By Allan Combs July 28, 2016
The recent highly successful conference, THE EMBRACE OF THE EARTH: Mind, Consciousness, and Humankind¹s Connection with Nature, May 23rd and 24th at CIIS, brought together a rich mix of ecologists, climate experts, therapists, and consciousness scholars. Each of the speakers was special in her or his own way. An especially notable presentation was delivered by climate scholar and social theorist Asoka Bandarage, who put to rest any remaining thought of the global climate situation as anything short of a very major crisis already well along. Psychoanalysts Robin Brown and Renee Lertzman provided valuable and insights into the roots of the current mass denial in the U.S., as well as providing suggestions for how to work to change it. Spiritual teacher and Vedic scholar Acharya Shunya, recent CIIS Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri award winner, read from ancient Ayurvedic texts that described the present global situation with stark accuracy, sounding more like a CNN report than a spiritual text written long ago, and attributing the deterioration of natural conditions to the loss of human spirituality and morality. Overall the conference was very successful, and plans are underway for an EMBRACE OF THE EARTH II conference in the spring of 2017.