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The Four R’s of Deep Adaptation

No Time to Lose


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In this video, Joanna Macy first invites us to flip the narrative of personal and collective despair that is so easy to fall victim to in these days of multiple global crises. She encourages us instead to fully embrace the moment and the role we may play in giving birth to new life-sustaining values and practices. To help with that monumental task, she leads us in examining the values that can help or hinder us in facing the unknown, built around Jem Bendell’s work on deep adaptation.


The Four R’s of Deep Adaptation

  • Resilience – What values and behaviors do you want to keep in our culture and your daily life? (8:33)
  • Relinquishment – What values and behaviors are you ready to let go of? (12:13)
  • Restoration – What are the values and behaviors that you used to have in your culture or another culture that you’d like to adopt? (14:37)
  • Reconciliation – With whom do you want to make peace while you can? (16:56)



“How incredible, how lucky I am that I should be given this life, when so much depends on us.”

“We are going to build a redemptive, beautiful, non-violent culture, a life sustaining society, and we know by now we have the resources to do that, with our planet and with our minds and with our hands.”

“My friends, please stay mystified as to your actual identity.”



This teaching is excerpted from No Time to Lose: A Dharma Response to Climate Change, a daylong event hosted in September 2019 by Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center. Participating teachers included Joanna Macy, Belvie Rooks, Jennifer Berezan, Venerable Anālayo, James Baraz, Thanissara, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and others. View the video from the entire day here.

Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy

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
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