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Uncertainty and Possibility

Meeting the Climate Future

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
In the first of a series of conversations with Roshi Joan Halifax and Rebecca Solnit, Christiana Figueres shares how grief and loss ground her ecological engagement and spiritual practice.
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Highlights from the Series

I first came to climate because of loss, I then came to spirituality because of loss, and I’m now deepening my practice because of loss … I remain committed to this because I’m not accepting that loss is the end of the story.

Convincing people that of course there’s uncertainty because in that uncertainty is freedom. We’re making the future in the present. You can look to the past and see how the best things in our lives now, somebody made in the past.

Practice is not separate from this moment as it is. The climate crisis is another inflection on chronicity, it’s an ongoing process and the only way I feel we can address what we’re in right now, is to be very intentional, to stay clear about what your values are and to correct course, in a way that is non-violent when you go off course, which we do all the time. That is the power of practice, attending to what is arising in the present moment.

We cannot guarantee success because it’s out of our control … I’ve learned that just because it’s not a guarantee doesn’t mean that we don’t give it our absolute all while we’re here. And to understand that we are the ancestors of all future generations. The responsibility is squarely on us. Whatever we do now will fundamentally decide what the quality of life of seven generations is going to be.

Can we rest in openness in inquiry, curiosity, and the sense of possibility, from the most terrifying to the most elevated. Can we rest in that kind of openness … How do we embrace the uncertainty of our reality, our lived experience, as a field of opportunity and possibility.

Watch the full 10-part series of short videos with Christiana Figueres, Rebecca Solnit, and Roshi Joan Halifax: Uncertainty and Possibility—Meeting the Climate Future. Shared here with permission.

Picture of Christiana Figueres, Rebecca Solnit, and Roshi Joan Halifax

Christiana Figueres, Rebecca Solnit, and Roshi Joan Halifax

Christiana Figueres is the architect of the Paris Climate Accord and Costa Rican climate diplomat. Her website is here.

Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist. Most recently, she edited Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility.

Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, and the author of Shamanic Voices and Fruitful Darkness. She is also the founder of the Ojai Foundation and Upaya Zen Center.
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