Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability’

The International Association for the Study of Myth held it’s first symposium this September in Carpinteria, CA. A group of us presented who are students in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Mythological Studies Ph.D. program. Our general topic addressed “tending the soul of the world” (Pacifica’s mission) as mythologists: what does that look like in practice?

Each of the six presenters on our panel shared personal and professional experiences. Here is the list, and links to each recorded presentation:

The Risk of Ego Inflation While Tending to Gaia – Ted Myers, MA, MPA, PhD Candidate

The Importance of Mythology in Community Work – Rosalie Bouck, PhD Candidate

Constellated Mythopraxis: Cannibalism, Consciousness, Aloha, and The Womb – Jessica Giambra, PhD Candidate

Mythological Intent: Tending the Soul of a Sustainable World – Felicia Chavez, Green MBA, PhD Candidate

Lady Justice, Knights in Shining Armor, and the Round Table – Margaret Mendenhall, J.D. and LL.M., PhD Candidate

The Practice of Myth in the Trenches of Life – Joe Elenbaas, M.Div., D.Min., PhD Candidate

The presentations were eye-opening and brought up many questions. Each person clearly illustrated how a mythological perspective illuminates larger patters at work in society. Ted checked our “hero” impulse, a potential pitfall of anyone trying to “make the world a better place,” with a story from his own life and career. Rosalie shared insights into how community organizations can better see into and serve the communities with which they are working. Jessie presented an international, social consciousness perspective, and Margaret illustrated how today’s Western systems of law and justice reflect motifs from the court of Arthur. Joe spoke to the heart of religion, what gets in the way of truly being of service and what supports it, and shared from his wealth of personal experience.

My topic, Mythological Intent: Tending the Soul of a Sustainable World, is a peak into the question, what does it mean to be “a mythologist in service to life, to nature, to furthering a sustainable way of life?” I touched on “wild law,” or “rights for nature,” as an example. My main point is that what counts is the “space of consciousness” at work behind the action.

For the text of each presentation, you may click on the presenter’s name at www.mythopraxis.com. For more information about mythological studies in general, including a forum, visit the  International Association for the Study of Myth (sponsored by the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Opus Archives, and Pacifica Graduate Institute). Finally, in the future we hope to post more content relevant to the topic of mythology-in-practice at our YouTube channel, “The Myth Station.”


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“Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains why mindfulness and a spiritual revolution rather than economics is needed to protect nature and limit climate change”

I’m hastily posting this article, very excited to read it. As someone who has done sustainability consulting for a living, I almost immediately noted the distinct lack of a real “connection” between the work we were doing at our desks and the earth out the window. As someone passionate about LIFE, I knew this disconnected, feeble task list of PowerPoints and Excel spreadsheets was not the answer to the pressing reality of environmental collapse. At the same time, I deeply appreciated the commitment and spirit of those colleagues who showed true dedication and heart in their daily work, and wanted to see–for their own personal benefit–a more explicit connection made to the importance of “heartness” in the workplace.

Read the article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/zen-thich-naht-hanh-buddhidm-business-values

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Good day,

This blog has been a while coming. It’s the first installment of “one of those things” where I kept talking about my interest in this area, and took MONTHS to finally sit down and plug it in to some tangible format. 

The idea behind it is this: I’ve been in the environmental realms for many years, and as of late (the past five or six years in particular) I have become increasingly drawn toward and fascinated by spiritual development. In fact, I now see personal / collective spiritual transformation as a prerequisite for undoing the damage that I have been so worried about these many long years of attending Bioneers conferences, reading endless eco-books, being a vegetarian, feeling pain when I throw perfectly good compost into the trash…

I’ve always been one to want to get to the absolute root of a situation before I tackle it. Yes, it delays what could be useful action, but it’s just the way I am, in my absolutest nature. In particular, reading Eckhart Tolle’s works as of late (since June 2008), my suspicions have blossomed into understanding: inner pollution results in outer pollution, and we must clean up inside before we can expect change outside.  That’s just the way it is.

And it sits well with me.

So, this blog will be an exploration of the confluence of sustainability and spirituality.  That’s about all I have to say at this moment. I’m excited to begin…

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