Robert Jay Lifton has identified a dynamic which he calls leading a double life—where we act as if everything is fine—when we know it isn’t. This is not healthy for our psyches or our health in general.
So, what would be the goal of our gathering/workshop? First and foremost, it would be a place for all who participate to feel seen and understood and safe to be our real “whole” selves, without hiding, around the pain and challenges that climate disruption brings up. Each of us are holding a piece of the pain we all feel for the web of life we see so callously disregarded by so many. It will be a real gift for us to acknowledge—in the presence of peers, friends, colleagues—or strangers, that which we feel strongly, but so often do not address. We will attempt to form a sense of community and feel each other’s support in these unprecedented times.
We will share tools and strategies to enhance our own resilience and ability to cope with this unique moment we are alive in.
We will look at ecopsychology, as well as philosophical traditions that can help to inform and guide us, as we ask that fundamental question: What does it mean to be a human being? And what does it mean to be an aware human being in this particular moment in history? What beliefs and ideals guide our actions? How do we respond skillfully to the ways in which climate disruption challenges us?
This is from The Work That Reconnects website, part of Joanna Macy’s work,
Becoming aware of the enormity of the climate crisis and the suffering that lies ahead can lead overwhelm. Common responses are grief, despair, fear, resignation, hopelessness. While all of these are understandable and important to acknowledge, if we stop there, we become frozen and unable to contribute something positive to the situation. The Buddha taught the Dharma in order to transform suffering into compassion and wisdom. This day will focus on how we can use Dharma teachings to skillfully hold all the feelings and help us transmute them into wise response for ourselves, help awaken others and heal the planet.
While I will not focus solely on Buddhist insights it will certainly be a part of the workshop. A brief way to describe my goal for the gathering might be to only slightly alter the above description…This day will focus on how we can use wisdom traditions and teachings to skillfully hold all the feelings and help us transmute them into wise responses for ourselves, help awaken others and heal the planet.