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.

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

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

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.