The Work That Reconnects

Hereunder please find extracts of the introduction to the Work That Reconnects from the ‘root website’ Note: All links on this page will redirect you to this site.

The Work That Reconnects, based in the teachings of Joanna Macy, follows a Spiral of practices, described in detail below. The following links will help you learn more about the Work and how it can support you in meeting the crises of our time.

The Spiral of the Work That Reconnects

Image by Dori Midnight

The Work That Reconnects, based in the teachings of Joanna Macy, unfolds as a spiral journey through four stages: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth. Each of these stages leads naturally to the next. The journey helps us experience first hand that we are larger, stronger,  more creative – and more deeply interconnected – than we knew.

The Spiral begins by coming from gratitude, because that quiets the frantic mind and brings us back to source, stimulating our empathy and confidence. It helps us to be more fully present and opens psychic space for acknowledging the pain we carry for our world.

In owning and honoring our pain for the world, and daring to experience it, we learn the true meaning of compassion: to “suffer with.” We begin to know the immensity of our heart-mind. What had isolated us in private anguish now opens outward and delivers us into the wider reaches of our inter-existence.

Experiencing the reality of our inter-existence helps us see with new/ancient eyes. We can sense how intimately and inextricably we are related to all that is. We can taste our own power to change, and feel the texture of our living connections with past and future generations, and with our brother/sister species.

Then we go forth into the actions that call each of us, according to our situation, gifts, and limitations. With others whenever and wherever possible, we set a target, lay a plan, step out. We don’t wait for a blueprint or fail-proof scheme, for each step will be our teacher, bringing new perspectives and opportunities. Even when we don’t succeed in a given venture, we can be grateful for the chance we took and the lessons we learned.

And so the Spiral begins again, with gratitude. There are hard things to face in our world today, if we want to be of use. Gratitude, when it’s real, offers no blinders. On the contrary, in the face of devastation and tragedy it can ground us. Especially when we’re scared, gratitude can hold us steady for the work that must be done.

In addition to forming the container for Work That Reconnects workshops, the Spiral may also unfold naturally over the span of a project, over the course of a day, several times in one day, or even over a whole phase of one’s life.

The Spiral is fractal in nature. The sequence can repeat itself in ever new ways. Sometimes the whole sequence plays out within one particular stage. We come back to it again and again as a source of strength and fresh perspectives.

Joanna Macy, Root Teacher

Photo by Adam Loften

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. The author of more than twelve books, she is the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects. Read more…