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Navigating the Edges of Healthy Human Cultures - with Roshi Joan Halifax and Sophy Banks

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

There are many ways to "explain" the world. As a scientist, I used to work in developing exquisitely complex maps of reality, that can get so rich and full of coherence that we run the risk of believing that they actually are the reality they represent. That has made me question the utility of maps as a whole...

In the past few years I've come to experience the power and beauty of the "maps" that both Roshi Joan Halifax and Sophy Banks have woven out of their eclectic life of social engagement. And in my own weaving of both, I see a deep resonance between them. In bringing them together, I want to explore those resonances, and, especially any places where the differences bring an even deeper richness to the inquiry of How do I engage in the regeneration of our society, in a way that allows for deep health?

The work of these two inspiring women, and the knowing and tending of my own traumas—which has also been facilitated by them—the befriending of the blind spots that I manage to get glimpses of, all that has brought an awareness of the health and unhealth of practices I find powerful in bringing transformation, such as compassion. I find it of great importance to keep that inquiry, for I see lot of harm being done, unwittingly, through our desire to be of service. It can happen in many ways, for instance when the intention behind that desire is not aligned with health—that of others and our own, or when the way in which we realise that service does not take into account the dynamics, the edges of our "goodness", or we are simply blinded by the sense of urgency of the situation... And so much more.

What are the edges of our socially engaged practices? How do we navigate them? How do they help us find, regenerate, nurture the "Right Return Paths" to our healthy human cultures?

This session will flow through Joan's and Sophy's words, and what emerges from there... questions to each other, from participants, from each other. There will be some space for reflection, and time to be in the present. It will be recorded, and whoever wants to be there but remain anonymous only needs to turn off their video.

Joining Information:

Fri Nov 26, 2021 16:00 - 17:30 (UK time - check your local time here)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 7977 3319

Passcode: soilsoul

About Roshi Joan Halifax

Joan is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, medical anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on engaged Buddhism.

She has walked many paths, physical intelectual and spiritual, and has worked with and influenced many scientists, politicians, activists... She continues to work with dying people, their families, and their caregivers. Bringing to life the practice and art of engaged compassion and walking the paths of deep transformation so needed in our time.

She is the heart of Upaya Institute and Zen Center.

About Sophy Banks

Sophy’s eclectic life has been guided by an overarching question: why do humans create so much unintended suffering, and how can we stop? She has looked for answers in the worlds of engineering, grassroots football, psychotherapy, social movements for change and more.

She worked for 10 years for the Transition movement, training people around the world in community based responses to global crises of world-view, environment and social justice.

Healthy Human Culture is the culmination of this life journey.

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