Spiritual Midwifery

Welcome to the virtual home of the Planetary Hospice Movement. Please note that I also blog at HEAL THE PLANET! and you can find me on FB at “Planetary Hospice.”

For a quick look at the model for Collective Climate Grief and a brief description of the theory underlying that model, and to appreciate it’s utility in facilitating social transformation through individual catharsis, please have a look at the amazing poster by Alejandro Anastasio which I presented at the Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium last year:


 You’ll find a link at the end of the bulleted items there to a more in-depth treatment of the model and theory in the paper which you can jump to here:  Climate Catharsis.

If you are interested in my upcoming book, but cannot wait to see what it’s about, here are very brief but provocative synopses

CLIMATE SENSE:  Changing the Way We Think & Feel About Our Climate in Crisis

The ideas in this book were developed from a year’s worth of field research, development, and feedback on the introductory papers on the subject of ‘climate grief’ – leading up to the paper Climate Catharsis (supra):

Planetary Hospice: Rebirthing Planet Earth

 Principles of Planetary Hospice

For a more thorough update, in conversational form, about the collective climate grieving process, where we are in it, and how we can get in touch with it in a way that brings acceptance, joy and effective action, check out Jackson Foster’s Plantriotic podcast #27: Ecopsychology of Climate Change.


Here are a few of the more generous praises for Planetary Hospice: Rebirthing Planet Earth:

This brilliant and beautifully researched paper by Zhiwa Woodbury frames our work in a way that can release fresh understandings and energy.
~ Joanna Macy, Ph.D., author, eco-philosopher, etc!

I am so in awe of this stunning article on Planetary Hospice that has absolutely blown me away along with many others.

~ Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., author, radio host, blogger:                          “Speaking Truth to Power”

This is exactly the kind of brilliantly rendered language emerging from deeply resonant awareness that is needed to map a transformation in human collective intent NOW.  So grateful!

~ Ann Kreilkamp, Ph.D., author, magazine founder and editor

Everything that I have been carrying in my heart you have put into words on the pages of Planetary Hospice. Your work is a powerful backdrop to awakening… to who we truly are… our real identity… a necessary backdrop.

~  Diane de Simone, author, researcher, poet

These are interesting times we inhabit, as the old Chinese curse says. It is imperative that we cultivate a compassionate response to the tumult that awaits us. We must transform this adversity into regenerating planet Earth. That means abandoning the illusion of separation and scientific materialism in favor of the reality of interdependent arising and spirituality.

We can do this. As soon as we gain critical mass, a catalyst will present itself, and we will take the quantum leap in collective consciousness that is being summoned by Mother Earth and our own true nature.

Abandon all doubt ye who enter here!




9 thoughts on “CLIMATE SENSE”

  1. It was lovely to have time to read it through. Once again, brilliant. Thank you. And yes, And too, I’m glad you’ll be meeting up with the Science/ Non Duality folks. The Great Dying is the Great Awakening. Amen, bro.

  2. Zhiwa, you wee stunning on The Lifeboat Hour! You have the greatest voice for radio. It was incredibly thought provoking and inspiring. It truly makes me want to read more, to include your book, when it has been completed, and other writings on radical eco-psychology.

  3. great talk on lifeboat.. wow.
    do you give talks in the bay area?
    also, i helped to host guy mcpherson a few months ago
    and I am looking to have him here in nor cal again in late sept.
    perhaps we can do a talk with the both of you?

    1. Hey, thanks Peter. I’m going to be giving a talk at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship National Conference here in Berkeley next month, and may be doing a presentation at the Science & Non-Duality Conference in October. I’d be honored to appear with Guy, and will consider appearing at other events as well. I’ll give you a call sometime this week.

  4. Hello Zhiwa. I read your Planetary Hospice article a while back and was deeply moved by what and how you shared your vision. I listened to your interview with Carolyn a couple weeks ago as well where I discovered that you wrote a follow-up article. I will be getting to that one very soon and am looking forward to it!

    I’m writing because my exposure to the works of Stephen Jenkinson, Carolyn Baker and now you have inspired me to look into hospice training. As a psychotherapist pained by what is transpiring on the planet and a strong interest in bringing about an eco-inclusive awakening to the field of psychology and psychotherapy, hospice work feels like a good next step.

    Thank you for bringing this language and vision to my world. I want to be a part of the Planetary Hospice Movement! And I’d like to be kept abreast of any trainings you offer as you more forward with this work. Do you have any planned?

    In the interim, I will be looking for a place to do a hospice training. Do you have a link you can recommend to set me on the right track?

    Again, many thanks for your important and timely contributions.


    1. Thank you, Jonathan. I’m so encouraged by the quality of the responses I’ve been receiving since Planetary Hospice was first published. I love humanity, and I’m confident we will somehow end up coming out of this dark night as a bright light. The follow up paper is more of a process paper, in response to some of the emotional reactivity and projection I saw in response to the first. The initial paper was just a first effort at outlining a comprehensive meta-model for compassionately responding to the climate crisis. As a psychotherapist, you may be interested in knowing that I’m radically revising the section on applying the stages of grieving to our situation. I’m more excited about that than I was the initial paper, as I feel like a comprehensive model is emerging that could prove very useful and even encouraging. I will “unveil” the model itself at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship National Conference at the end of next month, here in Berkeley, and then develop a poster presentation for the Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium on Contemplative Studies at the end of October. Then I’ll begin working on the book in earnest, and developing workshops to begin sometime next year. At this point, I think it would be premature. I’m looking forward to getting incredible feedback at the upcoming conferences, and would like to explore the possibility of the workshops being collaborative.

      Well come.

  5. dear zhiwa,
    would love to have a san francisco based planetary hospice group…it feels imminent…guy mcpherson says within 10 years. do you have any free time to start a weekly group? peace/love,
    amy vegan

    1. Hi Amy Awesome-last-name! I’m actually living in Boise, Idaho now, working on public lands issues. But of course Joanna Macy is right there in Berkeley, so you could contact her through the Work That Reconnects web site. Your email is actually rather synchronous, as I am preparing for an interview with Carolyn Baker for her “Beyond the 11th Hour” on-line symposium (another option for you – it begins in the Fall) and the first question is asking me to predict what Abrupt Climate Change impacts will look like. I have a strong suspicion, as a long-time dharma practitioner, that we who want to know what the future holds would be far better continuing to question whether we are really seeing things as they are right now, since it is only in that way that we can actually know what the appropriate response might be. For me, that alone is a full time “job.” You see, the first premise of Buddhism is that, unless we are fully awakened, we humans do not see things as they really are. This is true at both gross levels (we think things are solid, when they are actually mostly empty space, etc.) and at more subtle levels of suffering, like our experience of climate chaos, dying oceans, disappearing wildlife – these things going on around us. If we can get that in some kind of focus in our lives without giving into the reflexive compulsion to project into the future, that is more than enough. What this really points to is our deepest fears, and those also exist in the present (even if they have to do with possible future scenarios – our focus should be on working with those fears, not imagining some horrible future is more real than it is). If this is pushing your buttons, or better yet if you are resonating with it, please check out my paper linked to the PH home page on “Principles of Planetary Hospice.” One of the main disciplines practiced at Zen Hospice (oh, another option – talk to Roy, who is very aware of planetary grief) is “don’t know mind.” And that means letting go of our ideas of the future before they become fixed in our mind in such a way as to inhibit our ability to be present to suffering and joy. Thanks for your compassion, Amy.

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