A Deeper Look at “The Work That Reconnects”
3-Part Webinar Series- Tues. Feb 12 , Tues. March 12, Tues. April 9
5pm – 7pm PST / 7pm – 9pm CST
What we will be exploring…
In this live webinar series we will dive into some of the main rivers of influence of the Work That Reconnects (WTR). The WTR is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by Joanna Macy, a scholar and respected elder in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism.
In this 3-part series we will spend one 2-hour session each on systems theory, deep ecology, and Prajñāpāramitā, covering a basic overview of these concepts as well as how they are expressed in the WTR.
We are especially excited in Session 3 to be joined by Joanna Macy herself, exploring the wisdom and gifts of the “Mother of All Buddhas.”
Why is it important?
Some of the main roots of the WTR are in three schools of thought: systems theory, deep ecology, and Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore, to fully understand and/or to teach the WTR, it is useful to understand these concepts. With the help of Lydia Violet and Joanna Macy herself, this course will empower current students and facilitators of the WTR to be able to better communicate these pillars of the work.
How much coursework will there be?
Students will be given concise readings and resources before each webinar (50-100 pgs) and are expected to review these before each webinar in preparation for our time together.
Each two-hour webinar will consist of one hour of lecture and one hour of discussion with time for Q&A. Students will be organized in small groups (appx. four people) that will have the opportunity to meet remotely between sessions to explore our class topics further.
Coursework in detail:
Session 1: Systems Theory
In this session we will study basic history & premises of systems theory, contextualizing its conceptual significance and learning how it revolutionized interdisciplinary studies. We will study key concepts such as living systems, homeostasis, adaptation, the systems mind, and feedback loops.
We will cover how Joanna’s in-depth study of living systems contributed to her body of work. As we will see, living systems theory has not only contributed to the scientific epistemology (the way we study knowledge), but also has inspired a shift in the common Western worldview as we rediscover our place in the web of life.
Session 2: Deep Ecology
Deep ecology was a field of study that arose out of the emergence of systems theory and its integration into the field of ecology. Proponents of deep ecology believe that it is imperative that we observe the planet as a whole, understanding how it maintains homeostasis between its smaller ecosystems. This helps us better understand the position of our species in the larger web of life.
The ethics of deep ecology hold that the survival of any part is dependent upon the well-being of the whole. Proponents of deep ecology offer an eight-tier platform to elucidate their claims, which we will use to deepen our understanding of this concept. We will then explore how this concept became one of the major influences of Joanna Macy’s body of work.
Session 3: Prajñāpāramitā
Prajñāpāramitā means "the Perfection of Wisdom" in Mahayana Buddhism. Prajñāpāramitā refers to a perfected way of seeing the nature of reality, the interrelatedness of all things. It is also the personification of the concept in the Bodhisattva known as the "Mother of All Buddhas." This concept has greatly influenced the WTR, and carries with it a profound relevance to the living systems worldview. Its practice and understanding offer us great resource and understanding when being present to the suffering in our world.
Tues. Feb 12 , Tues. March 12, Tues. April 9, 5pm – 7pm PST / 7pm – 9pm CST
$95 or $33/mo for 3 months. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if another payment arrangement is needed.
Students are not permitted to register part-time; however, the classes will be recorded, so if a student cannot attend a particular class, they can still register for the full session and watch the missed video at any time.
Lectures and discussions will be recorded and can be watched anytime.