Environmental devastation is an inescapable reality of modern life. Each of us holds within our hearts a multitude of emotional responses to the devastation occurring around us: grief and anger, apathy and anxiety, hope and despair.
With nearly 60% of young people reporting high levels of worry and anxiety about the state of the planet, the psychological impact of climate change is now undeniable. As the world warms and climate disruptions accelerate, we can expect that psychological distress will only increase.
How can we not only stay healthy and sane, but also maintain a sense of joy and purpose in these times of planetary crisis?
Join us April 17-21 for Tricycle’s second annual Buddhism and Ecology Summit, a weeklong series of conversations with Buddhist teachers, writers, environmental activists and psychologists on transforming eco-anxiety into awakened action. We’ll offer perspectives and practices for working with difficult emotions and creating pathways towards meaningful change.
Recordings of the week’s events will be made available to all registrants.
This is a donation-based event with a suggested donation of $40. Click here to donate to Tricycle.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Wild Mind, Wild Earth: David Hinton on Healing the Wound of Separation and Reclaiming Our Kinship with Life
April 17, 3-4pm ET
We all possess a natural love for the world around us. Our connection with the Earth brings us joy, and we respond to its suffering with grief and despair. While contemporary Western thought tells us that we are separate from nature—a dualism that underlies the present reality of the sixth mass extinction—many ancient teachings are premised upon a primordial kinship with the Earth. The Ch’an Buddhist teachings of ancient China offer insights that can help us to reestablish our kinship with this living planet and to find liberation in the face of catastrophe. In conversation with Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, writer and translator David Hinton, author of Wild Mind, Wild Earth: Our Place in the Sixth Extinction, will share Ch’an wisdom for developing ways of seeing and being that can help us to heal ourselves and the planet.
Meeting Anxiety with Loving Awareness: A Practice Session with Lama Liz Monson
April 18, 12-1pm ET
Each day, we rise to confront the reality of the breakdown of our ecosystems. We grieve the loss of what we loved, the collapse of the systems of nourishment and care that have kept us alive and whole. With no escape from this kaleidoscope of sorrow, rage, despair, and fear, where do we turn? What resources can we draw on to move from paralysis to productivity, from overwhelming anxiety to ease and presence? In the wisdom traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and in the practices of care stewarded for millennia by the indigenous people of the Americas, there is an ocean of love continuously outstretched around us. Join Lama Liz Monson to relax and connect into this energetic field of loving awareness. In this dharma talk and practice session, we will explore the power of this resource and how it arises in our own experience when we allow ourselves to open fully to the depth of our difficult emotions to discover the depths of love that can hold us all.
Generation Dread: From Anxiety to Creative Empowerment with Britt Wray and Tenzin Seldon
April 18, 4-5pm ET
Climate-related anxiety is on the rise, especially among younger people. Becoming good stewards of the planet requires that we confront our own emotional responses and learn to transform them. When we are able to find a way through challenging emotions, we may find that the constraints and uncertainty we face becomes the catalyst for massive creativity—and the kind of innovative thinking that’s needed to chart the path forward into a new and regenerative era. Join Stanford climate psychologist Britt Wray, author of the book Generation Dread and the Gen Dread newsletter, and next-generation climate leader and climate growth equity investor and founder Tenzin Seldon for a conversation on how younger generations can manage the psychological distress of the climate crisis and tap into a deeper well of creativity and purpose through action, advocacy and activism. Together, they will explore how younger generations can find new ways of serving and thriving in a time of massive uncertainty and disruption.
From Mindfulness to Movements with Michelle King, Bill McKibben, Dekila Chungyalpa and Kristin Barker
April 19 2-3:30pm ET
The wounds of ecological crises are all around us—as well as within us. We have reached a point in history where we are all impacted by the breakdown of Earth’s systems, whether in subtle or overt ways. It’s only natural, then, that we might feel the psychological toll of our collective predicament as stress, pain, anxiety, or grief. While attending to eco-distress with wisdom and care is fundamental, so long as we conceive of this as entirely internal work, our efforts will be limited. How might our meditation practice support movements at all levels—movements of the heart that can help get us “unstuck,” movements in our immediate communities, and movements that could span the globe? This panel discussion, presented in partnership with One Earth Sangha, explores the ways in which eco-anxiety might invite us to build relationships and nurture compassionate action on behalf of the living Earth community.
Ecological Storytelling: Cross-Species Collaboration For Navigating Eco-anxiety with Sophie & Clark Strand
April 19, 4-5:30 ET
Human beings did not invent stories; we arrived inside of them. We are “told” by geological narratives with scales too large for us even to grasp. Each human body is an ecosystem of other stories: the biological pressures that first molded us into multicellularity, the virus that taught us mammals how to develop wombs, our pulsing microbiome, our fungi-dusted skin, our metabolic reciprocity with every substance we breathe and drink and eat. To understand this is to know that we are not singularities, not abandoned, not alone. How can our stories center relationships over individuals? How can we understand that storytelling isn’t a monologue but a complex, multidimensional conversation? How can we know that every story arrives from a specific ecology, an assemblage of stones, animals, fungi, and countless other beings as well?
Join father and daughter Clark Strand and Sophie Strand, both authors and ecological writers, to explore writing practices that address the eco-anxiety and other psycho-spiritual disruptions that define our lives in an age of extinction. The workshop format will include discussion, practices and audience Q&A.
Not Too Late: Finding Hope in a Time of Despair with Roshi Joan Halifax & Rebecca Solnit
Released April 20, 10am
Conversations around confronting the climate crisis often focus on what we will lose in moving from an “age of abundance” to a time of austerity and scarce resources. But what about what we stand to gain in these times of transformation—and how we might challenge the ways that we are currently impoverished? Writer Rebecca Solnit, celebrated author and editor of the forthcoming book Not Too Late, and beloved Buddhist teacher Roshi Joan Halifax, a contributor to Not Too Late, explore the new realities we are facing at this time as well as the powerful possibilities before us—and how to manage our emotions through it all. As Rebecca writes: It is not too late. Join Rebecca and Roshi Joan, in conversation with Tricycle’s publisher Sam Mowe, to discover a radical view of transforming our sense of impoverishment to hope, connection, and faith in our shared future.
Finding Grace Amidst Climate Grief: A Conversation with William DeBuys and Kritee Kanko
April 20, 4-5pm ET
The grief and pain we feel in witnessing the extinction and suffering around us can often feel too big to name. And yet we must name it, see it, and meet it with presence and compassion if we are to move from paralysis into action. We must also acknowledge that climate grief doesn’t exist in vacuum: it interacts with other stressors, including racial trauma and social inequality, in these times of polycrisis. This hour-long discussion will offer an exploration of the dimensions of climate-related grief: understanding our profound sense of loss and finding tools for transforming it. Conservationist and award-winning author William DeBuys will discuss how we might apply the ethics of hospice to how we care for the planet in conversation with Kritee Kanko, a Zen priest, climate scientist and activist, who will also share how rituals can support us in processing grief and consider the larger intersections of climate grief, trauma healing, racism and social justice.
Feed Your Demons: An Embodied Practice Session for Transforming Emotions with Karla Jackson-Brewer
April 20, 7 – 7:45pm ET
Overwhelming emotions like anxiety, grief, anger and despair are a natural response to confronting the realities of climate change. When faced with anxiety or any other overwhelming emotion, our instinctive reaction is often to resist, suppress and deny what we’re feeling. But what we resist persists. The harder we fight against our emotions, the stronger they become. What would it look like to nurture our difficult emotions, instead of fighting them or pushing them away? Join us for a dynamic, embodied practice session to connect to the experience of eco-anxiety and transform it from within. Using the Feeding Your Demons(TM) technique—inspired by the ancient Tibetan practice of chöd—Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist Karla Jackson-Brewer will lead a powerful process to support you in shifting your relationship to anxiety and other difficult emotions stirred by the planetary crises we currently face.
Alchemizing Anxiety Beyond the Individual: Awakening Our Capacity for Personal and Systemic Change
April 21, 3:30-5pm ET
Anxiety can be a barrier to change—and when it comes to the climate crisis, our experiences of anxiety are not one-size-fits-all. Anxiety is experienced in various and complex ways based on experience, identity, capacity, history, geographical context, and other factors. Responses to ecological crises must also be responses to inequity and injustice as key factors in the crisis. What role can Buddhist teachings play in helping us access and address injustice and harm? How do we effectively engage painful and threatening emotions? How might anxiety – about climate change, nature loss, societal injustice – be experienced differentially, and how can our emotional responses lead to meaningful action for individual and collective change? Join Renee Lertzman, Sheryl Petty and Kristin Barker for a thought-provoking conversation, moderated by Stephen Posner of the Garrison Institute, about the complex nature of eco-anxiety, and how personal, organizational, community and societal-wide change must occur within the context of the multifaceted nature of our collective humanity. In addition to addressing individual anxiety, this session will also touch on systems of injustice at the center of environmental crises, support awakening of the inner capacities that drive external change, and seek to integrate multiple perspectives on how we can align what we know and feel with what we do.
Kristin Barker is co-founder and director of One Earth Sangha whose mission is to cultivate a Buddhist response to ecological crises. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader program and now teaches with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (DC). As a co-founder of White Awake, Kristin has been supporting white people since 2011 with a Dharma approach to uprooting racism in ourselves and in our world. With a background in software engineering as well as environmental management, she has worked at several international environmental organizations. She is a GreenFaith Fellow and serves on the advisory board of Project Inside Out. Kristin was born and raised in northern New Mexico and currently lives in Washington DC, traditional lands of the Piscataway peoples.
Dekila Chungyalpa is the director of the Loka Initiative, whose mission is to support faith-led environmental efforts locally and around the world through collaborations with faith leaders and religious institutions on environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issues. Prior to that, she was the recipient of the McCluskey fellowship at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies where she also lectured and researched. Dekila founded and directed Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She has served as the WWF-US Director for the Greater Mekong Program and also worked for WWF in the Eastern Himalayas. Dekila serves as the environmental adviser for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
William deBuys is the author of ten books, including most recently The Trail to Kanjiroba: Rediscovering Earth in an Age of Loss. Among his other books are The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures (one of the Christian Science Monitor’s ten best non-fiction books of 2015) and A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American West, winner of the Weber/Clements Prize. His River of Traps (with photographer Alex Harris) was a Pulitzer Prize nonfiction finalist in 1991. He has been a Kluge Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress (2018), a Guggenheim Fellow (2008-2009), and a Lyndhurst Fellow (1986-1988). He served as founding Chair of the Valles Caldera Trust (2001-2004), which administered the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve prior to its transfer to the National Park System. He has served on the advisory board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation since 2002 and lives on the farm he has tended since 1976 in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains.
Sarah Fleming is Tricycle’s audio editor. She also works as a palliative care chaplain at a hospital in Boston.
Roshi Joan Halifax
Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. is a Buddhist teacher, Founder and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a social activist, and author. She is a pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world, and has received many awards and honors for her work as a social and environmental activist and in the end-of-life care field. Her books include The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet.
David Hinton has published many books of nonfiction, poetry, and translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, including most recently a series of books about Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism. These books are all informed by an abiding interest in deep ecological thinking, in exploring the weave of consciousness and landscape. This work has earned wide acclaim and many national awards, and it can be visited at davidhinton.net. His most recent book is: Wild Mind, Wild Earth: Our Place in the Sixth Extinction.
Karla Jackson-Brewer, MS is an adjunct Professor in the Women’s & Gender Studies Department and the Africana Studies Department at Rutgers, The State University where she teaches courses on the dynamics of race, gender and class, the African diasporic experience, and how gender occurs in numerous spiritual systems. She is a founder of Sine Qua Non: Allies in Healing, an Integrative Therapy Practice in New York City. She has developed and offered many workshops and trainings for organizations that focus on, race, gender, class, equity and structural oppression, Emotional Intelligence, Spirituality and the Sacred Feminine. Karla is the Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council for Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center, and is a senior teacher of Vajrayana Buddhism. She is an initiated priest in the West African spiritual system of Ifa.
Kritee (dharma name Kanko) is a Climate Scientist, Zen priest, Grief ritual teacher, Educator & founding dharma teacher of Boundless in Motion. She is an ordained in the Rinzai Zen Buddhist lineage of Cold Mountain, a co-founder of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center and faculty for many organizations for courses at the intersection of Ecology and Spirituality. She has served as a scientist in the Climate Smart Agriculture program at Environmental Defense Fund for over 11 years. Her experience is that identifying and releasing our personal and ecological grief in presence of a loving community is necessary; that helps us unlock our gifts and serve our communities. She finds herself committed to be in relationship with young adults, permaculture communities, LGBTQ, black, indigenous and other people of color. You can access the talks, interviews and articles that were born of her body-mind here.
Michelle King is a Learning Instigator, Love Activist, and Transformer. Her origin story is rooted in being an Army Brat, child of an Ethiopian immigrant, and teaching middle school for over 22 years in public schools in Southwestern PA. She learned and honed her craft in Mt. Lebanon for over 16 years plus five years at The Environmental Charter School. Her current interests are in game-based-learning, design, justice, equity, the environment and teacher empowerment. Currently through her varied partnerships, she is seeking to co-create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy.
Renée Lertzman, PhD
Renée Lertzman PhD is a psychological strategist and advisor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with leaders and organizations who seek to scale impactful engagement across stakeholders, consumers and employees on ESG, climate and ecology. Her speciality is helping high impact teams and leaders evolve from cheerleaders and educators to ‘guides” drawing on decades of experience and psychological training. Clients include Google, VMware, Unity, and numerous start-ups and philanthropic organizations. She has a MA from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and a PhD in Social Sciences from Cardiff University. She is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at institutions around the world, and has been featured at Stanford University, Yale University, Columbia University, Oxford University, Climate-KIC, TED, and numerous industry and public events. She has published Environmental Melancholia (Routledge 2015), and is currently working on a trade publication about applying the psychology of climate and ecological threats to our business and personal practices.
Bill McKibben is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, and a founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice. He founded the first global grassroots climate campaign, 350.org, and serves as the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. In 2014 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel,’ in the Swedish Parliament. He’s also won the Gandhi Peace Award, and honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities. He has written over a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published in 1989, and his latest book is The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.
Lama Liz Monson
Lama Liz Monson, PhD, is the Spiritual Co-Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and Managing Teacher at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. Liz was authorized as a dharma teacher and lineage holder in the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism after over 30 years of studying, practicing, and teaching Tibetan Buddhism in the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages. In 2015, Liz completed a doctorate at Harvard University, where she was a Visiting Lecturer there in the Study of Religion. Liz is the author of two books, More Than a Madman: The Divine Words of Drukpa Kunley (2014) and Tales of a Mad Yogi: The Life and Wild Wisdom of Drukpa Kunley (2021) She is currently writing a book on Buddhist Tantra for publication with Shambhala Publications (forthcoming 2024). At present, Liz writes, guides meditation retreats, and develops curriculum for people interested in reconnecting with the natural world and in responding to contemporary social and spiritual issues as a path for liberation.
Sam Mowe is the Publisher at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. With a background in both editorial and marketing, he wears multiple hats, from content creation to community-building. Former editor-in-chief at the Garrison Institute, Sam’s focus has been to bring a Buddhist perspective to the modern world and contemporary life.
Sheryl Petty, Ed.D. is an equity and systems change consultant and has worked and taught in the fields of education, organizational development, healing, and systems change for nearly 30 years. She also teaches and is ordained in Yoruba/Lucumi and Tibetan Buddhist (Nyingma) lineages, which she has practiced since 1996. She holds degrees in Mathematics, Systematic & Philosophical Theology, a doctorate in Leadership & Change, is a certified yoga asana instructor, and is authorized to share practices based in Bön Buddhist Dzogchen. Sheryl partners with institutional clients with significant national and global footprints via her consulting firm Movement Tapestries, providing Deep Equity, Organizational Transformation and Systems Change support. She also supports the integration of equity and contemplative practice in institution-wide and field-level change. Her work aids systems to function in more rigorous, courageous, loving and healthy ways for the benefit of all. She also helps build and strengthen the field of equity & organizational transformation practitioners, which contributes to the healing of organizations and systems as far and wide as possible.
Stephen Posner is Director of Pathways to Planetary Health with the Garrison Institute, a non-profit that harnesses the power of contemplative wisdom and practice from many traditions to build a more compassionate and resilient world. In this role, he develops strategic partnerships to advance planetary health and build practical, scalable solutions to global environmental challenges. Previously, Stephen served as Director of Policy and Partnerships with the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont, where he forged new partnerships to amplify the impact of research and supported the launch of a new university-wide research theme focused on equity, justice, and the environment. Stephen is a trusted advisor to policymakers and funders, and he’s consulted with global companies in agriculture, mining, and forestry. He’s also published research on the use of knowledge in environmental decision making, leverage points for system change, sustainability leadership, biodiversity assessment, and policies for new economic systems. His work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental Science & Policy, Nature Communications, Bloomberg, The Hill, and the New York Times.
Tenzin Seldon is a next-generation climate leader and climate growth equity investor and founder.who has been on the frontlines of migration, social enterprise, tech, and climate work for over a decade and half. She is Founder and Managing Partner of Pulse Fund, an innovative climate growth equity fund, focused on investing big in the future of energy, infrastructure, mobility and food & agriculture. Previously, Tenzin co-founded The Plant, with the bold vision of creating a net-negative global home for climate solutions through the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.
Her work has been recognized in Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list, as the social entrepreneur “Most Likely to Impact the Next Century,” and in OZY Magazine as one of their “5 Civil-Rights Leaders for a New Generation.” She was honored at the United Nations as an Innovative Disruptor, named a Harry S.Truman Scholar for her service work by the U.S. Congress, and recognized as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Tenzin graduated with honors from Stanford University and was the first Tibetan-American Rhodes Scholar at University of Oxford.
Rebecca Solnit, a writer, historian, and activist, is the author of twenty-five books on feminism, environmental and urban history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and catastrophe. Her books include Orwell’s Roses; Recollections of My Nonexistence; Hope in the Dark; Men Explain Things to Me; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she writes regularly for the Guardian, serves on the board of the climate group Oil Change International, and in 2022 launched the climate project Not Too Late (nottoolateclimate.com).
James Shaheen, Tricycle’s Editor-in-Chief, began his Buddhist practice in the mid-1990s, studying with teachers from a number of Buddhist traditions. He is particularly interested in Buddhism’s growth in the West and its applicability to Western politics, culture, and everyday life. He has been with Tricycle for nearly 25 years.
Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine was published by Inner Traditions in Fall 2022. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions in Spring 2023 and is available for pre-order. Subscribe for her newsletter at sophiestrand.substack.com. And follow her work on Instagram: @cosmogyny and at www.sophiestrand.com.
Clark Strand is a former senior editor at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. His books include Seeds From a Birch Tree: Writing Haiku and the Spiritual Journey and The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary, which was co-authored with his wife, Perdita Finn. He teaches the popular group “Weekly Haiku Challenges with Clark Strand” on Facebook and leads Tricycle’s monthly haiku challenge, as well as the Tricycle Haiku Challenge Facebook group.
Britt Wray, PhD is an author and researcher working at the forefront of climate change and mental health. Her latest book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, is an impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid climate disruption and was a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Award. Britt is a Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, Woods Institute for the Environment and the London School of Medicine’s Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. She is also the incoming Lead of a Chair’s Special Initiative on Climate and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford University School of Medicine. Britt has advised the Canadian Federal Ministers, the US State Department, and multiple Fortune 500 companies. She has hosted several podcasts, radio and TV programs with the BBC and CBC, is a TED speaker, and writes Gen Dread, a newsletter about finding hope and taking meaningful action on the far side of climate grief: gendread.substack.com.