Monthly Archives: May 2012

Inner Restoration for Eco-activists

Energy from within – yoga for environmentalists
Everyone needs energy to make it through the day.  Whether you are a community activist, a home-maker, a care-giver, or a civic servant, you know the importance of self-renewal when you want to do your best.

As our bodies age, though, energy tends to decline.  Exercise reverses this trend by activating every system that gets used in the physical activity that you perform.  Yoga exercises are especially helpful.  By releasing tension, stimulating all the major organs, and working consciously with the breath, yoga restores vitality and a deep sense of optimism.  Simple practices of relaxation and concentration complete the exercise equation, adding a new dimension to physical fitness: grounding in restful alertness.

Workshop: Sunday, June 17, 3-5 pm
Learn timeless techniques for contacting your reservoir of energy and inner peace at the Stress Management Center, 1165 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur.

Instructor: Stuart Moody, M.A., Registered Yoga Teacher and Transition Director for Green Sangha
$20 for the workshop (free for Green Sangha members).
To register, contact or call (510) 532-6574.

I came away with a greater appreciation of the power and importance of meditation and mindful thinking.  I felt more centered and now realize that rather than ‘taking up time,’ meditation actually gives us back time as we gain more focus, clarity, peace and energy to take with us in our busy lives.”  – Julie Dowling, co-founder of Sustainable San Ramon

Summer program for teens

Back to Nature, Into the Future
Relax your mind and turn on your inner intelligence . . .
Explore parks & gardens in Marin . . .
Develop your leadership abilities . . .

The Teen Environmental Leadership Academy (TELA) is a 2-week summer program offered especially for teens from the Canal neighborhood:  Monday-Friday, July 9-20, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Program includes

  • Field trips
  • Speaker training and presentation opportunities
  • Daily mindfulness — yoga, tai chi, conscious breathing, & pure awareness

Skills you will learn

  • Names of over two dozen plants and animals native to Marin
  • Basic care for vegetable gardens
  • Healthy alternatives to plastic pollution
  • The 2-minute speech to inspire action
  • Techniques for relaxing and recharging mind and body

You are invited!
ORIENTATION NIGHT:  Monday, June 11, 6:30-8:00 pm.  Hear from the program directors and past participants.  Slide show, conversation, and light organic snacks.

For more information or to register for Orientation Night, write to Stuart Moody ( or call Maite Duran (415) 883-7736.  Visit our web page, too:

We cleaned up!

Saturday, May 19, was a great day for the school garden at Davidson in San Rafael.  Before our team of volunteers arrived, the Garden was abundant with flowers and winter vegetables all going to seed.

Our team got going in a hurry, pulling up old brassicas, redundant calendulas, and over-reaching borage (all good friends, but over-staying their welcome), then laying down fresh soil from our worm bins.

Two-year-old chard, having given hundreds of leaves for our delectation, had to to go, too.  Luat Tran, project leader for the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, got a big one out of the ground:

Gricelda Gomez was one of our soil-spreaders:

The Garden beds needed so much re-filling that we had to retrieve extra soil from a pile left over from last fall.

Edgar Quinillo at work

There were lots of vegetables and herbs to take home, including celery, cabbage, onions, mint, kale, a few fava beans, one potato, and chard of course.

We sampled borage, calendula, and nasturtiums, too.  Eating flowers was a first for many of us!

When we were done, the effusive, over-taking, past-prime blooms and seedheads were gone.  In their place:  fresh, rich soil; re-laid irrigation lines; and many planted seeds.  Come back in a month to see the sprouts of cucumber, eggplant, peas, pole beans, tomato, and watermelon!

Many thanks to our team:  William Castro, Kathleen Enriques (not pictured), Chas De Ferrari, Risa De Ferrari, Gricelda Gomez, Ashley Kelley, Edgar Quinillo, Vilyn Reyes, and Luat Tran.

Garden Work Party at Davidson

Join us Saturday, May 19, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., as we get our hands into the earth and continue to spread beauty across the campus.  We will spruce up the vegetable beds, plant seeds and starts, turn the compost, gather flowers and vegetables, and tend the fruit orchard.

Why plant summer crops so late in spring?  In earlier years, we planted at the “right time,” making our harvest abundant from July through August, while the students were away on vacation.  By planting now, we leave a richer harvest experience for the Garden Club this coming fall.

Address:  280 Woodland Avenue, San Rafael.  The Garden is in the back of the campus, right next to a wooden bridge over the Riparian Zone.

Contact:  Stuart Moody, Green Schoolyard Coordinator (; phone 459-0176)

Remember to bring a hat and other sun protection, and to wear close-tied shoes and layers for changeable weather.  Bring your gardening gloves and a favorite tool (clippers, trowel, handpick) if you have.  A water fountain is nearby.  No single-use plastic water bottles, please!

FOR MORE INFORMATION about the Garden project, click here to see our listing with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, or call CVNL and ask for Ashley Kelly (415) 479-5710.

Gardening together brings out the best in us

Events for May . . . and beyond

Tonight!  Come hear Carol Misseldine make the case for a plant-based diet and an end to Confined Animal Feeding Operations.  Eating lower on the food chain is better for the body, better for the earth, and bestows so many aesthetic delights!  Few can tell the story better than Carol, last month’s recipient of the Huffman Environmental Hero Award (you can read her nomination here).

Date:  Monday, May 14
Time: 7:30-9:00 pm
Place:  San Rafael City Council chambers, 1400 Fifth Avenue

Then, this Sunday May 20:  EcoBirth!  Explore the story of our embodiment of the toxic stuff of the industrial world, pre-polluting our children through mindless tainting of our food, air, and water.  Molly Arthur, founder of EcoBirth, will share her personal environmental story, with an emphasis on feminine leadership, oneness, and compassion.  We will discuss how to live a faithful, nurturing life by looking at our lineage of love and putting that love into action.

Date: Sunday, May 20
Time: 10 am – 1 pm
Place: Sita Khufu’s home in San Anselmo. Call (510) 532-6574 for directions; or write We respond quickly!

Early summer highlight
Beth, professional accountant and author of the soon-to-be released book, Plastic Free, will describe her personal campaign for near-zero plastic consumption, why this effort is vital for the planet’s life-support systems, and how you can easily adopt a plastic-free lifestyle.  Green Sangha founder Jonathan Gustin will open the afternoon with meditation and sage words on awakened activism. Tasty organic, vegetarian snacks and beverages will be served.

Date: Sunday, July 1
Time: 4-6 pm
Place: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto
Donation: $75 pays for Green Sangha’s programs of environmental restoration and an afternoon of joyful inter-being.  To purchase your ticket, click here, enter ticket amount in the “Other” line, select “Event Registration” under the Program Designation menu, and you’re on your way.

Beth Terry in her award-winning Bay-to-Breakers costume

Gratitude Gathering at the Permaculture Paradise of Trathen & Mary Heckman. Two hours of Garden service, followed by meditation, inspirational Garden talk, volunteer awards, and delicious refreshments.

Date:  Saturday, July 28
Time:  1:00 – 4:30 pm
Place:  Old Town Petaluma. Call (510) 532-6574 for directions; or write Space is limited, so reservations required!

Trathen at home with the earth

Awakened Action Tea

Come to the Awakened Action Tea on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at the Mill Valley Community Center!  Our featured speaker is Beth Terry, author of Plastic Free, How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.

Beth will tell us about her personal journey to near-zero plastic consumption, why this effort is vital for the planet’s life-support systems, and how you can easily adopt a lower-plastic lifestyle.  The program also includes a meditation and short talk by Green Sangha’s founder Jonathan Gustin.  Tasty organic, vegetarian snacks and beverages will be served.

Beth Terry, accountant and awakened activist, on the cover of Eastbay Express

This is our annual fund-raising event, supporting programs such as Less Carbon & More Compassion, Mindful Activism training, Rethinking Plastics and the Teen Environmental Leadership Academy.

Date:  Sunday, July 1
Time:  4-6 pm
Location:  The Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, close to Highway 101, with easy parking and access to public transit as well as a marshland walking-biking trail.
Tickets:  $75 pays for Green Sangha’s programs of awakened activism, and an afternoon of inspiration.

To purchase: Go to our donate page; indicate $75 as the amount, and select “Awakened Action Tea 2012” on the Program Designation menu. Or mail your check to Green Sangha, P.O. Box 20261, Oakland, CA 94620. Thank you!

To see Beth’s home video of her 2009 plastic trash collection (she discarded less than 4 pounds in the whole year!), click here. You can also visit her website at:

On our way to plastic-free shopping . . .


Inner Transition Tools: Sustaining Ourselves in the Great Turning

Could your initiative or organization use tools for the following?

  • Inner Support for Change
  • Trust Building
  • Visioning
  • Meeting Facilitation Techniques
  • Fun and Laughter
  • Recharging

May 19th at beautiful InterPlayce in Oakland and experience a variety of “Inner Transition”* tools led by facilitators from Green Sangha (mindful practice and awakened action), Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, Non-Violent Communication, Theatre of the Oppressed, and InterPlay (creative, fun theatre tools to unlock the wisdom within).

Gain effective tools to take with you and use in your Transition Initiatives/Workgroups and organizations. Recharge and connect to others in your area.

Date/time: Saturday, May 19th, 9:45 am-4:30 pm

Location: InterPlayce, 2273 Telegraph Avenue (corner of 23rd St.), Oakland, CA, close to 19th St. BART station, also served by several bus lines.

Particulars: Lunch provided by Canticle Farm, bring your own dish/utensils, wear comfortable clothing

Cost: self-determined, $20-$40 suggested

To sign up or for more info: Kristina Benett at or (805) 540-1942

Event Sponsors: Transition Berkeley, Transition Albany, Green Sangha, Canticle Farm, Interplay, East Bay Cohousing