Given the widespread traumas assaulting us all on a virtually daily basis – from climate catastrophes to severe economic strain and the harms of a society that puts profits over people and nature – how could we not carry a constant background level of PTSD? If you engage in a meaningful conversation with most people today, before long, tears start to flow.
By Kenny Ausubel
The 2012 conference will feature world-class programs on Inner Resilience, exploring how we can all feed our hearts, our relationships and our spirits, while we also create community, functional resilience and social transformation.
Two plenaries and multiple panels will illuminate the growing edges of hope.
Tired of being told that trauma, disease and addiction are all your personal responsibility or fault? In a plenary titled “Toxic Culture: How Materialistic Society Makes Us Ill,” Gabor Maté — the groundbreaking Canadian physician and best-selling author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, and brilliantly original thinker — will probe addiction, trauma, parenting and the social context of human diseases and imbalances. He asserts that most human ailments are not individual problems, but reflections of a person's relationship with the physical, emotional and social environment, from conception to death. Mind and body are not separate in real life, and thus health and illness in a person reflect social and economic realities more than personal predispositions. In other words, personal responsibility cannot be separated from societal responsibility and changing the world.
Maté will join two other living lights in a dynamically spontaneous “emergent conversation” on Inner Resilience hosted by the master of the form, Akaya Windwood.
These three brilliant healers and thinkers on the social context of illness will explore how our society generates illness, and how, by understanding those processes, we can build up our resilience and achieve higher degrees of balance and wellness, skills we can pass on to our children. They will also look at what we can do to begin transforming our society into a source of solidarity, mutual aid and healing, rather than of disease, separation and fear. James Gordon, MD is the Founder and Director of The Center for Mind–Body Medicine, a professor at Georgetown Medical School and leading expert on treating PTSD who is bringing mindfulness practices to the most wounded and traumatized hot spots on the planet such as Haiti, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the U.S. armed forces, with breakthrough results. Staci Haines, a national leader in the field of Somatics, and a teacher, author and pathfinder in healing sexual traumas, will show how we can work with our bodies to release and heal trauma in ways that no other approaches can do.
And what about the role of faith, spirit and religion? In a plenary titled “Greening Our Faiths: From Belief into Action for the Environment and Environmental Justice,” the courageous Episcopal priest Fletcher Harper — Executive Director of the groundbreaking interfaith environmental coalition GreenFaith, award-winning spiritual writer and renowned preacher on the environment — will illustrate ways in which growing numbers of diverse faith-based groups are offering environmental leadership on issues ranging from renewable energy to environmental justice and reconnecting with the Earth. He’ll describe GreenFaith’s Certification Program for faith-based sites — a transformative 2-year process through which houses of worship become centers of environmental spirituality, stewardship and justice. Fletcher will restore your faith in faith and in the powerful role faith-based action can play.
“Worldviews create worlds,” and so we’re presenting “Cosmos and Psyche: The Great Transformation” with a dream team of visionaries creating a new cosmic narrative to guide us. From scientists to shamans, the global crisis is being recognized as a crisis of cosmology — of the guiding cultural narratives whose stories must also now transform. How can diverse cultures’ cosmologies illuminate these breakthroughs for a radical evolutionary transformation? Richard Tarnas, professor and author of Cosmos and Psyche and The Passion of the Western Mind, suggests that the “disenchanted objectivist world view of modernity that underlies the present crisis is in the process of transcending itself.” That paradigm is becoming a more inclusive cosmology that embraces the creative complexity, aliveness and “ensoulment” inherent in the web of life. Priestess Luisah Teish will share her Ifa-Orisha West African cosmology’s perspectives, including Oya, the Goddess of Catastrophe who shows how breakdown can lead to breakthrough by making basic structural changes. Iroquois elder Oren Lyons will share perspectives on the place of gratitude, ceremony, clear thinking and peacemaking from the Iroquois and other indigenous traditions. This luminous panel will be hosted by the renowned cosmologist Brian Swimme, author ofThe Universe Story (with Thomas Berry) and The Universe Is a Green Dragon.
Check out the Nature, Culture & Spirit track online to see the full suite of programs related to Inner Resilience. There are lots more powerful programs.
Interest is very high, so register early. We’ll see you there. Keep the faith.