Inner and Outer Climate
This workbook interweaves personal and spiritual growth, and equips us with tools to create a culture that’s resilient in the storms of climate change.
I wrote this book to help us in our challenging times, and I’d like to share it as widely as possible.
Press on the red link above, fill in the form, and you’ll receive the book pdf in an email. (I ask you to leave your email so I know the book is being found. I want to know how it’s spreading, and how many people have taken a copy.)
If you have trouble downloading it, please contact me and I’ll send you a copy by email.
How do we stay inspired and motivated, not overcome by fear, powerlessness and despair? How do we create strong community, and regenerative culture that
cooperates with nature?
We need all the help we can get from traditional wisdom such as Tibetan Buddhism: made accessible to modern people by weaving in psychotherapy, ecopsychology, permaculture, and Mother Nature.
Imagery from nature reconnects us with our natural wisdom; we dive into the depths of oceanic mind, in a kind of conscious dreaming. Dido’s artwork encourages our creative spirit.
These practices help in ‘ordinary’ life, and in emotional rough weather brought on by ever-worsening droughts and floods, economic instability, war and social injustice.
‘When I use the teachings in this book, I’m learning to connect to deeper, warmer energy that transforms political as well as personal challenges. This inspirational book supplies a practical toolkit for change at every level, from personal relationships to community-building. The sweep of Dido’s vision is extraordinary. With humour, clarity and kindness, she takes us deep into meditation and out into the scary reality of ecological disaster, stronger, wiser and more effective.’ Rachel O’Leary, author of ‘The Swan-Bone Flute.’
The book was shortlisted for the Ashton Wylie Prize, New Zealand Society of Authors.
You can get a copy from Amazon, or any bookshop, online or offline; they can order it for you from Ingramspark. (Ingram is wholesale only). it’s available in paperback and ebook format.
Under Eco-Buddhism / Practices on this website there are several voice recordings of meditations from the book.
Here’s Dido and Pam talking about the title of the book:
Dido and Pam talking about the first practice in the book, on the ocean deeps of mind:
Here’s what Romi, eco-pioneer and community builder, has to say about it:
Our friend Dido Dunlop stayed last week and we attended her meditation workshop here in Thames. Such a gift to be able to spend that time in deep meditation and reflection.
Dido has left us with a copy of her new book STORM WEATHERING – A Workbook for our Inner and Outer Climate:
So far I’ve only read the introduction and first few chapters, but I’m already so drawn in, impatient now to explore the workbook exercises. To become a ‘confident voyager into the vast and varied landscapes of heart, mind and spirit’!
Dido shares the wisdom of her own journey and experience, weaves her story into her concerns for the planet and the changes that we are now seeing so clearly. She provides the tools to make us stronger, wiser and perhaps more active in speaking out.
An amazing book, with photos and Dido’s artwork to strengthen the text.
I am so pleased to read this because it is powerful material, capable of changing lives. Barbara McWilliams, educator
It’s like poetry, it brings tears to my eyes. Deborah Metz, artist
here is the brief intro to the book.
I called this workbook ‘Storm-Weathering’ because the most transforming and empowering work of my life has been to find the strength and beauty in monsters like despair, frustration, powerlessness and confusion, that caused stirred up the worst storms in the ocean depths of my psyche. I jumped into deep water with my monsters, listened to them, and got to know and love them; then they became allies.
I had storms to deal with from a painful childhood, severe chronic illness, poverty and other ‘ordinary life’ disasters. As a child living in Asia and Africa, I saw suffering far more dire than mine. On top of that, agonies about climate chaos are fearsome monsters we must face up to: drought, social injustice, economic uncertainty, terrorism, war. Perhaps I feel them strongly because I’ve seen how life is in so many parts of the world, where climate change already has devastating effects.
People mostly think of meditation these days as finding peace by blocking out pesky thoughts, and floating away from the troubles of the world. I found my most profound peace comes from staying present and aware, in the midst of all weathers.
It’s an ongoing journey, that I’ve been able to do because I was taught strong methods: ancient methods still practiced in Tibet that I believe are older than Buddhism. I learned to apply them in my life as a modern woman, living in the hard times we’re in now, where all life could be extinguished on this earth, by climate chaos, nuclear accidents or other poisoning: or a combination of all three.
In this workbook I share some of these methods, in untraditional forms that I and people who’ve worked with me have found helpful. They draw on depth psychology, ecospychology, permaculture and Mother Nature.
This workbook offers tools for not avoiding emotional pain because it feels too hard. When your marriage collapses, you’re a single parent, you get ill, your kid has problems, we can turn these monsters of ordinary life into allies, that empower us. The skills we need to engage with ordinary life can also be applied to climate issues.
Storm-weathering takes many forms. It’s also developing strengths: our ability to love, and find delight in life, and restore our relationship with nature.
Embodying Nature’s Wise Love
To weather the storms of our life, in the present climate crisis, we must remember we’re a precious part of living Nature. Our wisdom and magnificence is the same as all Nature’s; our natural state is like the deep well-being we find in nature: peaceful, alive and invigorating. When we live in our natural self, we’re equipped to weather any storms. We can be less isolated, more fulfilled and happy, when we know how it feels to be interdependent with all nature.
Inner and Outer Climate
In this workbook we explore the life-affirming ways Nature operates, within us and around us. Our planet is burning because we disregard Nature; we feel separate from her, and each other. Our infinite economic growth model is not in accord with Nature’s ways.
Once we know what it feels like to live in our natural way, the life-affirming natural values and attitudes we find within help us understand what sustains the life of people and the natural world we rely on. Social change is also storm-weathering: we could create a life-affirming culture that cooperates with Nature; that will weather the storms: unlike capitalism, which is creating them.
For depth experience, and to change our life, interesting ideas are not enough. We must be divers, flyers, explorers, confident voyagers in the vast and varied landscapes of heart, mind and spirit.
That’s why this is a workbook: we practise methods, tools and skills, to make friends with the characters and creatures we encounter on our inner journey; to embody our natural wisdom, deepen the process of liberation, and develop new habits of mind. These are tools to uncover your own authentic experience, and apply it to your life. ‘People tune into something almost ineffable, and very practical.’
Our depth works in different ways from conscious mind; it speaks to us in its own languages, such as imagery and body sensation. We’re immersed in the ocean deeps of mind, as in dreaming; poetic mind delves into the realms where our fertile creative spirit lives. We witness its transformation processes, and uncover its rich wise love.
In our depth we meet creatures like anger, sadness, despair, hope and delight; our dancer, joyous creator, communicator, lover, poet, artist, visionary, dreamer. Some feel like monsters, then become friends and allies, when we listen and befriend them; healing happens, and they offer us their wisdom.
Our imagination and creativity are creatures we get to know, and also our tools to work with. We’re not at the mercy of dreams, or imagining disasters, or that everyone hates us; dreams and imagination become an empowering force. We set them to work envisaging what we can do to improve our inner and outer climate.
The Form of the Practices
To develop this work, I draw on my own experience, and the experience of everyone who’s worked with me. The practices were done in groups; each explores a different angle, in response to what people shared that day. If you’re new to this, they’re accessible. If you’re Buddhist, the work sheds new light on familiar themes.
The texts are transcripts of guided sessions. It’s more like poetry than prose; we explore our experience in realms beyond words. Dashes indicate pauses, to allow space for depth wisdom to emerge; there’s some repetition, as there must be for practice, as we see themes in new lights, and interweave life’s threads in new ways.
The mind is complex; these are explorations, not rules. This way of working gives pointers to practice creatively, make it your own, and apply it to your life. Find what works for you; it may be different at different times.
It’s a Process
The work is in progressive order. Best to start at the beginning: we build our skills as we go through, and deepen our understanding of the process of transformation.