Category Archives: Green Sangha Chapter News

Plug in, take off!

National Plug-In Day, Sunday, September 23, 8 am – 2 pm at Marin Civic Center

Imagine if you didn’t have to pay volatile gasoline prices, rarely returned to your auto dealer for service, and could re-charge your car at home overnight like a cell phone.  Want to have the speed and amenities of a gasoline-powered car but not pollute the air while driving?  Drive electric!  It’s easier and cheaper than many think.

Learn how simple it is to drive and charge an electric vehicle:

  • See electric cars and motorcycles, including the BMW Active E, Brammo Electric Motorcycles, Chevrolet Volt, Coda, Fisker Karma, Ford Focus Electric, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Tesla, Toyota’s RAV 4 EV and Plug In Prius . . . and electric bicycles, too!
  • Talk to local EV owners about their experiences
  • Test drive an electric vehicle
  • Assess your yearly cost-savings, and state and federal purchase incentives possible

“Electric vehicles are a win-win for Marin drivers,” says Dale Miller, president of GGEVA.  “They cost less to own and drive than gas cars.  Switching to an electric car is the most effective step that Marin residents can take to reduce their carbon footprints.  GGEVA is proud to co-sponsor this opportunity for Marin drivers to see how much fun it is to drive an electric car.”

Marin National Plug In Day 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012. 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
In the parking lot across from the Marin Farmers Market, Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael.  Free admission.  Open to the public.

Organized by Transportation Authority of Marin and Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association
National Plug In Day 2012 will be celebrated in more than 60 cities “to draw global attention to the environmental, economic, and other benefits of plug in electric vehicles,” according to national organizers Plug In America, Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association.

About the Organizers
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) is the congestion management agency and sales tax authority for Marin County. TAM manages a variety of transportation projects and programs in Marin County, receiving federal, state, regional, and local funds, and working closely with all eleven cities and towns as well as the county.
Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association (GGEVA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer educational, support and advocacy organization that promotes electric vehicles:

To learn more:
National Plug in Day
Plug In America
Plug In America- Facebook Page
Sierra Club
Electric Auto Association

Working meditation

What better way to restore oneself and the earth than enhancing the beauty of the land that we love?  Last Sunday, Sept 2, Green Sangha’s East Bay members took an afternoon for inner and outer restoration at Green Gulch Farm, and David Nelson took these photos.

Weed collecting

Wood splitting

Eating some muffins, too, made by our hostess and Site Manager, Sukey Parmelee.

Embraced by some sunshine, dirt, and dharma fog, we left in our natural state.

Next date at Green Gulch:  Sunday, November 11.  Watershed Stewardship in the land of sun and water.

Photos 1,2, & 4 by David Nelson:

Photo of Sukey Parmelee:  Stuart Moody

Catching some rays!

Green Sangha’s 2nd annual Solar Cooking demonstration & food offering, Sunday, Sep 2, 12-4 pm, 1257 Main St, Redwood City

Did you know that you can boil water, steam vegetables, and bake bread without fossil fuels?

  • See demonstrations of portable solar cookers, a solar water pasteurizer, and heat-retention cooking devices.
  •  Learn solar cooking’s many benefits for individuals and the environment, and see how easy it is.
  • Sample cookies, stew, and other solar-cooked foods.
  • Get instructions for making your own solar cooking device and tips on how to save money, water and energy in cooking.


Noon to 1 pm, we will set up cookers to preheat, then have a short meditation and discussion about a Green Sangha Peninsula Chapter.  If you have a solar cooker and/or are interested in Green Sangha, please arrive at noon.
1-4 pm, we will have our demo & food sharing — in the middle of the “Really, Really Free Market,” a monthly “Community Garage Sale” without price tags, where people bring their unused items and discarded-but-still-healthy fruits and vegetables to offer to anyone who wants them.  The Market happens in a mini-park near the end of Beech Street, from 1-5pm, and is organized by members of Occupy Redwood City as a means to promote local self-sufficiency and build stronger communities.  “If we share our resources we won’t need to buy as many new ones.  This uses fewer of the Earth’s resources, and fewer of our working hours, leaving us more time and money for things we enjoy!”

Sunlight – our ultimate renewable source of energy – free forever!

For more information please contact Marianna Tubman at (650) 367-7325.

Celebrate the Summer

“Saying our prayers with our hands in the earth” – 5th Annual Gratitude Gathering

Come Saturday, July 28, 1:00 to 4:30 pm, to the home of  Mary & Trathen Heckman, Green Sangha Advisory Council member.  The program begins with a couple of hours of service in the Heckmans’ permaculture paradise, a model home and garden.   We will then gather for meditation, a garden talk by Trathen, volunteer recognition, and potluck refreshments.

Trathen at home in his garden

This will be a special opportunity to wish Stuart Moody all success as he moves to Tucson in August.  Stuart will continue his Green Sangha work there, teaching sustainability from within and developing training programs to share with us and other parts of the nation.

Enjoy an afternoon of fresh air, fellowship, and fun.  Bring a broad-brimmed hat and other sun protection, your own reusable water bottle and/or mug, your favorite garden tools, and a little something to share for the potluck.

To reserve your place and for directions, call (510) 532-6574 or write

Also upcoming
Mindful Activism and Communication.  Sunday, July 29, 2-5 pm.  Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley.  Practical tools include:   * Five parts to a short speech to inform and inspire * The Magic Formula  * Leading by listening * Using curiosity to build friendship and understanding *  Summarizing for results.  Presented by Stuart Moody, M.A.  Suggested donation:  $10-20.  Green Sangha members free.

Stuart on Market Street, Moving Planet Day 2011

Job announcement – Executive Director

Green Sangha invites applicants for the position of Executive Director, a part-time position of leadership and inspiration.  With two chapters in the East Bay and Marin County, and activities around the Bay Area, Green Sangha performs grassroots actions based on spiritual principles such as friendliness, compassion, oneness and peace.  The Executive Director helps set the tone and inspires awakened activism through modeling, teaching, and promoting these qualities of awakened activism.  Regular meditation practice, as a staple of spiritual growth and mind-body integration, is assumed.

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management of Green Sangha, including:  program development and governance, budgeting and fundraising, publicity and advocacy.  The Executive Director models deep listening and open-hearted engagement with all parties, using a task-oriented, hands-on management style that empowers members and maintains a consensus-based work environment.

The Executive Director strives to carry and manifest the vision and ideals of GS in his or her everyday actions, and models a healthy, balanced lifestyle as a spiritually-engaged activist.  Excellent communication skills, written and oral, are required for this leadership role.

Reporting relationship
The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors, reporting directly to the Board President.

Specific responsibilities
Program development

  • Oversee program development, working collaboratively with the Program Director
  • Chair the Action Committee
  • Plan and develop individual projects
  • Recruit Committee members
  • Evaluate and track procedures
  • Lead long-range planning, including assessment of program needs, in partnership with the Board President

Fiscal management

  • Develop annual budget with the Fiscal Committee, ensuring proper fiscal accounting and controls in accordance with the guidelines of funding sources and with sound accounting practices
  • Maintain fiscal solvency of agency


  • Supervise writing and submission of grant proposals
  • Research new funding sources and supervise annual donor campaign
  • With the Fund-raising Committee, meet with funding agencies and donors
  • Direct fund-raising events (e.g., dance benefits, day-long workshops, evening lectures, annual fund-raiser)


  • Hire, assign, direct, and evaluate staff members
  • Oversee chapter development, providing support and direction to chapter leaders
  • Monitor actions and assist Project Leaders in developing and implementing successful programs
  • Discipline and perform all other functions necessary or incidental to supervision; ensure compliance with employment law

Public relations

  • Serve as agency spokesperson
  • Act as liaison with community agencies and representatives
  • Cultivate relationships with a wide-range of spiritual, social, and environmental activist organizations and representatives
  • Initiate public awareness campaigns

Advocacy & Outreach

  • Write and speak on issues of spiritually-engaged environmental activism
  • Contact conference organizers, publishers, and other groups with proposals to speak, write, and lead workshops

Compensation:  $40,000 per year; no benefits

To apply:  Send a cover letter and current resume to Program Director Elizabeth Little: or Green Sangha, P.O. Box 20261, Oakland, CA 94620

Application deadline:  open (posting updated Nov 18, 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