July 2018

Welcome to the July 2018 issue

by Molly Brown

This issue of Deep Times journal focuses on the theme of “Deep Time” (which inspired the name of this journal).  “Deep time” has been used by geologists and astronomers to refer to the eons of geologic and cosmic time. In the Work That Reconnects, the term has taken on a different meaning: a sense of time that extends far beyond our lifetimes–all that has gone before and all that comes after.

Deep Time practices enlarge the temporal context of our lives so that we feel more empowered to act for results we’ll never see. With the context of Deep Time, we act without dependence on the fruits of our action when we can’t be sure of the outcome. As we consider how the actions of our ancestors have impacted and shaped us and our world, we understand more deeply our connection to–and unknown impacts upon–future generations.

The Nuclear Guardianship Project in the the early 1990’s developed many of the practices now part of Deep Time work.  The Guardianship Project was (and still is) a collaboration of study-action groups, exploring the challenge of long-term containment and care of radioactive materials from both nuclear weapons and energy production.  The challenge is immense, because of the huge amount of radioactive materials being produced all over the world, their extreme toxicity, and the immense longevity of their toxicity–hundreds of thousands to billions of years.  Hence, the need for an expanded sense of time–and responsibility.

J. Lifton wrote in The Broken Connection in 1996 that nuclear weapons have harmed our collective capacity to even imagine a future–that we in the Western World who know about nuclear weapons have experienced a severance from the on-goingness of life. And as we lose the future, we lose the past as well, and remain stranded in the present.  No wonder so many people in the Industrial Growth Society are driven to possess more and more power and money right now; they have little or no faith or hope in a future.

In her article “To Reinhabit Time,” Joanna Macy describes how her work with the Nuclear Guardianship Project inspired and informed her understanding of “Deep Time.”  

In a related article,  “Carrying the Burden of ‘Forever Karma’ is Too Big to Carry Alone,” Martha O’Hehir shares an exchange of emails among members of the Deep Times editorial team as we discovered our common links to the karmic legacy of nuclear weapons and energy.  

Another term that has arisen in the Work That Reconnects, especially in relation to Deep Time, is “moral imagination”, which we often use to connect and commune with past and future generations, as well as other-than-human beings.  I explore the moral imagination and Deep Time in an article by that name.

We on the editorial team have been deeply disturbed by the cruel, traumatizing treatment of immigrants on the US southern border, especially the separation of over 2000 children from their parents with no clear plan for how to reunite them.  We don’t want to ignore that crisis in this issue. In the Honoring Our Pain for the World section, we feature a group of poems and essays addressing pain and offering perspectives on US immigration policy and practices.

The exploration of Deep Time has expanded beyond its inception in nuclear guardianship.  Jill Pangman’s essay, “Timeless Engistiak”, describes her profound experience of Deep Time in the Arctic.  Carmen Rumbaut explores how trauma may be passed on through generations in “Trauma and Epigenetics.”  In their interviews, Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel address the effects of racism–and the healing of racism–across generations. Constance Washburn offers an adaptation and combination of two well-known Deep Time practices in “Harvesting the Gifts of Evolution and Ancestors.

Other articles branch out from the Deep Time theme: Jen Peer Rich on “Recognizing Our Wounds”; Silvia Di Blasio on “Ecovillages and their role in the Great Turning”; Deborah Eden Tull on “Relational Mindfulness”; Helena ter Ellen’s report on the role of the Work That Reconnects in the Colombian peace process; Paula Hendricks sharing of the Interhelp community guidelines with Aravinda Ananda’s reflections on “Non-doable Requests and Shifting Long-term Behavior”; and Carolyn Treadway’s review of Bob Stilger’s book AfterNow.

All this together with several moving poems and videos. May you find rich inspiration here to support for your work for the Great Turning.

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We plan to publish our next issue in February 2019 and welcome articles and poems on any theme.  Please check the Submission Guidelines if you want to offer articles, essays, poems, images, or other material.  Send submissions, proposals and queries to [email protected] by December 10.

Gratitude

Speak to the Child in Me

Poem by Dana Dajani

Timeless Engistiak

by Jill Pangman
A lyrical essay about an ancient, remote, and magical place in Yukon, Canada.

Earth Dream Body

Poem by Valerie Hope Cherrin

Honoring Our Pain for the World

A Mandala of Tears for the World

Mandala by Dennis Rivers
One of a series of prayer mandalas with themes sourced in the Work That Reconnects.

Carrying the Burden of “Forever Karma” is Too Big to Carry Alone

by Martha O'Hehir
Sharing a thread of emails among the editorial team of Deep Times regarding our "nuclear legacies."

FROG SONG or DDT

Poem by Megan Hollingsworth

Recognizing the Wounds

by Jen Peer Rich
A reflection on the need to honor our collective wounds in order to heal them.

Home

Poem by Warsan Shire

Our turn/we were warned

Poem by Karina Lutz

Blessing the Migrations

Poem by Rick Benjamin

Seeing with New Eyes

Excerpt from Rebel Song

Poetry by Rivera Sun

To Reinhabit Time in League with the Beings of the Future

by Joanna Macy
Reflections on Deep Time, adapted from
World As Lover, World As Self

Deep Time and the Moral Imagination

by Molly Brown
Reflections on how the moral imagination can help us connect to past and future beings for inspiration and guidance.

Trauma and Epigenetics: Seeing with New Eyes

by Carmen Rumbaut
Seeing with New Eyes is the third step of the spiral in the Work That Reconnects. After feeling

Time Traveler

Poem and video by Lyla June
In this music video, spoken-word artist Lyla June offers a poetic reflection on time and the wisdom needed to care for future generations.

Going Forth

Six lifetimes of love

Poem by Ann Marie Davis

Re-Connecting: Laboratories of Truth and Reconciliation in the womb of Mother Earth

by Helena ter Ellen
Helena tells of an exciting project offering workshops in the Work That Reconnects to victims and ex-combatants in Columbia, as part of a Truth and Reconcilitation process.

Ecovillages and the Great Turning: 1,000+ ways to heal the planet

by Silvia Di Blasio
Are ecovillages showing us the path forward? Ecovillages are great incubators to test the new systems and structures that we know possible...

Finding A Way Forward – Book review

by Carolyn Treadway
A review and response to Bob Stilger's new book about the aftermath of the Triple Disaster in Fukushima, Japan: After Now: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin?

Evolving Edge

The Intersection of Racism and Environmental Crises

Interview with Carl Anthony
Carl Anthony, an elder in the civil rights movement, speaks about how to respond to the interlocking challenges of racism, classism, poverty, and environmental crises.

Breakthrough Communities and the Work That Reconnects

Interview with Dr. Paloma Pavel by Molly Brown
Dr. Pavel shares how the Breakthrough Communities Project has drawn on and expanded the understandings and practices of the Work That Reconnects.

How the Interhelp Community Guidelines Came to Be

Story by Paula Hendrick
Paula relates how the Interhelp Community Guidelines came into being and shares them with the Work That Reconnects community.

Non-doable Requests and Shifting Long-term Behavior

by Aravinda Ananda
One of the things that has particularly intrigued me is how to support people in shifting long-term ingrained behavior. This article offers some reflections on that challenge from experiences over the past year.

Resources

Harvesting the Evolutionary Gifts of Our Ancestors

by Constance Washburn
A 40-60 minute “milling” practice for gathering the gifts of our ancestors of other species and our human ancestors.

Relational Intelligence for the Visionary Activist

by Deborah Eden Tull
Deborah describes "Relational Intelligence" as a resource we each have deep within, which helps us to remember that, “It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.”

Identification and Disidentification: Self-care with Strong Emotions

by Molly Brown
Adapted from Growing Whole: Self-realization for the Great Turning, PsychosynthesisPress, 2004. In the Work That Reconnects,

Network

About the Work That Reconnects Network

Vision, mission, values, and leadership of the Work That Reconnects Network, as well as opportunities to participate. Join us!

Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #3 Issue #2 – July 2018

Editor: Molly Brown

Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Martha O’Hehir, Carmen Rumbaut, Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway and Silvia Di Blasio

Webmasters: Werner Brandt & Silvia Di Blasio

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.

The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.

The Power of the Heart in China

By Werner Brandt

In the first part of November 2018, I had the opportunity and privilege to offer the Work That Reconnects in China, as a board member of the Holistic Centers Network.  All the board members were invited to participate in the first Holistic International Wellness Forum in Beijing. Each of us were asked to do a 30-minute presentation at the conference, and I followed up with a 3-hour workshop introducing the Work That Reconnects.

I arrived at Beijing airport in the late evening and was welcomed warmly by the translator. I was quickly ushered off to our driver, who merged into a sea of late model cars that clogged the Beijing Airport. I learned that 20 years ago, roads in China were absent of automobiles; only bicycles and motorcycles were the primary mode of transportation. But this is modern Beijing, a city of twenty million, living in dense clusters of high-rise apartments throughout the city.

We arrived at the Fuan Gong Hotel, part of the “Grand Epoch City” located in the Xianghe Economic & Technical Development Zone of Hebei Province.  This area is a 1/6th scale model of the old walled city of Beijing . It contains temples, fountains, ponds, a 27-hole golf course, among other things, and has hundreds of thousands of replicas; all within the “city’s” walls.

I was surprised by the grandeur of this palatial hotel and how graciously we were treated throughout the entire conference. This being my first time in China, my knowledge of China was quite limited. I knew that it was run by the Communist Party and that economic reforms began in 1978, soon after the death of Mao Zedong. China is a land of contrasts: coal-burning plants, citizens wearing masks to protect from the air pollution, traffic congestion. Yet China is also leading the way in creating life-sustaining technologies and eco-villages.

The conference hall was equipped with all the modern media equipment, an array of lighting, and professional Masters of Ceremonies. It felt like the Academy Awards in the United States. The 700 conference attendees represented social services, hospice, early childhood education, and many other socially conscious professionals. I could feel the genuine interest in what it means to be ‘holistic’ and intimately interconnected. Many of the Western presenters shared their own journeys of transformation and personal growth in relationship to the development of their own centers, including Findhorn, Omega Institute, the Haven, Breitenbush Hot Springs, and Esalen.

The power of the heart moves us forward into a new era.

Since the theme of the conference was ‘The power of the heart moves us forward into a new era,’ I chose the Work That Reconnects as my presentation and workshop topic. This work has been offered at many of the Western centers that were represented at the conference. China is new territory for the Work That Reconnects, and as far as I know, only a few facilitators of the Work (Della Duncan and Hide Enomoto) have offered workshops in China.

I created a Powerpoint presentation for an overview of the Work That Reconnects, which included open sentences on the Great Turning, a short video from Joanna Macy on ‘Befriending Our Despair,’ and ended with inviting the 700 participants to stand up behind their seats and sway to the beautiful music of the Elm Dance. Many participants asked where to get the music, and I found out later that a group of kindergarten teachers wanted to teach the dance to their children. As Western presenters, we were subject to endless selfies with the participants, as an expression of their gratitude.

The 3-hour workshop the following day was attended by 90 people. Again, the enthusiasm and openness they showed was quite moving as we went through the Spiral. After a milling exercise, we moved into open sentences on gratitude, viewed the trailer of Midway by Chris Jordan to segue into Honoring Our Pain for the World, followed by open sentences.  We ended with the history and teaching of the Elm dance. 

As a Westerner, there is much to learn about Chinese culture, politics, and how spirituality has evolved after the death of Mao.

  As a Westerner, there is much to learn about Chinese culture, politics, and how spirituality has evolved after the death of Mao. Religion is part of belonging to a community. The long tradition of rituals and faith in China has more significance to the Chinese people than religion.

How the Work That Reconnects can address cultural differences is a topic that needs to be explored more fully so we can be more relevant in sharing the Work in China. I also had some discussion on how we might proceed to translate Coming Back to Life and Active Hope into Chinese.  There were several invitations to offer the Work in China.  I will be exploring these new possibilities and connections, which we can offer facilitators of the Work That Reconnects as we go forth into the future.


Werner Brandt is a Board member of the Holistic Centers Network and a team member of the Work That Reconnects network. He developed the websites Work That Reconnects and Deep Times Journal. He was first introduced to Joanna in 2003 and helped organize a 30-day retreat on the Oregon coast in 2007. He has facilitated the Work offering workshops around men’s issues. He has participated in trainings with Animas Valley Institute and the Compassionate Listening Project. He lives with his wife Abigail, a poet, in Salem, Oregon. His website is dharmaseeds.org.

February 2018

Welcome to the February 2018 issue
by Molly Brown, Editor

Welcome to the mid-winter/mid-summer issue of Deep Times journal.  In the face of all that’s happening to and in our world today, I take comfort in the world-wide community of the Work That Reconnects facilitators and friends.

The story of the Great Unraveling is accelerating on every front; I find myself constantly challenged to maintain equanimity and compassion in the face of all that’s happening—and to listen to my call to effective action in response.  I read and hear that many others in the Work That Reconnects community and beyond are grappling with these challenges, too.

Our cover image by Carolyn Treadway reflects the heartbreak so many are experiencing as we move into 2018:  the heartbreak from the sanctioned violence toward and oppression of People of the Global Majority around the world;  the heartbreak of families separated and children traumatized by warfare, military occupation, and the deportation of undocumented immigrants and refugees; the heartbreak of global climate disruption changing weather patterns everywhere and exacerbating hurricanes, wildfires, floods, drought, and other “natural” disasters; and the heartbreak of individuals and families coping with injury, illness, and loss brought about by the Great Unraveling.  People who have experienced the Work That Reconnects know how vital it is for our awakening and action in the world to allow our hearts to break open, so they can “contain the whole universe,” especially in these times of crisis and uncertainty.

For this issue, we did not specify a theme for our contributors who offered a variety of perspectives around the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, as well as articles on the Evolving Edge of the Work, Resources, and Network news.  

We aim to publish the next issue in July or early August and welcome articles and poems on any theme.  We are considering a focus on the theme of patriarchy (or more precisely “cisheteropatriarchy”*) for the next issue or a future one, so will be seeking articles on that topic. Please check the Submission Guidelines if you want to offer articles, essays, poems, images, or other material.  Please send submissions, proposals and queries to [email protected].


*Cisheteropatriarchy-  “A system of power based on the supremacy & dominance of cisheterosexual men through the exploitation & oppression of women and LGBTQIA people. Also referred to as sexism. This includes oppressive constructs such as homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, etc..”  (Decolonize ALL The Things).  “Cis”  is a term or prefix for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth (Wikipedia).

 

Gratitude

Songs of Gratitude

by Jen Myzel
Songs of gratitude for your auditory enjoyment.

Letter from Joanna Macy

by Joanna Macy
Joanna shares good news and appreciation for WTR initiatives around the world.

Land of Uncertainty

Poem by Karine Gibouleau

Honoring Our Pain for the World

Extinction Anxiety in the Age of Trumpism

by Randy Morris
In the age of Trumpism, a time when lies are celebrated, nature is commodified, relationships are monetized and the sacred is mocked, it is very important to know ‘where you stand’ in the midst of this maelstrom.

Re-Membering Europa: An Initiatory Journey to Life Beyond the Patriarchy

by Alessandra Bosco
Reflections on patriarchal capitalism, its greed and destructive effects throughout Europe, and how ancient Goddesses can inspire movement beyond it.

Drone

Poem by Molly Scott

Seeing with New Eyes

The Great Remembering

Poem by Jo delAmor

An Ecological Imperative

by Katharine Burke
A teacher in Norway explores how to "make a case for falling in love with the Earth."

The Pine and I

by Ana Simeon
Maybe it has happened to you, too, that small secret moment of intimacy with a non-human creature.

Remembering Our Essential Goodness: Ecopsychology and the Work that Reconnects

by Emily Swanson
As an ecotherapist, grounding my work in the Work That Reconnects gives me a different story to share -- a story where the spiral has the potential to spin outwards towards openness, healing and life.

Trust

poem by Annabelle Acton-Bond

Going Forth

Evolutionary Leadership: An Interview with Victor Lee Lewis

Conversation with Molly Brown and Joanna Macy
Victor shares his perspectives on the challenges of acting as evolutionary leaders and social justice leaders in the face of oppression, violence, and trauma. 

The Elm Dance Revisited

by Carol Harley
A brief history and personal reflection on the Elm Dance, with translation of the lyrics.

Thanksgiving

Poem by Bernadette Miller

Evolving Edge

Choosing the Story We Want for Our World

by Molly Brown and Joanna Macy
An expanded version of the “3 Stories” described in 
Coming Back to Life (2014 edition), p. 5 , with a longer and more inclusive historical perspective.

Recommendations on Anti-Oppression Work within the Work That Reconnects

by Joanna Macy
Joanna shares her recommendations for bringing anti-oppression perspectives and practices into the Work That Reconnects.

As European Americans, Healing Our Relationship with the Ancestors

by Kaia Svien
The course described here, “As European Americans, Healing Our Relationship with the Ancestors: moving towards personal and collective wholeness” is rooted in the powerful state of consciousness, Deep Time.

Resources

Hope Sings – An Interview with Sarah Pirtle

Interview by Aravinda Ananda
Hope Sings is a free web-based collection of songs for Work That Reconnects workshops and beyond. This interview took place on December 13, 2017 – the day Hope Sings was launched.

Ursula Le Guin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

In memory of Ursula Le Guin, here is a link to one of her essays.

Links to Resources related to the Work That Reconnects

The Science and Environmental Health Network & Radical Joy for Hard Times

Network

4 Dimensional Mapping of the Work That Reconnects Network

by Constance Washburn
As part of a training in Social Presencing Theatre (SPT), I had the opportunity to use the Work That Reconnects Network as a case study using the SPT 4D mapping practice.

Report on the first online Facilitator Development Program

by Louise Fitzgerald
Last September, I took the opportunity to join the Facilitation Development Program (FDP) to grow further into the WTR and in particular engage with the “Evolving Edge” of the work.

 Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #3 Issue #1 – February 2018

Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Randy Morris, Rebecca Selove, Lisa Siegel, Carolyn Treadway.
Webmaster: Werner Brandt

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.

August 2017

Welcome to the August 2017 special issue on the impact of race and culture on the Work That Reconnects

In Sarah Thompson’s article on the “intersectionalization” of the Work, she clearly names how while we are all in this Great Turning together, we are in it differently. This issue speaks to some of the differences in experience. Throughout this journal you will find many references to the acronym POC. If you identify as a Person of Color living in a racialized society such as the United States, this acronym needs no definition – it has likely shaped your daily experience since birth. If this fits your experience, we hope this issue will be of benefit to you as you navigate the additional complexity of participating in a body of work that has historically been so Eurocentric and where the conditioning of society reappears in intrapersonal, interpersonal and group dynamics.

Rather than completely following the traditional spiral of the Work That Reconnects, this special issue has its own unique sections. Please read the full welcome letter from the guest editors to learn more about the contents and construction of this special issue as well as a special request to generously compensate this issue’s contributors.

 

In Support of POC

Welcome to this special issue of Deep Times journal

Welcome letter from guest editors Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel in conversation with Ann Marie Davis

by Ann Marie Davis and Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
Available as both an audio recording of the full interview, or edited excerpts in writing, this conversation between ordained Zen Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and author Ann Marie Davis covers much ground ranging through tenderness, embodiment and oneness, anger, peace, practice, suffering, fear and thoughts on cultural appropriation.

Coming Back to Black Life

by Ratasha Elise
Over time, it became clear to me that it wasn’t so much that BIPOC was missing the WTR, as it was that the WTR and the broader community surrounding it, was missing us, as well as the awarenesses and frameworks that would create space and safety for us.

A Story of Whimsical Lightning

by Jaq Nguyen Victor
2017 has been a year of embracing the flavors and textures of me that stray from the stereotypical image of a therapist. And I owe immense gratitude to the Work That Reconnects (WTR) for guiding my path towards self-celebration. I am the Founder and Director of Dig & Demand (D&D)—a radical training program for queer trans 1st, 1.5, 2nd generation diasporic Vietnamese artists. Its mission is to dig deeply and demand daringly for the collective threading of our resilience.

A personal African Identity told to practitioners of the WTR

by Wilson Riles
I feel called to uncover what history took from me: a solid sense of my ancestors that goes as far back in history as will give me deep knowing of full connection and identity to humanity in all of humanity’s splendor and degradation.

Two Peoples, One Fire

by Patricia St. Onge
My daughter Karissa shared a Facebook post that expressed frustration about the outpouring of support for Standing Rock that looks different from the support for BLM. I understand the frustration.  I also know that we romanticize Indigenous people and lifeways in much the same way that we demonize Blackness.

What do we mean by we?

Guest Editors In Conversation: Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda

by Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda
A conversation between the three guest editors about why they said yes to editing this special issue.

Poem: FULL MOON LEGACY

by Signature MiMi

Toward greater white responsibility

Othering and Belonging: An Embodied Spiritual Practice

by john a. powell
Can we live in a world where all life is respected and all human beings are afforded the dignity and respect they deserve?  Can we, as human beings, be humane beings?  Can we create a circle of human concern where all humans are inside the circle and all life is respected?  Can we have a we without a them?

White Fragility: The Need for Creating Psychosocial Stamina in Interracial Relationships

by Eric D. Peterson
Why is it so difficult for so many White people to honestly, and interracially, talk about race and racism in America? Why does the term “White privilege” cause so much turmoil within many White people?

Dear White People

by Aries Jordan
Specifically to the liberal, progressive, millennial people who feel disconnected from white extremist, it is time to heal your community and address the extremist.

Poem: Go and receive

by Zilong Wang

Seeing with Ancient Eyes & Going Forth

The work Beyond ‘The Work’

by adélàjà simon
Many in this cultural context dream of a workshop where they are in a space with peoples of all ‘colors’ singing together in harmony…is that you? In that same dream, do you imagine which language(s) will be spoken? English...Spanish? Both dominator languages forced on the majority of peoples through physical and/or economic violence. Do you feel the weight of what is lost in service of assimilation for that dream to happen?

Intersectionalization of the Work that Reconnects

by Sarah Thompson
While we're all in this together in the Great Turning, we’re all in it together differently. Nowhere currently in the facilitated spiral process of the Work that Reconnects (WTR) is there a specific process to address the brokenness within the beauty of the communities that gather in service of the Great Turning. My assessment leads me to believe that in addition to North American society, the WTR itself is going through positive disintegration in order to open so that less harm is done... and to prepare us for this next level of intersectional decolonial struggle.

Building Safety, Inclusion, and Belonging in WTR: Considerations of Social Identity, Power and Privilege, and Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Group Dynamics

by Erica Peng
Transforming how we connect with ourselves, each other, and the greater system is increasingly critical now. I see a great opportunity – and need – to develop and evolve WTR learning experiences and facilitator capacity to create more safety, inclusion, and belonging. In this article, I offer my perspective and recommendations for continued development of WTR.

Re-imagining Harvesting the Gifts of the Ancestors

by A.M. Davis
The first time I did the exercise, “Harvesting the Gifts of the Ancestors” I mentally pushed aside the places that overlooked the majority of my ancestry. I was in a workshop with Joanna, and when she said the word “we” I automatically and almost subconsciously replaced “we” with “they.” I have learned to do this replacement since Kindergarten in order to survive this culture with my sense of self intact.

 Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #2 Issue #5 – August 2017

Guest Editors: Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda
Webmaster: Werner Brandt

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network with the possibility of additional special issues.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.

May 2017

Welcome to the May 2017 issue,
by Editor Molly Brown

Photo by Duncan Berry. Read more about the cover photo by clicking on the image.

Spring has come again to the Northern Hemisphere. The grass is turning the hills vibrant green and the wildflowers are showing off their beautiful selves. The urge arises to garden and plant new life. At the same time, spring may also open us up to deep grief for what is happening in the USA and across the planet. It is heartbreaking to see how humans in the Industrial Growth Society continue to mistreat one another and the natural world, even while Mother Earth generously offers us such bounty and loveliness.

Systemic greed and hunger for power are pushing us to the edge or perhaps beyond the edge of extinction as we face climate disruption, persistent racism, oppression, militarism, and political insanity.   In these perilous times we need to reconnect to ourselves, to each other, and to the Earth.  Allowing ourselves to feel and express our grief keeps our hearts open, and our love for life can help us move towards the more beautiful world we know is possible.

To help us reconnect to one another, and the truth of our interbeing within the web of life, this issue of Deep Times moves around the spiral of the Work That Reconnects, brings news from the Network around the world, and features articles from white folks who are working to liberate themselves and their communities from the colonial white supremacy mindset.   [Read more of Welcome to the May 2017 Issue]

 

Gratitude

Bird of Paradise

Poem by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Coming Back to Reciprocity

by Aravinda Ananda
While reading Braiding Sweetgrass, I found myself newly in relationship with five backyard chickens. The chickens have been a powerful doorway into reciprocal relationship for me, a pathway back to starting the day with gratitude, a daily call to presence.

A World Full of Gifts

by Molly Brown
After checking out Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer from our local library, I bought my own copy to read for the second time. This time through, I found this passage on wild strawberries and wanted to riff on what Kimmerer says about them.

Honoring Our Pain for the World

Poem: You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing

by Rainer Maria Rilke
trans. by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Discovery

by Yuka Saito
Our modern culture does not teach us how to deal with pain. Instead, it teaches us to be cheerful, uncomplaining, and optimistic all the time. At first, I did the same thing with the pain around the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. This time, however, something happened that changed me completely. What you are reading here is the story of that change, a story from my heart.

Poem: That’s Right

by Toby Bush

Blowing in the Wind

by Kathleen Rude
Welcome to Rocky Flats, a picturesque expanse of open range with a stunning mountain view of Colorado’s Front Range, located just sixteen miles northwest of downtown Denver. This beautiful and blustery spot has a dark and dangerous past that has forever marred it. The 5,800-acre Rocky Flats area and 20,000 adjacent acres are contaminated with one of the most deadly materials humans have ever created — radioactive plutonium-239.

Poem: Inside Job

by Karina Lutz

Evoking the Great Turning from the Inside Out

by Adrián Villasenor-Galarza
A response to the question: in light of the alienating behaviors advocated by the industrial system and the psycho-emotional responses that reinforce our anthropocentric confusion, where can we find the energy to free ourselves and connect with genuine alternative sources of planetary wealth and well being?

Seeing with New Eyes

Interview with John Seed     

Interview by Lisa Siegel
Readers may be interested in hearing from John Seed, the father of the Australian Deep Ecology movement since 1979. Has anything shifted in the nearly 40 years that he has been involved in the Deep Ecology movement? It turns out that, on one hand, “the more things change, the more they stay the same….”, but on the other hand, there may be more impetus now then there has ever been for a radical shift in consciousness.

Impossible Dreams

By Bill Plotkin
“There is no use trying,” said Alice, “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
~Lewis Carroll [1]

I Am The River, The River Is Me

by Bruce Meder
The Rights of Nature are beginning to be legally recognized in Aotearoa (New Zealand), thanks to the Indigenous Māori people's long struggle with the government.

Grounding the Work That Reconnects at Ghost Ranch

by Rachel Marco-Havens
My journey to Ghost Ranch began with the Work That Reconnects having already weaved a strong cord through many of my recent experiences. I had a hunch that healing would occur, but found my heart and mind blown by the time I departed.

Owl’s Gift: The Power of Presence

by Kathleen Rude
Deep Ecology teaches us that we are connected to all life on Earth. As we deepen in our awareness and appreciation of our brother/sister species, we expand our sense of belonging and our deep love for the world. This is a story of being gifted with a message of inspiration when most needed, helping the storyteller to see with new eyes.

Poem: The Force Field of Love

By Carolyn W. Treadway

Standing Rock: A Living Rainbow Prayer

by Constance Washburn
I went to Standing Rock over Thanksgiving week, 2016. I traveled in a caravan of RVs and cars from the East Bay in California. There were 24 of us ranging in age from under one year old to over 75. We were kids, parents, grandparents, and singles. We were Native, African, Latino, white, and multi-racial Americans, all drawn together in our desire to be of service to the Indigenous People’s movement to protect the water and stop DAPL,

Communities Rising!

by Randy Morris
On the evening of December 28th, 2016, an overflow crowd that exceeded expectations gathered in a church sanctuary to begin a new chapter in the history of Communities Rising! (www.communitiesrisingus.org). This is the talk I gave.

Going Forth

Poem: I Have No Advice

by Rick Benjamin

Sharpening Our Night Vision

by the Cascadia Rough Weather Network
In January 2017, Joanna Macy led a retreat at Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. Ten participants in that retreat, who live in the Pacific Northwest, met two months afterwards. Here they share their reflections on their experience, inspiration, and learnings for going forth at this watershed moment in human and planetary history.

Wild Energies: People in Movement

by Marguerite Kahrl
When Marjetica Potrč and I were asked to collaborate on a project for Parco Arte Vivente (PAV) in Turin, Italy, we proposed to develop new resilient connections around the experimental art center. This process-oriented study of urban ecology employed permaculture and deep ecology to re-imagine the existing community, one which has experienced upheaval, isolation and depression.

Seeding the Work That Reconnects in Colombia in Times of War and Peace

by Helena ter Ellen
How can this historical threshold serve as a leverage point for the Great Turning in Colombia? What role can the Work that Reconnects play in fostering reconciliation and empowerment among Colombians? How to embrace in our vision and road for peace an integration of our Ecological Self? These have been some of our key questions on our path.

Poem: Blazing a Path of Devotion

by Randy Morris
This poem was written near the end of a week-long retreat on ‘Grief and Longing’ that took place in the Canyon of the Ancients in Colorado in 2012. How could I be an activist, a family man and a contemplative at the same time?

Evolving Edge

Poem: All Around Me

by Leonard Perry

Pathways Toward Wholeness: Calling in White Folks

by Aryeh Shell
To live up to its promise of reconnecting us with each other and the Earth, the Work that Reconnects must center the voices of people of color and the systemic and historical realities of white supremacy, capitalism and colonization. We must recognize that the Great Unraveling and Business as Usual have been going on for a very long time.

Finding Community Post-Election

by Beth Remmes
A few weeks after the election, my yoga teacher and owner of a studio in Georgia, approached me and said, “Beth, I have to do something. People are crying in class. I am having a hard time getting through classes myself. What can we offer these people who are in so much pain?” We scheduled a workshop for the first Saturday in December and named it after the book, "Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy."

Waking up White in the Work That Reconnects

by Maya Jones
When the online course White Awake was offered to Work That Reconnects facilitators, I eagerly enrolled. Now, halfway through the course I find myself challenged to think not only about how I facilitate the Work That Reconnects, but how I live my life.

Resources

My Journey Through Singing in the Great Turning

by Gretchen Sleicher
One of the primary purposes of the Work That Reconnects is to help us turn toward each other rather than against each other as we navigate these times of great danger and opportunity we often call the Great Turning, and singing together is one very effective tool in the Work That Reconnects toolbox.

Book review: Positive Thinking in a Dark Age

by Jim Tull
Review by Carolyn Treadway
Even the title of Jim Tull's small book, "Positive Thinking in a Dark Age," is a welcome invitation to move beyond catastrophic thinking into “seeing with new eyes.” Goodness knows we need to find the opportunities within these dark times to claim and act upon!

Book Review: 101 Ways to Make Guerilla Beauty

by Trebbe Johnson
Review by Emily Ryan
This slim book is both a how-to manual and deep dive guide into the philosophy of Radical Joy for Hard Times and its signature practice, the Global Earth Exchange.

Announcement: Systems Thinking Seminar with Joanna Macy

This 5-day seminar is devoted to systems thinking, with emphasis on its generative relation to the Work That Reconnects. We will look at how Deep Ecology, the Buddha’s teachings, and Ubuntu as well as other indigenous traditions converge with systems thinking and dramatize its relevance to this global moment.

A Call to Life – Variations on a Theme of Extinction

A link to an amazing hour-long meditation of music and poetic prose by Kathleen Dean Moore, writer, and Rachelle McCabe, pianist--a powerful video to view as part of the Honoring Our Pain for the World stage of the Spiral.

Resources on the Doctrine of Discovery and U.S. History

compiled by Elder Activists for Social Justice, Conscious Elders Network
A list of resources to help Americans, especially those with settler ancestry, educate themselves about this tragic legacy of our nation’s history that lives on today.

Network

The Story of Interhelp

by Paula Hendrick and Rosalie Anders
As the national/international Work That Reconnects Network continues to evolve, we offer this look back at the formation and evolution of the “original” Work That Reconnects Network, Interhelp.

The Ones We Dance For: An Appeal

by Joanna Macy
If you’ve been with me in the Work That Reconnects, chances are that you danced the Elm Dance, and heard me tell how it connects our work to a band of valiant Russians protecting life in the poisoned shadow of Chernobyl. I write now to ask for your support of this brave nongovernmental organization.

Plans for Facilitator Development Programs in 2017-18

by Molly Brown, Mutima Imani, and Constance Washburn
Plans for two parallel Facilitator Development Programs in 2017-18, one in Oakland for People of Color, the other online open to all aspiring facilitators.

 Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #1 Issue #4 – May 2017

Editor: Molly Young Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Randy Morris, Rebecca Selove, Lisa Siegel, Carolyn Treadway.
Webmaster: Werner Brandt

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.

Fall 2016

Welcome to the Fall 2016 issue, by Editor Molly Brown

Cover art: “Reaching Hands” by Janaia Donaldson. Read more about her work by clicking on this image.

We live in such a time of turmoil and revolutionary change.  Most of us are reeling at the now-certain prospect of a Trump presidency, and what that will mean for the health and safety of people of color, immigrants, indigenous communities, women, LGBT folks, and other historically marginalized people; for our survival as a species facing global climate disruption; and for our already tenuous democracy. Now more than ever we need to come together to share our gratitude for life, to honor our pain for the world, to open our hearts and minds to new understandings and perspectives, and to find ways to act courageously and effectively on behalf of life: in short, to do the Work That Reconnects, along with other justice-seeking and spiritually sustaining practices, anti-oppression work, and non-violent civil disobedience. [Read more of Welcome to the Fall 2016 Issue]

Gratitude

A World Full of Gifts

by Molly Brown
After checking out Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer from our local library, I bought my own copy to read for the second time. This time through, I found this passage on wild strawberries and wanted to riff on what Kimmerer says about them.

Coming Back to Reciprocity

by Aravinda Ananda
While reading Braiding Sweetgrass, I found myself newly in relationship with five backyard chickens. The chickens have been a powerful doorway into reciprocal relationship for me, a pathway back to starting the day with gratitude, a daily call to presence.

Bird of Paradise

Poem by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Honoring Our Pain for the World

Poem: Evening primrose

by Karina Lutz

Poem: Destiny

by Megan Hollingsworth

Let’s All Take a Breath Together

by Jen Myzel
Let’s all take a breath together. Take a moment from the perpetual scroll of overwhelm and breathe… I had become silenced by overwhelm, and I just tapped into the truth of it this early morning.

Buddha Told Us Not to Go There

by A.M. Davis
Where was our world? We wept. I had gone looking for Dad’s old office and found out that I was long dead.

Mourning Our Planet

by Dahr Jamail
I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.

Seeing with New Eyes

Poem: Stumble

by A.M. Davis

Poem: Blessing the Wasteland

by Carolyn W. Treadway

Report from Standing Rock

by Patricia St. Onge
We came over the low rise (which they’ve dubbed ‘facebook hill’), my eyes teared up. I couldn’t help but take a deep breath. There, laid out in front of us, were hundreds of tents, tipis, RV’s and makeshift lean-tos.

Being an Ally Amidst Cultural Genocide

by Daniel Jubelirer
I knew not what I saw when I saw the bulldozers. My brief visit to Standing Rock started out as a trip to deliver supplies …It turned into an eye-opening journey into the heart of the ongoing cultural genocide taking place in our country.

The Ecological Imperative to Love

by Dennis Rivers
The idea that we have a need to care for the entire web of life and people is only beginning to be explored in Western countries.

Going Forth

Poem: As Earth

By Doug Hitt

Seeking the Proper Threshold

by Karina Lutz
Today, our cooperative homestead installed composting toilets, replacing both of the flush toilets in the house. It is such a relief to no longer have to poop into clean water!

Behind the Scenes of Sustainable Activism

By Barbara Cecil
I am part of blessed legions of men and women who sense deep down inside that we are made for these times, that our life work has to do with preservation of what is sacred and just.

Dispatches from the Youth Climate Movement

by Morgan Curtis
A cup of tea finds my hand from a vast steel pot, and I feel the care of yet another mobile vegan kitchen collective roaming Paris. We’re halfway through COP21, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Evolving Edge

Lessons & Reflections from Radical Dharma

By Aravinda Ananda
What a time to be alive! So many skeletons are coming out of the systems of oppression closets and being made more visible in the public arena, which has been mostly silent for centuries in order to maintain power.

De-colonizing the Work That Reconnects

interviews with Aravinda Ananda, Belinda Griswold, Mutima Imani, and Joseph Rotella.
What inspired me to make the call for everyone to gather to think about decolonising our practice in the Work That Reconnects is that over the past four years or so, it had been gradually dawning on me just how very exclusive a lot of the work that we have been doing is.

Network

De-colonizing the Work that Reconnects – workshop

A Workshop for White Facilitators of the Work facilitated by Aryeh Shell and Joshua Gorman

Proposed Facilitator Development Program

By Constance Washburn and Molly Brown

Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #1 Issue #3 – Fall 2016

Editor: Molly Young Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Randy Morris, Rebecca Selove, Lisa Siegel, Carolyn Treadway.

Graphic design by Renee Casterline

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.

Poem: As Earth

By Doug Hitt   

great-blue-heron-fishing-3

Photographer unknown

As Earth,
working on behalf of Earth,
we trust and are at ease.

Aligning ourselves
with the upwelling vitality

which is bluestem, the
focused intelligence which
is heron,

we are hopeful
in the present moment—a fountain
of sufficiency

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doug-hitt


Doug Hitt
holds an M.A. in Earth Literacy from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He convenes and facilitates ongoing conversations in deep ecology and cosmological literacy and has introduced various groups to the Work That Reconnects.  Doug is a native Kansan and a practicing physical therapist. He tends home on the banks of Spring Creek in northeast Kansas.

Poem: Stumble

by A.M. Davis

I happened upon a dwelling. I knocked.       A door       on a new house. A new place.

No railroad tracks in sight.        No streets with their cars.

No newscasters’ voices                                                in the next room

inventing stories of normal.                                               Of keeping peace.

In the raining of bombs                                                               on other peoples’

places.

This time            only roads made of hoof prints

and bare feet.
I saw him once.                                Before a crowd.          I heard him say

something so love-filled                              at the precise juncture of all madness.

And right then

he spoke this:                                                                       “All beating hearts      earth’s heart

`                                                                             creatures’ hearts

the heart of all plants          and ours                         beat from that one place.

Then he spoke                of us all                       inventing

our humanity               as our last, final, best invention

after false starts and stumbling.                                    Spoke of us      moving to stumble

`                                      right out of our

`                                                               hopeless adolescence.

He stumbled away        from the lectern                    and down the stairs     he stumbled

and he stumbled again            into the throngs          as if to reiterate his point.

And with that I fell into love        with the stumbling        right out of our crazy

and fell

`       into love of stumbling into         something, it seemed,         more alive

`                braver                                                more exquisite           than the soft-bellied

hope                                                          of our survival.

As I grew older           and I forgot the whole affair                    of that day

traffic sounds and audiences         and his face falling toward all of ours,      upturned.

Until I came to knock     on that door     of that dwelling beyond some woods     of oaks

in that clearing                      with insects      buzzing like tiny sirens            while dancing

into a pause               by my knocking noise

on that door      or so I imagined.      And I startled            at the silence

and I startled     at the answer behind the door,            startled

that anyone would answer such an ancient door         new to me, but ancient

none-the-less—my knocking, a formality

`        from a lifetime      of habit      of knocking on                     closed doors —

And then he opened it.         His eyes          bright         dancing         his face

`                dipping                    toward mine.

`                                    His stumble.

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ann-marie-davisA. M. Davis was born and raised in Oakland, California. She is storyteller/poet, a speaker on behalf of the Earth. In 2007, she walked away from her job to devote her life to her creativity. Upon attending a silent meditation retreat, she found space of time in her racing mind, and discovered that she was not her thoughts. This led to daily meditation, retreats, and becoming part of the East Bay Meditation Center community. She recently discovered the Joanna Macy’s work, and the trajectory of her life finally made sense.

You can find more of her work at annmariedavis.com.

Poem: Blessing the Wasteland

by Carolyn W. Treadway

blessing-wasteland

Life Emerging © Carolyn Treadway

Their blessing,
So deeply given,
s-l-o-w-l-y descends
through the granite of my despair
until it permeates my soul.

Like water reaching through barren earth
Or sunshine smiling upon frozen wasteland,
it brings life:
Life for me, for us.
So tender, so precious life.

Vulnerable and fragile
like a seed cracking open;
conditions must be right
for the life force to grow.

Their blessing opens the seed—
somehow still present deep within—
toward Light
toward growth
toward change.

Their blessing provides
safety
nutrients
and above all
sacred, healing connection,
inviting us to remember
that future life could  be lived
in something more than
radioactive mud huts
after all.

What could be more important
for us and
for our world
at this crucial, pivotal, heart-stopping time
than to live deeply,
offering blessing
and being blessed?

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ctreadwayCarolyn Wilbur Treadway is a psychotherapist, family therapist, pastoral counselor, and social worker, now retired after 55 years of facilitating change and growth in people’s lives. She continues her personal life/sustainability coaching practice, GraceFull Life Coaching, by phone or Skype.   She “speaks for Earth” however she can—as a climate leader (trained by Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project since 2007), anti-nuclear activist, program presenter, writer, and photographer. Since the mid-1980s she has been part of the Work That Reconnects. With her husband Roy, she lives in Lacey, Washington. Their three children and four young grandchildren constantly fuel her motivation to preserve our precious Earth. 

Poem: Grandmother Tree Speaks

by Anna Jarrett

grandmothertree-poem

by Anna Jarrett

Look up to my canopy
Every night I dance with the stars
Look down to my roots
Reaching deep into the ground
Look out to my limbs
I have many scars and broken branches
Feel my skin –
I have shed many layers
And I am still here
Standing strong
Through the seasons and the years
I am still here
Feel me
Sink into me
Be with me
Breathe with me
I am always with you
My child
I am here

Please note:
Click on the “Print Friendly” button at the top of the page to view a pdf of this poem in its original format.

anna-jarette

Anna Jarrett is a professional storyteller, facilitator, writer, teacher and outdoor
guide. Her work with story and writing is a mix of programs that create places and spaces for sharing our stories in diverse ways
. Living on the south east coast of Australia in a bush and beach environment, Anna treasures her daily connection and conversations with nature. Anna seeks ways to write stories and poetry that give our earth a voice, explore our inner landscapes, and express stories from different points of view. Her creative workshops energize a vision of a connected, caring world community. www.travellingstoryteller.com.au