On March 22, 2023, Reimagine hosted a thought-provoking event as part of their "Climate Grief & Growth" series. The event featured Kaira Jewel Lingo, a Buddhist teacher with expertise in weaving mindfulness, meditation, and social justice, and LaUra Schmidt, the founder of Good Grief Network. Together, they guided attendees in taking small, meaningful steps towards growth and transformation when confronting climate change and ecocide.
During their dialogue, attendees were invited into peer-led breakout groups to discuss questions such as the disruption of core belief systems in relation to climate change and ecocide, insights gained from experiencing grief, examples of mindfulness practices to regulate difficult emotions, and acts of service to help others and the planet.
Kaira Jewel Lingo shared her lifelong interest in spirituality and social justice, drawing inspiration from Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh and her dad's work with Martin Luther King Jr. She taught internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, at the intersection of racial, climate, and social justice with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Keira is author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption from Parallax Press. Her teachings and writings can be found at www.kairajewel.com. IG @kairajewel. She is also the author of "We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption" from Parallax Press.
LaUra Schmidt, who is a truth seeker, community builder, cultural critic, trainer, program designer, and facilitator, shared her unique "10-Steps to Resilience & Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate" program and the FLOW Facilitation Training modality. She is a lifelong student, curator, and practitioner of personal and collective resilience strategies, and her academic background includes a BS in Environmental Studies, Biology, and Religious Studies, and an MS in Environmental Humanities. Attendees could look forward to her upcoming book How to Live in a Chaotic Climate: 10 Steps to Reconnect with Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our Planet which was set to release in August 2023 through Shambhala Publications.
The event was organized by Reimagine (www.letsreimagine.org), whose mission is to help people face adversity, loss, and mortality, and channel the hard parts of life into meaningful action and growth. The Climate Grief & Growth series aimed to provide ways to grow in the face of climate grief by learning, practicing mindfulness, and taking action. Topics of discussion and practice included regulating feelings of despair and finding purpose in acts of service and civic engagement.
Good Grief Network, a nonprofit organization that started in 2016, was also a part of the event. They brought people together to process collective grief, eco-distress, and overwhelming feelings concerning the collective planetary crises. By building individual and community resilience, they empower people to rediscover their agency and engage in meaningful actions. Using a variety of modalities such as embodiment, group sharing, deep listening, and co-visioning, Good Grief Network creates brave, emergent spaces where people process their heavy emotions, learn new skills, reconnect on all levels, and actively build communities that are invested in intentional relationships, healing, and growth.