Making Eco-Spirituality Accessible Residency 2022

The deepening reality of the ecological crisis will deepen a hunger for eco-spiritual rootedness.

How can eco-spirituality become accessible across identities and beliefs?

Key Info

  • What: A residency that allows people to explore accessible, inclusive eco-spirituality while also pursuing their own interests (such as remote working.) What does accessible eco-spirituality look like? How it can form part of broader efforts for climate action?
  • When: 24 Mar – 23 Apr 2022
  • Where: Life Itself Praxis Hub, Bergerac, France (near Bordeaux)
  • Who: anyone interested in the relationship between ecology and spirituality, or climate action more broadly.
  • Facilitators: Rupert Read & Liam Kavanagh
  • Cost (month): €550-750 (plus €210 for food) depending on room type.  
  • Notes on costs: our aim is that cost is not an obstacle to anyone in participating. If finance is an issue please get in touch and we will see if we can provide support in some way or another.
  • Interested? Apply now »

Overview

This residency will explore what an engaged and accessible form of ecological spirituality might look like, how we can live with it openly, and the role it might play in a broader climate movement. It is part of Life Itself’s Sympoiesis series, which are meant to allow people to pursue a work life while spending time in a community of like minded people concerned with a specific question. Our convener is Rupert Read, a former spokesperson of both Extinction Rebellion and the UK Green Party, and Professor of Philosophy at East Anglia University. Rupert’s recent work has been focused on organising a moderate, inclusive flank of the climate movement.

An effective climate movement may require (and certainly would be helped by) a greater spiritual connection with our planet and its sacredness to us, as well as deeper realisation of our interdependent relationship with nature. The question is ─ how can we foster an eco-spirituality, in our personal lives, and public life, that is compatible with a broad based climate movement?

True eco-spirituality cannot be a hoop that people need to jump through, a jargon or a club. It must be a welcoming way to live in the paradigm-shift and system-shift that is desperately needed.

When we truly accept the present moment in its totality, on the macro as well as the micro level, then we take entirely seriously our yearning for something more beautiful and loving, and our commitment to making it happen. One can accept the present moment globally only by embracing our natural emotions and intentions that imply world-wide change. Real acceptance of life does not mean running away, but profoundly engaging with it ─ as it is.

You can find out more about Rupert’s thinking through the following resources:

Rupert’s EarthTalk at Schumacher College

Gaia is dead: we have killed her, you and I

Religion after the death of God?: the rise of pantheism and the return to the source

A Film-Philosophy of Ecology and Enlightenment

Residency Structure

The residency will be structured around regular daily practices focusing on nature connection, and weekly workshops/seminars focusing on the development of an accessible eco-spirituality.

The exact structure is left deliberately somewhat open in order to adapt to need once the residency commences, but some of the core elements will include:

Daily practices: time outside, walking meditation, and land-connective practices. Working in groups to maintain the space and cook. These will typically be in the morning between 10.30 and 12, but sometimes we might vary this depending on weather (though typically we will seek to be all-weather, accepting all its bounties and trials!

> Weekly ‘seminar’ on building a ‘moderate flank’ in climate activism, with special reference to the importance of it being inclusive – including spiritually inclusive (ecumenical, aiming at a ‘highest common factor’ among spiritualities and religions); and including by way of ‘[dark?] green religion’ wherever it can be found.

> Weekly morning ‘workshop’ on practices for cultivating good ancestry and future-visioning. Practices drawn from Rupert’s book ‘Parents for a future’ and from his teacher Joanna Macy’s ‘Work That Reconnects’. [This replaces the time outside, on the day it falls.]

A Conversation with Rupert Read about Eco-Spirituality