Change Has Come
After 17 years of promoting, teaching, and engaging in mindful activism, we have closed the Green Sangha organization. The last official day of our non-profit operation was February 28, 2018. But ripples of mindful activism continue to spread. The Sustainable Vision Fest (above) will give you a picture of many exciting ways that you can help to restore the ecology and renew our relations. Other examples of ongoing actions by Green Sangha members and friends are below. But first . . .
What did we accomplish?
Green Sangha began in 2000 with monthly mini-retreats. We meditated together and talked about how to protect the planet. At first, we focused on personal lifestyle changes and writing letters to legislators. By 2004, we had received a grant and started giving talks on sustainable living in churches and schools. Soon, we were tabling at festivals and grocery stores, corresponding with editors of national publications, and crafting legislation for the reduction of plastic waste.
From 2005 through 2012, hundreds of citizen-activists, young and old, engaged in programs such as the Magazine Project, Rethinking Plastics, the Garden Wheel, Inner & Outer Restoration at Green Gulch, the Low Carbon Diet, Coastal Cleanup Day, and the Teen Environmental Leadership Academy. Beginning in 2013, Mindful Leadership Training was our strongest offering, with 750 citizens, youth, and civic officials participating in classes and workshops.
Why did we close?
The Board worked hard to develop our membership, but the efforts were insufficient to grow the base of support needed to keep a non-profit afloat. We decided to close the organization, knowing that the ideas, methods, and motivation that have meant so much will continue to guide and inspire as we work for a safe, just, and beautiful world.
Green Sangha members and colleagues continue to engage with communities
- Linda Currie and other East Bay members are working with Transition Berkeley to “envision and create a future with more locally produced food and other necessities, cleaner forms of transportation and energy. Along the way, we’ll build a more equitable and vibrant local economy and re-learn practical skills our grandparents once had.”
- Maeve Murphy leads Coastal Cleanup Day at McNear’s Beach on the third Saturday of each September, while iinspiring her work place, a large office in San Francisco, to “up” their recycling and composting profile.
- Stuart Moody has joined with Tucson Clean & Beautiful on a 13-year, multi-organization campaign to increase the city’s shade canopy from 8% to 20%.
- Sukey Parmelee leads Watershed Stewardship at Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm on the second Sunday of the month.
- Beth Terry, in her blog, My Plastic Free Life, gives practical advice and connects you to letter-writing campaigns and other action ideas, couching it all in a simple philosophy of conservation, care, and creativity.
- Andy Peri, a founding member of Green Sangha, is traveling in China with his partner Xiao to convene workshops on sustainability and mindful community.
- Jonathan Gustin, Green Sangha founder, now leads the Purpose Guides Institute, helping people connect with their deepest dreams and their highest calling.
And this is just a sample of possibilities! Check our web page on Resources for awakened action. And directly below see how our work on mindful activism is being promoted under the rubric civil discourse:
Mindful communication makes a difference!
Last August, Green Sangha hosted a workshop in San Rafael on Civil Discourse: How Do We Do It? with a panel of community leaders, including Green Sangha members Andy Peri and Maureen Parton, framed by meditation with Maeve Murphy and a flute serenade by Michael Davis. The conversation on this vital topic continues in Tucson:
On Mon March 19, 7-9 pm. Stuart Moody moderated an event in Tucson where the panel included Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Raquel Goodrich. Sixty individuals attended the event, which featured a meditation led by Tassneem Solieman of UA’s Mindful Ambassadors, conversation circles led by trained facilitators from the Center for Community Dialogue, and a Native American flute serenade by Twinfeathers. Following on this event, a group of community leaders and concerned citizens have come together to plan a campaign for restoring civility in the public conversation in Tucson and beyond.
“I wish it wasn’t so relevant, that we humans had already figured out how to easily collaborate and think together in light of the difficult problems we face. I’m thinking of big social issues such as global climate change, poverty, our growing income inequality, wars, etc. These are complex systemic issues . . . . So there couldn’t be anything more relevant than learning how to speak and think together in ways that build listening and respect, strengthen relationships, and help make wise decisions.”
– Linda Ellinor, co-author, Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation
Thank you for caring for the Earth, for our communities, for each other. Thank you for the part you have played in spreading the message, and the manifestation, of mindful activism — the heart of Green Sangha. May you be healthy and happy. Let us all continue, that the world may grow in peace.