“Perhaps the single most important thing that we can do to undo the harm we have done is to fix firmly in our minds the thought: the earth is alive” – James Lovelock
Dr Bev Sibthorpe
I attribute my comfort in being ‘on the land’ to my early years living on a small dairy farm in New Zealand. I trained as a nurse in Auckland before going on to study anthropology and human science at the ANU in Canberra, and subsequently worked for several decades as an applied epidemiologist primarily focusing on Aboriginal community controlled primary health care. I’ve had a lifelong interest in vegie gardening and in recent years have developed my interests in permaculture, syntropic farming, and bush regeneration.
My son Tenzin introduced me to Buddhism and it felt like coming home – philosophically and spiritually – and through him I’ve had two sojourns at Plum Village in France and spent time at SIBA, the Canberra Buddhist Society’s retreat centre in East Gippsland, in both places spending many happy hours in the garden. On returning from my second stay at Plum Village I joined with two others to start a local mindfulness group that meets monthly and has gone from strength to strength.
I have a strong commitment to social justice and equity, to practicing compassion in my daily life, to embracing interbeing, to minimising my planetary footprint, to nurturing my family and friends, to being socially engaged, and to growing food and caring for the land. My grandchildren are a great joy in my life and help to inspire my faith in the possibility of a better future. Forests and beaches are my temples. I’m convinced that the best way to live in our fractured, troubled times is in community.
We are very happy to confirm dates for our first meditation retreat with Bhante Dhammadipa (http://dhammadipa.cz) in Australia, February 19th-26th 2023, at beautiful Corindi, on the NSW Mid-North Coast. In this retreat we will take a deep dive into the Four Immeasurable Minds; Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. These practices are central to the […]
I am feeling very fortunate to have the opportunity to return to India, assisting Bhante Dhammadipa again as he tours and teaches. We have spent a rich two weeks in Mumbai, at Somaiya Vidyavihar Institute of Dharma Studies. There Bhante taught on the Chapter 6; “Questions of Maitreya” from the Samdinirmocana sutra, and important text […]
It is with great sadness that we learned yesterday of the passing of Zen Master, poet, peace activist and gardener Thich Nhat Hanh. We also experienced a great joy in witnessing the outpouring of condolences and memories of Thay shared by so many from around the world who have been touched as we have by […]
The combination of economics, climate change and a global pandemic has created an interesting nexus of challenges for us in our search for a home for the Gaia Forest project. We have fallen in love however with the Dorrigo Plateau. The combination of land-forms, soils, climate, vegetation and community has what we feel to be […]
We are so happy to welcome Social Scientist, Organic Farmer and mindfulness practitioner Tasch Arndt to our team: “I am passionate about taking care of the Earth and the diverse human and more-than-human kin that we share this precious planet with. My interdisciplinary background spans ecology and the social sciences and I hold a Master’s […]