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Liberation and Collapse: Practicing with nature in times of deep transition

Online Program
Dates: Apr 17, 2024 - May 22, 2024

Instructor(s): Zac Ispa-Landa

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Program Description:

In this time of accelerating ecological change, how might we open to the more-than-human world around us as a teacher? We will engage Buddhist meditation together with nature connection practices to explore a path of awakening responsive to life in the anthropocene.

With Zac Ispa-Landa as your guide, your teachers will be honey bees and mosquitos, dandelions emerging from cracked cement, vultures circling in the sky, the breeze on your arm, the crucible of your own meditation practice, and each other. Zac’s years of vipassana practice, close study with Lama Rod Owens, and decades of earth-based awareness practice will inform our approach of connecting to the living wisdom that surrounds us in every moment through immediate, intuitive openness. 

We will practice: shamatha meditation to stabilize and clarify the mind; the Seven Homecomings to find refuge in sources of sanctuary and guidance that embrace our diverse identities; mettā to connect with boundless compassion; and nature-based meditation to open to the wisdom of the more-than-human world.

Not a place for neat and tidy answers to the apocalyptic transitions we are experiencing, in this exploration we will plant our questions in the dark soil of our practice, nourish them with awareness, and wait for insights to unfurl in the openness of our hearts. We’ll aspire to radical openness and discernment as we navigate the enigmatic waters of liberatory practice in community while drawing on wisdom and guidance beyond the human domain.

Together, we will explore how the lovingkindness, joy, compassion, spaciousness, and liberation that naturally emerge from our practice can reveal new ways of being with the reality of climate collapse.

This program is suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners. All identities are warmly welcomed. Participants are expected to maintain a daily meditation practice based on the unfolding guidance throughout the six weeks of this program. 

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Zac Ispa-Landa (he/him) has studied and practiced meditation for 20 years – primarily Vipassana (insight) meditation and, more recently, Vajrayana practices. His primary teacher is Lama Rod Owens and his practice is supported by a broad mix of teachings and techniques. He is particularly interested in the role contemplative practices can play in undoing systems of oppression and creating conditions for collective liberation and sustainability. He’s a Senior Lecturer at the University of Vermont, a teacher at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) and works with people throughout the country as a mindfulness coach and Dharma facilitator. Zac lives in Winooski, Vermont with his partner, son, and tens of thousands of honey bees.