Embrace of the Earth 2016

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Audio File

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As the environment and humanity become mere resources and appendages of technology and the global economy, we face an existential crisis of what it means to be human in nature. Instead of domination and subsumption of society and the environment within the logic of unbridled economic growth, the economy and society must be redesigned to serve the needs of environmental sustainability and human well-being. This calls for a balanced path of human development based on the transformation of consciousness: from dualism, separation and domination, to unity, interdependence and partnership. This psychological transformation requires moving beyond surface political-economic critiques to a reorientation of the much- neglected ethical dimension in modern economy and society. This Presentation will explore these issues synthesizing research-based social science analyses with perspectives drawn from contemporary global environmental and social movements, the field of Consciousness Studies and Buddhist teachings on the Middle Path. Expanding on the Presenter's latest book, Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy (Palgrave MacMillan), this Session will engage participants in an exploration of the existential crisis and our challenge of psycho-social transformation.


Scholar-activist Asoka Bandarage, (Ph.D., Yale ) has taught at many colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, including Yale, Brandeis, Georgetown, the European Peace University and Mount Holyoke where she received tenure. She is currently teaching, 'Ecological Consciousness and Climate Justice' at CIIS. Ms. Bandarage is the author of Women, Population and Global Crisis, Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy and numerous other publications on global political-economy, ethno-religious conflict, South Asia, gender, population, ecology and Buddhism. She writes on global environmental and social issues for the Huffington Post and serves on the Board of the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate. She has worked with many social change organizations, presented hundreds of lectures and media interviews (including CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, NPR, Bloomberg News), organized conferences and seminars and received numerous fellowships for her work. She is also a vipassana meditator and yoga teacher. Her website can be found here.(http://bandarage.com/)