The EcoSattva Training – A Collaborative Enterprise
We are learning together what it means and what it takes to practice in a time of ecological crises. Over the course of the last seven months, this first ever online EcoSattva Training has developed, benefiting from the wise reflection of our guiding teachers, participating leaders and most of all from you, our sangha. As the coordinator of this series, I have been both agent in and witness to this process. Here in the depth of summer, the series seems to have found its shape. Centered around the core of earth and climate dharma, the course will be grounded in your engagement projects and supported by dedicated sanghas.
Dharma and Inspiration
The heart of the course is the eight online, interactive sessions over ten Sundays starting September 13. Guided by a wealth of diverse voices, we will begin with resourcing ourselves for the journey, confront the “hindrances” to the EcoSattva path, explore forms of collective response and and finally inspire action on behalf of all beings as a form of deep practice. The two-hour sessions will include wisdom from Dharma leaders, interactive inquiries and practices with members of the global online sangha, a question and answer period and concluding with blessings for our efforts. Each session will be supported by materials leading in as preparation and coming out for further exploration. We’ll also host a discussion forum here on our site for you to ask questions and share reflections.
Grounding Our Practice in Action
Whether to deepen our current practice of wisdom in action or to confront the escape of endless preparation, participants will be asked to identify an area for their personal engagement, something that resonates with them as wise response and work with that project throughout the course. It could be something directed at your own areas of ecological impact (finally doing that energy audit and taking the next steps); or bringing your neighbors or dharma community together to take collective action (banding together with neighbors to buy cheaper rooftop solar panels); or moving into climate activism in an authentically mindful way (organizing the Buddhist presence at a demonstration related to a climate justice policy decision or joining a direct action to prevent ecological harm). These are just examples and there will be time at the beginning of the course to help you identify and define your project. All are encouraged to “start where you are” and take the next (maybe scary) step forward. To cultivate engagement in your area, we will challenge participants to reach out to their local sangha to share in their efforts.
Support from Sangha
The final element of the EcoSattva Training is connecting with one another during the course in facilitated small groups — your own EcoSattva Sangha. Through these small groups, participants can share experiences of and further explore content from the Sunday online sessions, receive support for their wise action engagement projects and deepen relationships with others. You may choose to form your own group with people from your local sangha meeting in-person or participate by phone in a group assigned by One Earth Sangha based on your time zone. Groups will be self-organized with a point person who will receive guidance from our EcoSattva Sangha teacher, Susie Harrington who is the lead Dharma teacher at Desert Dharma and an adviser to One Earth Sangha. Learn more about these EcoSattva Sanghas here and if you have registered for the course but not yet signed up to join a group yet, you can do that here.
We invite your reflection and feedback. Does this structure work? If not, what changes would you suggest? Do you have specific suggestions about how we execute any of these elements? What other aspects of the training need refinement or rethinking?