Feb 8, 2023
Inner Nature: Kaira Jewel Lingo and Kritee Kanko, Part 2
In the second episode of Inner Nature, which is part 2 of a 2-part conversation, Kritee Kanko and Kaira Jewel Lingo highlight the importance of creating small, local communities for processing grief and anger, practicing mindfulness, and taking climate action. The conversation also invites a broader perspective on the environmental crisis, as they discuss climate breakdown in terms of its spiritual and social causes, such as trauma, dominance, and oppression. Kaira and Kritee leave us with hopeful guidance around meeting overwhelm and anger with wisdom, creativity, imagination, and love.
Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher who has a lifelong interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. She spent 15 years living as a nun at a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She is the author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons for Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption. Now based in New York, she teaches and leads retreats internationally, provides spiritual mentoring, and interweaves art, play, nature, racial and earth justice, and embodied mindfulness practice in her teaching. She especially feels called to share the Dharma with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as activists, educators, youth, artists, and families.
Kritee (Dharma name Kanko) is a climate scientist, Zen Buddhist priest and grief ritual leader. She is the founding Dharma teacher of a Colorado non-profit Boundless in Motion, a community in the Buddhist lineage of Cold Mountain Zen to identify, face and "compost" our personal and ecological traumas through meditation and grief work and take strategic collective actions for healing. She leads traditional Zen retreats (sesshins) that offer koan training and co-leads healing retreats for people of color with other BIPOC leaders (including Kaira Jewel Lingo). As a senior scientist in the Climate Smart Agriculture Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, she is helping to implement methods of small farming at large scales in Asia with a three-fold goal of poverty alleviation, food security, and climate mitigation/adaptation. Kritee is also a founding board member of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, a center that brings meditation in nature together with Dharma teachings for ecological action.
Further reading and points of reflection:
* Check out Dharma of Resistance, an online course led by Kritee that teaches participants how to take sacred and radical direct actions related to climate justice and racial healing.
* This episode’s call to action is centered on small group efforts. Consider gathering or joining a small group of 3 to 7 people who share a vision for reflective environmental action.
This podcast series is produced by the Spring Creek Project and Contemplative Studies Initiative at Oregon State University. Sign up for the Spring Creek newsletter and the Contemplative Studies newsletter to receive updates about new podcast episodes and other programming.