Coming Back to Life
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Coming Back to Life : The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects

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Deepening global crises surround us. We are beset by climate change, fracking, tar sands extraction, GMOs, and mass extinctions of species, to say nothing of nuclear weapons proliferation and Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster in history. Many of us fall prey to despair even as we feel called to respond to these threats to life on our planet. Authors Joanna Macy and Molly Brown address the anguish experienced by those who would confront the harsh realities of our time. In this fully updated edition of Coming Back to Life, they show how grief, anger, and fear are healthy responses to threats to life, and when honored can free us from paralysis or panic, through the revolutionary practice of the Work that Reconnects. New chapters address working within the corporate world, and engaging communities of color as well as youth in the Work. The Work that Reconnects has spread around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands to work toward a life-sustaining human culture. Coming Back to Life introduces the Work's theoretical foundations, illuminating the angst of our era with extraordinary insight. Pointing the way forward out of apathy, it offers personal counsel as well as easy-to-use methods for group work that profoundly affect peoples' outlook and ability to act in the world. Joanna Macy is a scholar, eco-philosopher, teacher, activist, and author of twelve previous books including Coming Back to Life. Molly Young Brown is a teacher, trainer, counselor, and author of four previous books on psychology and Earth-based spirituality.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 27.94mm | 566.99g
  • New Society Publishers
  • Gabriola Island, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised Edition
  • B&W photos
  • 0865717753
  • 9780865717756
  • 54,528

About Joanna R. Macy

Joanna Macy is a scholar, eco-philosopher, teacher and activist who has developed an international following in over 30 years as a speaker and workshop leader on Buddhist philosophy and the deep ecology movement. She is the author of 8 books including the original Coming Back to Life and Widening Circles, and she has produced a 3-DVD set entitled The Work that Reconnects. Molly Young Brown has been a trainer, workshop leader and consultant for many years. The author of three previous books on spirituality and healing the environment, including Growing Whole: Self-Realization on an Endangered Planet, she teaches at the Graduate School of Holistic Studies at John F. Kennedy University, and is based in the San Francisco Bay area.show more

Table of contents

New edition - All text revised and updated as neededAdd more graphics and boxed quotationsCOMING BACK TO LIFE: An (Updated?) Guide to the Work That Reconnectsby Joanna Macy and Molly Young BrownTABLE OF CONTENTSPermissionsMessage from Dalai LamaForeword by Matthew FoxPreface to Second Edition by Joanna Macy Preface to Second Edition by Molly Young Brown 1. TO CHOOSE LIFEWe can still opt for a sustainable world Choosing our story* Industrial Growth Society - business as usual Most widely espoused, hear it from government, industry, corporate media, schools. Ever increasing need for to fight for markets and resources. War on terror both within and without. American lifestyle non-negotiable* The Great Unraveling - evident when we look at the costs of the Industrial Growth Society: Wastage, poisoning and fraying of cultural and eco-systems the world over Scientists, activists, journalists call attention to die-offs and systems collapse. What industrial growth really is, what it costs, neocolonialism, long term effects * The Great Turning - the third revolution of the human journey: transition from IGS to a life-sustaining society. Its three main dimensions (with plenty of current examples) are mutually reinforcing, and why their multiplicity is good news for activists. 1. "holding actions" to slow the destruction of life on Earth 2. analysis of structural causes and creation of alternative institutions3. shift in perceptions of reality, in science and spirituality 2. THE GREATEST DANGER: THE CLOSING OF MIND & HEARTIntroductionPain for the world Why we close down mind and heart: fear of pain, fear of despair, fear of being labeled (doom and gloom, fanatic, conspiracy theorist, unpatriotic, weak or emotional), distrust of our own intelligence, wishful thinking, fear of guilt (add Iraq, Afghanistan, torture, incarceration, climate change, drone warfare, imperialism), cynicism, job and time pressuresWhat happens to us when we close down: fragmentation and alienation, escapist activities, fear and belligerence, acquiescing and obedience, blaming and scapegoating, diminished intellectual performance, and burn-out. Fear of speaking the truth.What happens to our world when we close down: Feedback to the larger systems is denied so they can't self-correct. Loss of complexity and intelligence in favor of conformity and uniformity. Increasing oscillations and collapse. Careening climate chaos. Runaway positive feedback loops Coming back to life3. THE BASIC MIRACLE: OUR TRUE NATURE AND POWERLiving Systems TheoryHow life self-organizes Every open system is a wholeEvery open system self-regulatesEvery open system adapts to changeEvery system is a holonThe holonic shift in consciousnessGaia Theory Positive disintegration (no human has ever faced climate change, radioactivity, etc before. No formulas or examples to follow. Systems to survive remain open to feedback and self-organize in response. Need for truth-telling and steadying practices.)Deep Ecology: (Keep introductory paragraphs--include material from previous section Asking Deeper Questions) Beyond anthropocentrism The ecological self Related movementso Ecofeminism o Ecopsychologyo ecojustice - precautionary principle, environmental justice o Rights of Nature/Mother Earth, Rights of Future Generations Ancient Teachings: the Abrahamic religions, indigenous spirituality, Asian traditions, esp. Buddhist teachingsThe Nature of Our Power: Power-over power-with feedback and the power of disclosure and refusal synergy and grace4. WHAT IS THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS?Emergence of the Work-definition, story, give-away, dynamic, inclusive (many tributaries)The Aims of the WorkBasic AssumptionsThe Spiral of the WorkThe Shambhala Prophecy [indent in italics or grey background] 5. FACILITATING THE WORK THAT RECONNECTSThe Value of Working in Groups Attributes of Good Facilitator Deep familiarity with work At ease speaking publicly Comfortable guiding groupsTasks of the facilitator Challenges for facilitators Helping People Speak And ListenDealing with People's stylesWorking with Strong EmotionsOther stresses In Guiding Group WorkTips for Facilitatorso When not to read the book, and what to do instead.o Participate in the exercises.o Opportunities for networkingo Making an altaro Shambhala Prophecy, when and how to use.ArrangementsThe Workshop SettingLength of timeSize of the groupPromotionRoster with emails, phones, and areas of interest-photos if possible[Heading to be composed] Opening The WorkshopSustaining Group Energy And ParticipationClosing the workshopClosing circle, follow-up, evaluations]6. COMING FROM GRATITUDE(keep quote and Introductory paragraph)Reflections on gratitude (Can be offered after exercises when participants share their own reflections.)Exercises Warm-Ups: Opening with breath, body, sound, & silence Group Introductions Open Sentences on Gratitude (with tips on Open Sentence process) The Mirror Walk Evoking the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address Presenting the Great Turning, Open Sentences on the Great Turning Wheel of the Great TurningNote on the presence of gratitude throughout the work7. HONORING OUR PAIN FOR THE WORLD (Replace quotation with one on pain from Gibran, The Prophet)(Opening paragraphs-keep)Notes on Guiding These Exercises References to Chapter 5Exercises Small Group Sharing Open Sentences Breathing Through (see Chap. 12) The Milling I Don't Care The Truth Mandala The Despair Ritual Bowl of TearsThe Cairn of Mourning Spontaneous Writing Imaging with Colors and Clay Bestiary-see Chapter 9Wrap-up Timing of these exercises Four-line Compassion Rap 8. SEEING WITH NEW EYES (Keep second couplet of quote-or find a better one)(Introductory paragraphs - same)Nature of the Shift (What opens the eyes)Brain Food: * key concepts,* pointers for teaching themExercises The Systems Game (+ new ones) When I Made a Difference (formerly "Tales of Power") Widening Circles The Cradling "Who Are You?" The Dance to Dismember the Ego My Choices for This LifeSeeing with New Eyes continues through next 2 chapters 9. DEEP TIME WORK: RECONNECTING WITH PAST AND FUTURE GENERATIONSA Sane Relationship to Time Exercises Invoking the Beings of the Three Times Cosmic Walk Harvesting the Gifts of the Ancestors Eco-Milling Evolutionary Remembering Tape Recording to the Future Letter from the Future Seventh Generation Practice The Power of Long Term IntentionFuture beings teach us Bodhichitta 10. DEEP ECOLOGY WORK: REJOINING THE NATURAL WORLDOpening paragraphsReclaiming Our Nature as Nature Exercises: The Gifts of the Animals or the Eco-Milling The Evolutionary Remembering The Bestiary Mirror Walk Mini-vision quest Stone-tellingMore outdoor exercises The Council of All Beings Shamantic Voices and Practices Returning NowReverence for the living earth rooted in all traditions 11. GOING FORTHDiscoveries we have made so far in the Work That Reconnects Exercises Communicating Our Concerns and HopesGoals and Resources Consultation Groups Clearness Committee Corbett Dialoging with MaraBowing to the Adversaries Planning Actions Learning to See Each Other Circle of Blessings Things to Remember at Parting Follow-up plans Group meeting Buddy system Roster exchange Dedication to the sacred living body of Earth and the Great Turning12. MEDITATIONS FOR COMING BACK TO LIFE The Web of Life Gaia Meditation Death Meditation Loving Kindness Breathing-Through Great Ball of Merit Learning To See Each Other or The Four Abodes 13. WORKING WITH PARTICULAR POPULATIONS Children and Young People Communities of Color Elders? Incarcerated people? APPENDIX A: The BestiaryAPPENDIX B: Sample Workshop OutlinesRESOURCESshow more

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