Dear Friends,

Here we are again, struggling to fathom another dramatic escalation of war and devastating violence, this time (again) in the Middle East. It is a challenge to reconcile the extent and impact of our savagery as a species along with our precious lived experiences of the higher capacities we possess for tenderness and nobility of spirit.

We respond by taking action where we can, while also attending to our own spirits and the people and conditions around us. Part of this process involves grounding ourselves where we can in what’s familiar and nourishing. In so doing we cultivate our ability to face scary and turbulent circumstances with a greater measure of wisdom, equanimity, and skill.

One of the biggest medicines in such times is the natural world, which is always moving and changing, both in predictable cycles, yet also with increasing inconsistency due to climate change.

In the face of distressing circumstances such as war and global warming, we can still seek solace and inspiration by connecting with nature. Now more than ever, nature’s adaptability, vulnerability, and resiliency can illuminate our own paths. We can explore our own journey alongside that of the natural world, furthering our potential for growth.

Nature has always been cycling through seasons and responding to changing conditions. By connecting our practice to the seasons, we harness our own development to the natural momentum these cycles can generate.

This June, I co-taught a retreat on themes and practices to welcome summer. Now I’m preparing a fall offering, which will be held online on Tuesday, November 28th , 6 – 7:30 pm Pacific Standard Time. There will also be an “on demand” option in which you can view a recorded version if that time doesn’t work. This event will combine guided meditation, reflection, and discussion on qualities of the autumn season: abundance and gratitude as well as change, acceptance, and letting go.

I’ll be delivering the event on a new platform, Remember Presence, which is gathering mindfulness teachers from all over the world that are graduates of Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, which I completed last year.

You can register for it using this link:

I look forward to seeing some of you there and wish you much care and comfort this autumn season and beyond.

Andrea Starn