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