Is there an inner path to environmental change?
I believe so – Yes and Yes. If there is an inner path to outer change, including healing our very planet, who better for the job than those who have navigated their inner landscapes for years, decades? Yogis to the rescue. Let’s save the planet the inner way,
In May of 2014, during a Kripalu “shutdown” (when we don’t have guests in the house so that we can build, revamp and make a lot of noise), I traveled to Southern California to visit friends and attend an Imagination and Medicine Conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute. That’s where I met Stephen Aizenstat, Chancellor of the Institute, and developer of Dream Tending, a method of deepening awareness of dreams as a means of more fully awakening to our own consciousness.
Dr. Aizenstat spoke on the last day of the conference. I was mesmerized by his stories of how we have all witnessed environmental degradation: he described how the grass used to stay green in Santa Barbara while now grass is a memory replaced by brown dust. He described working with gifted local youth who, after hearing recent news such as the oceans will be devoid of life within the first part of their lifetime, have dropped out, cancelled college plans – why bother?
So many of us are in deep grief and deep denial about what is happening around us. Might working with our dreams to expand our consciousness be a way forward?
Aizenstat has a lot to say (and do) about this.
“To develop a respectful and sustaining relationship with our dreams, we must return to a more “indigenous” sensibility, one that is informed by the psyche of nature—an awareness that our own essential psychological spontaneities are rooted most deeply in the psyche of the natural world. We are born out of the rhythms of nature, and to ignore these rhythms is, ultimately, to deny our psychic inheritance.” – Stephen Aizenstat
As he described how tending dreams helped these young people suffering nightmares (and I’m afraid children everywhere share these nightmares), I thought – here is a practical tool for an impossible problem.
If more of us can awaken more deeply to our dreams as a means of becoming more creative, can we back away from the tipping point of environmental degradation?
So, I invited him to Kripalu. Then I spoke to my colleague and gifted scholar of yoga and consciousness, Stephen Cope, who agreed to be involved and signed on to spend time during a weekend. And Dreaming the Earth, Tending the Dream was born.
Save this date: April 29-May 1, 2016. Come to this one.
Please join me in this psychic global experiment with the modest aim of coming into balance with the planet.