For anyone who couldn’t make our January presentation in Oakland, we’re doing it again.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 18, 7-8:30 pm
WHERE: Glenview neighborhood of Oakland
RSVP to email@example.com for location
As always, bring friends, and pass the word to anyone else who might be interested.
Light refreshments will be served.
NEXT YEAR’S TRIP
Open Heart Safari to Zambia: July 18-31, 2015
Optional extension to Victoria Falls and Botswana: July 31-August 4
DISCOUNT IF YOU SIGN UP BY FEB. 24.
This will be the fourth time my wife Laura and I are leading ‘Open Heart Safari,’ a 2-week trip to Zambia for a small group (max 10 participants). The principal focus is on visiting national parks to see the wildlife (which is quite spectacular, if I may so), but this is not your typical safari. Our intent is to visit Zambia and its parks in a conscious, mindful way. This means three main things to me: (1) We slow down: We seek to open more deeply to the land, the animals, and the people through simple mindfulness practices, including yoga and short meditations. We stay in remote natural areas – not surrounded by other tourists. There are opportunities to track wildlife on foot, and view nature from a small river boat. (2) We connect with the realities of African life: We spend time with rural and urban communities. We learn about conservation issues, including tensions between international conservationists and local people who may be displaced or have find their livelihoods disrupted, and about efforts to develop a more community-led approach to conservation. We learn about the faces of rural and urban poverty, and meet inspiring activists working for social change. (3) We regularly participate in group sharing circles to reflect on the impact of what we are seeing and learning. We discuss such topics as the impact of being in the close presence of wild animals, how we relate to local people, the discomfort of the contrast between our privilege and the lives of the people we meet, how we can be of service. (And we have a lot of fun.)
More background about us: I (Tom Bennigson) have been traveling to Africa since 1979. I have participated in field studies of African wildlife, traveled with indigenous Ethiopian tribesmen to learn about community conservancies in Kenya and Namibia, and met with numerous grassroots NGOs to establish a small grantmaking program in Zambia. (Day job: public interest attorney.) Laura has worked with environmental nonprofits for many years, and has also worked in rural development and sanitation and adult literacy; she has a degree in international development. Her warmth and skills as a certified life coach, certified yoga teacher, and trained facilitator of expressive movement help to create an intimate container for the group.
The people who have come on our trips so far have unanimously reported that they have been profoundly impacted. Read what they have to say.