Author Archives: Stuart Moody

About Stuart Moody

Stuart Moody is Board President of Green Sangha. He received a B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology at USF. Stuart was Green Schoolyard Coordinator at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael and directs Green Sangha’s Rethinking Plastics campaign. From 1993 to 2012, Stuart taught dance and co-directed teacher training for Young Imaginations, an arts education agency based in San Rafael. He has taught yoga and meditation to thousands in the Bay Area, including 10 years at San Quentin State Prison. Recently moved to Tucson, he just completed a graduate certificate program in “Connecting Environmental Science and Decision Making” at the University of Arizona.

Awakened Action Tea, November 16, 2013: Detailed Directions

Awakened Action Tea

Celebrate sustainable activism with delicious organic vegan delights, warm fellowship, and an inspirational hour with Joanna Macy.  With Trathen Heckman, founder and director of Daily Acts.

Saturday, November 16, 4-6 pm, Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, 94606.  Tickets:  $20.

DIRECTIONS to Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, Oakland

Main Entrance: 1330 Lakeshore Ave.

Second Entrance 1255 First Ave. @ E. 14th

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church is located at the southeast end of Lake Merritt. Situated next to a 25-story apartment complex, not far from the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. Our main entrance is on Lakeshore Avenue where there is street parking. Our second entrance is at the rear of the building at 1255 First Avenue, where there is a small parking lot and street parking.

Interstate 580 from SF/Berkeley and points north:

Take the Grand Avenue exit and go to the second light, which is Lakeshore Avenue. Turn right stay on Lakeshore Ave. In .9 miles turn right to stay on Lakeshore. In about one block the church will be on your left where there is street parking. Our second entrance is at the rear of the building at 1255 First Ave. where there is a small parking lot and street parking.

Interstate 580 from the south or east:

Take Lakeshore Exit and merge onto Lake Park Avenue .1 mile. Turn left on Lakeshore Ave. In 1 mile turn right to stay on Lakeshore. In about one block the church will be on your left where there is street parking. Our second entrance is at the rear of the building at 1255 First Ave. where there is a small parking lot and street parking.

Interstate 80 from San Jose or the south:

Take the Embarcadero exit toward Fifth Ave. .2 miles. Turn right onto Embarcadero .1 mile. Take the first right onto Fifth Avenue .5 mile. Turn left onto International Blvd. .3 mile. Turn right onto 1st Ave. Turn left onto Lakeshore Ave. In about one block the church will be on your left. Our second entrance is at the rear of the building at 1255 First Ave. where there is a small parking lot and street parking.

Downtown Oakland:

Take 14th Street southeast toward Broadway .6 mile. Continue onto Lake Merritt Blvd. .4 mile. Continue onto 1st Avenue .2 mile. Turn left onto Lakeshore Ave. In about one block the church will be on your left where there is street parking. Our second entrance is at the rear of the building at 1255 1st Ave. where there is a small parking lot and street parking.

Public Transportation: 

The Lake Merritt BART station is an easy ½ mile walk to/from the church. From BART, walk in a northerly direction on Oak Street. You will pass the Oakland Museum and the County Courthouse on your right. Cross 14th Street then turn right, following the perimeter ofthe lake around to Lakeshore Avenue. At the marked crosswalk, you will be directly across from the main entrance to the church. (It is not safe to cut through Laney College and the Oakland Kaiser Convention center to cross 11th, 12th  or 13th  Streets to get to the lake.) AC Transit buses run to a stop at the intersection of E. 14th Street/International Blvd and First Avenue, near our entrance at 1255 First Avenue. For current bus and BART info, call Travel Info at 511 or go to

Special retreat: Green Gulch, Sun 10-13-13

Pumpkin madonna  IIRefresh yourself, inside and out!

Come to Green Gulch Farm on Sun, Oct 13, for an afternoon of fresh air, fellowship, and fun. This day will take the place of our regular East Bay & Marin County monthly retreats.

12:15  Lunch in the dining hall – vegetarian, organic, delicious
1:10 Gather at the stop sign for orientation. To the fields!
3:30 Clean up. Muffins & tea.
4:00 Green Sangha meeting, led by Maeve Murphy.
5:00 Meditation in the Zendo.
5:45 Return home.

You can choose work that suits your interest and energy.  Sample tasks:

  • Removing the fence next to the old farm road in the 6th field
  • Taking out cape ivy
  • Splitting wood

What to wear: layers for changeable weather; sturdy, close-toed shoes; hat and other sun protection
What to bring: bottle for your water; gloves if you have them; favorite gardening tool if you like.

Site manager Sukey says: “There is now a new farm road that swings out into the field in a slight meander . . . to allow the creek to swing out next summer in a more elaborate meander. Come see it!”

Reservations required for lunch.  RSVP: or (510) 532-6574.

Saturday, November 16, 4-6 pm
Lake Merritt United Methodist Church
1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland 94606

Joanna close smilingEnjoy the company of mindful activists at our 6th Annual Fund-raiser, with meditation, music, vegan treats and tea, and a keynote address by Joanna Macy (photo credit:  Adam Shemper).

For more information, go to Awakened Action Tea.  Tickets are $20.  Send your check to Green Sangha, PO Box 20261, Oakland, 94620, or buy online here.


POSITION OPENINGBoard of Directors
Do you have a deep desire to restore the earth? Are you inspired by the mission of integrating mindful practice and awakened action? Do you enjoy cooperative planning, leading by listening, and the art of governance? Green Sangha is accepting applications for our board of directors, a close-knit team of dedicated, creative, collaborative professionals with a love of mother earth. Details here.



Activating hope with Joanna Macy

Sat Nov 16, 4-6 pm

Macy, Joanna standing“Suspicion of power leads people to be reluctant to act authoritatively . . . . Fortunately the power-over model isn’t the only way to understand power.  When we see with new eyes, a more attractive and capacity-building alternative comes into view.”

– Joanna Macy & Christopher Johnstone, Active Hope (2012, p. 108)

Green Sangha is dedicated to empowering community leaders and citizen activists with practices that restore our sense of connection and inner peace.  Joanna Macy will be the keynote speaker at our Awakened Action Tea:

  • Saturday, November 16, 4-6 pm
  • Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, 94606

Reserve your place now. Tickets are $20. Send your check to Green Sangha, PO Box 20261, Oakland, 94620, or purchase tickets online here.

“Thinking of courage and determination as things we do rather than things we have helps us to develop these qualities.  They emerge out of our engagement with actual situations and the dynamics that arise from our interactions.  This approach is relational, and we call it power-with.

Joanna Macy & Christopher Johnstone (2012, p. 109)


Coastal Cleanup Day: Sep 21, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACalifornia Coastal Cleanup Day may be the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world.  This year’s slogan is “Help make trash extinct”!  You can help reach this goal and contribute to citizen science while enjoying a day of fresh air and heart-filled service to the environment . . . and who doesn’t love beach-combing?

1. McNear’s Beach, 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael (among scores of locations around the Bay Area), a lovely bayside park overlooking the northern bay.
2. Damon Marsh, MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline,  a 741-acre park protecting the remainder of a once-extensive marshland at San Leandro Bay.  The park includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Grove, completed with community support and dedicated in 1993.  The 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh is a stop-over on the Pacific Flyway and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

When:  Sat, Sep 21, 9am – noon.  Cleanup starts with a brief orientation and safety talk.  Come early even if you can’t stay the whole three hours.

McNear’s Beach includes about one mile of shoreline, and is a relatively well-cared-for beach, but in 2012 we still managed to collect 91 pounds of trash and 6 pounds of recyclables!

More about McNear’s Beach here.


  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes
  • Hat and other sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (no single-use plastic, please!)
  • Jacket in case of wind

Also bring your own reusable supplies if possible, to help cut down on waste and save funds.  This could mean a bucket, trash bags, and gloves if you have.

Directions to McNear’s:  Drive out Point San Pedro Road from central San Rafael; signs will show you the park entrance.  Tell the ranger you’re volunteering with the beach cleanup, then park at the far (northerly) end of the lot.  We’ll be at the picnic tables by the snack bar.  Beach captain:  Maeve Murphy (455-9577).  Click here for a map.  Please consider biking, public transport, or carpooling to the site with your friends. Volunteers who drive to the cleanup can park for free (the normal weekend fee is $10 per car); just tell the rangers at the entrance that you’re a CCC Day volunteer.

You are invited to the Bay Model in Sausalito for an after-cleanup barbecue. To prevent waste, please BYO plate, cup, and eating utensils as only throw-aways are provided.

Shay Jensen on his way

Directions to Damon Marsh: 

·  If you’re driving on 880 take the 66th Ave/Zhone Way exit and turn toward the airport (west).

·  Drive to Oakport St and turn R (there will be a sign at the intersection).

·  Proceed ¼ miles and on the L side you will see a yellow gate and signs.

·  Go through the yellow gate and follow the signs down the entrance road to the parking area.

·  Sign-in area is by Damon Marsh Trail.

More information and additional sites listed by the California Coastal Commission here:  California Coastal Cleanup Day.



March for the Climate August 3

Climate March
Moving Planet Day, Sept 24, 2011

For months we have been happily planning and looking forward to the Green Sangha Gratitude Gathering scheduled for Saturday August 3 in Point Reyes Station. In the meanwhile, a major Climate Action demonstration was organized by for the same day in Richmond. We have decided to postpone the Gratitude Gathering and instead put our mindfulness into action at this important gathering of earth stewards and climate protectors.

Please join us in marching peacefully for climate sanity and a speedy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The organizers are hoping for 1,000  to 2,000 participants.  Our experience on other 350-organized events is that the crowd is positive and upbeat, and that bystanders are often interested and even vocally supportive.  It is a moment for inspiring awakened action.

Here’s the overall plan:

Gather:  Richmond BART station

Time: 10 am, Saturday August 3

March: From Richmond BART to Chevron refinery (approximately 2.4 miles)

Rally: Chevron refinery, S. Castro St. gate, approx. 12 noon

Adjourn:  1 pm or so

Bus transit is available back to BART from the refinery

A shorter March & Kids’ Event will begin at 10:30 am, George Carroll (aka Washington) Park, Pt Richmond.

Green Sangha’s role

Have you been reluctant to participate in demonstrations because the energy feels negative?  Our goal is to contribute to the loving, joyful atmosphere of this event.  To maximize the coherence-creating effect, our group will begin with a circle in the nice grassy area just west of the Richmond BART station.  It is the area bounded by Metrowalk Way.  See this map.

Green Sangha board member and yoga teacher Bet Muth will lead us in a standing meditation and invocation.  We’ll have our banner in hand, or hanging nearby; just look for a circle doing gentle stretches or standing in silence.  The circle will be open to all who want to join, so please invite friends and family.  When the time comes, we will join the larger group at the BART station and set forth for the refinery, sometime between 10:30 and 11:00.

If you want to participate in the Green Sangha circle and prefer a shorter walk, there is bus transit from Richmond BART to either Washington Park or the rally site.

Practical reminders from the organizing team

  1. Bring your own water bottle.
  2. We’ll have porta-potties at the rally site, and possibly near the start (assuming we can either use BART or the Bobbie Bowen Center).
  3. Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing!
  5. This is a family friendly event. (Children are encouraged to join the kids’ march from Judge George Carroll Park, formerly Washington Park).
  6. Non-violence includes no verbal abuse or threatening motions (although spirited chants are a big part of our demonstration).  No weapons, no alcohol, no non-prescribed drugs.  Be respectful of all participants and on-lookers.

If you have additional questions about Green Sangha’s participation, please e-mail Bet Muth, bet.muth [a]

We look forward to participating in this awakened action with you on Saturday, August 3!

For More information on the March:

Saturday, August 3rd

Richmond Chevron Convergenc– No Tar Sands, No Fracking, No Dangerous Refineries, Save the Rainforest and the 2013 Summer Heat Coalition

Learn more here and here.


An easy way to reduce waste

Green Sangha has been advocating for plastics reduction since 2004.  And we have gotten results:  from the saving of over 8 tons of plastic produce bags from Bay Area markets every year, to plastic bag and foam food ware bans in Marin County, to changes in the consumer choices of thousands of Bay Area citizens.  Harvill bldg Sun 10-14-12

Allison Vogel has initiated the latest action, something you can do on your own schedule in the course of your day.  The idea is simple:  saturate our local stores and restaurants with friendly, firm calls to end the use of Styrofoam foodware.  We continue to advocate for local ordinances to accomplish this across the board, and eventually a statewide ban.  But we can hasten the process by reminding local business persons of their role in making the shift to sustainable packaging and an ethic of reuse.

Allison has written a letter that you can download and bring to restaurants that still use Styrofoam for take-out dishes.  Copy this letter, edit it to suit your situation (for example, you may participate in clean-ups at other locations than Damon Slough,  mentioned in the letter.  Print out a few copies, put them in your backpack or your backseat, and carry them into the restaurant or market you visit.

Re:  Take-out packaging; going sustainable

I enjoy your food very much, but feel sad when I see polystyrene (Styrofoam and related products) used by customers to take their servings home.  I’d like you to consider changing the packaging for to-go orders.  Here’s why:

Polystyrene is resistant to photolysis and never completely degrades.  It does, however, break into smaller bits which, sadly, look like fish eggs and thus are regularly mistaken for food by wildlife. As a member of Green Sangha, I regularly participate in clean-ups at Damon Slough on the Oakland Shoreline, one of the Bay Area’s “hot spots” for litter pollution.  The little bits of polystyrene are by far the most insidious form of litter, nearly impossible to collect.

Polystyrene is harmful to humans.  According to the EPA, styrene is a suspected carcinogen.  This chemical migrates from foam containers into our food. Heated food, food with fat content, and acidic food are all especially likely to have plastic chemicals leach into them.  Workers who are exposed to styrene report acute health effects such as irritation of the eyes, skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic effects on the nervous system, including headaches, depression, fatigue, weakness, and impairment of kidney function.

Recycling is almost impossible.  Although there is a recycling symbol on most polystyrene containers, the EPA reported in 2010 that only 1% of polystyrene was recycled.  It is not accepted in citywide curbside recycling because of difficulties in processing the material (sorting, transporting, cleaning, and re-forming into new articles).  Many citizens are not aware of these issues and put these containers in their recycling bins with the best of intentions.  Unfortunately these items contaminate the system, and must be weeded out and sent to the landfill.  Winds often carry these lightweight articles out of garbage trucks and away from the landfill, clogging storm drains and polluting the Bay and ocean.

Leadership.  Nearly 200 cities and towns in California have already banned foam foodware, including the Bay Area communities of Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fairfax, Hercules, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Bruno, and San Francisco.  One restaurant in San Rafael charges its customers $1 for orders that require take-out containers.  Very few customers have objected; if someone does complain, they explain the reason for the policy, and waive the fee.  This allows the business to cover the cost of the slightly-more-expensive compostable containers, to encourage customers to bring their own tiffins for left-overs, and to spread the message of waste reduction in practical and understandable ways.

I urge you to consider these approaches and to talk with your supplier about a green alternative to foam food ware.  Copied below are some websites that offer safer biodegradable alternatives to Polystyrene and plastic. (Plastic can only be “downcycled” once and then it, too, is landfill forever.)

If we want to protect our health and our environment, we must stop pollution at its source.  I deeply appreciate your consideration of my request and look forward to supporting your business in a way that is non-harming to people and the planet.



A few Green Product Suppliers

For more information about ending plastic pollution, see


A call to teachers – speak on climate change!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Just as we need to keep our bodies healthy and pure as we seek enlightenment, while we dwell on this planet we have a duty to cherish and protect it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have (2008).

Teachers of meditation have long promoted mindful living for mental development, physical health, and more harmonious social relations.  Mindful living extends even further, though, into the realm of lifestyle choices, business decisions, and government policies.  All of these have a profound effect on our communities and our collective body, the earth.

With atmospheric CO2 levels still climbing, we need dharma teachers to join actively in the movement for climate protection, through their teaching and through their organizations.  This spring, we joined James Baraz in calling on all meditation leaders to teach on climate protection as a vital part of mindful living.  Members signed a petition on the website of Oxford Gaia House Retreats, organized by a number of Sangha members.  Then, in early June, Spirit Rock hosted a gathering of teachers who discussed this call with James, Jack Kornfield, and other Spirit Rock leaders.

Climate protection is the immediate and personal requirement of every one of us, and it cannot wait any longer.  While dharma teachers begin to take up the issue with the same seriousness that they give to regular meditation practice, let your voice continue to be heard, in conversations with neighbors, before elected officials, and at your place of work.

Buddha in fieldLet your actions seen!  Sign up for Green Sangha’s Sustainable Living Training with Linda Currie, to become a Climate Leader yourself!  Call (510) 532-6574 or write




Tell the President: no Keystone XL pipeline!

We have just a few days left to stop the Keystone pipeline project.  Climate experts tell us that all of our good work will be undone if this project is approved.  Your voice makes a difference.  Here is a sample letter, adapted from Bill Carney and Sustainable San Rafael.  Please take a few minutes to copy this letter into a Word document, edit to suit your style, and send to the addressees by Earth Day!

Then, please tell us that you sent the letter.  We want to know how many Green Sangha members and friends have responded.

With heartfelt gratitude,

All of our team at Green Sangha

April, 2013

President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

History will remember your Presidency for what you do on climate. Now is the time for bold climate leadership. I join millions of Americans in calling on you to support immediate and decisive climate-saving actions.

Climate disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and the heartland drought have made this crisis real to most Americans.  A unique ‘teachable moment’ is at hand.  Please make good on your Inaugural pledge “to respond to the threat of climate change” by laying out a practical plan to achieve what science demands, including these key elements:

  • Climate is an energy issue:  To solve the climate crisis, we must move rapidly from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.  Climate can’t wait.
  • Climate is an economic issue:  We can solve this crisis by creating satisfying American jobs building a clean energy economy and re-building climate-resilient homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
  • Climate is a fiscal issue:  We can pay for the transition off fossil fuels and for the damages done by fossil fuel through carefully stepped-up fees on carbon – which will also help incentivize the switch to cleaner fuels.  Otherwise, the escalating costs of      climate disasters and adaptations will swamp future budgets and drown future opportunities.

I’ve already acted to reduce my carbon use.  Now I need your action to support and amplify the efforts of every citizen on the scale needed to solve this crisis.  You have the power to take Executive action now to demonstrate that climate is a national priority by rejecting the Keystone Pipeline.  Then, inspire us with a comprehensive, can-do climate vision to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.  If Americans can travel to the moon, a “mission to Earth” is possible, too.  Not only is it possible, it is vital to the health of our people and our home planet.


[Your name]


Representative Jared Huffman/999 Fifth Ave., #290/San Rafael, CA 94901

Senator Barbara Boxer/112 Hart Senate Office Building/Washington, DC 20510

Senator Dianne Feinstein/331 Hart Senate Office Building/Washington, DC 20510

Secretary of State John Kerry/2201 C Street NW/Washington, DC 20520

Turn the tide on marine litter – Plastics 360 Mar 7 & 16

Leila Monroe, staff attorney at NRDC, just sent us a 2012 paper by the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The Center reports that 663 marine species have been harmed by marine litter through entanglement and ingestion—a two-thirds increase in species from a similar study in 1998.  You can see the report here:  Impacts of Marine Debris on BiodiversitySea lion entangled - MMC

Another 2012 paper reports the annual expenditures of California’s coastal communities to combat litter:  over $418 million.  This report, presented by the EPA is summarized neatly here: 

West Coast Communities’ Cost of Managing Marine Debris.

We don’t have to keep living this way.  On Thursday, March 7, and Saturday, March 16, join fellow citizens and decision makers to listen, learn, and converse on ways to end the plague of plastic pollution.

Chris at micChris Pincetich, PhD, will be one of the local leaders at both events, giving us insight into the problem, and discussing solutions that are already at hand.  Come to Berkeley on Thursday, March 7, for an evening of Films and Conversation.  Then, come to Lafayette on Saturday, March 16, for a day-long exploration of issues and possibilities for action, from home to office to government, with Chris, Dr. Marion Guyer, author Beth Terry, and other luminaries. Register here.


For your vision

A simple treat.  Do your eyes ever get tired after a spell of reading?  Any close work for an extended period can create fatigue, even eyestrain.  Computer work can be especially hard on the eyes.  One blogger reported that when she works too long on the computer, “I can’t see any more.  Everything is blurry, and it takes a few hours for my vision to return.”

Relief is at your fingertips, and is something you probably do spontaneously from time to time.  It’s called Palming.  Dr. William Bates taught it, and its roots appear to reach back to eastern healing traditions such as yoga and Tibetan medicine.  Meir Schneider, PhD, of the School for Self-Healing in San Francisco, puts palming at the center of his self-care recommendation.  Here’s how:

Palming.  Place your cupped hands over your eyes so that the heel of each hand rests on the cheekbone and the fingertips point up.  With your eyes closed, look at the darkness.  Breathe deeply and comfortably.  When you take your hands away, notice any colors that appear before you slowly open your eyes.

How long should you palm?  Usually individuals do this for a few breaths.  For certain needs, though, Schneider recommends palming 5, 10, even 30 minutes a day.  (Would you like to hear how one man answered this question?  Read the story below.)

Come learn the basic principles of natural eye care at Improving Your Vision:  Inner and Outer, Saturday, March 9, 2-4 pm at the Stress Management Center of Marin, 1165 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur.

Cost:  $20 ($10 for current Green Sangha members).  Advance registration strongly recommended.  Call (510) 532-6574, or write

Instructor:  Stuart Moody, registered yoga teacher and president of Green Sangha

Zoe palmingYoung children need support in many ways.  Here, the grand-daughter of Melissa Moody, former Director of Education for the School for Self-Healing, enjoys a special board for palming.

One man’s experience with palming Greg Marsh, a Certified Natural Vision Teacher in Fort Collins, Colorado, and producer of the 6-CD program, Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally (, tells this story:

“Ophthalmologist William Bates concluded from his study and treatment of thousands of eyes that tight muscles actually contort the eyes and restrict circulation.  He found that palming helps those muscles relax and let go.  Even Dr. Bates was surprised at what one man in his late 60’s accomplished with palming.  This man had worn glasses for forty years for distance, and twenty years for reading.  He was also developing cataracts.  When he asked how long he could palm, Dr. Bates told him he could not overdo it.  At his next appointment the man reported ‘It was tedious, very tedious, but I did it.’  He had palmed from 4 am to midnight, eating nothing and drinking lots of water.  He could now see perfectly both in the distance and for reading, and his cataract had cleared up significantly.  Two years later there was no relapse.”