eco-sattvas

Calling All Eco-Sattvas

Impermanence, anicca in Pali, is the underlying fact of reality upon which the Buddha based his teachings of liberation. Things change. Accepting change and being willing to let go of what was is often seen as a great challenge. But there is a more inspirational aspect of change that the Buddha also taught: Human beings can wake up from their ignorance to see things in a new way. This can happen not only individually, but also culturally. Entrenched conventional ignorance can undergo a paradigm shift and transform into a new, clearer way of understanding. Change based in greater wisdom and compassion can sometimes seem to move at a glacial pace. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe …

Conversations with the Wise: Dacher Keltner

James Baraz recently interviewed Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley where he directs the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab. He is also the founder and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, a cutting edge interdisciplinary research center that is devoted to the scientific understanding of individual happiness, compassion, strong social bonding, and altruistic behavior. Keltner is the author of Born to Be Good and The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence. "Women are rising to positions of power in unprecedented fashion. This is a reason for serious optimism. In addition, the new generation seems less materialistic than the previous one. That gives me hope." For the full conversation go to www.awakeningjoy.info and click on “Conversations with the Wise.” https://youtu.be/mwo8yzkmziY

Conversations with the Wise: Bob Doppelt

James Baraz recently interviewed Bob Doppelt, a leading environmental and sustainability expert who coordinates the International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC), a network of more than 300 mental health, trauma treatment, and resilience-building professionals working to build individual psychological and collective psycho-social-spiritual resilience in response to the traumas and toxic stresses generated by climate change. Doppelt is the author of Transformational Resilience: How Building Human Resilience to Climate Disruption Can Safeguard Society and Increase Wellbeing and From Me to We: The Five Transformational Commitments Required to Rescue the Planet, Your Organization, and Your Life. "Systems push back hardest when they’re on the verge of change because there is a desire to maintain the status quo. It is very possible if we have the …

Conversations with the Wise: Julia Butterfly Hill

James Baraz interviewed Julia Butterfly Hill, an environmental activist best known for having lived in an ancient redwood tree for more than two years in the late 1990s. She is the author of "The Legacy of Luna" and "A Course in Courage": "I feel fear, but I don’t let my fear stop me. I feel rage and anger because that’s my natural response to places and people and animals I love being decimated. I feel all of these feelings that are part of the human experience but what we choose to do with those feelings makes all the difference. What's going on now is putting things right in front of people’s faces and we have to deal with it. It’s …

Conversations with the Wise: Frank Ostaseski

We learn compassion as we see that we are not alone in our suffering. A classical teaching encourages us to remember every day that suffering is part of life. Everyone is subject to loss and gain, illness and death. Whether you are going through a period full of blessings or full of challenges, remember that they’re both part of our life’s curriculum. With gratitude for just being alive and learning along the way, every moment counts. James Baraz interviewed Frank Ostaseski, founder of the Metta Institute, co-founder of Zen Hospice Project, and author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully, as part of a series called "Conversations with the Wise": “Mature hope requires clear intention but …

self compassion does not mean playing it safe

Conversations with the Wise: Linda Graham

Often we want to contribute to society in some way but it’s hard to take the first step. Will our efforts make a difference? James Baraz interviewed Linda Graham, MFT - Resources for Recovering Resilience who teaches nationwide on the integration of mindfulness, relational psychology, and neuroscience as part of a series called "Conversations with the Wise": “When we do one scary thing a day we can train the brain to overcome inertia or anxiety with an action. We train ourselves to respond rather than stay scared. To do something small is fine—that’s how the world changes. When we take wise action from a full, loving heart it makes a difference. Every choice has an impact.” https://youtu.be/ZOpf9WAdq2s For the full conversation go to …

Conversations with the Wise: Thanissara

Awakening Joy's James Baraz recently interviewed Thanissara, meditation teacher, social and environmental activist, mindfulness psychotherapist and co-author of Listening to the Heart as part of a series called "Conversations with the Wise": "If we’re going to take on forces that are trying to destroy the whole planet—and we should make no mistake about it, that’s actually what is happening—some of this consciousness is so devoid of humane empathy that they would rather take down and destroy everything before they let go of their power—shouldn’t we be responding collectively and standing for the values that we hold dear? "To feel anger when someone is overwhelming your boundaries is a natural reaction but when it turns into dwelling in hatred it’s like, as Nelson …

Conversations with the Wise: Guy Armstrong

The conversations continue.... In these times we’re called upon to bring as much consciousness, love and skillful action as we can into the world. We’ve asked some exceptionally wise voices of the mindfulness community how they’re navigating this difficult period as the forces of greed, hatred and confusion are creating suffering for so many and for our planet. This week's “Conversations with the Wise” is with Guy Armstrong: "The possible benefit is the unification of the groups that share aspects of a common vision of inclusivity and appreciation of the diversity of our people." Watch excerpt here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-D5dFD3Gew For the full conversation, visit https://awakeningjoy.info/conversationsArmstrong.html And please join us for this year’s Awakening Joy course, which is a way to stay in touch with …

Conversations with the Wise: Tara Brach & Rick Hanson

In these times we're called upon to bring as much consciousness, love and skillful action as we can into the world. We've asked some exceptionally wise voices of the mindfulness community how they're navigating this difficult period as the forces of greed, hatred and confusion are creating suffering for so many and for our planet. We're offering these "Conversations with the Wise" videos (the first two with Tara Brach and Rick Hanson) freely throughout the year. We hope you will find them valuable. And please join us for this year's Awakening Joy course, which is a way to stay in touch with the good inside and around you in these distressing times. The course aims to bring more peace within ourselves …

joy in 2018

Bring More Joy into Your Life in 2018

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist, coach, and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, about how to bring more joy into your life this year. I hope you enjoy her blog piece based on the interview which I've included below. You can also read it on her blog site here. Dr. Carter also just released a great new book entitled The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. I highly recommend it! Like a wise friend you can depend on, Dr. Carter takes you by the hand and, with gentle encouragement, shows you step by step how to create true well-being in your life. Honest, playful, unpretentious and chock …