A Deeper Look At The Work That Reconnects

A 3-part Pre-recorded Webinar w/ Lydia Violet & Special Guest Joanna Macy

A Deeper Look at “The Work That Reconnects”

a pre-recorder webinar

What we will be exploring…

In this pre-recorded webinar series we will dive into some of the main rivers of influence of the Work That Reconnects (WTR), covering a basic overview of foundational concepts as well as how they are expressed in the WTR. The WTR is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by Joanna Macy, a scholar and respected elder in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism.

In this 3-part series we will spend a session each on:

  • systems theory,
  • deep ecology,
  • and Prajñāpāramitā

We are especially excited in Session 3 to be joined by Joanna Macy herself, exploring the wisdom and gifts of the “Mother of All Buddhas.”

Why is it important?

Some of the main roots of the WTR are in three schools of thought: systems theory, deep ecology, and Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore, to fully understand and/or to teach the WTR, it is useful to understand these concepts. With the help of Lydia Violet and Joanna Macy herself, this course will empower current students and facilitators of the WTR to be able to better communicate these pillars of the work.

“…today, we are seeing people act together in a new way on behalf of life on Earth. Bodhicitta is manifesting collectively. Groups of people from all walks of life are acting in spite of the threat of social censure, personal injury, imprisonment, even death. Their motivation cannot be reduced to private gain, but it can be understood as manifesting a collective consciousness in defense of life on Earth.” - Joanna Macy

How much coursework will there be?

Students will be given concise readings and resources before each webinar (50-100 pages) and are expected to review these before each webinar in preparation for the lectures.

Each two-hour webinar consists of one hour of lecture and one hour of discussion, with time for Q&A.

Coursework in detail:

Session 1: Systems Theory

In this session we will study basic history & premises of systems theory, contextualizing its conceptual significance and learning how it revolutionized interdisciplinary studies. We will study key concepts such as living systems, homeostasis, adaptation, the systems mind, and feedback loops.

We will cover how Joanna’s in-depth study of living systems contributed to her body of work. As we will see, living systems theory has not only contributed to the scientific epistemology (the way we study knowledge), but also has inspired a shift in the common Western worldview as we rediscover our place in the web of life.

Session 2: Deep Ecology

Deep ecology was a field of study that arose out of the emergence of systems theory and its integration into the field of ecology. Proponents of deep ecology believe that it is imperative that we observe the planet as a whole, understanding how it maintains homeostasis between its smaller ecosystems. This helps us better understand the position of our species in the larger web of life.

The ethics of deep ecology hold that the survival of any part is dependent upon the well-being of the whole. Proponents of deep ecology offer an eight-tier platform to elucidate their claims, which we will use to deepen our understanding of this concept. We will then explore how this concept became one of the major influences of Joanna Macy’s body of work.

Session 3: Prajñāpāramitā

Prajñāpāramitā means "the Perfection of Wisdom" in Mahayana Buddhism. Prajñāpāramitā refers to a perfected way of seeing the nature of reality, the interrelatedness of all things. It is also the personification of the concept in the Bodhisattva known as the "Mother of All Buddhas." This concept has greatly influenced the WTR, and carries with it a profound relevance to the living systems worldview. Its practice and understanding offer us great resource and understanding when being present to the suffering in our world.


$95 or $33/mo for 3 months.

All sessions are pre-recorded and available to students indefinitely upon purchase.

Please contact us at [email protected] if another payment arrangement is needed.

Your Instructor

Lydia Violet & Joanna Macy
Lydia Violet & Joanna Macy

Lydia Violet Harutoonian M.A., has studied dedicatedly with elder and scholar Joanna Macy for the past decade, learning how we can metabolize our pain for the world into energy for resilience, action, and community. Lydia met Joanna while studying for her M.A. in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she studied with prominent thinkers such as Brian Swimme and Richard Tarnas.

Lydia has facilitated Macy's group work, the "Work That Reconnects," extensively for the past decade. Lydia also founded and runs The Music As Medicine Project, a non-profit dedicated to creating access to music, music education, and Joanna Macy's work as tools for cultivating resilient cultures in our communities. www.musicasmedicineproject.org

Joanna Macy Ph.D, author and teacher, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learnings from six decades of activism.

Her wide-ranging work address psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and postmodern science. The many dimensions of this work are explored in her thirteen books, which include three volumes of poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke with translation and commentary.

As the root teacher of The Work That Reconnects, Joanna has created a ground-breaking framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.

Course Curriculum

  Deep Ecology
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Prajñāpāramitā- "The Mother of All Buddhas"
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
When will readings be posted?
Our first set of readings will be posted 2 weeks before our first session.

Get started now!