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Listening to Young Voices

No Time to Lose


Estimated reading time: 1 minute
Young people are voicing grief about the loss of their world—and organizing to stop it. Kirsten Rudestam, a young dharma teacher herself, asks us to heed their calls.
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In this video, Kirsten Rudestam describes her work bringing people into connection with the “more than human world,” and particularly working with youth on environmental education, deep nature connection, and rites of passage. Underscoring the fears driving an upsurge in youth climate activism, she notes: “These young people are having their future taken away from them. The best way I know to address their pain… is to accompany them and to listen.”


“What is it to respond to the cries of the world with an open heart?”

“What emerges in space that feels safe to share, where the listener doesn’t move to fix, to repair or spring into action?”

“Nature is the best of all teachers.”

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.

Picture of Kirsten Rudestam

Kirsten Rudestam

Kirsten Rudestam is an environmental educator, wilderness guide, and meditation teacher. She has a PhD in Environmental Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she studied environmental justice and Indigenous water practices. She has fifteen years of experience teaching field-based and classroom-based college courses in environmental studies and sociology, is trained as a vision fast guide through the School of Lost Borders and is a facilitator for Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects. Kirsten has been practicing vipassana meditation since 2001. She, Gil Fronsdal, and Susie Harrington are the co-founders and core faculty for the Sati Center Buddhist Eco-Chaplaincy training program. Those interested in joining the program in the future are invited to contact them at . The second training will begin in July 2021, with applications opening winter of 2020-21.
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