I recently spent the afternoon of Easter after the Bioneers Conference ended in Berkeley – with beloved Joanna Macy. Now that was an Easter rising. We sat and remembered the one we had shared so many years ago – in a sunrise ceremony at the east end of the Ojai Foundation ridge-top. Joanna is someone I have known, loved and respected since we first sat in circle together in the ’80s. I was able to work with her on the Nuclear Guardian Site project, a vision still alive and relevant in my heart/ mind and I hope others. Joanna contributed for years to so many events and programs there at Ojai as well as to the making of The Box: Remembering the Gift. I was forever grateful to have been with her then and most recently. Still today I send anyone I work with in Joanna’s direction as well as to those who have carried forward the Work That Reconnects.
Author, visionary, teacher, world witness, engaged Buddhist, weaver of pathways so needed in our world, Joanna had, I will say rather bravely, showed up at age 94 to a packed audience Saturday to offer a plenary talk, and what a blessing for all it was. For many, she embodies what a true elder is, especially needed in many cultures, too often missing in the white worlds. Her presence was I felt a co-arising …to see and be seen, heal and be healed, to love and be loved: A master-ess of mirrors, a carrier of deep listening circles, of truth mandalas. She stepped in at Bioneers and the community stepped up as well …a co-arising at this auspicious Easter Saturday, sitting in between so many worlds…. eliciting the very best from her and us… presence, heart, truth …. and with that…. a little forgetfulness, a dropping of her cane, her staff, and the ease to bend over and gently pick it up again – reminding us perhaps how timeless that need to do such is …. the courage to stay in the circle, to show up with such openness, vulnerability and grace for one of her communities, one she helped dream. Even in the grief of these times – feeling and expressing the gratitude – it was contagious.
I could go on and I would rather encourage you all to listen to her talk at Bioneers this year or in years past …to read Joanna’s words in her many books if you have not, and come to know, engage in, the many ways and works that she has gifted the world. Thank you Joanna for all you have been and for including us in your becoming. As our beloved Thich Nhat Hanh says … May we continue.
Read about Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects here
Find out more about The Work That Reconnects here
Learn about The Council of All Beings – a communal ritual created by Joanna Macy
Please also visit Canticle Farm – an important watering hole for The Work That Reconnects