Leading and Learning by Example
The sixth session of our EcoSattva Training features six of our aspiring EcoSattva friends as they share their stories of engagement with ecological crises as well as insights and challenges discovered along the way. Our team has brought together a variety of panelists who represent many different approaches to hands on work. We hope that your interaction with this panel will help you place yourself and your work (whether you are actively engaged now, or still figuring out what calls you) within a larger context. Some panelists are Buddhists working within their own communities; others are engaged in larger, social action; every panelist brings their own spiritual practice to their work. How spiritual practice both informs and sustains our engagement will be an important theme of this session.
Eleanor is an artist, activist, mother, educator and director of White Awake, a mindfulness-based approach to white racial awareness. In collaboration with Dharma teachers and practitioners from diverse traditions, she is creating this body of work and recently assisted senior Vipassana teachers in a cross-tradition effort to encourage consciousness and engagement around racism within Buddhist communities in the US. A student of deep ecology, Buddhism, and indigenous culture – including the indigenous/folk traditions of her European ancestors – Eleanor supports an inquiry into racism and dominance for white people in service of our own liberation and the benefit of all.
Carinne Luck is an organizer and campaign strategist who works with emerging and established groups to build effective organizations with grassroots, membership engagement at their core. Recently, Carinne has been working with the domestic worker movement to organize domestic employers, and in the summer of 2014 co-founded the “If Not Now” collective. Carinne was born in Israel, raised in Tel Aviv and London, and has been a New Yorker for 11 years. After first moving to this country with her mother as an undocumented immigrant, Carinne became a proud US citizen during the summer of 2012. Carinne actively investigates ways to integrate her personal and political practice, and is currently participating in The Interdependence Project‘s Year-Long Meditation Teacher Training program.
Hakusho Johan Ostlund’s college studies in human ecology led him to the Buddhadharma. Via practice in India and Thailand he found his way to Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in 2006, where he remains a resident. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest by Furyu Schroeder in 2012. As a Green Gulch Ecosattva he has continued to turn the question of social engagement and the Dharma by raising Sangha awareness, arranging weekly meditations with Occupy SF, and actively working for the divestment of Sangha money from fossil fuels.
Katie is Co-Director of Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the curly granddaughter of Negros and Jewish refugees. She believes in the possibility of enough food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, and education for everyone. She started organizing in high school as a straight ally with a Lesbian Gay Straight Alliance, and currently organizes around social and economic issues with a group led by Latin American immigrant socialists. Following her graduation from Harvard, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center offered Katie a warm, life-altering introduction to Buddhism. Her writing on Buddhism and politics has appeared in The Jizo Chronicles, The Buddhist Channel, make/shift magazine, Flip Flopping Joy, and Feministe, as well as BPF’s Turning Wheel Media.
Kerry Nelson is a Spirit Rock Meditation Center Retreat Manager and workshop facilitator. A graduate of Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley, she worked with civil society groups in the US and southern Africa for over two decades. She offers One Small Difference and One Small Planet workshops through her website placeforpeace.org, and has helped start half a dozen affinity groups including Spirit Rock’s Green Group. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program, and has trained as an instructor in Qigong, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
Lindsay is an organiser, activist and trainer who has practiced and studied Buddhism for close to twenty years. She is a co-ordinator for the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE), and has helped bring together different dharma groups to organised arts interventions against Big Oil sponsorship. As an organiser she’s worked on mass marches and mobilizations, climate camps, and actions targeting the fossil fuel industry directly. As a trainer she’s worked with Eco-Dharma and Compassion Field to develop courses and retreats for activists, integrating the practices of mindfulness and self-care to prevent burn out and develop emotional resilience.
Tim DeChristopher, as Bidder 70, disrupted an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008, by outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. His actions and 21 month imprisonment earned him a national and international media presence, which he has used as a platform to spread the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world. More about Tim here.