"Using compassion as an organizing principle for environmental and climate issues is so crucial. It saves lives."

~ Dekila Chungyalpa 


Podcast Single #2 is from Mind & Life Institute's, Mind & Life podcast.

Hosted by Science Director Wendy Hasenkamp, each episode dives into fundamental questions that arise through bridging science and contemplative wisdom. There is much to explore within their programming, we admit it was difficult to choose a single episode, but this interview centers so much of what we are holding with our clients, our communities, and within ourselves. This is an interview about individual hope and collective action. 

In this single shared episode titled, Human-Earth Connection", environmentalist leader, Dekila Chungyalpa reflects on growing up in Sikkim in the Eastern Himalayas, the climate crisis, meditation and activism, and her unique collaborations with faith leaders. 

This interview was originally aired in May 2021. We found Dekila's message a deep call to action. I hope you enjoy it ~ Linda 


0:00 - 4:45  Introduction includes conversation overview and info on Mind & Life Institute, including their summer 2021 program 

4:55 begins the interview exchange 

4:55 - 8:18 upbringing and connection to nature

8:18 - 12:19 work with World Wildlife Fund 

12:19 -  17:39 environmental work and climate work, individualism, separation of mind and body, Descartes' dualism, reductionist systems

17:39 - 23:50 Buddhism, interdependence, empathy, closed-loop systems, biology and behavior 

23:50 musical interlude 

24:08 - 32:44 faith leaders as her allies, eco-anxiety, climate distress, family's pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya, merging Buddhist philosophy with environmental science

32:44 -  38:39 story of Loka Initiative, building capacity, convening, faith leaders and culture keepers of indigenous traditions working on environmental and climate issues

38:39 - 46:08 Center for Healthy Minds, eco-anxiety, climate distress, bridging faith communities and science communities, dualistic framework and view on interdependence

46:08 - 54:30 living ones theory into action, Black Lives Matter, embodiment, speaking up to individuals who disempower, working with multiple faith leaders

54:30 - 01:02 resistance to change, seeking homeostasis, radically different future, reframing expectations, working toward systems of resilience and strength, mitigation and adaptation as complementary approaches 

01:02 - 01:05:23 compassion as an organizing principle for environmental and climate issues saves lives, closing message, and call to action

01:05:35 Outro by podcast host, Wendy Hasenkamp

Link to their contributor bios to learn more about Wendy Hasenkamp and Dekila Chungyalpa