At Novasutras, we offer a variety of ecospiritual and ecoactivist events, guided meditation sessions, learning workshops, engaged conversations, and local actions. Our gatherings help us to uplift one another and support our development as agents for positive change in the world.

Global / Online Ecospiritual Event Details ~ Santa Cruz, CA Event Details ~ Recent Events ~ Planning your own Novasutras celebrations

Global / Online Ecospiritual Events

Click title for details on these upcoming events:

Conversations & Celebrations

Dates are based on Pacific time (San Francisco)check Calendar for timing

Our calendar includes astronomical events and other celebration days, to help you schedule globally relevant Novasutras celebrations. This calendar also displays Novasutras Santa Cruz local events. Contact us to add your events.

Novasutras events emphasize the scientific truths that unite us as Earthlings. They are open to people of all faith practices or belief systems who share some devotion to Earth care and community. They are timed around astronomical events as a way to mark the shared journey of our planet and all its inhabitants.

Want to help us keep putting on events? Please support Novasutras by donating with your registration, provide ongoing support via Patreon, or volunteer as a Novasutras Uplifter.

To be scheduled & previously hosted events: Calling the Corners ~ Catharsis Conversations ~ Child Hardship Fact Force ~ Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu ~ Climate Policy ~ Connect & Center ~ The Dawn of Everything Book Group ~ Deep Change Dialogues ~ Discussions in Difficult Times ~ Earth’s Three Green Hearts ~ Faiths 4 Climate Justice ~ Focusing Practice ~ Leading Deep Change Learning Community ~ Learn and Honor Sacred Nature ~ Moon Phase Meditations ~ Reconnection Rituals ~ Surviving the Future ~ Uplifters Planning Meetings
Octal Celebrations: Cross-Quarter ~ Solstice ~ Equinox

Novasutras Global Calendar

Global / Online Ecospiritual Events Details


Novasutras Guided Meditations on the Moon Phases

Ecospiritual meditations for well-being on Earth. Practice together enhances our well-being, strength and resilience as we respond to environmental and social disruptions. We draw inspiration from dynamic balance in the Earth-Moon-Sun dance. Together we reciprocate the gifts of ubuntu and agaya.

Join us on Insight Timer Live. Each session is about 30 minutes long. Michelle is your guide.

Invite your friends! You can use the sharing tools on each Insight Timer page.

Earth Intentions in the Dark of the Moon
The dark of the Moon invites us to consider the pull of a better future for all, and what seeds we are sowing to emerge as the New Moon waxes in its dance with Earth and Sun. We send wishes for joy and loving-kindness around the world.

A World of Gratitude in the Waxing Moon
We offer gratitude for Earth and all her beings. We share our appreciation, compassion, joy and wonder. Practicing gratitude together enhances our well-being, power & resilience to work for Mother Earth.

Earth’s Abundance and Beauty in the Full Moon
Celebrate the full moon’s reminder to offer gratitude for life’s generosity, in the abundant beauty of Earth as illuminated by the full moon.

Transforming and Adapting on the Waning Moon
In this ecospiritual meditation for well-being on Earth, we appreciate the graceful lessons of the waning moon. We remember to let go of what no longer serves our world, as we reciprocate loving-kindness with all beings. We find inspiration in dynamic balance of the Moon-Sun dance.

You can watch and listen to the live sessions on the Web without the app by using the Insight Timer links. You can set a reminder by following the links in Insight Timer ahead of time.

These Moon Meditations are available on Insight Timer: a free app with tools, social circles, and recordings (guided meditations, music, and talks) to support your meditation practice. Please also join the Novasutras circle on the app.

We offer these meditations for well-being on Earth, as ecospiritual events at or near the phases of the moon (about one per week, times vary). Celebrations of the ever-changing moon are a reminder of the dynamic change that is essential to life. Our meditations emphasize global unity and loving-kindness to all beings.
Learn more…

If you are interested in more guided meditations on Zoom, please let us know by taking this poll.


Meditate Together for Regeneration

Second Wednesday of the month at 11:00am PST / 19:00 UTC
Next Session: Wednesday, December 14th
via Zoom & the Deep Transformation Network
(45 minutes, hosted by Michelle, with Michelle or another DTN meditation guide)

Whatever your circumstances, we feel that taking a moment to connect and meditate with others is good medicine for overall health and wellness.

Photo of two meditators outdoors in a park, by monstera via Pexels.


The Deep Transformation Network and The Global Regeneration CoLab (other peer support communities for regenerative change-makers), along with Novasutras- are hosting a group meditation on the second Wednesday/Thursday (depending on which side of the date line you are) of each month – check for your local time at https://everytimezone.com/s/2e66deae.

Come join virtually and meditate together with like- and unlike-minded friends. We will take the first 10 minutes to arrive and settle in. Then the meditation will start at 10 minutes after the hour, and go for about 20-30 minutes, with a little time for shared reflections afterward.

The meditations are guided by a community member from the Global Regeneration CoLab(GRC), Novasutras and/or the Deep Transformation Network. All instructions and guidance are optional, however, please remain silent during the meditation. There is an opportunity to stay and chat after the meditation.

Do join us, monthly on the second Wednesday/Thursday, for a nourishing practice and the sense of connection and togetherness, whatever else is happening!


December Solstice 2022

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

Online Octal Celebration
December 21st, 2022
1:00pm PST / 21:00 UTC

more details and links coming soon

To celebrate this Solstice, Dr. Michelle Merrill will lead guided meditations, interactive celebratory practices, and compassionate conversation. Celebrations feature a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of Nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

When was the Solstice?

The precise moment of this Solstice is December 21st 21:36 UTC, when the sun is overhead at 23° 26′ South Latitude (the Tropic of Capricorn). Our Octal Celebration provides an ecospiritual connection to the Earth-Sun dance from a global perspective.

When & where will we gather for Novasutras Celebrations of the Solstice?

At the precise time of the Solstice, Michelle may lead a meditation on Insight Timer Live. There may also be a celebration over Zoom and livestreaming on YouTube. Novasutras Santa Cruz chapter might celebrate the Solstice at a Climate, Land & Water Meditation the weekend before that.

Our Octal Celebrations are offered in the gift economy. Choose the level of donation that feels right for you on Patreon or PayPal.

Video from 2021

Here’s a recording of last year’s event, including some welcoming rounds expressing gratitude, an introduction to Novasutras and Octal Celebrations, the concepts of agaya & ubuntu, our Calling / Connecting the Corners practice, and a guided meditation.

The second half of the session was more interactive and personal, and so was not recorded. We invited participants to share with one another their thoughts about something they were grateful for in year that’s passed, something that was painful (evoked grief, fear, anger, despair, etc.), something they learned, and their intentions for the year to come. We shared a recitation of We Journey Together (from Joanna Macy & Molly Brown’s Coming Back to Life), then offered closing thoughts.


Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu

3rd Wednesday of January, April, July, and October
Next: January 18th, 3:30pm PST/ 23:30 UTC (75-90 min, Facilitator: Michelle)

The Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu quarterly gatherings are a chance for Novasutras supporters to congregate, celebrate and co-create the future of the Novasutras Movement.  These calls are limited to those who support us on Patreon for at least $5 per month, those who have made major one-time donations in a recent month, or those who are active Novasutras Uplifter volunteers.  (Special thanks to those who do all three – you are amazing!!!)

If you are one of these wonderful people (or if you become one today), you will be getting an email reminder and the Zoom link for this conversation.

Flying birds. Photo by Ferdinad Stohr via Unsplash.

Novasutras Uplifters Planning Meetings

Future meeting times to be discussed – indicate your availability here

All are welcome to join the Uplifters, as we come together to nurture and sustain the work of Novasutras. These meetings will include brief check-ins and intentional silence to strengthen the bonds of community. That will be followed by committed time to plan for upcoming events and other tasks to keep our projects thriving, and explore ways to foster agaya and ubuntu in the world.
(60-90 minutes – Facilitator: Michelle)


Novasutras Discussions in Difficult Times

On hold for now – possible reunion in 2022

We’ve had to reduce the frequency of these open Discussions until we can get more help.
Are you ready to be an Uplifter?

Online gathering spaces for connection and meaningful conversation in challenging times. We are building community and resilience for our work towards climate sanity, ecosystem well-being, and social justice.

Join as many Discussions as you like. These meetings do not usually have predetermined topics, recordings or other follow-up. Topics range from personal concerns to global transformation, always with a holistic approach to social, scientific and spiritual perspectives. We will gather for about 90 minutes, supporting and uplifting one another in agaya and ubuntu through open, compassionate, confidential exchange. Facilitator: Derek or Michelle

We will be planning a sort-of reunion for sometime soon. Please reach out to Michelle if you have ideas or suggestions.


Reconnection Rituals

an online mini-workshop for managing Climate Grief and Ecoanxiety

Next session TBD

We will engage practices to help us increase our resilience and effectiveness in our work to defend and restore the living world.

Our Reconnection Rituals events feature practices that invite deep connection to the world, in all its beauty and in its suffering. By connecting with the power of the living world, we find new reserves of strength in our hearts. Together, we can face the real damage done by climate disruption and habitat destruction. By recognizing ourselves as part of Nature, as co-creators of our future, we gain resilience and courage, guided by wisdom and our love for the Earth, to be agents for positive change.

This ecospiritual event is a time for gathering to reconnect with one another and with more-than-human Nature through rituals and community practices, mostly inspired by the Work That Reconnects (Joanna Macy et al.). We will go through a spiral of gratitude, honoring our pain for the world, seeing with new/ancient eyes, and going forth.
(90-120 minutes – Facilitator: Michelle)

Note: Schedule is tentative. Event will only go forward at this time if there are registered donors.
Already a Novasutras Events Announcements email subscriber? Registration optional. You can join directly via this Zoom link at the start time.


Focusing Practice Community Gathering

Interested? Indicate your preferred times on this poll.

More on Focusing Practice coming soon – timing TBD
Facilitators: Dr. Kendon Smith & Dr. Michelle Merrill

background beautiful blossom calm waters

We would like to hold a monthly gathering for conversation on Focusing Practice. This session (of one to one-and-a-half hours) will offer support for Focusing partnerships and other aspects of Focusing Practice. Kendon will present an update on his work (particularly relating to trauma, addiction and depression).

We will have an opportunity to help one another with Focusing Practice questions, and perhaps do some Focusing Partner practice (most likely in pairs or trios – an inclusive “musical chairs” of Focusing Partnership, so you can learn from experiences with new Focusing partners). If some want to, we might also demo Focusing in larger group settings.

You are welcome to join, whatever your level of experience with Focusing Practice. We will review the basic steps of personal and partnership Focusing, in advance of the Focusing Practice community gathering. You may also wish to review “Safe Focusing with (Almost) Any Partner” & “The Power of Listening“, and videos from our Oct 7th, Oct 29th and Nov 10th events ahead of the session.
Learn more…


Deep Change Dialogues

Next session TBD – please take this quick poll to find a better time.

The Leading Deep Change Learning Community hosts open monthly conversations about how humans may thrive as better integrated members of the living world (with particular emphases on climate solutions and livelihood). If you’re interested in joining our community of practice, contact us and let us know.

Before the crumbling façade of normal buries us, we invite you to participate in a novel learning group. Now is our time to dream bigger dreams and have deeper conversations, to take actions and make connections we didn’t think possible a few months ago.

Already registered? Click here to join Zoom directly at the start time for your session.


Weekly Climate Action Meditations

Carol proposes that each of us (on our own, but simultaneously) could meditate on a visualization of “our glorious planet with a clean, healthy atmosphere & ecosystems” for a half-hour at 19:00 UTC / noon PDT each Sunday. Learn more…

Imagine our power as we meditate together for global ubuntu and agaya!


Upcoming Santa Cruz Area Events

Want to keep up-to-date with all of Novasutras Santa Cruz ecospiritual events? Subscribe to our Santa Cruz email list.

Climate and Habitat Meditation ~ Shinrin-Yoku ~ Local Indigenous Rights ~ Climate Justice Actions


We are testing locations and times for regular gatherings in Santa Cruz. Contact us or take this survey if you have suggestions about resuming Santa Cruz area in-person gatherings.


See the Santa Cruz area chapter page for details.


Recent Events

On Giving Thanks and the Power of Gratitude

Friday, November 18th, 2022
2:00 PST / 22:00 UTC

Learn benefits and practices of offering thanks and cultivating gratitude, including the Thanksgiving Address of the Haudenosaunee.

Join us for this livestream, followed by discussion over Zoom.
A Time for Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day in the United States can become a celebration of agaya and ubuntu, through this Native American tradition. It is also a wonderful time to reflect on other ways that giving thanks can enrich our lives and support a thriving future for all.

In the United States, the fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day. There are some complexities to celebrating this holiday (and the following weekend, and indeed the ‘holiday season’) in ways that are truly in keeping with agaya and ubuntu. Nonetheless, a day devoted to gratitude has wonderful potential to be reinterpreted by the Novasutras community.

What are you grateful for?


The Territory Follow-Up Conversation

Follow-Up Conversation Friday, Dec 2nd 3:00pm PST

Film Screening and Initial Conversation were November 16th

We collaborated with Santa Cruz Climate Action Network to offer an online screening of this feature-length documentary, followed by conversation via Zoom.

Registered participants were emailed info about how to participate.

MORE INFO ABOUT THE FILM 

Synopsis: The Territory provides an immersive look at the tireless fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers in the Brazilian Amazon. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-eu-wau-wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.

Run-time: 83 mins ~ Produced by: Documist ~ Co-Produced by: Uru-eu-wau-wau community ~ Distributed by: National Geographic Documentary Films ~ Theatrical Release: August 19, 2022 ~ Streaming release: December 2, 2022 (Disney+)


Well-Being on Earth: A Mid-Season Full Moon Lunar Eclipse Cross-Quarter Celebration

Monday, November 7th 2:00pm PST / 22:00 UTC
online via Insight Timer Live
(90 min, Presenter: Michelle)
Invite friends to join using social sharing tools at the bottom of the Eventbrite page.

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we send wishes for joyous transformation around the world. Our gratitude reconnects us with Nature’s beauty, joy and wonder. How do we welcome all our relations to better futures? What are our intentions for the next turning of our dance around the Sun?

Lunar Eclipse montage by Jason Snell from Mill Valley, CA, CC BY 2.0

The timing of this Cross-Quarter is only a day before a lunar eclipse (lunar eclipses always happen at the full moon, when the Earth is aligned between the Moon and Sun). We are celebrating at the mid-point between these celestial events. Michelle will offer a 90-minute talk on Insight Timer, that will include our Octal Meditation, sending out wishes that all beings abide in agaya and ubuntu. We’ll also take some time for “spicy blessings” and other festivities.

The Octal Celebration of this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox) is November 7th at 10:36 UTC (2:36am Pacific), when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ South Latitude. Our online celebration will be about 12 hours after that, and before the lunar eclipse and full moon. Here are some suggestions for planning your own celebration.

Novasutras’ Octal Celebrations are a great way for new people to learn about us. Invite friends to join using social sharing tools at the bottom of the Eventbrite page.

Invite your friends to join our online celebration!


Considering the Dead: Traditions of the Autumn Cross-Quarter

Monday, October 31st 2:30pm PDT / 21:30 UTC
online via YouTube Livestream and then Zoom
(45-60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

Before this mid-season Cross-Quarter, learn and talk about some of the ways the autumn cross-quarters are celebrated. This often includes rituals to remember and honor the dead, such as Samhain, Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

woman with face paint and flower crown
Photo by Becerra Govea Photo on Pexels.com

The Octal Celebration of this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this coming Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox) is November 7th at 10:36 UTC (2:36am Pacific), when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ South Latitude. Our online celebration will be about 12 hours that, and before the lunar eclipse and full moon. Here are some suggestions for planning your own celebration.

Novasutras’ Octal Celebrations are a great way for new people to learn about us. Invite friends to join using social sharing tools at the bottom of the Eventbrite page.

Invite your friends to join our online celebration!

Learn more at Considering the Dead: Traditions of the Autumn Cross-Quarter

You can read some of this info in this blog post.

Green Sabbath Practices with Novasutras

Saturday, October 22nd 10:30am PDT / 17:30 UTC
online via Insight Timer Live
(90 min, Presenter: Michelle)

A Green Sabbath is a day we devote to rest, not only for ourselves, but also for the planet. It is a day we choose to do less harm, and act in ways that help the living Earth heal and recover. Learn about options for creating Green Sabbath practices that work with your lifestyle. We will also share an ecospiritual meditation for well-being on Earth.

This event is being held as part of Green Sabbath Weekend.

worms eyeview of green trees
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Learn more about ideas for a Green Sabbath in a wide variety of faith traditions on the greensabbathproject.net website. Michelle had outlined many ideas related to this back in 2005, and this line of thinking was important in the foundation of Novasutras.


Earth’s Three Green Hearts: an Equinox Rainforest Meditation

Last Equinox: Thursday, September 22nd
online via Insight Timer

Guided meditation for equatorial rainforests, global well-being and loving-kindness, at the moment when the sun is directly over equator. (1 hour, Presenter: Michelle)

Join the meditation Equinox Light on Equatorial Rainforests

#E3GH tropical rainforest Photo by Robert Norton via Unsplash

Please invite your friends ~ you can use tools on Insight Timer to share via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, etc.

To celebrate this Equinox, Dr. Michelle Merrill will lead a guided meditation, based on her sense memories of time in the rainforests. We will share a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

The Octal Celebration this Equinox is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance.The precise moment of this Equinox is September 23rd at 01:04 UTC (Sept 22nd 6:04pm Pacific), when the sun is overhead at the Equator. This crossing of the celestial equator reminds us to focus on Earth’s Three Green Hearts – the tropical rainforests where the sun will be directly overhead through the days surrounding the Equinox.

Novasutras is collaborating with people and organizations around the world to save Earth’s Three Green HeartsAmazoniaCongo, and Sundaland. We are promoting efforts and organizations focused on climate, biodiversity, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The Dawn of Everything book discussion group

Final session: Monday, August 8th, 11:00 am PDT / 19:00 UTC We will have our wrap-up conversation. Those who registered will get an email reminder with the Zoom link.

This recent book provides fodder for deep dialogue about possible futures. We can use this as a space to explore the human capacity to work together as we co-create a world of agaya and ubuntu. Join us in a series of probing conversations, facilitated by Dr. Michelle Merrill.

The Dawn of Everything is the radical revision of everything, liberating us from the familiar stories about humanity’s past that are too often deployed to impose limitations on how we imagine humanity’s future. Instead Graeber and Wengrow tell us that what human beings are most of all is creative, from the beginning, so that there is no one way we were or should or could be. Another of the powerful currents running through this book is a reclaiming of Indigenous perspectives as a colossal influence on European thought, a valuable contribution to decolonizing global histories.”
~ Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell and Hope in the Dark

Our online group to discuss the book The Dawn of Everything, has been meeting at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) every other Monday.  We’re almost through our 15 sessions: Jan 24, Feb 7, Feb 21, Mar 7, Mar 21, Apr 4, Apr 18, May 2, May 16, May 30, Jun 13, Jun 27, Jul 11, Jul 25, Aug 8.

The first meeting on January 24th was an introductory session and mini-lecture on anthropology. Registrants got a link to the video. Before each subsequent session, Michelle shared some preliminary questions to consider before reading each chapter.


Well-Being on Earth: A Cross-Quarter Celebration

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2:00pm PDT / 21:00 UTC
online via Insight Timer Live
(60 min, Presenter: Michelle)
Invite friends to join using social sharing tools here.

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we send wishes for joyous transformation around the world. Our gratitude reconnects us with Nature’s beauty, joy and wonder. How do we welcome all our relations to better futures? What are our intentions for the next turning of our dance around the Sun?

The Octal Celebration of this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox) is August 7th at 12:36 UTC (5:36am Pacific), when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ North Latitude. Our online celebration will be a few days before that. Here are some suggestions for planning your own celebration.

Invite your friends to join our online celebration!


June Solstice 2022

Solstice Meditation for Planetary Well-Being

Online Octal Celebration
Tuesday June 21st, 1:30pm PDT / 20:30 UTC

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

To celebrate this Solstice, Dr. Michelle Merrill leads guided meditation and celebratory practices. Celebrations feature a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of Nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

Register for reminders, and share with friends, on Eventbrite or Facebook.

When Is the Solstice?

The precise astronomical moment of this Solstice is June 21st 09:14 UTC, when the sun is overhead at 23° 26′ North Latitude (the Tropic of Cancer). Our Octal Celebration provides an ecospiritual connection to the Earth-Sun dance from a global perspective.

In-Person Solstice Celebrations

We encourage local groups to plan their own Solstice gatherings. The Santa Cruz, California chapter of Novasutras will have a Climate+Land+Water Celebration the Saturday after the Solstice, June 25th, 2:00pm.


Well-Being on Earth: A Cross-Quarter Celebration

Wednesday, May 4th, 1:30pm PDT / 20:30 UTC
online via Insight Timer Live
(60 min, Presenter: Michelle)
Invite friends to join via Facebook, or use social sharing tools on Eventbrite.

Santa Cruz Climate+Land+Water Celebration
Sunday, May 1st, 2:00pm, Steamer Lane Lighthouse lawn

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we send wishes for joyous transformation around the world. Our gratitude reconnects us with Nature’s beauty, joy and wonder. How do we welcome all our relations to better futures? What are our intentions for the next turning of our dance around the Sun?

Ahead of this Cross-Quarter, Novasutras Santa Cruz will hold a Climate+Land+Water Celebration on May 1st. Michelle will lead a guided meditation on Insight Timer Live May 4th.

The Octal Celebration of this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox) is May 5th 12:25 UTC (5:25am Pacific), when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ North Latitude.

Invite your friends to join our online celebration through the Eventbrite listing or via Facebook.


EARTH DAY: Novasutras Joined the Global Hug-a-Tree Challenge for the Guinness World Record

Friday, April 22nd 12-1pm PDT

In celebration of Earth Day 2022, we participated in the Global Hug-a-Tree challenge. Folks were asked to share a picture of themselves, or someone else hugging a tree onto your public Instagram account using the hashtag #hugatreechallenge between the hours of 12-1pm PDT on April 22nd, for it to count towards establishing a Guinness World Record title.

We would love to see your pictures; please add a comment and tag us in your post, @Novasutras (and @NovasutrasSCruz if you’re in California)!

Earth Day 2022 Hug-A-Tree Challenge

Earth’s Three Green Hearts: an Equinox Rainforest Meditation

Sunday, March 20th, 8:00am PDT / 15:00 UTC
online via Insight Timer

Guided meditation for equatorial rainforests, global well-being and loving-kindness, at the moment when the sun is directly over equator. (1 hour, Presenter: Michelle)

To celebrate this Equinox, Dr. Michelle Merrill led a guided meditation, featuring a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings, with a special emphasis on the world’s equatorial rainforests. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

The Octal Celebration this Equinox is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance.The precise moment of this Equinox is March 20th at 15:33 UTC (8:33am Pacific), when the sun is overhead at the Equator. This crossing of the celestial equator reminds us to focus on Earth’s Three Green Hearts – the tropical rainforests where the sun will be directly overhead through the days surrounding the Equinox.

Novasutras is collaborating with people and organizations around the world to save Earth’s Three Green HeartsAmazoniaCongo, and Sundaland. We are promoting efforts and organizations focused on climate, biodiversity, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Well-Being on Earth: A Cross-Quarter Celebration

Thursday February 3rd, 2022 12:00pm PST / 20:00 UTC
(60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we send wishes for joyous transformation around the world.

The Octal Celebration of this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox) is February 3rd 20:37 UTC (12:37pm Pacific), when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ South Latitude.

Michelle will lead a guided meditation through the moment of the Cross-Quarter on Insight Timer Live. Events announcement subscribers will receive the direct link to join, or you can register below.

Invite your friends to join us through the Eventbrite listing or via Facebook.


Ubuntu & Calling the Corners in Novasutras

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Tuesday December 28th, 2021 (30 min, Presenter: Michelle)

Calling the Corners practice helps you open yourself to the loving, sacred space around you. Novasutras practitioners Call the Corners to amplify agaya – wonder, awe, joy, and reverence for the deep, sacred beauty of the universe – and ubuntu – loving-kindness and gratitude for the profound interconnections between all beings. 

This session will celebrate the legacy of the inspirational Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s foremost spokespersons for ubuntu.

In Novasutras we expand on the deep truths of ubuntu for the liberation of all beings and the healing of Earth. When calling the corners, we send wishes for agaya and ubuntu to the six corners, and then radiating out from our center in ever-larger spaces. This meditation will feature visualizations to help you better root yourself in your own ecospiritual address.

Insight Timer is a free app with tools, social circles, and recordings (guided meditations, music, and talks) to support your meditation practice. Please also join the Novasutras circle on the app.


December Solstice 2021

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

Online Octal Celebration December 21st, 2021

To celebrate this Solstice, Dr. Michelle Merrill led guided meditations, interactive celebratory practices, and compassionate conversation. Celebrations feature a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of Nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

When was the Solstice?

The precise moment of this Solstice was December 21st 15:59 UTC , when the sun is overhead at 23° 26′ South Latitude (the Tropic of Capricorn). Our Octal Celebration provides an ecospiritual connection to the Earth-Sun dance from a global perspective.

When were Novasutras Celebrations of the Solstice?

Michelle led a a meditation on Insight Timer Live through the time of the Solstice. The celebration over Zoom was about six hours later. Novasutras Santa Cruz chapter celebrated the Solstice at our Climate, Land & Water Meditation on Sunday, December 19th.

Our Octal Celebrations are offered in the gift economy. Choose the level of donation that feels right for you on Patreon or PayPal.

Video of first half of Celebration over Zoom

Here’s a recording of the first half of our event, including some welcoming rounds expressing gratitude, in introduction to Novasutras and Octal Celebrations, the concepts of agaya & ubuntu, our Calling the Corners practice, and a guided meditation.

The second half of the session was more interactive and personal, and so was not recorded. We invited participants to share with one another their thoughts about something they were grateful for in year that’s passed, something that was painful (evoked grief, fear, anger, despair, etc.), something they learned, and their intentions for the year to come. We shared a recitation of We Journey Together (from Joanna Macy & Molly Brown’s Coming Back to Life), then offered closing thoughts.


November Cross-Quarter

Earth Transforming in the Dark of the Moon
November 4th
, 2021
Join us on Insight Timer Live (60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we sent wishes for joyous transformation around the world. The dark of the Moon invites us to consider the pull of a better future for all, and what seeds we are sowing to emerge as the New Moon waxes.

The Octal Celebration this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice) is November 7th at 04:50 UTC / November 6th, 8:50pm Pacific, when the sun is overhead at 16° 20′ South Latitude. Michelle will lead a guided meditation through the moment of the dark of the moon before the Cross-Quarter on Insight Timer Live.


Learn and Honor Sacred Nature

October 19th, 2021
on Insight Timer Live (60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

Explore the science as we delve into this ecospiritual prayer for the sacred infra-natural. Find deep centeredness and vast expansion of our conscious connection to everything:  structures within us, ancestors and all our relations throughout the biosphere, and the wider cosmos.

Learn more

The history of nature from the Big Bang to the present day shown graphically in a spiral with notable events annotated. Every billion years (Ga) is represented by 90 degrees of rotation of the spiral. The last 500 million years are represented in a 90-degree stretch for more detail on our recent history. Some of the events depicted are the emergence of cosmic structures (stars, galaxies, planets, clusters, and other structures), the emergence of the solar system, the Earth and the Moon, important geological events (gases in the atmosphere, great orogenies, glacial periods, etc.), emergence and evolution of living beings (first microbes, plants, animals, fungi), the evolution of hominid species and important events in human evolution. Image by Pablo Carlos Budassi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Faiths 4 Climate Justice: October 17&18, 2021

Internationallocal events in Santa Cruz, CA


Earth’s Three Green Hearts: an Equinox Rainforest Celebration

Gathering via Zoom
September 22, 2021

Guided meditation for equatorial rainforests, global well-being and loving-kindness, plus interactive celebration and conversation. (2 hours, Presenter: Michelle)
Register Now

To celebrate this Equinox, Dr. Michelle Merrill led a guided meditation, celebratory ritual, and conversation. Our guided meditation featured a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings, with a special emphasis on the world’s equatorial rainforests. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

The Octal Celebration this Equinox is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Equinox is September 22nd at 19:21 UTC / 12:21pm PDT, when the sun is overhead at the Equator. This crossing of the celestial equator reminds us to focus on Earth’s Three Green Hearts – the tropical rainforests where the sun will be directly overhead through the days surrounding the Equinox.

We celebrated together through the Equinox on Zoom, plus there was a guided meditation on Insight Timer about 23 hours before:

Equinox Peace and Healing for Earth’s Three Green Hearts
Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

September 21st , 2021
on Insight Timer Live (60 min, Presenter: Michelle)
An ecospiritual meditation for the well-being of Earth’s three great tropical rainforests, with gratitude for all of life. We celebrate World Peace Day and the Equinox in a shared vision of global unity and restoration. We send out loving-kindness, joy, agaya and ubuntu.

Novasutras is collaborating with people and organizations around the world to save Earth’s Three Green HeartsAmazoniaCongo, and Sundaland. We are promoting efforts and organizations focused on climate, biodiversity, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Our Octal Celebrations are offered in the gift economy – any donation is welcome! If you can’t donate $1 right now, you can get the Zoom link by becoming a Novasutras Events email subscriber.

Well-Being on Earth: a Cross-Quarter Celebration

Zoom Gathering August 6th, 2021

For the global celebration over Zoom, Dr. Michelle Merrill led guided meditation, and we shared participatory activities and conversation. Celebrations emphasize global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of Nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

The Octal Celebration this Cross-Quarter is another of our ecospiritual celebrations in the rhythm of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice) is August 7th at 06:53 UTC / August 6th, 11:53pm Pacific, when the sun is overhead at 16° 20? North Latitude. Michelle led our celebration over Zoom 9 hours before the Cross-Quarter (plus a live guided meditation on Insight Timer Live about 24 hours before that).

Our Octal Celebrations are offered in the gift economy – any donation is welcome!


June Solstice

Celebration over Zoom

June 20th, 2021 , 7:30pm PDT

= Monday June 21st, 02:30 UTC

(90 minutes, Facilitators: Michelle & Leoma)

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

To celebrate this Solstice, Dr. Michelle Merrill will lead guided meditation, interactive celebratory practices, and compassionate conversation. Celebrations feature a message of global wellness, joy and loving-kindness for all beings. We are invited to reconnect with the beauty and wonder of Nature. How do we welcome more love and joy for all our relations? What shall we leave behind, as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun? What beautiful possibilities beckon us toward the future?

This Octal Celebration provides an ecospiritual celebration of the Earth-Sun dance. The precise moment of this Solstice is June 21st 03:32 UTC / June 20th 8:32pm Pacific, when the sun is overhead at  23° 26′ North Latitude. Michelle led a celebration over Zoom through the time of the Solstice, plus a meditation on Insight Timer Live the following day.

Solstice Meditation for Planetary Well-Being on Insight Timer Live

Monday, June 21st on Insight Timer Live (45 min, Presenter: Michelle)

Reconnect with the beauty, joy and wonder of nature. Our every cell is a dance of matter, energy and love from the living world. We celebrate that sacred beauty as we move into the next turning of our dance around the Sun. What shall we leave behind? What beautiful futures beckon us forward?


Surviving the Future Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy  Shaun ChamberlinDavid Fleming Chelsea Green Publishing https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/surviving-the-future/

Surviving the Future Conversation Group

Next session TBD – please take this quick poll to find a good time.

last session:
June 17th, 2021
(90 min, Facilitator: Michelle)

Newcomers are still welcome to join this group discussing topics emerging from David Fleming’s Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy

We are opening these meetings as more general topical conversations without expecting any specific reading (reading the book is certainly encouraged – it is useful fuel for thought, despite its datedness and other concerns). If you don’t have the book, you can get a sense of the topics and tone by reading the Introduction and perusing the Lean Logic website, and decide if you’d like to read more.

Please register if you are interested in joining the conversation on these themes. We’ll be in touch with plans at least one week before the next meeting.


Leading Deep Change Learning Community

Next session TBD – please take this quick poll to find a good time.

Please register for your first session.

(No need to register if you’ve already registered for previous sessions — you should receive an email with a reminder about the link.)

Before the crumbling façade of normal buries us, we invite you to participate in a novel learning group. Now is our time to dream bigger dreams and have deeper conversations, to take actions and make connections we didn’t think possible a few months ago.

The morning cohort continues as a learning and intention-supporting community. On April 28th, 2021 , Michelle guided a process for clarifying intentions.

The evening cohort has shifted to open monthly conversations – called “Deep Change Dialogues” – about how humans may thrive as better integrated members of the living world (with particular emphases on climate and livelihood). If you’re interested in joining our community of practice, contact us and let us know.

This is the time we have been waiting for. Show up, speak up, step up. Be truly human, and being that, be well.

We invite you to share your thoughts and feelings on this adventure. Learn more…

Already registered? Click here to join Zoom directly at the start time for your session.


Girl crying in doorway. Photo by Pixabay.

Child Hardship Fact Force

Eviction, Hunger and COVID: converging crises for America’s children

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
(90 min, Presenter: Paul)

A conversation about the nationwide tsunami of homelessness and food insecurity, their relation to spikes in COVID cases and deaths, and the disproportionate impacts on families with children and people of color. Paul Schaafsma will review his latest findings, and assess the Covid Relief Bill.

What can we expect? How can we minimize the harm, and help the most vulnerable? Let’s talk about effective strategies for reaching out to organizations confronting the urgent needs emerging now and in the coming months. What are the best ways for the Novasutras community to engage? How can we mobilize our extended networks for immediate action? We are gathering a Child Hardship Fact Force to help get this information into the world.


Calling the Corners: May all beings abide…

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
Join us on Insight Timer Live (30 min, Presenter: Michelle)

Calling the Corners practice helps you open yourself to the loving, sacred space around you.

Novasutras practitioners Call the Corners to amplify agaya – wonder, awe, joy, and reverence for the deep, sacred beauty of the universe – and ubuntu – loving-kindness and gratitude for the profound interconnections between all beings. We send wishes for agaya and ubuntu to the six corners, and then radiating out from our center in ever-larger spaces. This talk will share ideas and answer questions about how to deepen and personalize this practice.


Connect & Center: Holding Space for Calm

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
Friday, November 6th
, 2020
Friday, January 8th, 2021
Sunday, January 17th, 2021
Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
(30-45 min, Faciliator: Michelle)

Brief check-ins, then a short guided meditation and silence together, to ground us in ubuntu and agaya through turbulent times. Opportunities to share resources and updates. Whatever this week holds, connecting in community will keep us compassionate, powerful, and resilient.


Catharsis and Celebration: Exploring the Human Condition

Last session: December 30th, 2021
(90 min, Facilitator: Derek)

We are suspending these sessions indefinitely, due to lack of turnout. If you’re interested in resuming these sessions, please complete this poll and let us know.

Our society doesn’t usually prepare us for processing grief, anxiety and other strong emotions—but they are part of the human condition. Shared ritual and deep conversation with compassionate community are how humans have always coped. We come together to listen, share, and process our feelings in these challenging times. 


Past Events


Ideas for planning celebrations:

Illustration of the Earth's orbit, indicating the Equinoxes and Solstices.

Celestial events are an excellent opportunity for synchronous global meditations, and other celebrations. We particularly encourage participation in our Octal Celebrations. Our online Octal Celebrations are usually scheduled to coincide with the timing of the celestial event (starting at least 15 minutes before it and ending after it). Learn more…

Calendar

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