Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Practical Zen for Ecological Change Agents

Practical Zen for Ecological Change Agents

Practical Zen for Ecological Change Agents
Key Info: 
  • Learn or deepen your understanding of meditation
  • Get to know underlying mental postures with which you approach your work
  • Receive and test ideas for how to transform your mental posture(s)
  • New ways of looking at collaboration to enhance your skills as a movement builder
  • New connections and hopefully new friends

Zenki Christian Dillo, Resident Zen Teacher and Executive Director at Crestone Mountain Zen Center and Nigel Topping, CEO We Mean Business coalition

£ 550.00
Course fees include all meals, field trips, materials and teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday to Thursday afternoon and includes three nights simple yet private accommodation with shared bathroom facilities and all vegetarian
meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however for you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details. The course fee includes a bursary donation to enable those requiring financial assistance to attend.

As ecological change agents and activists, we are often not very well supported. Yet we are up against the greatest challenge of our times: facilitating a transformative process of dramatically changing the course of collective human behaviour in order to repair and save the ecosphere. The stakes are high, time is of the essence, progress is frustratingly slow.

What mental postures do we need to cultivate to be able to stay in a “zone of nourishment” that allows us to meet the demands of our work?

Join Zen teacher, Zenki Christian Dillo, and ‘earth diplomat’ Nigel Topping, and hit the pause button. Zenki and Nigel team up to marry practical spirituality with experience in the field of environmental activism and advocacy. This course is an opportunity to shift attention from what you do to how you do it. It is a time to share, reflect, and explore with colleagues and hopefully new friends.

Zen is a way to study the mind and free the mind. It is a no-nonsense approach to meeting your life as it is. We will learn the basic principles of Zen meditation and have practice sessions every day. Zen cherishes “beginner’s mind” – looking at everything with fresh eyes. Through large and small group discussions, we will look at the mental postures that shape the way we approach life and our work. Each such posture is both an asset and a limitation. When we become fixated in a mental posture, we can get locked in a self-created problem. How can we loosen our minds and act with more freedom and flexibility? And how can we translate such freedom into new strategies for how we relate to ourselves, our teams, and the plight of the planet?

This course is for you if you are:
An ecological change agent or activist
Open to experiment with the way you hold your mind
Interested in a spiritual practice to support your work
Interested in ways to improve collaboration for systemic impact
Intent on avoiding or addressing burnout or climate depression

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

Zenki Christian Dillo, Resident Zen Teacher and Executive Director at Crestone Mountain Zen Center and Nigel Topping, CEO We Mean Business coalition
Zenki Christian Dillo

Zenki Christian Dillo

Zenki Christian Dillo is the Resident Teacher and Director at Crestone Mountain Zen Center, Colorado, where he lives with his wife, the light artist Sophia Dixon Dillo. He is also the Guiding Teacher at the Boulder Zen Center and teaches regularly in his native Germany. He began his Zen practice in 1996 and received teaching authorization in 2013. Before becoming a full-time monastic practitioner in 2000, he pursued an academic career studying body and mind through concepts of Western phenomenology.

Zenki teaches Zen practice as a craft. His main focus is on bringing Buddhism experientially alive within Western cultural horizons while staying committed to the traditional emphasis on yogic embodiment. He has a keen interest in the relationship between Buddhism and ecology. He teaches Wild Dharma expedition in the American West and is part of an EcoDharma group of Buddhist teachers in Colorado.

Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping is CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, a collaborative of NGOs working with business to drive the transition to the zero carbon economy.  In this role he has worked closely with leaders of the UNFCCC process [Christiana Figueres, Laurence Tubiana etc] as well as CEOs of major companies. As well as WMB, Nigel has played a key role in the launching of other collaborative initiatives such as the Science Based Targets initiative and Business for Nature. In this work, Nigel has become particularly focussed on how to create the right conditions for collaboration, starting with the personal stance of each of us as a leader, and looking closely at how conflict arises and is resolved.

Prior to this role, Nigel spent 18 years in industry before studying for his MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College, then working for CDP for 8 years.  Nigel has spent a lot of time on icecaps in Greenland, Iceland and Patagonia climbing and experiencing the climate crisis first hand.  He lives in Totnes, Devon, just down the road from the college, with his wife Ann, and is a trustee of the Dartington Hall Trust.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

Help & Enquiries

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+ 44 (0) 1803 847212