7th Annual Contemplative Environmental Practice Workshop
Dates: July 24 – July 30, 2018
Venue: Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, New Mexico
Price: $1050 includes accommodations, meals, and workshop fee. Graduate students: $880. Need based scholarships available.
To apply for workshop, click here.
Earth-Love-Go offers yearly workshops which bring together activists, students, scholar-teachers to share ways of living and teaching on the frontlines of environmental concern.
At the heart of the workshop is the use of contemplative practices. Too often professors, teachers, community organizers and activists put aside their personal wellbeing as they take up their commitments. For many of us, this creates a gulf between our psychological and spiritual preoccupations, on the one hand, and our jobs as activists and teachers, on the other. The workshop aims to bridge this divide by using contemplative practices to explore the connections between our deepest inner experiences and our environmental efforts. Through daily meditation, art, nature walks, yoga, journal writing, and other reflective exercises, we will investigate the interface between inner ecology and our pedagogical and activist work. Furthermore, the workshop will introduce contemplative practices tailored specifically for use in the classroom and activist settings.
Much of the workshop will probe the depths of the environmental crisis with the aim of appreciating the profundity of climate change, massive extinction, freshwater scarcity, and other global environmental challenges. This will include focusing not only on the biophysical but also the moral, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of these problems. The aim is to learn how to hold the depth and heartbreak of environmental issues without falling into despair, and to focus our energies toward building a more just, ecologically sound future. Are there ways to teach and work on behalf of environmental sustainability so that our full humanness can emerge? Can we teach and be active with a sense of both outrage and awe? Can we channel our inner resources so our students and those whom we wish to mobilize discover their own power and commitment?
The workshop will delve into these questions in a setting and with an approach that allow for personal and professional renewal. In this sense, it is both a workshop and a retreat. Participants will have ample time and space to explore their own understandings, take stock of their environmental lives, and simply relax amid fellow travelers committed to personal growth and professional effectiveness.
This 6-day workshop takes place at the Lama Foundation, an ecumenical retreat center in the stunning mountains of New Mexico and will be co-facilitated by our 2018 faculty. A key dimension of contemplative environmental practice involves sustaining community. With this in mind, all participants and teachers will practice seva (selfless service) during the workshop. Seva is an opportunity to help the Lama community with its many tasks. During the week, each of us will help cook a meal, clean a space on the land, work in the garden, or otherwise participate in Lama’s day-to-day activities. Such effort not only helps Lama hold our workshop; it also provides a chance to learn and be part of Lama’s unique community. We see such seva as integral to the workshop theme.
Contemplative Environmental Practice will take place at the Lama Foundation, an ecumenical retreat center in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Lama is a beautiful, off‐grid community committed to sustainable and mindful living. It sits on 100 acres surrounded by Carson National Forest and draws its power from the sun, water from a spring, and much of its food in the summer directly from the garden. Lama’s funky, solar‐powered, eco‐laboratory has been a locus of inner work since Ram Dass wrote Be Here Now under its tall ponderosa pines back in 1971. Its purpose is to serve as a spiritual community and education center dedicated to the awakening of consciousness, spiritual practice with respect for all traditions, and stewardship of the land. At 8,500 feet, it provides an ideal setting for reflection and engagement with contemplative environmental issues.
Click here to learn more about the Lama Foundation.
Accommodations at Lama are relatively rustic. Limited guest rooms are available, but most participants sleep in tents in a gorgeous campground close to bathrooms, showers, meeting rooms, and Lama’s historic library. For women who choose not to tent camp, there is a dormitory style yurt with beds, sheets, and other amenities. Those sleeping in the campground must supply their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, and pad). (Arrangements can be made to rent these.) The weather is close to perfect in July and August. Three vegetarian meals are provided every day plus snacks. We see the natural setting of Lama enhancing the workshop goals.
Families and Guests
Too often, our professional commitments take us away from our families and dear ones. In an effort to make the workshop more meaningful and sustainable, Lama welcomes guests. Guests are unable to attend workshop sessions, but can stay with participants on the mountain and take part in Lama community activities. Participants can eat with their families or guests, and spend time with them during unscheduled blocks of time. Please keep in mind that Lama requires small children to be supervised by a parent at all times. Lama requests that guests pay a nominal daily fee for meals and accommodations.
If you are interested in bringing a guest or family member(s), please discuss arrangements with Paul Wapner. (Please note that, while your guests are warmly invited, the workshop is pretty all‐consuming, so you might want simply to attend by yourself.)
Click here to apply for the 7th Annual Contemplative Environmental Practice workshop.
To read testimonials from our previous workshops please click here.