Because we hold the future of all life in our hands, through the impacts of our various extraordinarily powerful technologies, we need also to hold, consciously, the future of all life in our hearts, and support one another in taking compassionate action to protect life’s continued unfolding on this planet.–Dennis Rivers
The central purpose of the Work That Reconnects is to bring people into new relationship with their world, to empower them to take part in The Great Turning, and to reclaim their lives from corporate rule. In order to do this, the Work That Reconnects:
- provides perspectives and practices drawn from systems science, Deep Ecology and spiritual traditions that reveal our interbeing through space and time.
- reframes our pain for the world as evidence of our mutual belonging and hence our power to take action on behalf of life.
- awakens stamina and buoyancy to live with full awareness of both the Great Turning and the Great Unraveling, and to embrace the uncertainty.
- awakens us to the systemic injustice, racism, and oppression of the Industrial Growth Society, and generates our commitment to transform all our institutions for the benefit of all humans, whatever their color, culture, religion, gender identity, and history.
- affirms that our intention to act for the sake of all present and future beings, and to become allies to all oppressed or marginalized people, can become organizing principles of our lives.
- helps us identify the strengths and resources we can mobilize in our commitment to the self-healing of the world.
- presents The Great Turning as a challenge that every one of us, in collaboration with others, is fully capable of meeting in our own distinctive ways.
“Gratitude and Grief for Our World,” in the Essay section of this web site, conveys some of the philosophy behind the Work That Reconnects.
Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects, by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown, describes the theory and practice of this work in depth. (New Society Publishers, 2014)
For an excellent new article by Chris Johnstone (co-author with Joanna Macy of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy) click here. I also highly recommend the book Active Hope.
Introductory evenings, one or two day workshops, and week-long retreats, are often sponsored by faith, peace, environmental, and/or professional organizations. Facilitators who have worked intensively with Joanna Macy (including Molly Brown) are available all over the world. Workshops are highly experiential and tailored to the needs of each group. However, no matter what the setting and time frame, the Work proceeds through a spiral: from gratitude, to honoring our pain for the world, to seeing with new eyes, to going forth in service to the world (according to ones own life situation, resources, and gifts). This spiral of work cycles back through these four stages over and over again, each time at a new level of experience and insight.
This progression allows us to open our hearts, feel our grief, fear, and rage so we can also feel our love for the world and our passion for justice. We then take a new look at our ways of understanding the world around us so we can find new ways of working for the healing of the earth. We then go forth with plans and passion for building a sustainable living culture. Practices include deep dialogue, meditations, small group interactions, time outdoors to reconnect with the natural world, art, music, and movement, along with presentations and conversations on concepts such as systems thinking, deep ecology, and the state of the world.
For more information about the Work That Reconnects around the world, visit: http://workthatreconnects.org/. Here you can read the latest issue of Deep Times – A Journal of the Work That Reconnects, edited by Molly Brown. You can also view a complete video presentation of a teaching workshop with Joanna Macy in the Resources section.