Center to BE - Erasmus+ training course

We have been invited to be, move, play, observe, listen, share, explore, experiment, challenge ourselves, learn from within and from each other, get to know new people & ways & attitudes, and create this experience together.

We explored and experimented with activities and methods which helped us to tune in into the unfolding moment and to cultivate our ability to be present.

Center to BE has been an 8-day training course, aimed to introduce and explore “Mindfulness” in interactive and playful ways and to experiment with practical and fun tools and techniques that can be readily used in daily life, creative work and in the other situations and places too.

Where and When

The training course took place in Centro Didattico Ambientale Valpore, on Monte Grappa massif (Northern Italy mountains), 1-10 July (travel days included). Valpore offer a very basic and simple accommodation, in shared rooms with bunk beds. It is a very special place, a pearl among the mountains, that will allow us to merge with the surrounding nature. Please, take a moment to visit the following links:

Website of the venue >>
Map of the place >>

The delicious food was vegan/vegetarian, prepared with love and care by Le Gemme (Gemma Paganelli).

Some testimonials

I have discovered things about myself personally. I have learnt new activties, exercises that can be used in embodied workshops or projects. I have learnt about the pace of a training and how to dosage the energy for a whole week. I have learnt that when people are in an environment full of acceptance, love, where they can feel seen and valued, they thrive! They let themselves be seen the way they are and it is beautiful!
It was a very nourishing and enriching experience, both on personal and professional level. An experience that will stay in my heart and mind for a long time. It was the exact environment that I need to absorb, to create, to express myself the way I am. Really special. Thank you!

Raluca (Romania)

It was one of the most powerful and meaningful experience of my life. It exceeded my expectations. I wanted to become more mindful, find out about new methods I could use at work but got a deep and meaningful experience that touched me from within and got me amazing connections beyond my anticipations. The methods were creative, unique and well thought out, I will use them for self-regulation and for designing activities working with teenagers. I learned a lot about myself (my own strenghts and struggles), to be more present, to be in contact with my primal self, be more body aware (about my own body and others), how to organise activities, etc. 

Lana (Slovenia)

The training was astonishing, you know, way higher than expected. Didn't expect that in the end I would feel as one with everyone else in the group. Didn't expect to explore and discovery so many possibilities inside of myself, didn't expect this burst of creativity that I'm having now. Didn't expect to feel so loved and appreciated so fast by so many people, to feel free to speak and express as I felt. 

The deep connection with nature, the feeling of being in this enormous piece of mass that we call earth, that I can scream at, stab, put fire on and it still holds me, loves me, cares for me. This impression made feel so safe and abundant.

Pedro (Portugal)

Who was this training for?

The training was designed for youth workers, volunteers and other people who work with people and want to refresh their skills and attitudes to their days, to others, to work and to the world. ​

We aimed to have an overall of 24 participants from Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Romania, France, Portugal & Greece.

Participants being over 18 years old and have a communicative level of English language, so they could participate fully in the program.

We gathered who:

● wanted to explore and experiment with body based methods, movement, theater, dance, meditative and relaxation techniques, arts, creative expression,

● wanted to use and imply the learned skills in their professional work with people,

● were open to sharing their own skills and learning the skills with others,

● were motivated and willing to commit to work during the whole duration of the project (preparation, training course, follow-up activities)

What have we been doing?

● collecting new inputs and inspiration that renew motivations to act with commitment and new ideas.

● refreshing curiosity and playfulness in approaching your work in order to prevent burning out.

● improving your trainers’ and personal skills to be more efficient, adaptable, responding to issues and demands in your work and daily life.

● widening your perspectives and points of view to see new opportunities, create new patterns, and avoid situations of stalemate when working with people with different cultural background.

● gathering specific tools from non formal fields (theater, dance, meditation, creative expression) that are not easily accessible for all the youth workers.

Working methods

In the 8 days together, we aimed to BE, move, play, observe, listen, share, explore, experiment, challenge ourselves, learn from within and from each other, get to know new people & ways & attitudes, and create this experience together.

We have been exploring and learning presence by being in nature for most of the time, no matter the weather. Being prepared to let it be.

The course also had a strong component based on the sharing of ideas, feelings, experiences and best practices.

Previous experiences with mindfulness practices were not needed to attend the training.

Team of facilitators

Antonio Cargnello (Trainer) is a passionate trainer who loves to craft experiences for self development, group awareness, creative expression and pursuit of a wise and joyful freedom. He facilitates workshops for teenagers, students, youth workers and adults, using and mixing his expertise and experiences from theatrical improvisation, contemporary dance, martial arts and contact improvisation.

Andrej Dobes (Trainer) is a naturally curious kid exploring the universal magic of life on his travels around the world and in different roles in multi-culti educational youth projects and initiatives. His main passion and mission is experimenting with different methods and tools and trying to bring “mind-fool” and playful approach into youth work through nature, mindfulness and movement based activities.

Francesca Pirisi (Guest teacher) is a student of Feldenkrais, qualified to teach CAM, ~ (Awareness Through Movement). She deepens her personal and artistic research, continuing his passion for drawing, theatre and music. Her intent is to spread the approach of Feldenkrais Method in the art field, enhancing the multidisciplinary and contamination between the various facets that make up the human being and its inhabiting the earth.