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

Global / Online Events ~ Santa Cruz, CA Events ~ Recent Events ~ Planning Novasutras Celebrations ~ Calendar

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.

Global / Online Ecospiritual Events

Cross-Quarter (on Insight Timer) ~Learn and Honor Sacred Nature ~ Moon Phase Meditations ~ Deep Change Dialogues ~ Calling the Corners ~ Focusing Practice ~ Leading Deep Change Learning Community ~ Reconnection Rituals ~ Surviving the Future ~ Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu ~ Climate Policy ~ Connect & Center ~ Child Hardship Fact Force ~ Catharsis Conversations ~ Cross-Quarter ~ Solstice ~ Equinox ~ Faiths 4 Climate Justice ~ Discussions in Difficult Times ~ Earth’s Three Green Hearts ~ Novasutras Uplifters Meeting

Don’t miss chances to join Novasutras Online Events. Subscribers get email updates with direct links to most Online Events.


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 Moon-Sun dance. Together we reciprocate the gifts of ubuntu and agaya.

Change and Adaptability in the Waning Moon
Thursday, October 28th, 1:00pm PDT / 20:00 UTC
Join us on Insight Timer Live (30 min, Presenter: Michelle)
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.

Earth Transforming in the Dark of the Moon
Thursday, November 4th, 2:00pm PDT
/ 19:00 UTC
Join us on Insight Timer Live (60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

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

A World of Gratitude in the Waxing Moon
Date and time TBD
Join us on Insight Timer Live
(30 min, Presenter: Michelle)
We offer gratitude for the beauty and creativity of life on Earth. We share appreciation, compassion,  joy and wonder. We send out loving-kindness to all in the waxing of the Moon.  Practicing gratitude together enhances our well-being, power and resilience.

Earth’s Beautiful Abundance in the Full Moon
Date and time TBD
Join us on Insight Timer Live
(30 min, Presenter: Michelle)
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.

You can set a reminder by following the above Insight Timer links ahead of time, or simply click the link at the start time to join the session.

These Moon Meditations are available only 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.


November Cross-Quarter

Earth Transforming in the Dark of the Moon
Thursday, November 4th, 2:00pm PDT
/ 19:00 UTC
Join us on Insight Timer Live (60 min, Presenter: Michelle)

For the mid-season Cross-Quarter we send 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.


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 to 120 minutes – Facilitator: Michelle)


Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu

3rd Wednesday of the month
Next: November 17th, 2:30pm PDT/ 22:30 UTC (75-90 min, Facilitator: Michelle)

The Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu monthly 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 Discussions in Difficult Times

On hold for now

We’ve had to reduce the frequency of these open Discussions, and occasionally use them for pre-planned topics, 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 in November. Please reach out to Michelle if you have ideas or sugestions.


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

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Interested? Indicate your preferred times on this poll.

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

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 ~ Stop Line 3 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

Learn and Honor Sacred Nature

Tuesday, October 19th, 2:00pm PDT / 21:00 UTC
Join us 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.

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

Internationallocal events in Santa Cruz, CA


Earth’s Three Green Hearts: an Equinox Rainforest Celebration

Gathering via Zoom
Wednesday, September 22

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

Tuesday, September 21st
Join us 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

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

Celebrate with us over Zoom

Sunday June 20th, 7:30pm PDT

= Monday June 21st, 02:30 UTC

(90 minutes, Facilitators: Michelle & Leoma)

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, 2:00pm PDT / 21:00 UTC
Join us 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
(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, 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, 11:30am PDT / 18:30 UTC
(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
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
Wednesday, November 4th
Friday, November 6th

Friday, January 8th
Sunday, January 17th
Wednesday, January 20th
(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
(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:

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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