EcoSattva Training – Opening Session

Welcome to the 2016 EcoSattva Training!

We’re so pleased you can join this global community. Before we get started, we want to show you the this picture of yourselves as of December, at least all those for whom we could get a good location. Here’s your EcoSattva Sangha Selfie!

The series begins by opening to our situation as it stands now.

In this session, we’ll also be establishing the foundation for the rest of the series by calling in our resources, our sources of refuge for when our situation, inner or outer becomes difficult. For to be an EcoSattva at this point in human history is in part to bring a quality of steadiness, calm and determination. We expect and even hope that the course itself will challenge you (especially in the series core, sessions 3, 4 and 5). It is essential that we know where we to turn when the squeeze is on. So session one also includes a recorded interview with meditation teacher and author Tara Brach, recorded specifically for the EcoSattva Training, on how the practice of resourcing ourselves for difficult times.

Session Leaders

In the live session, One Earth Sangha co-founders Kristin Barker and Lou Leonard are honored to be joined by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk and translator of Pali Buddhist texts. He is also the founding chair of Buddhist Global Relief, an organization dedicated to helping communities worldwide afflicted with chronic hunger and malnutrition. He was appointed editor of the Buddhist Publication Society (in Sri Lanka) in 1984 and its president in 1988. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor, including the Buddha — A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (co-translated with Ven. Bhikkhu Nanamoli (1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha — a New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (2000), and In the Buddha’s Words (2005).

tara-brach

Tara Brach, Ph.D., is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years, with an emphasis on mindfulness or insight meditation. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. Tara is a peace activist and an engaged Buddhist. She is co-founder of the Washington, DC Buddhist Peace Fellowship. A clinical psychologist, she is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. Her latest book, True Refuge: Three Gateways to a Fearless Heart was published by Bantam in 2012.

Engagement Practice

We encourage you to take some time at the outset of the series to identify an opportunity to embody what you are experiencing in the sessions and with the materials. Think of this as the “lab work” learning environment. Choose something where

  1. you anticipate some or even a lot of discomfort and yet you feel called to move in this direction and
  2. where the action itself brings you into community.

Don’t let the idea that you don’t know enough or somehow are not enough to move forward. It’s all practice. The Dharma and this community are here to support you. We offer a few ideas here but the truest answer will come from some combination of your heart’s longing, a sense of need that draws you and then whatever your skills, talents, interests, experience and networks you might have.

  • Join with others in pressing local or regional government to adopt strong emissions reduction and resilience policies.
  • Start a community solar project in your neighborhood or organize efforts to bring solar to your schools, businesses and government facilities.
  • Perhaps you want to help your sangha regularly integrate awareness of ecological and other social issues and practicing responding together to local issues.
  • You might reach out to the local food justice organizers to see how you and others in your community can provide support.
  • If you’re already active on ecological or social issues, choose something that will build resources for you individually or for the group you’re working with. Take steps to build alliances with groups working on intersecting issues.
  • If you’re one of the many over-committed activists (you know who you are!), commit to taking time in silence or in nature every day, just for yourself or for your group. See what it’s like to practice inner “no-ing.”  Alternatively, commit to allowing these teachings re-frame your activism giving it more heart, wisdom, a longer view, resilience or steadiness.

By taking up an area of practice that feels uncomfortable, you’ll get much more out of what is offered here and truly develop as an EcoSattva.

Session Resources

Homework for this session:
Since this is the opening of the series, there is no homework per se but you are invited to explore the following materials. The rest of the sessions will offer both preparation materials (i.e., “homework”) and optional follow up resources which you might be interested in exploring after the session.


Transcript:  [download id=”4206″] (PDF)

View the Recorded Session
To view in full screen, click the maximize button on the player control:vimeomaximize

Session Transcript: [download id=”6858″] (PDF)
This transcription was generously donated by Sangha member Marti Hanna

Optional / Follow-Up Resources:

  • Supplement to the recorded session: [download id=”5988″] (PDF)
  • Referenced by Bhikkhu Bodhi in the live session: [download id=”6003″] (PDF)
  • Original (2015) Session One Recording featuring Thanissara, Kaira Jewel Lingo and Lama Willa Miller: [download id=”3670″]
  • Article: Zen and the Art of Protecting the Planet, An Interview with Thích Nhất Hạnh
  • Article: Only Love Can Save us from Climate Change, An Interview with Thích Nhất Hạnh
  • Book/Film: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
  • Last year’s series opening featuring Kaira Jewel Lingo and Lama Willa Miller, hosted by Thanissara (note that this has not been updated for 2016): [download id=”3670″] (PDF transcript [download id=”3834″])

Join an EcoSattva Sangha

It’s not too late to reach out to members of your community to join you in this training. Groups of 3 or more enjoy a discounted registration fee but the real reason to form a group is the development of Sangha. Online sanghas are forming now so send an email to Terry, our Sangha Farmer, and he’ll do his best to match you up.

Dana – Generosity

To maximize participation, we are offering this series at minimal cost. All of the teachers and leaders on these calls offer their gifts freely in this spirit of dana. In addition, One Earth Sangha has full-time staff who will be supported through the practice of dana, or generosity, from people like you.

If you value this and other offerings from One Earth Sangha and want to support a Dharma-informed response to ecological crises, we invite you to support these efforts. Dana, or generosity, is considered an essential part of practice. We simply cannot continue our work without your support. Any amount you offer is deeply appreciated.

Next in the series: Session 2 – Refuge in Sangha