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

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.

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

Discussions in Difficult Times ~ Moon Phase Meditations ~ Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu ~ Catharsis Conversations ~ Focusing Practice ~ Cross-Quarter ~ Reconnection Rituals

Don’t miss chances to join Novasutras Global or Online Events. By subscribing, you can get Online Event updates emailed once or twice each week.

Novasutras Discussions in Difficult Times

Regular 90-minute sessions two times per week:

Mondays at 11:30am PDT / 18:30 UTC
Thursdays at 11:30am PDT / 18:30 UTC

Online gathering spaces for connection and meaningful conversation in challenging times. Join as many Discussions as you like. These meetings do not 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

Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu

3rd Wednesday of the month
Next: October 21st, 1:30pm PDT/ 20:30 UTC (75 min, Facilitator: Michelle)

The Circle of Agaya & Ubuntu monthly gatherings are a chance for Novasutras supporters to come together 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.

Novasutras Guided Meditations on the Moon Phases

Upcoming Lunar Meditations —
Waxing Moon — Friday, October 23rd, 9:30am PDT / 16:30 UTC
Full Moon — Friday, October 30th, 4:00pm PDT / 23:00 UTC

We offer these meditations for well-being on Earth, as ecospiritual events at or near the phases of the moon (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. (30-45 min, Presenter: Michelle)
Learn more…

Can’t donate right now? Don’t want to register? Join directly here.

Catharsis and Celebration: Exploring the Human Condition

Last Wednesday of the month: October 28th, 3:00pm PDT / 22:00 UTC (90 min, Facilitator: Derek)

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 will come together to listen, share, and process our feelings in these challenging times. 

Introduction to Focusing Practice

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Thursday, October 29th, 3:00pm PDT / 22:00 UTC (90 min, Facilitator: Dr. Kendon Smith)

A conversation to introduce the fundamentals of Focusing Practice. Our session (of one to one-and-a-half hours) will include time to review what we already know, ask questions, and try out Focusing Practice. Please register ahead to receive the “homework” – a few pages of reading to introduce key concepts.

Cross-Quarter Celebration

Whole Earth image and Novasutras logo

Saturday, November 7th
2:30 pm PST / 22:30 UTC
(90 min, Presenter: Michelle)

This Octal Meditation will be an ecospiritual celebration of the Cross-Quarter (the midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice), with a guided meditation and conversation. Learn more…

Can’t donate right now? Register here.

Reconnection Rituals for managing Climate Grief and Ecoanxiety

Second Wednesday of the month:
November 11th, 3:00pm PDT / 22:00 UTC
We learn.
We grieve together.
And then we must act, together.

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

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 minutes – Facilitator: Michelle)

Can’t donate right now? Don’t want to register? Join directly here at the event start time.

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 20:00 UTC / noon PST each Sunday. Learn more…

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

Santa Cruz, California Events

Want to keep up-to-date with all of Novasutras Santa Cruz ecospiritual events? Check our Calendar.

Climate and Habitat meditations & Shinrin-Yoku

Our pre-COVID plan had been to test locations and times for regular gatherings in Santa Cruz. Contact us or take this poll to let us know how you feel about resuming Santa Cruz area in-person gatherings.

California’s 4 stage reopening roadmap

See the Santa Cruz area chapter page for details.

Recent Events

How We Win online workshop

October 17th

A workshop to help activists understand and develop effective strategies for nonviolent direct action campaigns.

Learn how to start and conduct a nonviolent direct action campaign, including addressing racism, sexism, environmental destruction and other oppressions. The goals of the workshop are to help activists:

  • Identify your power
  • Understand polarization
  • See the uses of Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigns

Facilitators were trained by George Lakey to deliver this workshop based on his book, How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning. “If you want to be a soldier, you can go to West Point. If you want to be a nonviolent change-maker, George Lakey has both remarkable stories and remarkable insights–not to mention some remarkable colleagues who add their perspective to this necessary manual.” — Bill McKibben, co-founder

Co-organized by Novasutras and the Resource Center for Nonviolence

Facilitated by Michelle Merrill & Kaki Rusmore

Your Truest Self – How BodyMind Supports Heart-Knowing And Spirit

October 7th
Dr. Kendon Smith introduced his work on connecting with felt sense and knowing from oneness, including a demonstration of Focusing partnership practice. He also discussed the neuroanatomy and its functional consequences in our lives.

Raw video

Reconnection Rituals

New growth on ferns in unfurling spirals.

September 29th
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 minutes – Facilitator: Michelle)

Equinox Celebration

Tuesday, September 22nd
90-minute event was an ecospiritual celebration of the Equinox, with a guided meditation and conversation. Presenter: Michelle

Learn more…

Novasutras was a supporting organization for an amazing series of events from September 11th to 21st, 2020. We offered a New Moon Meditation on September 17th.

Healing Earth’s Three Green Hearts: a conversation on equatorial rainforests

Tuesday, August 25th (Presenters: Paul & Michelle)
A dialogue about existing projects for Earth’s Three Green Hearts (especially Amazon4Amazon & ClimateJustice4Africa), possible projects for Sundaland, and how the Novasutras community can best support these efforts. Learn more…

Ecological and Climate Grief: a conversation, August 12th
Society doesn’t usually acknowledge our experiences of grief for the loss of healthy nature, our grief for species going extinct, our grief for all who will suffer as a result of the climate emergency. We will come together to listen, share, and process our grief and pain for the world. Learn more…

Healing Earth’s Three Green Hearts: a conversation, Friday August 7th
A dialogue about existing projects for Earth’s Three Green Hearts (especially Amazon4Amazon & ClimateJustice4Africa), possible projects for Sundaland, and how the Novasutras community can best support these efforts. (video)

Cross-Quarter Meditation

August 6th/7th
1-hour celebration of the Cross-Quarter, with a meditation through the minute of the Cross-Quarter, and conversation. Details

Breathing in the Full Moon: Gentle Yoga and Guided Meditation
Monday, August 3rd, 6:30pm PDT / Tuesday, August 4th, 01:30 UTC
A simple yoga practice enjoyable for all bodies of any age and health, followed by a guided meditation for global well-being, loving-kindness, ubuntu and agaya.

Earth’s Three Green Hearts: a guided meditation on equatorial rainforests
July 31st
This guided meditation is appropriate for people with any level of meditation experience.

This meditation helps practitioners appreciate their connection with Earth’s Three Green Hearts: the equatorial rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo, and Southeast Asia. By sensing into the beauty and wonder of these vital forests, we awaken our capacity to love and protect them ever-more courageously.

[note: raw video with some glitches, but sound is okay]

Panarchy: A model of dynamic systems change
July 29th
A brief presentation based on Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems, L.H. Gunderson & C.S. Holling (eds), 2002  and “Through the Panarchy Lens” presentation by K. McCandless, J. Holley & L. Kimball, 2005, followed by conversation.

Radical Land Reform in the USA

July 21, 2020

An idea to solve all the problems at once 
What if we could address: the need for reparations for American Descendants of Slavery; the need for restoration of indigenous lands to the native peoples of North America; the need for housing, employment and food security for millions of people; the need for a better system of growing our food; the need people have to spend more time in connection with the living world; the need for civic engagement and building skills in community decision-making and local politics; and the need for less toxic and more nutritious food? Join us to discuss and develop the idea of reclaiming land from corporations and helping people learn to care for that land in regenerative communities. Learn more…

Work That Reconnects the Past and Future: Being Good Descendants And Better Ancestors

July 1st
This workshop will help us connect with the people of past generations and future generations, allowing us to honor the hopes and concerns of our ancestors as we consider the wishes and fears of our descendants. Facilitators will guide participants through practices based in The Work That Reconnects (from Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown). These simple rituals allow us to draw on inner wisdom and guidance from all beings as we move through gratitude and an honoring of the world’s pain, so we can see from ancient and future perspectives.

Who came before us, and how would they feel about the way the people, the lands, the air, and the waters have been treated since they were here? Who will come after us, and how might they feel about what we are doing to each other as humans and the other beings with whom we share this Earth? Small groups and paired conversations will prepare us to go forth and build a more united, just and sustainable world for our descendants, a world that would represent the best aspirations of our ancestors.

Hannah Tamezoujt, Somatic Psychotherapist A.M.F.T.
Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D.

World UNITY Week Events:

Starting the evening of June 19th, there has been a non-stop series of events on the World UNITY Week website. Novasutras offered many presentations, meditations, and Open Space conversations throughout the week. Learn more

Listening for Nature’s Harmony – Mon, June 22nd
How might listening for and partnering with Nature’s harmony help us to resolve human conflicts and build peace? – Details

Listening for our Power – Mon, June 22nd
Where and how do we feel power for change emerging? How are we being invited to embrace our interdependence? How can we use our shared power to promote compassion, equity and justice globally? – Details

Listening for Healing — Tues, June 23rd
For our human family, which approaches and practices show promise to meet the challenge of healing our global and cultural traumas? –Details

Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma with Francesca Raphael, June 8th
In this discussion, we explored the ways that traumas transmitted across generations shape us and influence our relationships. By bringing to consciousness the beliefs we have inherited which do not serve us, we can begin to undo destructive inner and interpersonal patterns.

Politics as Rebirth: The Wisdom of Hannah Arendt with Paul Schaafsma, June 3rd
The politics of the US and much of the world has been dominated by an extractive view of the world, essentially a culture that dismisses life, as if placing gravestones on top of something alive that has been buried.  We will review and discuss Hannah Arendt’s vision of politics as rebirth, seeking directions for a path toward a politics that honors life.

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 Meditations. Our online Octal Meditation sessions 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…


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