Begin with your roots in the forest.
Listen without and within,
and find your place among other beings, at home on the Earth.

Paul brings a huge heart, probing intellect, and great passion for change to all his work. He initiated the #Amazon4Amazon and #ClimateJustice4Africa campaigns, and the Child Hardship Fact Force.

Novasutras blog posts, pages & mentions…

Paul frequently offers Novasutras presentations based on his expertise in the work Hannah Arendt and his experiences in the redwoods of Northern California. (more details on presentations below)

What is everywhere in evidence is our need for each other.

Paul Schaafsma

Paul is an active member of both the Within Reach and Novasutras organizations. Within Reach focuses on effective public engagement and activism to seek the Future We Need socially, economically, environmentally and spiritually. As an Uplifter in Novasutras, he is helping to grow our emerging eco-spiritual movement, to nurture and uplift one other during these challenging times, as we endeavor to create a world that works for all people and all species.

Blog Posts by Paul Schaafsma

Victims of Climate Emergency in Madagascar Need Help NOW

Ubuntu requires us to care for one another. We know that we are all in this together. We know that those who did the least to create the problems are often the ones who suffer the worst effects. People in wealthier nations must be ready to respond immediately to help the people in places like…

Child Hardship Updates

Levels of child hardship – hunger and housing insecurity – associated with the Covid pandemic are being under-reported. Novasutras Uplifters in the Child Hardship Fact Force are assembling information to help organizations in the United States come together and prevent the impending tragedies of eviction, hunger and homelessness that threaten millions of children. Paul Schaafsma has investigated levels of child food and housing insecurity associated with (but not caused by) the pandemic, as revealed in the Census Bureau’s “Household Pulse Survey,” conducted at regular intervals since April of last year. Paul has also looked at the recent Covid Relief Bill, to realistically assess how much difference it will make for millions of children who are most in need. These updates will be discussed in the Child Hardship Fact Force meeting this Tuesday.

Novasutras Presentations by Paul Schaafsma

See below for details and videos.

  • Healing Earth’s Three Green Hearts: a conversation
  • Empowering Earthlings: Awakening the BodyMind with Forest Immersion
  • Politics as Rebirth: The Wisdom of Hannah Arendt
  • Reclaiming Hope: Earth Day Comes Back Home
  • Climate Policy Presentation and Conversation
  • Child Eviction Fact Force – Eviction, Hunger and COVID: converging crises for America’s children
  • Child Hardship Fact Force
  • Sharing Earth’s Abundant Gifts: An Earth Day Reflection
  • Get It Done in ’21: Reality-Based Climate Solutions

Healing Earth’s Three Green Hearts: a conversation

Equatorial rainforests are sacred places. People around the world are coming together to recognize this fact and work to save Earth’s Three Green HeartsAmazoniaCongo, and Sundaland. The Novasutras Movement is working to preserve and protect each of them. Co-presented by Michelle Merrill and Paul Schaafsma on August 25th, 2020.

Empowering Earthlings: Awakening the BodyMind with Forest Immersion

Every cell in our bodies knows that our origins are the same as the ancient trees. Life on Earth teaches us how to be together, and how we are related to the life around us. We need only remember how to listen to those most ancient teachings.

Paul talks of his experiences with shinrin-yoku, encountering forest immersion as a kind of rebirth. We are all like “babes in the woods,” sprung from the Earth. Quiet contemplation and connection with the natural world rejuvenate and invigorate us in profound ways. We recognize that we are invited to be here by the Earth — we are welcome guests, not trespassers.

Co-presented with Kendon Smith & Michelle Merrill during World UNITY Week on June 23, 2020. Learn more…

Politics as Rebirth: The Wisdom of Hannah Arendt

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.  On June 3, 2020, Paul Schaafsma reviewed and discussed Hannah Arendt’s vision of politics as rebirth, seeking directions for a path toward a politics that honors life.

Reclaiming Hope: Earth Day Comes Back Home

On April 22, 1970 some 20 million Americans – a tenth of the US population – took to the streets to defend the health of our people and planet from corporate polluters and extractive industries.

It was the largest demonstration of public will in American history. That year, a Republican President signed the Clean Air Act and created the EPA by executive order. More landmark environmental bills followed, passing with bipartisan support under both Nixon and his Democratic successor, who put solar panels on the White House roof and called for the United States to meet 20% of its energy needs with solar power by the year 2000.

The United States in the 1970s was the clear leader on environmental concerns, among ‘developed’ countries at least, and the impetus for that progress came not from Washington but from the American people. Today that first Earth Day is calling to us across a span of 50 years, like a letter written to today’s climate advocates, as we struggle with the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced. A letter bearing 20 million signatures, reminding us not to take the disappointments of recent decades as our only guide to what we can achieve today.

On April 24, 2020, Paul Schaafsma presented a reflection on the lessons of that first Earth Day.

Climate Policy Presentation and Conversation

Tuesday March 2nd
(Presenter: Paul)

Paul’s presentation reviewed the effectiveness of present US climate policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, proposed ways to seek better climate policy solutions, and suggested what we as individuals can do to encourage better climate policy. There was time for group conversation following the presentation.

Paul’s slides are available here.

Girl crying in doorway. Photo by Pixabay.

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

December 15th & 17th, 2020 (Presenter: Paul)
January 15th & 28th, 2021

Engaging the Novasutras community in the newly-forming Child Eviction Fact Force

A conversation about the impending tsunami of homelessness and food insecurity, and their relation to spikes in COVID cases and deaths. On Tues, Dec 15th, Paul shared his research and detailed analysis, highlighting the risk and rates of suffering experienced in households with children, and the disproportionate effect in communities of color around the United States. Thursday we continued the conversation. We helped one another process our emotions around this. On January 15th and 28th, we held work sessions to plan next steps.

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 Eviction Fact Force to help get this information into the world.


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.


Sharing Earth’s Abundant Gifts: An Earth Day Reflection


April 22, 2021

We are invited into partnership with the Earth in joyful co-creation and effective action for climate and habitat protection.

(90 minutes, Presenters: Paul & Michelle)

The blog post about the event – Earth Day 2021: Sources and Springs of Climate Action – has some of the information and details.

Recording of our livestream broadcast.

Restore hope, gain clarity and share empowerment as we explore sources and springs of action to collaborate with Earth’s regeneration. We are invited into partnership with the same awesome power that gives us life, joining the Earth in joyful co-creation. Paul Schaafsma and Michelle Merrill convey their insights, and offer a space for engaged conversation on how best to honor the spirit of Earth Day in 2021. We hear a special message of urgency and inspiration from Kaossara Sani, an activist for climate justice in Africa.

When we shift our perceptions of our relationship to the sacred living Earth, we find wellsprings of hope and energy for transformative action. Our own deep yearning for connection guides us to the true sources of power for change. Learn more about Sources and Springs of Climate Action…

Join us on Earth Day to learn more about these ideas, and be part of a conversation about solutions like 30X30 and the Fracking Ban.
Learn more and register for the event…

“The Earth gives us life, give life to the Earth”



Get It Done in ’21

Reality-Based Climate Solutions

Tuesday, April 6th, 2:00pm PDT / 21:00 UTC
(2 hours, Presenter: Paul)

What is the world calling us to do? What national and international policy options have a real chance to help us stay below 2C of warming?

How effective would current climate proposals be for actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions? What would be needed to avoid the most dangerous tipping points?

Paul Schaafsma will review his analysis of the effectiveness of different climate policy options. Some could lead to rapid, positive outcomes for climate. However, others lack mechanisms of enforcement or other specifics and therefore are likely to be profoundly ineffective.

We will talk about the numerous benefits of the Deal for Nature proposal. The Deal for Nature and ecosystem restoration efforts could prove to be our most important tools for addressing the climate crisis, maintaining biodiversity – especially in equatorial rainforests, and providing rewarding employment for people.

After a review of these options, we will have abundant time for structured conversation. Together, we will explore how we can help to promote the most effective climate solutions for averting catastrophic climate disruption.