Episode 17: Experiential Deep Ecology (with John Seed)
How do we live at a time like this? You are in for a treat in today’s episode, hearing John Seed’s answer to this question, and especially in hearing about how he’s come to his answer.
If you don’t recognize his name, John Seed is a wise elder, activist and well-loved leader based in Australia, and a beautiful human being who’s a lot of fun to talk with. He’s made core contributions to Deep Ecology and the Work that Reconnects, and to the protection of life on Earth, for more than 40 years. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to speak with him, and to share our conversation with you.
Click Play above to hear us explore:
- how John found his calling in rainforest protection (part psychedelics, part being willing to help a neighbor, and part lucky accident)
- why he likes to attend a group Experiential Deep Ecology workshop about 10 times a year (like all of us, he still needs to remember to remember)
- one practice that you can easily do on your own
- the recent Rights of Nature win in Ecuador
- how he’s able to relate to this ecologically “on the brink” time with passion, but without hysteria
- and a glimpse through his words of what it’s like to expand your identity through time, through the cosmos, and through different life forms on Earth
This conversation has made a lasting and very welcome impact on my heart and mind. Listen in to receive John’s insights for yourself, and please do share this with the people in your life whose hearts and minds would benefit from it too.
It’s such a special opportunity to hear from John Seed, especially after his 6-year struggle with cancer, when he couldn’t engage in leading workshops or activism like he had been. I feel blessed to have had this conversation, and I hope it’s a blessing for many.
Scroll down for links to resources mentioned in this episode, plus a few more.
John Seed is founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia. He’s been involved in direct actions to protect Australian rainforests since 1979. He’s a well-loved leader and teacher of Deep Ecology, and collaborator with Joanna Macy in the early development of the Work that Reconnects. In 1988, Joanna Macy and John Seed co-authored the book Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings with Pat Fleming and Arne Naess.
I am awed by all the ways John has been protecting the living Earth in his over 40 years of action, from producing films and performing music, to campaigns for protecting ecosystems and species in locales around the world, from initiating a permaculture food security project in Zimbabwe to organizing actions in Sydney against the timber mafia in Borneo, from tree planting projects to workshops and lectures, and most recently, campaigning to protect rainforests in Ecuador from mining, mostly by Australian mining companies.
John was awarded the Order of Australia Medal by the Australian Government for his services to conservation of the environment back in 1995, and he has only continued his services in the years since then. For a more thorough timeline of John’s activities over the past 40+ years, click here: https://www.rainforestinformationcentre.org/bio
To learn more about the Rainforest Information Centre and their work in Ecuador, visit: https://www.rainforestinformationcentre.org/
For more on Deep Ecology: https://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/welcome.htm
About the Epic of Evolution https://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/ee.htm
And The Cosmic Walk https://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/cosmic.htm
You can read the text of Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings, here: https://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/TLAM%20text.htm
Related books I recommend:
A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time, the anthology I mention, which includes the story of John Seed and Joanna Macy creating the Council of All Beings practice
Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change by Day Shildkret, a beautiful book with practical ways to “remember to remember,” something that John speaks to in this conversation