Venerable Kham Khien, the Thai Buddhist Meditation Master, is one of our inspirations. He has a very deep connection with nature and has shown us that this connection with nature and being friends with nature is possible. He also combines his spiritual practice with taking practical action to serve nature as much as he can. He gave it his all to protect the wild animals and forest from hunters, loggers and fire, even risking his life in the process. We deeply respect him and see him as one of our teachers. We also aim to deepen our connection with nature through our spiritual practice and also take action to protect and restore nature as much as we can.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.
Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. In the video below Joanne Macy talks about the Great Turning:
Arne Næss ( 27 January 1912 – 12 January 2009) was a Norwegian philosopher who coined the term Deep Ecology and was an important intellectual and inspirational figure within the environmental movement of the late twentieth century. Below is an excerpt of the bio-documentary of Arne Næss”The call of the mountain”.
Julia Lorraine Hill (known as Julia “Butterfly” Hill, born February 18, 1974) is an American environmental activist and tax redirection advocate. She is best known for having lived in a 180-foot (55 m)-tall, roughly 1500-year-old California Redwood tree (age based on first-hand ring count of a slightly smaller neighboring ancient redwood that had been cut down) for 738 days between December 10, 1997 and December 18, 1999. Hill lived in the tree, affectionately known as “Luna“, to prevent Pacific Lumber Company loggers from cutting it down.
Satish Kumar (b. August 9, 1936) is an Indian activist and editor. He has been a Jain Monk, nuclear disarmament advocate, pacifist, and is the current editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. Now living in England, Kumar is founder and Director of Programmes of the Schumacher College international centre for ecological studies, and of The Small School. In the youtube video below he talks about Deep Ecology and its meaning.
of the En’owkin Centre, highlights the importance of the relationship between the way we treat each other and the way we treat the land in this 2002 Bioneers keynote. She explains, “In the En’owkin our understanding of the land is that it’s not just that we are part of the land, its not just that we are part of the vast system that operates on the land, but that the land is us. That in our language, the word for our bodies contains the word for the land.
Stephan Harding was born in Venezuela in 1953. He came to England at the age of six. Since childhood Dr. Harding has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind lead him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioral ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University. After Oxford Dr. Harding was appointed Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica, where he lived for two years before becoming a founder member of Schumacher College in 1990. Dr. Harding lives on the College campus with his wife Julia Ponsonby and their son Oscar, and is the author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia published in 2006 by Green Books. Stephen Harding bridges science with Deep Ecology and has worked extensively with James Lovelock the founder of Gaia Theory.
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.
Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries,and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award,recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.
Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.
Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, on January 11 1887. Leopold was throughout his life at the forefront of the conservation movement—indeed, he is widely acknowledged as the father of wildlife conservation in America. Though perhaps best known for A Sand County Almanac. In this book he talks about Land Ethics which is very interesting from a Deep Ecology perspective. he was also an internationally respected scientist, authored the classic text Game Management, which is still in use today, wrote over 350 articles, mostly on scientific and policy matters and was an advisor on conservation to the United Nations. He died of a heart attack on April 21, 1948 while helping his neighbors fight a grass fire.
John Muir ( April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. More information go here! We can recommend reading John Muir: The Eight Wilderness Discovery Books, in that book you really feel the strong love this man had for nature.
Masanobu Fukuoka (2 February 1913 – 16 August 2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation farming methods traditional to many indigenous cultures,from which he created a particular method of farming, commonly referred to as “Natural Farming” or “Do-nothing Farming”. We can recommend reading his book “The one straw revolution”.
Bill Mollison (born 1928 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia) is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and Biologist. He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture‘. Permaculture is an integrated system of design, Mollison co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities
David Holmgren (born 1955) is an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator and writer. He is best known as one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept with Bill Mollison. Holmgren was born in the state of Western Australia to political parents who were very active in the movement against Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war. Political activism against injustice provided a background to his own life’s work with Permaculture as positive environmental activism. After graduating from John Curtin High School he spent a year hitch hiking around Australia which exposed him to the first wave of “Back To The Land” rural resettlement. In 1974 he moved to Tasmania to study Environmental Design at the innovative school set up by Hobart architect Barry McNeil, the College of Advanced Education in Hobart. Towards the end of his first year of studies he met Mollison, who was then a senior tutor (in the psychology faculty at the University of Tasmania. The two found they shared a strong interest in the relationship between human and natural systems. Their wide-ranging conversations and gardening experiences encouraged Holmgren to write the manuscript that was to be published in 1978 as Permaculture One.
Geoff Lawton is a permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He holds a diploma in permaculture design. Since 1995 he has specialized in permaculture education, design, implementation, system establishment, administration and community development. Since 1985, Lawton has undertaken a large number of jobs consulting, designing, teaching and implementing in over thirty countries around the world.Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-governmental organizations and multinational companies. Lawton’s aim is to establish self-replicating educational demonstration sites. He has currently educated over 6,000 students in permaculture worldwide. Lawton’s ‘master plan’ is to see aid projects being replicated as fast as possible to help ameliorate the growing food and water crisis.
Christian Shearer is the founder and current Managing Director of the Panya Project, a permaculture, natural building and sustainable living education center in Northern Thailand. He is also lead designer and educator for Terra Genesis International , an international Permaculture Consulting Firm. Christian sits on the advisory board for WeForest , and is working to help them with their goal to plant 20 million square kilometers of forest. His most recent endeavour is the launch of the permaculture communities first crowd funding portal WeTheTrees.com. Launched in July of 2012, WeTheTrees provides a unique way for the permaculture community to easily and joyfully fundraise to make their permaculture dreams come true.
Other inspirational Video:
Jasmijn is a seven year old girl, who loves hugging trees and having conversations with animals. Anything she touches seems to breathe a sense of aliveness. Robert is ten years old, and the only place where he feels at ease is in nature. He climbs trees as high as he can escaping the everyday reality that is not always easy.
Anthropologist Wade Davis muses on the worldwide web of belief and ritual that makes us human. He shares breathtaking photos and stories of the Elder Brothers, a group of Sierra Nevada indians whose spiritual practice holds the world in balance.
Sufi Music-whirling gypsy dance by Abysis Projects:
Mana, beyond belief (documentary)
Mana is a Polynesian word that is used by the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori to describe the spiritual force or life’s energy that is present in everything. Mana, beyond belief looks at worldwide rituals, ceremonies, and place of worship, objects that have a special meaning for people. Part of it is only subtitled in Dutch but the meaning can be understood.
The Secret Life of Plants (1973) is a book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. The book documents controversial experiments that reveal unusual phenomena regarding plants such as plant sentience, discovered through experimentation. It goes on to discuss philosophies and progressive farming methods based on these findings. The book was the basis for the 1979 documentary of the same name, directed by Walon Green and featuring a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, later released as Journey through the Secret Life of Plants.