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We hope you were able to enjoy a long and fruitful Labor Day weekend. A few of us spent Labor Day at Occupy Bay Area Convergence where we met members of regional Occupy groups. It was a time and place to brainstorm ideas and objectives in confronting cycles of poverty, war, inequity and environmental disaster. For us it was a precursor to the dynamic experience we're preparing for at the National Bioneers Conference (#BioCon) next month.
We're also happy to introduce you to more bioneers through our new series of engaging and in-depth conversations between peers. Our first conversation features Sufi mystic and author Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in discussion with Matthew Fox, renowned religious reformer and educator. Enjoy their conversation about ecology and spirtituality.
See you soon in San Rafael!
-Your Friends at Bioneers
Tom B.K. Goldtooth is Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and an internationally recognized environmental and economic justice leader. He co-produced the award-winning documentary, Drumbeat For Mother Earth, which addresses the affects of bio-accumulative chemicals on indigenous people. Tom joins us this year at BioCon 2013 to discuss indigenous resistance to the privatization of nature, and how to reclaim our innate knowledge of the natural world as a sacred, living being. For more information on Tom's presentations at BioCon 2013, click here.
From the Culture of Soil to Cultured Foods A Bioneers Post-Conference Workshop
On Monday, October 21 join Bioneers on a private farm tour with Green String Farm owner Bob Cannard, who will share his unique eco-farming practices that create deep fertility in the land, and intense vitality and flavor in the food he grows. In the afternoon Sandor Katz will teach a hands-on workshop on how to make powerfully healthy foods in your own kitchen, while discussing the wonderful, diverse, global culinary traditions and health benefits of fermented foods.
“Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious. Microscopic organisms, our ancestors and allies, transform food and extend its usefulness. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known- fermented foods help people stay healthy,” explains Katz.
Join us for a day of farming and fermentation!
Where: Green String Farm, Petaluma, CA When: Monday October 21 from 10 AM- 4:30 PM Cost: $175 (Includes lunch and bus transportation from Embassy Suites, San Rafael)
Bioneers is proud to present our new series bringing together two thought-leaders and BioCon 2013 presenters to engage in conversation about their work in the world, and their vision for a healthier and more just planet. In this excerpt from our conversation between Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and theologian Matthew Fox, the two faith leaders discuss deep ecology, spiritual narcissism and tapping into our sacred connection to the earth.
Matthew: Today [Bioneers has asked] us to talk about ecology and spirituality. Who can deny that it doesn't matter what your particular tradition is, or if you're an atheist, if your backyard is burning up and you can't plant food anymore, and the waters are rising? We're all in trouble…And it can finally bring religions together and get over their Narcissism.
Llewellyn: I hope so. Mysticism, as you know, has always held this common thread underneath religion- the union of inner experience. Part of the reason I wrote this book, Spiritual Ecology, was to try to bring that into the ecological debate because I felt that, although it was present, it wasn't voiced enough… I have a concern that somehow people who have a spiritual awakening or awareness are somehow too focused on their own individual inner spiritual journey. To me this is a travesty of real spiritual awakening or spiritual awareness, which has to do with the whole, and this whole includes the earth.
Matthew: I couldn't agree more. If you're breakthrough does not lead to transpersonal service, to compassion, to justice, including ecojustice, then I doubt its authenticity. Or as someone else put it, after ecstasy comes the laundry.
Llewellyn: Somehow we have become so focused on our own human journey that we've forgotten that this human journey is part of the earth's journey… How can we learn once again to live in love with the earth in the way we live, in our daily activities so that everything becomes imbued with this sense of the sacred?
Matthew: And that's what makes deep ecology different from ecology… In our traditions, it is said too that the mind resides in the heart.
Llewellyn: The heart and the mind in the heart sees the oneness in things. We need to reclaim that unity, that oneness, because life is dying… somehow we have lost connection with this spiritual dimension of creation, and to me that is the root of our present ecological imbalance because we don't respect or revere creation as our ancestors and indigenous peoples have always done.
Thomas Berry says we are only talking to ourselves; we are not talking to the rivers; we are not listening to the winds and stars; we have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe. And we have to learn again how to listen to the earth, and how to open that ear of the heart. We have been told this great lie that we are separate from the earth, that it is something out there. It is not out there, we are part of the earth.