As the climate crisis intensifies, society and life on Earth are changing in ways we have never imagined before. Life as we’ve come to know it, is in the midst of massive change and upheaval as a result of many interrelated causes. How do we hold this? How do we face our anxiety, fear, anger, grief, guilt, and overwhelm with compassion and wisdom, and cultivate a sense of resilience? What are our individual and collective responses to respond to the climate crisis? Where do we fit into what Joanna Macy has called The Great Turning? How do we cultivate a sense of agency and empowerment?
Over the months of this course we will discover how our embodied Buddhist practice can help us face difficult emotions with compassion and how that impacts our response to the crisis. We will explore healing and cultivating compassion, wisdom, resilience, equanimity through our practices. Embracing the climate crisis is as much a spiritual, sacred path as healing from our personal crisis. We will explore diverse voices who have been working on the responses – diversity that includes gender, race, and age – to provide a wide range of perspectives. We will also explore nature-based practices – integrating wisdom from our natural environment into our practices and understanding.
The course will include four daylong-retreats, six half-day retreats, ongoing small groups and regular readings. This is an in-person course, with the intention to build and nurture community throughout the course. The first three classes will be held indoors during the winter months, and for the rest of the classes we will meet outdoors in parks or various natural environments throughout NYC. Each participant will be expected to take on some project related to this work – including meditating outdoors throughout the year, and a local volunteering project of choice related to the environment.