Lessons from a Solstice

June EcoDharma Exploration

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What can sweltering summers and deep winters teach us about our response-abilities within a warming climate? How might attuning to Earth’s cycles help us to sustain compassionate and dynamic engagement as global temperatures rise?

Featuring

 

  • Practice materials are available now, and registration remains open through the end of June.
  • Mark your calendar for the live capstone gathering on Sunday, June 27

Overview

The heat of our warming biosphere invites varied and dynamic responses. When we’re connected to natural seasons and cycles, we can see this more clearly. Earth’s dynamism is seasonal and responsive—this seasonal transformation is constantly teaching us as we negotiate within ecosystems. We are part of a cosmic diplomacy.

We don’t need fixed answers to ecological problems. We don’t need to cling to hope, or live in fear. We don’t need one solid truth about activism, spirituality, or healing. Instead, like the seasons, we can discover an agility and wild diversity in our ecological awareness and action. In the summer we might blaze. In the autumn we may feast and celebrate. In the winter we might rest or go dormant. In the spring we may begin to create. Though capitalism and colonialism tend towards constant productivity and profit, it remains possible to rest and move seasonally.

Many non-modern cultures live within ritual worlds that celebrate the specific teachings of each season. In our month of practices and our live capstone session together, we will drink deeply from the teachings of the heat of the summer solstice. Drawing from Buddhist psychology and tantric teachings, food systems thinking, traditional ritual, and community practices, we will explore a nimble and multifaceted approach to environmental justice and global warming.

As much as possible, we will work with the global polarity of northern and southern hemispheres—summer heat and cold winter—and the experience of opposite solstice seasons. However, as the presenters live in the northern hemisphere and are committed to a radically emplaced approach, we will focus on the qualities of summer heat and growth cycles. In this way, we acknowledge that there will be a northern-hemisphere bias.

Video Introduction

Adam Lobel offers a brief introduction of the context, goals, and themes of this Exploration.

Practice Format

This EcoDharma Exploration is part of a new series of programming designed to engage you and your groups in exploring a particular aspect of EcoDharma together over the course of a month. Yet this isn’t an “online retreat” nor is it a stand-alone, one-off webinar. Rather, it’s an extended offering designed to help you go deep with the teachings and practices.

As soon as you register, you’ll have access to guided contemplations, teachings, and practices from our three leaders. After exploring these teachings and practices on your own or in groups over the course of three weeks, you’re invited to join all registered participants and the featured leaders online in a live capstone gathering on June 27 from 12:30-3:30 pm EDT. This gathering will be recorded and made available several days later, for anyone unable to attend. The Exploration concludes with invitations for follow-up actions related to the month’s themes.

Registration for groups and individuals is now open.

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Support for Groups and Individuals

For the first time for this EcoDharma Exploration, we’re supporting group registration. Groups of three or more people will receive a 25% discount on each individual’s registration fee.

As always, we encourage you to engage with this series of offerings in community, to whatever extent that’s available to you. Perhaps you journeyed through the EcoSattva training with others, or you’re part of an EcoSangha that meets regularly. Maybe you belong to a spiritual or activist community, or just have a friend or two you’d like to explore this terrain with. We invite you to reach out to your people and bring them along, or visit our group directory to browse open groups. Regardless of whether you join on your own or with others, we’ll provide you with practices that support the teachings to take root.

If you’re part of a group, your organizer should send you the link for registration so that you can pay the group rate. If you’re not part of a group, you are more than welcome to register for the Exploration as an individual.

Schedule

Teachings and practices from our three leaders are available as soon as you register. You decide how you want to engage with the material offered—a little bit every day, a day-long deep dive, or somewhere in between. Then, on June 27, join us for a gathering with the leaders, with opportunities for everyone to participate in a ritual dimension.

Registration for groups and individuals remains open through the end of June.

Available Now

  • Registration for groups and individuals (will remain open through the end of June)
  • Welcome video from One Earth Sangha
  • Core Dharma Offering: Recorded conversation between the three exploration leaders
  • Fire offering video
  • Audio guided meditation
  • In-depth inquiry practice for groups and individuals
  • Guidance for land-based practices related to season and place
  • Additional suggested readings and online videos

On June 27

  • LIVE conversation with teachers and capstone gathering (zoom webinar)
  • Engaged Practice Opportunities:
    • ways for you or you and your group to take actions inspired by this exploration will be offered in the live gathering and in the program materials

This event will be recorded and added to the session materials by July 1.

Registration Fees and Dana (Generosity)

Registration includes access to all materials and the live capstone session on June 27. Our fees are structured as a sliding scale based on your access to wealth. More about our fee structure here. Discounts for group membership are applied to these fees.

You can convert USD (US Dollars) into your currency with this currency converter.

Members of groups of 3 or more individuals receive a 25% discount.

For people with medium, high, or very high access to wealth in the global context:

  • Supporter rate: $130 USD
  • Basic rate: $65 USD

For people with low access to wealth in the global context:

  • Supporter rate: $50 USD
  • Basic rate: $30 USD

No one will be turned away for lack of funds. If you are unable to afford the basic rate, please reach out to us: .

We will invite dana or generosity for our leaders as well as One Earth Sangha as part of the materials and live gathering.

Leaders

Adam Lobel

Adam served as a teacher (acharya) in the Shambhala tradition from 2005-2018; he designed the curriculum and trained teachers for the international Shambhala meditation centers. A speaker on ecology and spirituality at the United Nations, he was part of the first delegation of Buddhist teachers invited to the White House under President Obama. He leads ecodharma workshops called “Silent Transformations,” has taught in the Ecosattva Training, is a Greenfaith fellow, and is active in ecological and social justice movements. Adam’s teachings focus on Great Perfection Tibetan Buddhism, modern phenomenology, and inoperative studies (Heidegger, Foucault, Agamben). As a founding practitioner-educator at the City of Bridges High School, he has a longstanding interest in progressive contemplative education and transformative pedagogy. A professor of Buddhist and phenomenological psychology, he is curious about a cultural therapeutics for our collapsing society. He remains attuned-to an awakened, just, terrestrial society. Adam teaches a critical style of contemplative training that seeks to avoid enclosure in neoliberal mindfulness while still disclosing effortless awareness. He is currently developing what he calls “four fields” of contemplative practices for potential worlds.

Michelle King

Michelle King is a Learning Instigator, Love Activist, and Transformer. Her origin story is rooted in being an Army Brat, child of an Ethiopian immigrant, and teaching middle school for over 22 years in public schools in Southwestern PA. She learned and honed her craft in Mt. Lebanon for over 16 years plus five years at The Environmental Charter School. Her current interests are in game-based-learning, design, justice, equity, the environment and teacher empowerment. Currently through her varied partnerships, she is seeking to co-create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy. Current Conundrums: What do humans need to learn now? How might we create empathetic institutions that remind us of our humanity? How might we re-design for equity and social justice in and out of school learning? How might we allow those connections to help us re-see the worlds we inhabit? How might we co-create the Beloved Community in this lifetime?

Fitzhugh Shaw

Fitzhugh Shaw lives uphill from Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill in Braddock, Pennsylvania, United States, with his wife and child. He’s a white descendent of Chickasaw and Scottish ancestors. He’s an urban farmer engaged in food justice, soil-building, and land healing. He’s also an ancestor-wrangler, writer, artist, and frequent napper. He takes care of two dogs, one cat, a school of fish, two humans, a flock of hens, and a whole lotta mushroom and plant people. In his scholarship, Fitzhugh explores intersections between peoples’ histories, ritual practice, political movements, and food systems. In his fiction, he dreams histories of a liberatory future. His art practice expands through the cracks in our current ideologies, wondering about the kinds of listening that are possible when we release our purity and security blankets. He is curious about the rituals of his ancestors and how to mix their wisdom with the wisdom of the dharma without tokenizing either. Currently, he manages a large, urban market garden for a Black-led and Black-serving non-profit in Pittsburgh through which he teaches agriculture and food literacy. He sometimes writes at foodpower.site.

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Questions?

If you still have questions, check out our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and if you don’t see your question answered there, let us know by email and we’ll do our best!