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Thanissara

Thanissara

Thanissara embodies the integration of the contemplative with the activist. Trained in the Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition, she was a monastic for 12 years. She and husband Kittisaro founded Dharmagiri in South Africa where they integrated activism on AIDS with hosting Theravadan retreats. As senior teachers at Spirit Rock, Thanissara and Kittisaro later co-founded Sacred Mountain Sangha based in California. She has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy from the UK, and is author of several books, including Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth — The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes.
Moving toward Atonement, Advocacy,
and Communion with Earth
In an age of separation, how might we bring ourselves back into sacred relationship with Earth? On February 26, Thanissara led this EcoDharma Exploration on activism rooted in radical belonging.
Cultivating the Conditions for Transformation
In this second session, we will especially make space for difficult emotions, such as fear, grief, and rage. We can investigate the narratives that support these emotions and how they might be loosened, meeting our habitual defensive responses not only with kindness but with clarity, courage, and determination.
A World in Free Fall Calls Us to Rise Up
As the old paradigm of endless growth, extraction, and exploitation proves increasingly unable to sustain its contradictions, Thanissara invites us to step fearlessly into the radical, collective transformation that is already underway.
Part 2: Thanissara
Thanissara, a frequent and cherished partner of One Earth Sangha, gave the second talk of our Standing in Solidarity gathering.
Cultivating the Conditions for Transformation
In this second session, we will especially make space for difficult emotions, especially fear, grief, and rage. We can investigate the narratives that support these emotions and how they might be loosened, meeting our habitual defensive responses not only with kindness but with clarity, courage, and determination. This is an ambitious journey, one that requires not only safety and compassion, but also a certain boldness. We are challenging massive forces and patterns; Mara doesn’t go down easy (and gets back up). So we can also purposefully discover and nourish our wholesome ambition.
Tap into the sacred power of community, even as we remain separated from one another in space. The recording of the Kuan Yin Compassion Ceremony, led by Thanissara and Kittisaro on November 8, is now available to all who wish to participate.
Background Resource
If you wish to learn the history and practice key components of the ceremony before participating, start here.
Cultivating the Conditions for Transformation
In this second session, we will especially make space for difficult emotions, especially fear, grief, and rage. We can investigate the narratives that support these emotions and how they might be loosened, meeting our habitual defensive responses not only with kindness but with clarity, courage, and determination. This is an ambitious journey, one that requires not only safety and compassion, but also a certain boldness. We are challenging massive forces and patterns; Mara doesn’t go down easy (and gets back up). So we can also purposefully discover and nourish our wholesome ambition.
As wildfire threatens to engulf her home, and as the world faces disaster following on disaster, Thanissara draws courage from the extraordinary spirit of solidarity she encountered at Standing Rock.
Throughout the pandemic, the slaughterhouse has been a hotbed of virus transmission among its workers. But our compassion can't stop there. We are called to confront and remedy the horrific treatment of animals raised to feed us.