Novasutras Santa Cruz Emerges

The first local chapter of Novasutras is sprouting and reaching sunward. We were nourished by a light rain and the joy of each other’s company at our launch party in August (details and pictures below).

September 20-27th, we will be actively engaged in several Global Climate Strike actions, including leading an Equinox meditation in the courtyard at Santa Cruz City Hall.

Santa Cruz Launch Party a soggy success!

We had an unexpectedly drizzly yet festive gathering at a local park on Sunday, August 18th. The event included a potluck, a guided meditation under a redwood tree, and some deep discussion of ways that we experience and promote agaya.

We also had a “Take a Blessing, Leave a Blessing” bowl, which allowed us to exchange lovely wishes and images such as

  • May the rain clear your mind
  • Monarch butterflies dancing in the breeze
  • May that which you see as ugly make you laugh and teach you to let go
  • Kiss from a loved one
  • May the fog nourish your internal redwoods

Our discussion prompt regarding experiencing and promoting agaya yielded intimate and heartfelt conversation in small groups. Some of the wisdom we harvested:

  • gratitude for beings around us
  • how do we help people pause to experience the miracle?
  • theme: as nature fares, so we fare
  • as we tune in, we hold it and tune into those we’re caring for, creating a sense of safety for them
  • acknowledge ubuntu with everyone we meet
  • get out into nature with others
  • Do you know who made the thing you have?
  • Novasutras could develop “day quests” – be in presence in Nature
  • spread awareness of trauma, how our nervous systems respond separates us from agaya
  • hope and health to face challenges
  • hunting and fishing groups
  • Every step I take changes the universe (Thích Nhất Hạnh)
  • learned from hunting: take less steps, see more game
  • shared time and space
  • a walk in the forest, we are interrupting their time/space – we can join if we slow way down

Was there singing? Yes, including a remarkably profound atonal humming practice, and of course a rousingly ridiculous rendition of the Agaya & Ubuntu Hokey-Pokey!

Changing the key lyrics, while keeping the familiar melody and dance, we incorporated some festive silliness as part of our Novasutras practice. Alternatives are “feel agaya and ubuntu and you turn yourself about,” or “live agaya and ubuntu and we turn the world about.”

Though we all were a little too tired and wet to start shinrin-yoku at the end of our discussion, we were energized by our time together and looked forward to the ways we might continue to support and grow the Novasutras movement.

We hope that the lessons we learned from this celebration will plant seeds and encourage other local groups to sprout up and grow agaya and ubuntu all around the world!

Want to start up a group in your area? Let us know – we’re happy to help.

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