Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Novasutras movement all about?
- What are agaya and ubuntu?
- What are the core principles and values of the Novasutras movement?
- Who started the Novasutras movement?
- Why is Novasutras a spiritual movement?
- Is Novasutras based in a particular religious tradition?
- What do Novasutras practitioners worship?
- What do Novasutras practitioners believe?
- What are Novasutras practices?
- Why are the Global Synchronous Octal Meditations important, and why are they scheduled for odd times?
- What is the moral foundation of the Novasutras movement?
- Who is in charge of Novasutras?
- What are the goals of the Novasutras movement?
- What can I do to help?
What is the Novasutras movement all about?
The name Novasutras comes from the Latin nova — meaning “new” — and the Sanskrit word sutras — meaning “spiritual teachings.”
The Novasutras movement is an invitation to co-create a spiritual movement the world needs today and for the future. Together, we can conceive a movement that remains adaptable, deeply democratic and egalitarian, open to both science and mysticism, and so beautifully compelling that it can powerfully transform the way humans live together in our biosphere.
Novasutras has its roots in deep ecology, watered by mindfulness traditions, and growing up into the world to nurture everyone, stretching forth branches blossoming with enticing ritual and bearing the fruit of care and kindness for all.
Agaya is a new term, intended as an expression of the deep, sacred beauty of the universe. Ubuntu is a term that represents the connections between all things. Agaya and ubuntu bring us all together in the more-than-human world with reverence, joy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness. …read more…
Nature is sacred. Change is essential, inevitable and important. Complexity and maturity emerge from diverse, cooperative relationships. The beauty of the living world is to be savored, honored, celebrated and protected. …read more…
Unlike most activist organizations, Novasutras starts from the intention of inspiring a movement large enough to change the whole paradigm of civilization. We believe that we must change the underlying system: the ideas of our culture that are so fundamental, they go largely unspoken and unchallenged. A spiritual movement can provide people with the kind of new cultural template that will allow for radical changes throughout the system. …read more…
Is Novasutras based in a particular religious tradition?
The intention of the Novasutras movement is to create a novel spiritual movement. We are globally syncretic: that is, we are eager to learn from what is available and appreciate the wisdom from diverse traditions around the world. We are open to those who already have a spiritual practice or religious community. Our intention is to create a space with practices, language and ideas that will be welcoming to people from most traditions, including those who are atheist or agnostic. We also intend to create a space of safety for those who may have been harmed by abuses in other religious communities, by avoiding triggering language and patriarchal ideas. Novasutras is rooted in deep ecology, so the practices, language and beliefs we share must be compatible with agaya, ubuntu, and our core values. We find much wisdom in communities like the Religious Naturalist Association, Gaianism, and Atheopaganism.
What do Novasutras practitioners believe?
What are Novasutras practices?
Novasutras practices currently include meditating, particularly Octal Meditations as part of our celebrations of Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-Quarters (and other astronomical or worldwide events), connecting the corners, drawing the Novasutras symbol, forest immersion and befriending trees. There is abundant evidence that shared rituals promote both personal and community well-being.
Part of co-creating Novasutras includes developing additional rituals, rites and celebrations that promote the vitality of ubuntu and agaya. We might adopt and modify Earth-honoring rituals from all around the world, provided we do so with deep respect, acknowledgement, and gratitude for those wisdom traditions. Some other ideas that Dr. Merrill, our founder, first put forward in 2002, could be discussed and improved. In other words, we are making it up as we go along – please join us in this vibrant co-creative endeavor.
Why are the Global Synchronous Meditations important, and why are they scheduled for odd times?
The timings for Novasutras’ online group meditations are often based on the actual time of an astronomical event. For instance, we start a little bit before the exact minute when the sun crosses the Earth’s equator for the Equinox, or at or around the precise moment of the major phases of the moon. Read more…
What is the moral foundation of the Novasutras movement?
Who is in charge of Novasutras?
Are there priestesses or hierophants?
What are the goals of the Novasutras movement?
Our long-term goals include
- Defending and protecting the environment, agaya and ubuntu
- Responding to disasters
- Rebuilding (and reconsidering) after disasters
- Supporting social justice causes
- Preserving knowledge and culture
- Spreading joy and celebration
Our greater goals are generally aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goals.
To achieve these larger intentions, we have specific goals for movement building:
- Organize local celebrations for Equinoxes and Solstices.
- Come together online for Octal Meditations.
- Develop a working wiki of Novasutras philosophy, research, and practices.
- Grow Novasutras communities in at least 30 countries.
- Unite a quarter-million participants worldwide into conversations about community based on agaya and ubuntu.
- Invite the power of community to transform global civilizations into expressions of Novasutras’ core values, so we begin to live in a world of ubuntu and agaya.
share widely – create – start or join a work team – celebrate – share space – donate stuff – contribute funds or buy merch
Novasutras welcomes all dedicated people to apply their head, hands and heart to co-creating a world abiding in agaya and ubuntu. …read more…
Have more questions? Please leave them in the comments below, or contact us.