METAMORPHOSIS JOURNEY is a dynamic, experiential workshop that explores transformation in the face of planetary emergency, led by award-winning filmmakers and Certified Professional Coaches, Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper. Participants move through the stages of Chrysalis, Crisis, Catharsis, Symbiosis, and Metamorphosis, personalizing this arc, and applying it to their own lives. Short videos, representing each of the stages, are integrated throughout the workshop, as well as group exercises, guided meditations, and partner work. Together, we will explore the spiritual, emotional, psychological and practical dimensions of the ecological crisis, developing a vision and action plan for the transformation we would like to see happen in our personal lives, in our communities, and in the world. The structure is inspired by Nova and Velcrow’s stunning feature documentary, Metamorphosis, and rooted in the Coaching for Transformation model, as well as the filmmakers’ lived experiences travelling into the heart of global ecological crisis.
Nova Ami has led Metamorphosis Journey workshops across North America, combining her skills as a documentary filmmaker, a transformational life coach (Leadership that Works), and a certified yoga teacher (Yogamaya NYC). As a filmmaker, she creates documentaries that inspire, educate, and empower. Prior to co-directing Metamorphosis with Velcrow Ripper, she directed the documentaries Say I Do (CTV, Vision TV), Secrets (CBC’s The Passionate Eye), and Peacing it Together (Red Storm Productions), and was a producer on Occupy Love (Super Channel, Free Speech TV) and Army of One (BBC, CBC, SBS Australia). She was host, director, and writer on the technology and innovation television series The Leading Edge (Knowledge Network), and was host and segment producer of GVTV, a series about urban issues in Vancouver. She has a master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School.
For more than 20 years, Velcrow Ripper has created award-winning documentaries, accompanied by in-depth workshops, that explore the central issues of our times. Velcrow is a certified Transformational Life Coach and has trained in Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg. He has interviewed, and studied with many of the world’s great teachers, including Thich Nhat Hahn, Roshi Joan Halifax, bell hooks, Alice Walker, Thomas Berry, Charles Eisenstein, The Dalai Lama, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, native elders of the Salish Sea, and crisis survivors, who have gifted him with a “fierce spirituality.” His epic “Fierce Light Trilogy” began with the multi-award winning Scared Sacred, a journey to the ground zeroes of the world in search of hope. The trilogy continued with 2008’s Fierce Light, about spiritual activism, and concluded with Occupy Love (2013), about the power of love to create global change. His first feature-length documentary, Bones of the Forest (1995, co-directed with Heather Frise, winner of 9 awards) was about elders and the ancient temperate rainforest of BC. Metamorphosis, co-directed with Nova Ami, is his sixth feature film. www.velcrowripper.com
The workshop opens with an introduction through each of the stages, and then launches into Chrysalis: The Sanctuary. Here, we create a safe place where transformation can begin. Meditation, movement and guided visualizations get us in touch with our inner potential, and help us begin to envision how we can put our gifts into service of a planet in peril.
This is followed by a screening of Metamorphosis. A poem for the planet, this beautiful film takes the pulse of our Earth and bears witness to a moment of profound change: the loss of one world, and the birth of another. Economic growth, tied to increased speed of resource extraction, has created a machine with the capacity to destroy all life. But this crisis is also an opportunity for transformation. Through a tidal flow of stunning images, Metamorphosis carves a path from the present to the future, and offers a bold new vision for humanity and the world. The film screening concludes with a guided discussion and Q&A with the directors.
Next, we will dive into Crisis: The Wake Up Call. Through powerful group exercises we will explore our relationship to the ecological crisis. We learn to face the crisis head on, rather than turn away or numb ourselves.
The next stage is Catharsis: The Release. A guided ecological Tonglen Meditation, along with coaching exercises, will empower us as spiritual warriors, able to face the crisis with our hearts open, and transform our grief into love, preparing to be of service to the planet.
The day concludes with Symbiosis : Ecological Harmony. Here we explore how we can help create a world of mutually enhancing relationships between ourselves and the planet. Break-out group exercises will help each participant develop and expand their visions of transformative possibility, to create a concrete action plan to unwrap our gifts, transform our personal lives and communities, and become a part of the global Metamorphosis that is taking place around the world.
The final phase is Metamorphosis, an exploration of transformation in a time of crisis. How can we transform ourselves? Our community? The world?