Eco-contemplation: Awakening on the Land – September 17, 2022

Saturday, September 17, 2022, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Hosted by Dr. Robert A. Jonas

Using Francis of Assisi as a guide, we will meet on the Ashfield property of Dr. Jonas--250 acres that is permanently protected in cooperation with the Franklin Land Trust.

Our world is in the grip of climate change and what may be an imminent collapse of Earth’s life-support systems.  How can we respond to these challenges in ways that sustain our hope, heal our spirits, and awaken our resilience as we face the dangers ahead? What quality of awareness can inspire us to personal actions and political strategies that help to create a more environmentally just and sustainable world?  Our time together will include presentations and conversation, guided meditation, and an opportunity to head outdoors for a contemplative walk.


Robert A. Jonas is an environmental activist, psychologist, musician, author, and spiritual guide who has lived in Ashfield since 1998.  His professional training includes an Ed.D. (Harvard) in psychology, and a post-doc Masters in spirituality from the Jesuit Weston School of Theology.  Jonas leads contemplative retreats as host of the Empty Bell sanctuary in Northampton (  He has served on the board of the Henri Nouwen Society and as board Chair of the Kestrel Land Trust. Jonas plays the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi)--contemplative Zen music in the tradition called Sui-Zen (Blowing Zen). One of his three albums, “Blowing Bamboo” is available on iTunes.

Blue Heron photograph by Robert A. Jonas.


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