not entirely novel, just specially curated.. this then allowed us to access the rest of the curriculum through this lens and the idea that permaculture is very much open and it’s all up for interpretation (majorly inspired by your tree chopping Dan). By taking this approach to learning about permaculture I was able to bring the class in at the ground level.

    As we moved into learning about processes, these were explored as a whole spectrum of approaches and attitudes to raise consciousness that there is no one right way (and that so much is not known). We looked at the idea of a maturation of one’s process from simple pre-planned procedures to one’s that evolve into more of an intuitive-alive arts-craft –also expandingly faciliatative and educative. The idea of processes occuring throughout whether or not one is consciously involved (or even involved at all) is also a powerful concept to share that resonated really well with the class (ie: the Field Process Model).

    All in all, I am really grateful for so many of the mind expanding ideas that are daylit here. The first principles and paradigm literacy work that you are interpreting with Carol Sanford have greatly expanded my notion of what it is to ‘observe and interact’ with the whole being of a (path-project-self-fellow-place). Thanks for opening space for this all.

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