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July 9, 2022

Virtual Forum: Processing Climate Grief: A New Possibility for Taking Action with Nico Cary

Join Garrison Institute Fellow Nico Cary and the Director of the Garrison Institute Fellows Program, Dr. Angel Acosta, for this virtual forum via Zoom on Saturday, July 9 at 12:00 p.m. noon ET. 

“Sorrow is a sustained note in the song of being alive. To be human is to know loss in its many forms … Acknowledging this reality enables us to find our way into the grace that lies hidden in sorrow.” — Francis Weller

We’ve all seen the documentary that shows us the world is ending.

On good days, it seems like there is a growing vocabulary of concern, a global response to meet the unprecedented reality of climate collapse. From the promising glow of new technologies to the resounding wake up call of international youth movements, there are resilient pockets of hope if you look for them.

And yet on bad days, even in the wide availability of creative solutions and collective efforts, there is a sharp undercurrent of grief – a foreboding sense of uncertainty and despair … Is it enough? Will we survive this?

As opposed to investigating what else there is for us to do about climate collapse or searching for the next frontline of eco-justice, this workshop invites participants to slow down and simply tend to the experience of grief — to listen to it and learn from it.

Can we discover grief as an ally? As a wild edge of activism? As a complete answer to the question of “what to do?” Can we relate to grief as a generative territory of imagination? Can we find playfulness in grief?

What if grief is a gateway that reveals an entirely different set of questions about climate collapse?

Join members of the Garrison Institute Fellowship as we gently begin to explore some of these questions in a practice of deep listening.

Weaving mindfulness, creative storytelling, and self-compassion practices along with music and a digital altar, in this 2 hour workshop, we’ll co-create a ritual space dedicated to honoring grief, while lifting up some of the questions that often go unattended in a rush for solutions to climate collapse.

In slowing down, we might discover that sites of creative wellness grow in the wilds just beyond our deepest sorrow.

Let’s practice together.

Nico Cary is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, and mindfulness teacher. He received his BA from UC Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Studies Field School, specializing in decolonial art practices. From writing and performing in a theater piece on water politics that featured at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans to developing an immersive multimedia piece for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Nico is truly a cross-platform artist. While engaged in a deeply fulfilling artistic career, Nico also proudly serves as a mindfulness facilitator for InsightLA. He is interested in the many different vocabularies of healing and the holding capacity of mindfulness, particularly as it relates to embodied activism and creative ecosystems.

For the last decade, Dr. Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He holds a doctorate degree in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Acosta has supported more than educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development. After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Acosta began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing, to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. As a former trustee for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, he participated as a speaker and discussant at the Asia Pacific Forum on Holistic Education in Kyoto, Japan. He continues to consult for organizations like the NYC Department of Education, UNICEF, Columbia University and others. Over the last couple of years, he has designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience–a contemplative journey to understand structural inequality. He’s a proud member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, based at the New School.

This virtual workshop will be conducted via Zoom on Saturday, July 9 at 12:00 p.m. noon ET. The virtual workshop link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Please email us at events@garrisoninstitute.org with questions.

Your support matters. Our vision for a more just, compassionate world has never felt more urgent. While we cannot share physical space together, we remain committed to a shared practice of social and spiritual care. We are thankful for the support to create a virtual sanctuary during this time. Your donations help to expand the Fellowship’s program offerings. If you feel called to support our work, we welcome your tax-deductible contribution towards our efforts. Please consider registering at the donor rate below.

Registration Options

1 - Participant
2 - Participant + Donation (Donation)