Dear One Earth Sangha members,
I am delighted to invite you to join me this summer for a seven day residential workshop “Contemplative Environmental Practice” at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico from July 27th to August 2nd.
For the past several years, Dr. Paul Wapner and meditation teacher Jeff Warren have been bringing together academicians and activists to develop more skillful ways of confronting environmental challenges. This year, I will join them as faculty for this workshop to deepen our exploration of the role of contemplative practice in our pedagogical and activist efforts. Through daily meditation, journal writing, nature walks, and other reflective exercises as well as scholarly discussion, we will probe the depths of the environmental crisis and develop resources to work and teach on behalf of global sustainability. (No prior experience in meditation or other contemplative practices is necessary.)
As members of this One Earth Sangha fully appreciate, environmental issues are not simply political, technological, or economic dilemmas but also existential challenges that require us to reflect upon the meaning of our individual and collective lives. Furthermore, the scale and pace of environmental degradation call on us to allow spiritual and cultural transformation and enhance our skills as educators, activists, and ordinary citizens like never before. This workshop offers the opportunity to deepen such efforts by facilitating meaningful dialogue between activists and academicians, probing the interface between our personal and professional lives, and introducing contemplative practices tailored specifically for use in the classroom and in political organizing. Part seminar and part retreat, the workshop provides the chance to step back from our frenetic lives and, in the midst of stunning beauty and a supportive community, integrate our deepest spiritual yearnings with our professional and personal commitments to protect the earth.
Lama is a beautiful, off-grid retreat center committed to sustainable and mindful living. Ram Dass wrote “Be Here Now” under Lama’s tall ponderosa pines in 1971 and it continues to provide an ideal setting for reflection and engagement with contemplative environmental issues. We will begin each morning with meditation instruction and practice (zazen), and weave in art exercises and other reflective practices into substantive discussions throughout each day. There will be time to deepen one’s personal practice, speak with teachers, hike, participate in Lama community activities, or simply be.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Paul if you have any logistical questions. There are scholarships for graduate students.
Warm bows (Gassho in Zen-speak),
Summer Workshop 2016
Contemplative Environmental Practice: Retreat for Academicians and Activists
Wednesday, July 27 – Tuesday, August 2, Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, New Mexico
- Paul Wapner, Professor of Global Environmental Politics, American University
- Kritee (Kanko), Scientist, Activist, Zen Teacher, Environmental Defense Fund
- Jeff Warren, Author and Meditation Instructor