“To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe — to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it — is a wonder beyond words.”
― Joanna Macy
Gaian Teacher Joanna Macy PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.
Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science.
Many thousands of people around the world have participated in Joanna’s workshops and trainings. Her group methods, known as the Work That Reconnects, have been adopted and adapted yet more widely in classrooms, churches, and grassroots organizing. Her work helps people transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world, as our larger living body, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth.
Joanna travels widely giving lectures, workshops, and trainings in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She lives in Berkeley, California, near her children and grandchildren.
Learn more about Joanna and her work on her website.
The Spiral of The Work That Reconnects
The truth of our inter-existence, made real to us by our pain for the world, helps us see with new eyes. It brings fresh understandings of who we are and how we are related to each other and the universe. We begin to comprehend our own power to change and heal. We strengthen by growing living connections with past and future generations, and our brother and sister species.
Then, ever again, we go forth into the action that calls us. With others whenever and wherever possible, we set a target, lay a plan, step out. We don’t wait for a blueprint or fail-proof scheme; for each step will be our teacher, bringing new perspectives and opportunities. Even when we don’t succeed in a given venture, we can be grateful for the chance we took and the lessons we learned. And the spiral begins again.
There are hard things to face in our world today, if we want to be of use. Gratitude, when it’s real, offers no blinders. On the contrary, in the face of devastation and tragedy it can ground us, especially when we’re scared. It can hold us steady for the work to be done…
Watch Below – Join Joanna in The Work That Reconnects
The Work That Reconnects (WTR) is a workshop series that explores how to evoke creative, compassionate and transformational responses to the ecological crises of our time. Drawing from deep ecology, systems theory and spiritual traditions, the Work That Reconnects builds motivation, creativity, courage and solidarity for the transition to a sustainable human culture. First emerging in 1978, this pioneering, open-source body of work has its roots in the teachings and experiential methods of Joanna Macy.
Book To Hang Out With
Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects by Joanna Macy
Deepening global crises surround us. We are beset by climate change, fracking, tar sands extraction, GMOs, and mass extinctions of species, to say nothing of nuclear weapons proliferation and Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster in history. Many of us fall prey to despair even as we feel called to respond to these threats to life on our planet.
Authors Joanna Macy and Molly Brown address the anguish experienced by those who would confront the harsh realities of our time. In this fully updated edition of Coming Back to Life, they show how grief, anger, and fear are healthy responses to threats to life, and when honored can free us from paralysis or panic, through the revolutionary practice of the Work that Reconnects. New chapters address working within the corporate world, and engaging communities of color as well as youth in the Work.
The Work that Reconnects has spread around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands to work toward a life-sustaining human culture. Coming Back to Life introduces the Work’s theoretical foundations, illuminating the angst of our era with extraordinary insight. Pointing the way forward out of apathy, it offers personal counsel as well as easy-to-use methods for group work that profoundly affect peoples’ outlook and ability to act in the world.
Order the book using the Amazon link below and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Love Serve Remember Foundation.
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