In the first episode of Inner Nature, which is part one of a two-part conversation, Kritee Kanko and Kaira Jewel Lingo set a foundation for understanding the mutuality and reciprocity of contemplative practice and environmental action. They invite us to consider many questions: How can we meet and hold personal and collective grief, anger, and trauma? How might we deepen our sense of “interbeing,” or interdependence? How do we summon the courage to question the status quo, and build the wisdom to respond with a clear, sacred “no,” as is necessary, to protect one another and our planet? This conversation unfolds an acknowledgment of both the individual and systemic responses needed to the climate emergency. In doing so, Kaira Jewel and Kritee make clear the critical interconnectedness of environmental and racial justice.


In the second episode of Inner Nature, which is part 2 of a 2-part conversation, Kritee Kanko and Kaira Jewel Lingo highlight the importance of creating small, local communities for processing grief and anger, practicing mindfulness, and taking climate action. The conversation also invites a broader perspective on the environmental crisis, as they discuss climate breakdown in terms of its spiritual and social causes, such as trauma, dominance, and oppression. Kaira and Kritee leave us with hopeful guidance around meeting overwhelm and anger with wisdom, creativity, imagination, and love.


About Kritee and Kaira Jewel


Kritee (Dharma name Kanko) is a climate scientist, Zen Buddhist priest and grief ritual leader. She is the founding Dharma teacher of a Colorado non-profit Boundless in Motion, a community in the Buddhist lineage of Cold Mountain Zen to identify, face and "compost" our personal and ecological traumas through meditation and grief work and take strategic collective actions for healing. She leads traditional Zen retreats (sesshins) that offer koan training and co-leads healing retreats for people of color with other BIPOC leaders (including Kaira Jewel Lingo). As a senior scientist in the Climate Smart Agriculture Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, she is helping to implement methods of small farming at large scales in Asia with a three-fold goal of poverty alleviation, food security, and climate mitigation/adaptation. Kritee is also a founding board member of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, a center that brings meditation in nature together with Dharma teachings for ecological action.




Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher who has a lifelong interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. She spent 15 years living as a nun at a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She is the author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons for Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption. Now based in New York, she teaches and leads retreats internationally, provides spiritual mentoring, and interweaves art, play, nature, racial and earth justice, and embodied mindfulness practice in her teaching. She especially feels called to share the Dharma with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as activists, educators, youth, artists, and families.