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Meet the Facilitator

 

PRESS BIO

Résumé | Facilitator
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"One of the best ritualists in North America"

Elder Malidoma Somé

For full texts and video testimonials see below

In a time where everything indigenous is at risk of destruction, Jones has become an advocate for the revival of the conversation between the modern world and the wisdom of Indigenous Cultures. Sorrowed by the very loss of the wild in modernity, he has dedicated much of his life to re-establishing an alliance between the two.

 

Over the last 35 years, Jones has trained with such renowned teachers as Malidoma Somé, Michael Meade, Daniel Deardorff, Sobonfu Somé, David MacMurray Smith, Linda Galloway, Francis Weller, Stephen Jenkinson, Martín Prechtel, Marion Woodman and Robert Bly. Daniel Deardorff called him, "A ritual genius."

 

Through his dynamic studies in mythology, ritual, rhythm, dance, counselling and storytelling, he has developed a unique style of facilitating what has become an increasingly necessary experiential discourse between humans, nature, and the spirit world. He is the author of "Medicine Without an Expiry Date: Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble."

 

STATEMENT

Résumé | Facilitator
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2021 Artist Statement

For the past twenty years I have had an independent practice working with people in gatherings I have organized, designed, and led. The gatherings work in the way of the Earth’s traditional peoples, re-inviting nature and spirit into a “larger than only human” community. In these gatherings, the interdisciplinary concept “it takes a village” informs the creation of learning environments that encourage transformative extension on aspects of self, and the way self relates to social, natural and imaginative environments.

I see education as overlapping with leadership training, and the development of ecological and systemic recognition of whole systems. The gatherings I lead understand personal psychology as part of a full ecological process. In effect I have been a self-employed facilitator of community development and personal growth. I see facilitation (following Trevor Bentley) as, “the provision of opportunities, resources, encouragement and support for the group to succeed in achieving its objectives and to do this through enabling the group to take control and responsibility for the way they proceed.”

 

My main framework has been inspired by several teachers. Dr Michael Meade, (Mosaic Foundation) works with myth and its modern application, extending upon the work of Joseph Campbell, and others. David McMurray Smith (Fantastic Space) works as an independent educator in Personal Performance and Theatre studies since starting his own studio after an academic career as a director and producer. Speaking more broadly, I have been influenced by thinkers such as Lyall Watson, Ivan Illich, Wade Davis, Chistopher Alexander and Gregory Bateson. Foremost, Dr. Malidoma Somé has brought the indigenous wisdom of his people, the Dagara of Burkina Fasso to share with the West to, originally on the instruction of tribal Elders.

 

Somé’s assignment (and genius) has been to bridge the gap between indigenous ways of knowing and the modern. His education was unique, combining a western academic education (he holds three Master’s degrees and Two PhDs) with a traditional one (he is also a traditional diviner, shaman, and initiated Elder). The implied charge passed on to me is to give the seeds of this knowledge an independent planting in the modern world—working with the practices of indigenous knowledge in a modern setting.

 

Examples of my work include rituals with the elements of fire, water, earth, mineral, and nature, which are the five “clans” of the Dagara mythology. Specific purposes range between healing from grief and ancestral wounds, to liberating creative energy, the expression of authentic voice, recognition and remembering of  life purpose, and restoring love for the Earth and nature as community values. Traditional storytelling, which historically has always educated about the intersection of personal life and the life of the community, is a foundation stone of the work. Therefore, in the above context, rituals are events that serve to create a space where communication between the human and “other-than-human” worlds can happen. Each is simultaneously specific to a purpose and general to the ongoing issues of community, healing, and initiation.

 

I see the current challenge of critiquing a dominant culture based on limitless expansion and consumption of being an issue of zeitgeist, of world view or paradigm, pervading all but marginal spaces. In such work, issues of human experience—feeling, imagination, embodiment, intellect, and spirit must be central to any attempt to re-orient and express human existence in a fashion in tune with ecological realities. By necessity, this work is rightly innovative and improvisational to ensure it is responsive to needs and conditions, adopting models from various disciplines, and adapting them in bricolage where seemingly appropriate. 

 

CV 2021

Résumé | Facilitator

Independent Educator

Various 1999 — Current

Relevant Study

1995-2015
Cairo 2018
Wales 2019

Performance / Creative Study

Vancouver 1995-2015

Independent Scholarship

2014

Technical Writing

 Vancouver 1997
Vancouver 1995

Humanitarian Mapping

Sierra Leone 2017
Tanzania 2017

Counselling

Vancouver 1991-1994

Relevant Study

Vancouver 1985-1987

Television Production

Vancouver 1985-1994
Vancouver 1997-2000

Project Management

Kenya 2011
Vancouver 1995-2015
Vancouver1984-1990
Calgary  1979-1982

Randy Thomas Jones

"One of the best ritualists in North America"

Wild Genius

Malidoma Somé, Michael Meade, Sobonfu Somé, Martin Prechtel, Robert Bly, Marion Woodman, Daniel Deardorff, Wendy Jarvis, Kushad Watson, Francis Weller                       

Deep Democracy Institute

Spirit Horse Cauldron of Plenty  

Fantastic Space Enterprises, Uncommon Sense,

Wondertree Education Society, Harbour Dance, Western Front, Russel Shumsky, Pepe Danza

Physical training for performers, emotional training for performers, ensemble work process, creative process training, clown, exploratory movement, Jazz Dance, African Dance, Wondertree Learning Consultant Training, Drumming (Jembe)

“Medicine Without an Expiry Date:  Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble"

Introduction by Dr. Malidoma Somé | 512 pages

​"Co-operative Hunting With the Bionic Eye            Community Television Volunteer Manual

"Embodiment Workshop"

Vancouver Persons With Aids Society

Project Manager

West Africa Motorcycle Mapping

Student Mentor

Dar Es Salaam Ramani Huria

Youth and Family Counsellor

Odyssey Substance Abuse Services for Youth

Linda Galloway

Discovery Group Cohort Training

Producer, Director, Host, Writer, Editor, Camera

Kitsilano Neighbourhood Television

Award: Best Youth Video WCCTA 1992

A Journey of Growth, Not a War on Drugs 28m

Instructor, Board Member, Membership Director

Independent Community Television Cooperative

Construction Consultant

Bikram Yoga Nairobi

Construction Management

Alchemy Handcraft | Proprietor

Landscape Design & Installation

The Garden Keepers | Proprietor

Landscape Design & Installation

Evergreen Integrity | Proprietor

MODERN RITUAL PROCESS AND STORYTELLING

 

LONG BIO

Résumé | Facilitator
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Fire: Maasi Land, East Africa

Tanzania, East Africa, home of lions, wildebeest, gazelle, elephants, and zebra, surrounded by ancient African magic, very near the heart of human origin, Olduvai Gorge. The first peak of my childhood imagination was not in the Rockies, fringing the Great Plains in Alberta, where I had been born, but Kilimanjaro, tallest mountain in Africa. Returning to Canada, I soon learned that North America also once had herds of buffalo (according to historical accounts) thirty miles wide. I was irrevocably lonely for the seething life of the "dark continent," and more than that, for something that would take time to understand: I was forlorn for the very loss of the wild in modernity. I knew at a young age the truth of those lines from Wallace Stevens:

 "It is equal to living in a tragic land to live in a tragic time."

Wild  Genius | Résumé | Facilitator