On Tuesday evening, Diane, Marc and I participated to a very special event in a particular place…
On Top of Hills is a movement founded by Diane one year ago. Diane works in talent development through action and is particularly sensitive to freedom of expression.
On Top of Hills collaborative events gather around 10 people for a day or two, and together, participants co-create unique experiential workshops in which each person shares her/his talent with others.
Diane launched this On Top of Hills Romanian initiative very spontaneously 3 days before when she met Alina, co-founder of the Laborazon Makerspace in Brasov, Romania. Alina was very excited by the idea and gathered participants interested to take part in the event.
Laborazon is a makerspace. A makerspace is a community-operated working place where people make things by themselves using tools, resources, skills and knowledge they share. These innovative environments promote open-source models and equal and free access to information.
Laborazon is the first makerspace in Brasov, Romania. The place provide access to tools that allow to manufacture objects. Laborazon also gives classes in the fields of Textiles, Wood, Electronics, Robotics, etc. The makerspace shelters students, hobbists, artisans, designers and tech geeks in the hope to create a collaborative community that will help flourish the town of Brasov.
Our unique On Top of Hills @ Laborazon experience !
Here are some of the workshops we experimented that night :
At first, Maria offered a 4-folded workshop. It started with a synergy yoga warm-up, then she read a very inspiring extract from the book The Gift – Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde. Then she put some music and we did an artistic dance performance. Finally, we had a few minutes of meditation.
Then we went on the rooftop of Laborazon. Alex loves nature and he had brought a pair of special glasses with powerful lenses (x20) and things he had found in the forest – leaves, stones, flowers… One by one, we could have a new very macro vision of things that surround us.
After that, Alina asked a few of us to say a word that came to our mind. Here they are : mountain, house, light, curse. Then she gave us instructions : we would have 20 minutes to write a story including the 4 words. She suggested to be particularly careful about some aspects – creating an impactful beginning, thinking of a catching title, designing a story with a hero, using an active style, having a climax moment, and using short sentences. In the end, each of us read his/her story. I found really wonderful to see the imagination, creativity, inner world and style of each of us !
Here is the story I wrote – you will see that there is a mix of influence between my recent Plum Village experience and the Romania spirit !
« The Bouddhist baby bear »
Browny the baby bear was totally shaking and crying. He had just met Zelda, the terrifying witch of Brasov mountain. She was very angry and cast a curse on him : « You will never see your parents again until you find the orange berry tree ! »
Browny remained 3 days in despair. Then he decided to walk in the forest. He was looking everywhere but there were only blueberry trees. He was eating blueberries all the time because he missed his family.
During 100 days he looked for orange berry trees all the day. He was very desperate, and finally he decided to give up and stop looking for orange berry trees.
The next day, he saw a light in the sky : a shooting star ! He had the intuition that he should follow that direction – because he had no more objective. He arrived at a house the next morning, and looked inside. It was the house of Lara, the fairy of the mountain.
He told her his story and she said to him : « I have the orange berry tree, and I was waiting for you. But you have to prove to me that you have learnt how to live a good life during all the time you were looking for the orange berry tree. »
« What did you learn ? »
He took one minute to think. « I learnt that when you look for something desperately, you never find it. And when you decide to stop desiring something desperately, the solution arrives magically. »
The fairy said : « You see, maybe Zelda cast a terrible curse on you. Or maybe it is a curse that will allow you to live a totally different life ! Go outside and turn left, you will find the orange berry tree and meet your family. »
After this creative moment, Marc brought us back to reality sharing his expertise as a mountain guide ! We talked about the bears of the forest, how to use a compass, and what to do when you are lost in the forest.
As for me, I offered a singing moment called « The cathedral of sounds » : we all gather in a circle, close to each other, and sing sounds. It creates something quite magic. I have now a special thought for my friend Thomas who made me experience this for the first time in his Mindful Codevelopment sessions 😉
Lastly, Anna proposed a massage workshop.
It was a really great moment of connection and experimentation all together in this special place. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the workshops were both addressing our mind and body !
Diane had shared with me a lot about On Top of Hills and I was very eager to experiment one, as I might be organizing some in the months to come !
Links & information
If you are interested in organizing an On Top of Hills event, feel free to contact Diane :
To know more about Laborazon (in Romanian) :
Concerning Alina the cofounder of Laborazon :