Program Details

Silent Transformations: Ecological Destruction as Spiritual Practice

with Adam Lobel & Michelle King & Fitzhugh Shaw
February 2 / 9:00 AM - February 2 / 4:00 PM


loving what we are losing

Our workshop is one part spiritual support amidst extreme ecological destruction and one part cultivating the fearless inner being, imagination, and relationships to heal our local region. Healing our being, healing our communities, and healing our living region are one gesture. This will be the winter session and we will attune to the season: rest and dormancy. We will then gather again in the spring, summer, and autumn. Each session is open to all and you need not attend all four. All are warmly welcome.

Mindfulness practices offer emotional resilience to attend to climate disruption without falling apart. But what if it is time to fall apart? And what if what we need in order to fall apart is to fall in love with what we are losing? What if spirituality is not only to help us hold-on in the midst of precarious change, nor simply to let-go, but to cultivate a different, deeply thankful, way of living? What do we need to love, let go of, and risk in order for new ways of life to emerge? How might spiritual practices such as meditation help us to invite individual and shared ways of being that go beyond holding on to the status quo of the global capitalist culture that created the ecological crisis? The theme running throughout this year of Silent Transformations will be the risk of appreciation: what happens for us when we love and feel gratitude for our planet and feel what is dying and what we are destroying all around us and within us?

Join us for a daylong workshop in cultivating a spiritual practice attuned to the reality of ecological destruction and to learn more about ecological activism in the Pittsburgh region.

Note:  It is important to bring winter clothing, hat, gloves, and boots etc. We will be spending some time outside, so please come prepared to stay warm. If it is in any way challenging for you to walk or be outdoors there will be alternative activities.

For a preview of the entire series, please click here.

Hosted by Michelle King, Adam Lobel, and Fitzhugh Shaw

To register:  Please use the yellow registration button at bottom of page.

Suggested donation:  -, or pay what you can.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Questions?  Please contact Sarah.

Michelle King, Learning Instigator. Love Activist. Transformer.

Michelle King is a learner first and foremost and as well as an instigator of learning. Professionally, she is a middle school teacher and has taught over 22 years in public schools in Western Pennsylvania. She learned and honed her craft in Mt. Lebanon with a fantastic crew of educators and students for over 16 years. In her quest to instigate courageous conversations about learning and children, she has ventured to The Environmental Charter School and their principles (Catalyst. Character. Collaboration. Commitment.)  She co-taught Cultural Literacy, an integrated social sciences and English/Language Arts course. She is constantly seeking to create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy. In making connections locally and globally, Michelle pushes the envelope and boundaries of where learning should occur for all students. Her current interests are in game based learning, design, restorative justice, equity, social justice, and teacher empowerment. Through her partnerships with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, Green Building Alliance, SocialVR, Carnegie Science Center FAB Lab, Girl Up, CREATE Lab, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Remake Learning ecosystem, ThinkZone Games and other provocateurs; Michelle is helping to create equitable, empathetic, learning experiences for all Pittburghers.

Michelle’s Current Conundrums:  How might we create empathetic institutions that remind us of our humanity?  How might we re-design for equity and social justice in and out of school learning? How might we design learning institutions to build connections? How might we allow those connections help us re-see the worlds we inhabit?  How might we embrace silence in our lives?

Acharya Adam Lobel 

Adam Lobel, PhD, Harvard University, is a scholar of philosophy and religion and a longtime meditation teacher (Acharya) in the Shambhala tradition. His research focuses on the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, modern phenomenology, and inoperative studies (Heidegger, Foucault, Agamben). He is a Greenfaith fellow, has taught alongside Joanna Macy and others in the Ecosattva Training, and is active in ecological and social justice movements. Adam teaches a critical style of contemplative training that seeks to avoid being enclosed by neoliberal mindfulness while still disclosing effortless awareness. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons.

Fitzhugh Shaw

Fitzhugh Shaw is a senior student, meditation instructor, and teacher at Shambhala Pittsburgh. He studies food justice and the political economy of modern agriculture, along with community organizing. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and daughter.

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