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Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Many of us feel called to respond to the ecological destruction of our planet, yet we feel overwhelmed, immobilized, and unable to deal realistically with the threats to life on Earth. Noted spiritual and environmental thinkers Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown contend that this crippling response to world crisis is a psychological defense mechanism that has been endemic s ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by New Society Publishers
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Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in waking up.
Recommended to Eric by: A Good Friend
Reading this book is like taking a cold shower that sobers you and wakes you up after a drunken stuper. Then it is like a friend standing by with a warm towel and some clean clothes. Then it is like a warm community gathering where everyone is included and compassionately held along the journey of deep healing. I can't say enough about this book. Words fall short. ...more
Jude Li-Berry
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: end-of-humanity
I agree with everything the book is founded upon: ecofeminism, living systems theory, Gaia, Positive Disintegration, Deep Ecology vs Anthropocentrism, and, especially, Ecopsychology in contrast to western psychotherapy's tendency towards pathologizing individual symptoms of societal, if not species ills. Yet Macy's signature optimism, in this context, really comes from nowhere. Loosely speaking, it's based on an ancient prophecy (the famed Shambhala Kingdom, a westerner's lap dog of cultural app ...more
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone

This book is a breakdown of what it takes to create a potent experiential workshop that truly changes lives. It is drawn from decades of activism, spiritual practice, and practical research by Joanna Macy, a woman i consider to be a valued elder of the community, a mentor, and a gift.

Joanna Macy has touched thousands of people through her life, training educators and clergy around the world in the implementation of group practices that range from eye opening to profound.

If you choose to read t
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An awakening book that provides a plethora of suggestions, experiences, and exercises that promise to be helpful if you are interested in leading workshops focusing on deep ecology, or interpersonal bonding.
Carolyn Boyd
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful and important book from one of my favorite authors!
Misha Fredericks
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Very good if you want to lead a group using her principles. After years of feeling despondent over the state of our world, her book helped me cope with my feelings.
Sep 14, 2008 rated it liked it
This has a bunch of great group exercises about facing despair and finding hope, as well as the theory behind Macy's work on despair (systems theory, eg) ...more
Phila Hoopes
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yes – the planet’s ecosystems are being systematically exploited and destroyed, the mountains torn apart for coal, the seas poisoned with oil. If you have ever flinched away from these facts, feeling them too overwhelming to face, much less act upon, this is a book to read, to contemplate, and to use in sharing circles and community groups. It is not an easy book to read – Macy does not shy away from the painful reality of what is happening to our planet – but in facing the pain straightforwardl ...more
Jaina Bee
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: seekers, activists, systems geeks
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: fate
I have a feeling I'm going to be returning to this book many times to review its insights and practice the group exercises. ...more
Daniel Behn
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
We repress what we really feel about the future, a growing anxiety that we are losing it. We are losing nature bit by bit. We are losing community, we are losing possibilities for future generations of enjoying biodiversity, and we are risking the very future of sustaining life itself. In our race of time, we repress these feelings, we replicate a model that plunders the earth, based on a false need of continuous production, consumption, division of labor and marginalization of great parts of so ...more
Aug 16, 2012 added it
Jun 25, 2009 marked it as to-read

one i'll have to take a closer look at...
only willing to pay two bucks for it though :)
(used) See if it decides to appear at a tag sale!



we'll see
Michelle Merrill
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I keep coming back to for engaging activities to share with groups and workshops. Beautiful!
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Dr. Joanna Macy, activist, ecologist and author, is one of the pioneers of engaged Buddhism. Her online work includes the article "World as Lover, World as Self"; "Bestiary" (an ode to wildlife); Nuclear Guardianship, her testimony at the World Uranium Hearings in Salzburg, 1992; and The Vegan Vision, on the ethics of a vegan diet. Her other books include Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General S ...more

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