NEW PODCAST: We Are the Great Turning

April 25, 2024

The climate crisis is something we can no longer ignore. Yet in this time of global upheaval, how can we face our collective challenges with our hearts and integrity intact? We Are the Great Turning is a new 10-part series exploring the spiritual roots of the climate crisis and how to turn toward our heartbreak, honor it, be informed by it, and, in the process, transform our grief and anger into agency and action.

In our first episode, renowned activists Joanna Macy and Jess Serrante invite you into “a climate conversation that welcomes all of you,” discussing “standing afresh with what it’s like to live on Earth at this moment”; loving a world engulfed in crisis and separation; the Work That Reconnects—Joanna’s term for her multifaceted approach to global activism; why cheering each other up doesn’t help in the long run; embracing all of our feelings; the loneliness of “the unheard witness”; overcoming the “cultural amnesia of a hyper-individualist society”; and more.

Jessica Serrante is a coach, facilitator, and trainer who has been supporting activists in the climate movement since 2007. She has served on staff at organizations like Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network and worked with groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion. Her first encounter with Joanna’s work a decade ago changed her life, transformed her burnout, and led to a deep, abiding friendship. Jess is 35 and lives in Oakland, California.

Joanna Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology who has been working for peace, justice, and the preservation of life on Earth for seven decades. She is the creator of The Work That Reconnects, a globally celebrated framework of practices that has helped leaders and activists for decades to serve the healing of our world in a more powerful and effective way. Joanna is 95 and lives in Berkeley, California.

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NEW PODCAST: We Are the Great Turning

The climate crisis is something we can no longer ignore. Yet in this time of global upheaval, how can we face our collective challenges with our hearts and integrity intact? We Are the Great Turning is a new 10-part series exploring the spiritual roots of the climate crisis and how to turn toward our heartbreak, honor it, be informed by it, and, in the process, transform our grief and anger into agency and action.

In our first episode, renowned activists Joanna Macy and Jess Serrante invite you into “a climate conversation that welcomes all of you,” discussing “standing afresh with what it’s like to live on Earth at this moment”; loving a world engulfed in crisis and separation; the Work That Reconnects—Joanna’s term for her multifaceted approach to global activism; why cheering each other up doesn’t help in the long run; embracing all of our feelings; the loneliness of “the unheard witness”; overcoming the “cultural amnesia of a hyper-individualist society”; and more.

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Ep 10 Bonus: The Shambala Warrior Prophecy

In Episode 10, “We Are the Great Turning,” Joanna shares a story called the “Shambala Warrior Prophecy,” which was told to her by her friend, Tibetan Monk Chogyal Rinpoche. Joanna was tasked with teaching this prophecy in the West, and it’s one of her most famous teachings. 

We wanted to separate the story from Episode 10 so that you can come back to the story again and again, whenever you need the inspiration and wisdom it offers. Here is Joanna telling the Shambhala Warrior Prophecy. 

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 10 Bonus: Callings and Resources

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 10, “We Are the Great Turning,” deeper into your life. 

Jess will guide you through an adaptation of the Work That Reconnects exercise called “Callings and Resources.” In it, you and a friend will take turns interviewing each other. You’ll name a contribution you’d like to make in service of the Great Turning, take inventory of the resources you have and need to achieve your goal, and clarify the small next steps you can take. 

All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is paper and pen, or a digital notes app, and a place where you can get comfortable, share freely, and listen carefully. 

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 10: We Are the Great Turning

As this journey around the spiral comes to a close, Jess brings us back to the table with Joanna for one last profound conversation. Joanna shares an ancient Tibetan prophecy, “The Coming of the Kingdom of Shambhala,” which shows us that the way we build the Great Turning is through compassion and insight into the radical interdependence of all things.

Jess reflects on the transformative experience of making this podcast, and Joanna expresses deep love and belief in Jess and her generation, urging us to draw upon ancestral wisdom and “the web of connections” to sustain them through the challenges ahead.

In this episode:

  • The Shambhala Prophecy tells us to act with compassion and insight into the radical interdependence of all things
  • Joanna’s teachings, love, and mentorship will remain an enduring source of strength and guidance for Jess and so many others
  • As the spiral of the Work That Reconnects comes to a close, the greater work of the Great Turning continues, carried forward by each person who has been touched by these conversations
  • Bonus Exercise: The Shambala Warrior Prophecy
  • Bonus Exercise: Callings and Resources

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

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