UPDATE ON THE CERTIFICATE COURSE IN ECOZOIC LIVING
posting by Jana
Do you ever experience times where things just seem to gel? You've been thinking about something for ages - in my case it's been 4 years since I first came across the idea of the Ecozoic - and you work with it this way and that...then whammo! Something falls into place. That happened to me over this weekend.
I wonder about all the things, big and small, from right now and way back when, that go into a 'gel' moment. Where does one even begin to place the beginning of these things?
Such wondering aside, what I figured out this weekend is this: what I mean by Ecozoic Living is 'an ethical action-reflection framework for living your love of Earth in challenging times.' Also, I realised that I want to teach the framework in two parts: learning and living.
The first part, an online course I hope to launch in December, focuses on learning about Ecozoic Living: what does it mean to learn to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner? The second course, out sometime next year, will be about living this framework.
The draft scripts are written for course number one, and a schedule of tasks is laid out. (And because I'm a planning geek, here are some photos!)
The ideas for the second course come directly out of this year-long experiment in Ecozoic Living. As I reflected this weekend about how I've been 'doing' Ecozoic Living over this past year, several categories emerged:
1. creating rituals of presence to the planet
I think this ranges from being highly intentional or elaborate to simply pausing in the moment to pay particular attention to life, the universe, and everything. For example, I notice myself going up to the rooftop at sunrise or sunset, greeting the first or the last stars of the night or turning to the four directions with gratitude.
2. facing facts
In her helpful and challenging book So Far From Home: lost and found in our brave new world, Margaret Wheatley quotes Tibetan Buddhist master Chogyam Trungpa:
We cannot change the world as it is,
but by opening ourselves to the world as it is
we may find that gentleness, decency and bravery are available -
not only to us but to all human beings.
This category of action is about encouraging people to maintain a discipline of taking in and reflecting upon the state of the world. I notice myself practicing this more intentionally, especially using Twitter: following links and reading entire articles instead of skimming.
3. putting money, time, and effort where the heart is
I think the framework of ‘learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner’ helps people filter and choose specific ways to participate in the life of the world. This is helpful given the overwhelming number of things in which one could become involved. For example, it’s helped me choose to support www.earthjustice.org.
4. inspiring, connecting with, and equipping others for Ecozoic Living
The scope is endless here – everyone will have their own way of passing it on or expanding the circle: posting an interesting link on the CCP FB page; hosting a book group on The Great Work; organizing a direct social action on an issue; etc., etc. I envision providing inspiring examples and a supportive structure for participants to use to develop their own plans, like I encountered in the capstone course of the Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times specialization on Coursera.
5. cultivating conscious awareness
I think my motivation for doing the daily Cosmic Quotes falls into this category, which is about ways to keep the framework of Ecozoic Living front of mind. I’m also thinking of things like my Cosmic Commitment Card called ‘CPR’, which is a mini-reflection tool for thinking over one’s day in terms of ‘Consume’, ‘Produce’, and ‘Reflect’ that I hope helps people find balance in these terms and to live questions around ‘why consume?’ and ‘why produce?’ and ‘why reflect?’
My hope for the second course is to develop it collaboratively with other Cosmic Persons. Email me if you're intrigued!
It was a good weekend: for years I've been floundering around trying to figure out a way to 'action' the Ecozoic (and as long as I can remember I've been trying to live with joy and integrity in a world I love dearly despite the desperate global realities). I think I'm onto something with this Ecozoic Living idea, and I hope others will join me in the journey.