2022, Ecodharma

2022 Yearlong Course: Embracing Climate Crisis as a Spiritual Path

“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Teachers: Jon Aaron, Lin Wang Gordon

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.  Core reading will include:

  1. A Time to Stand Up by Thanissara;
  2. Active Hope by Joanna Macy;
  3. All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson
  4. Other additional resources

The outdoor classes will be taking place regardless of weather conditions, unless it’s dangerous weather.  It will be our practice to work with a wide variety of conditions. 

The meeting dates of the course are:

Sun. 1/30 – 10am – 5pm

Sun. 2/27 – 1-5pm

Sun. 3/20 – 1-5pm

Sun. 4/24 – 10am – 5pm

Sun. 5/15 – 1-5pm

Sun. 6/19 – 1-5pm

Sun. 8/31 – 1-5pm

Sun. 9/18 – 10am – 5pm

Sun. 10/16 – 1-5pm

Sun. 11/13 – 10am – 5pm

The course will be offered on a sliding scale: $870, $590, $390 – scholarships will be available.

NY Insight COVID Protocol for outdoor In-Person programs:
All participants must be vaccinated – Proof of vaccination is required.
All participants must register before attending NYInsight all forms of gatherings (sanghas included.)
All participants must wear masks.
All participants must follow social distancing guidelines by keeping 6’ apart.

Disclaimer: Procedures adhere to current CDC guidelines.
Changes may be applied at any time, based on CDC guidelines.
For the health and safety of our staff and community, please do not come onsite if you are feeling unwell.