Consciousness in an Age of Climate Crisis

Week 4A  August 9th–15th 2020
Seminar with Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Deepa Gulrukh Patel, Jacob Ellenberg & Hu Dost

As climate crisis headlines threaten to overwhelm our psyches, we must take stock of how spiritual traditions, practice, and inner guidance can inform our personal and collective response to the challenges before us.

This summer’s programme aims to use orientations and practices from Sufism, Buddhism, the world’s prophetic traditions, and social justice perspectives to address how we, collectively and individually, can best engage with the realities and fears of climate change.

Through a choreography of spiritual practice, dialogue, and music, a cadre of teachers, guides, and artists will support attendees in a novel process of awakening to and navigating the inner and outer landscape of the climate crisis.

This programme is not a condemnation of human behavior or cry for collective austerity. Nor is it a denial of climate realities and an invitation to ignore growing concerns.  Instead, we intend to gather with open eyes to explore how we can respond to a changing world with integrity and full awareness.

Perhaps now more than ever we must heed the great African American mystic and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman, who said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Deepa Gulrukh Patel

Deepa Gulrukh Patel is a campaigner and facilitator with a special interest in the arts, interdisciplinary collaboration, contemplation, diversity, and equality: working with organisations like the BBC, ActionAid and the Arts Council of England. Deepa has been a student of the inner life since her teens and is the director of Zenith Camp. She is also currently working with the Helen Storey Foundation on a variety of projects with Syrian refugees in Jordan at the Zaatari Refugee camp. Volunteering is important part of her life; in the UK she is Chair of Tamasha Theatre Company and The Loss Foundation, a charity that supports people bereaved by cancer. In the USA she is an advisor to the New Monastic Foundation.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo

The Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor of Buddhist studies at the University of San Diego where she teaches Buddhist thought and culture. She integrates scholarship and social activism through the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and Jamyang Foundation, an innovative education project for Himalayan women.

Jacob Ellenberg

Jacob Ellenberg has been a student of Sufism for 20 years. He has 15 years’ experience in founding start-ups and working with them and Fortune 250 companies in the fields of organizational strategy, video production, marketing, and storytelling. Jacob holds a BA from New York University in Mysticism and Organizational Behaviour.


Hu Dost

The music of HuDost weaves a seamless tapestry of Folk World and Rock that renders tears and laughter in listeners cultivating the nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts and invoking total celebration. HuDost recently released a new album ‘of Water + Mercy’ that has received rave reviews and as an independent release reached #24 in the Billboard Sales Charts for Folk/Americana. They have performed internationally at hundreds of renowned festivals and performing art centers and their highlight collaborations/opening slots include Ani DiFranco, Philip Glass, Jon Anderson (YES), Joan Osborne, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Neko Case, Jim Lauderdale and many more. It is through music that the losses and gains pains and triumphs and excruciating beauty of life can be given a voice of empathy to the synonymous lives of all people. HuDost are highly engaged activists, doing advocacy work as Congressional District Representatives for ONE (a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty and, specifically, the sexism of poverty).