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Dancing with the Earth

Joanna Macy in Conversation with David Loy


Estimated reading time: 1 minute
In this wide-ranging conversation, Joanna and David bring forward the misunderstood, under-emphasized, and omitted gifts of the Buddha's teachings for today's troubled world.
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In July 2021, Joanna Macy spoke with David Loy in this conversation hosted the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. They met on the occasion of the update to her modern classic, “World As Lover, World as Self.” First published 30 years ago, the new version is edited by EcoDharma scholar Stephanie Kaza and includes new chapters as well as forewords by Joan Halifax and Thích Nhất Hạnh.


“That temptation to use spiritual beliefs and practices as showing you an exit door has made us strangers in our own world and resentful to be here and we associate the tranquility we feel in our practice with something up there, apart from our world.”

“The great turning is happening now but it’s hard to see without knowing where to look, but once you do, you’ll find that there’s a lot of you.”

“Once you’re out taking a risk, whatever it is, and doing something with others, you fall in love with life.”

Picture of Joanna Macy and David Loy

Joanna Macy and David Loy

Joanna Macy, PhD is a scholar of Buddhism, systems theory and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice and ecology, she gives trainings worldwide for eco-warriors and activists for global justice. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change. Her books include World as Lover, World as Self, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World and A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Times. Her website is

David Robert Loy is vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. He is a professor, writer, and teacher in the Sanbo tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. A student of Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken, he was authorized to teach in 1988 and leads retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. He is author of EcoDharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis and A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World, and he is co-editor of A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency. His website is
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