Grounding Our Resiliency in Nature — Lessons from the Aspen Tree

I recently shared a resource link to the Rockefeller Institute’s Resilience: A Literature Review. An excellent response to that review, titled The Missing Link: The Biology of Human Resilience, is posted on the Upaya Zen Center’s blog.
I will be addressing yet another missing link in the Resilience: A Literature Review and in the Biology of Human Resilience response, in a presentation this evening and a retreat program tomorrow, here in Santa Fe.
The literature review itself points us toward this missing vital perspective in the last line of its report: One needs to answer not just “Resilience of what?” and “Resilience to what?”, but “Resilience for whom?
Cosmologist, theologian and historian Thomas Berry, in his book The Great Work, provides us with this perspective and response: We must recognize that the only effective program available as our primary guide toward a viable human mode of being is the program offered by the Earth itself.
I suggest, we arrive into the great work of our lives and times as we ask the questions, Who am I? and What is it to be human? Purpose and meaning and the structure and resiliency of our lives and culture grow out of the answers we provide. Our answers to these questions both unite us and divide us. Yet to answer these questions of identity, without seeking the counsel and wild wisdom of Nature, is to live in the decaying bubble of human separation: separation from Nature, from our selves, from each other and from the mystery of the cosmos itself.
The great work of our times is to come home to our Selves, to again discover our Resilient Aspenbelonging within the great web of Life, personally and collectively.
The Aspen grove and tree, perhaps the world’s largest individual organism, offers us a primeval and imaginative window into our own deep identity, into a dynamic vision of a world of thrive-ability. As soul medicine for our times, aspens reveal the dimensional nature of the Self and of Community. They invite us into the vigorous experience and knowledge of our wholeness. This is a radical affirmation of the heart of resiliency; it is the moist intimacy of relational intelligence, of existential courage and of our Oneness—in celebration of diversity.
This experiential program is a frolicking reflective, provocative and inspiring exploration of the wholeness of who we are as human beings, and of our innate resiliency. We will interweave a poetic tapestry of ecology, biology, neurobiology, resiliency science and mythology with a dash of quantum physics for spice.
My friend and colleague, Juliana Coles, a certified Heart Math Instructor, will be joining me as a co-presenter in this program.
Lessons in the Heart & Science of Resiliency from the Aspen Tree will be held at the beautiful Randall Davey Audubon Center from 4-6 tonight and from 9-5 on Sunday. Tonight’s program will focus specifically around the ecology of the aspen and is free to the public. Continuing Education Credits are available from the NM Counseling and Therapy Practice Board.
Please contact me for further information on this weekend’s program or to inquire about bringing a version of this program to your community.

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