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Love This Whole Messed-Up World


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
What would it mean to enter into an unconditional relationship with Earth, lovingly embracing every facet of its beauty, suffering, wonder, and mutation?
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Adam offered this practice to participants in our March 2023 EcoDharma Exploration. Visit the program page for the full recorded gathering.


To love fully, to love completely has a sense of letting what I love be as they are. I don’t need to correct or manipulate what I love. I don’t need to control it. It’s not the object of my will, but there is a letting and allowing and a deep appreciation for whatever comes forth, that love is total acceptance for the completeness and strangeness, and even the pain, the suffering, the foibles, the warts, the toxicity.

The tension for me is about accepting and allowing our earth and our love for our earth, while at the same time protecting, resisting, engaging, participating, protesting, blocking, advocating.

I want to invite us to extend our awe and our wonder to petrochemical plants. It’s a different kind of wonder and awe. But as long as our eco dharma only focuses on this imagined fantasy of the earth, and we’re not able to incorporate at least some kind of awe, wonder, amazement, pain at the level of toxicity and change, I think we have a very limited sense of wonder.

We’re entering an age where ecological trust is questionable and you can feel it rippling through your own bodies, through our cultural knowledges, our sense of ecological anxiety. How do we discover trust again? Because trust fosters love.

This endless giving and abundance, it’s just so amazing. Every second the Earth is giving nourishment, food, oxygen support, gravity, beauty. We are living in this gift. Our bodies are the outflowing of this gift. Our very sense and capacity to sense and feel is this gift. Even feeling lonely and isolated is the gift of the Earth.

The transcript for this talk can be found here.

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Adam Lobel

Adam Lobel, PhD, practices at the intersections of ecodharma, meditation, and psycho-social political transformation. He is a scholar-practitioner of philosophy and religion, a Guiding Teacher for One Earth Sangha, an environmental justice activist working to resist the petrochemical buildout in his region, and a professor of Ecopsychology. Adam served as a teacher (acharya) in the Shambhala tradition from 2005 until resigning in 2018. A speaker on ecology and spirituality at the United Nations, he leads ecodharma workshops called “Silent Transformations,” has taught in the Ecosattva Training, and is a Greenfaith fellow. Adam’s teachings focus on Great Perfection Tibetan Buddhism, modern phenomenology, and inoperative studies (Heidegger, Foucault, Agamben). He has a longstanding interest in progressive contemplative education and transformative pedagogy. 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. For more on his teachings:
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