I discovered last year that Brother David Steindl-Rast, a spiritual mentor that I have long admired, and my father lived together in a tiny trailer near Boulder, Co in the mid-70s. At that point, global warming and the climate crisis were arousing global complacency—and a deep part of me felt like the world needed the voices of our Elders, mystics, and scientists who could integrate wisdom, heart, and truth.
So there germinated a wild idea. That perhaps I could find a way to bring these two spiritual friends together—to learn from their profound inner journeys—sculpted by the silence of forty plus field seasons in the high Arctic (my dad) and a radical commitment to grateful living (Brother David). I wanted to be held by their deep humility and hope in humanity, while at the same time reminded of the ways to orient and practice so we can fully participate in the co-creation of a new world.
Dear Cynthia tipped me off as to where to find him, filling my sails with optimism and a carefree “let’s see where it leads.” I reached out, and was absolutely blown away that Brother David said YES (as long as it was a “small project”).
What transpires is a lively conversation between two life-long friends, who share their wisdom on the polarities and paradoxes of I/We, silence/communion, friendship/alienation, and spaciousness/evolutionary diversity. Woven throughout the dialogue is the profound invitation into the Mystical Body, that arises from the tapestry of Love and ‘the possibility of surprise’.
When I was about 22, I had visited the area of Nederland, Colorado in the early 90s to try find this trailer that my father, and now Brother David, had lived in. I followed back roads, searched little clearings, and trusted some kind of intuition…and discovered a dilapidated trailer I believed was ‘the one’. I excitedly took a photograph of myself exclaiming “I found it Dad!!!”. After getting the photo developed and showing it to Dad, I realized in the end, that it wasn’t his trailer at all.
What I would never have believed is that, another 20 years later, I would be hosting a conversation between a profound Christian teacher and Brother, and his old friend. So my participation in this wild idea, and sacred conversation, is the very definition of hope…that only deepens my direct experience of this ‘possibility of surprise’.
We invite you to listen here to Hope, Grateful Living and Spiritual Practice in Uncertain Times: A conversation between Benedictine monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast and climate change scientist, Dr. John England.
In this lively and engaging conversation, two kindred spirits enjoy a surprising reconnection after 40 years. Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast and scientist Dr. John England exchange wisdom, between Argentina to Canada, on how to orient ourselves in a time of global warming and polarization.
They offer insight and experience on how to root ourselves in authenticity, aliveness, and interdependence as we wrestle with challenging times. Weaving together science, spirituality, consciousness through story and friendship, Brother David and John England model what a ‘spirit of possibility’ looks and feels like- offering a deep and rich ground to anchor ourselves in the present moment.
Weave: inspiring leadership, hope and social change through stories that bind us together, is a project of Jennifer England. Founder of Spark Coaching and Consulting, Jennifer has been a senior executive and non-profit leader for over two decades who is widely recognized for her ability to influence systems change in the field of gender equality, justice, Indigenous rights, and wellness.
Jennifer is also a long-time student of Cynthia who has recently initiated a Wisdom Practice Circle in the Yukon. For more about Jennifer, visit her website here at Spark Coaching, as well as her Seedlings page here and her Wisdom North Collective Practice Circle in the Yukon here on the Practice Circles page.