• Deep Ecology

    The Work that Reconnects

Our Deep Ecology retreats and workshops
reconnect you with yourself, to your community, and to the earth.

Reconnect through facilitated group exercises that acknowledge both gratitude for the beauty of our world, and despair of what is happening to our planet and to our society. This work helps you “see with new eyes” and go forward, re-empowered for the work ahead.

  • “I have got a tremendous amount out of the Deep Ecology workshops. They re evangelise me, from knowing to action… and bring freshness and change to my ways. It is not a one off workshop for me, I have attended at least six and will continue to attend.
    At each one I learn something new and skip away pretty happy that we have this depth of presentation in Bellingen.” – Jo

About the Work that Reconnects

There are big shifts going on in the world – which can be fascinating, scary, and exciting all at the same time. Because it is important that we acknowledge these thoughts and emotions, and explore where they can lead us, we would like to invite you to join us for a conversation about what it means to be alive at this time on the planet.

The Centre for Ecological Learning hosts regular Deep Ecology programs including::

  • Deep Ecology Connection and Action Group – 4 x monthly day workshops
  • When Buddha Touched the Earth – weekend retreats

These events are a chance to connect to other community members, through conversation and group exercises that acknowledge both gratitude for the beauty of our world, and despair for what is happening to our planet. There is also be space for co-creating positive actions for going forth in this time of upheaval.

The gathering will be facilitated by Lisa Siegel, an environmental educator who has a passion for Deep Ecology and community transition work, and Tanya Fox, a grief counsellor/educator and bodywork therapist with a background in ecological studies. Group exercises will be based on “The Work That Reconnects”.

“Because the relationship between self and world is reciprocal, it is not a matter of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us. No need to wait. As we care enough to take risks, we loosen the grip of ego and begin to come home to our true nature. For in the co-arising nature of things, the world itself, if we are bold enough to love it, acts through us.”      

                                                     – Joanna Macy

Deep Ecology Team

Lisa Siegel

From Despair to Empowerment, When Buddha Touched the Earth

Lisa’s first go at environmental advocacy was in Year 6, as a member of “STOP: Student Team on Protection” – getting kids on the playground to pick up their rubbish! After this inspiring start, she has gone on to become a teacher, a community activist, and the mother of two sons.

Lisa is a skilled environmental educator with over 20 years experience in developing and facilitating educational experiences for children, young people, and adults. Lisa was instrumental in helping a group of students establish Bellingen EYE in 2007, and was its Coordinator for the first five years. She has since been working as Coordinator of CEL, developing adult programs while still helping facilitate camps and the EYE Leadership Training Program.

Lisa has a Masters in Education from Columbia University in New York, and a Masters in Social Ecology from the University of Western Sydney. She is a fellow with the Australian School of Social Entrepreneurs. Lisa has trained in Deep Ecology/The Work That Reconnects with John Seed and Joanna Macy, and has been a student of Insight Buddhism for the past five years.

Besides her work with CEL, Lisa is currently working at the Cascade Environmental Education Centre (a NSW Public School) as coordinator of the Waterwise Schools program.

Lisa is a founding member of Transition Bellingen, a lead partner in the Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance, and is a member of the Mid River Group of Environmental Educators.

Tanya Fox

From Despair to Empowerment

Tanya Fox is a group facilitator, counsellor, bodywork practitioner and nature lover. She has facilitated groups in a diverse range of disciplines, including deep ecology, creative expression, trauma work, grief and loss, language training and bodywork. Currently, she works with Centre for Ecological Learning facilitating Despair and Empowerment workshops, Feel The Magic charity organisation leading young people through grief support and education, and at Elemental Nature Connection Retreats facilitating interpersonal and nature connection activities.

Drawing on qualifications in biological sciences, manual therapies and counselling, her work is aimed at developing and strengthening natural connections to our holistic selves, culture and wilderness, through deepening awareness, respect and play.

Will James

Buddha Touched the Earth

Will James attended his first Insight Meditation retreat in the late 1970s with Christopher Titmuss, a pioneer meditation teacher in the west. This meeting kindled a deep interest in meditation and the dharma teachings of the Buddha. Will continued to study with Christopher through the 1980s and also studied with Subhana Barzaghi in the Zen and Insight traditions.

In 2006 Will was invited by Christopher and Subhana to take up the responsibility of teaching in the Insight tradition.

Will is presently the guiding teacher at the Tallowwood Sangha in Bellingen on the mid north coast of NSW Australia. He leads regular retreats, has taught at the Dharma Gatherings in Australia and India, assists with the Australian Dharma Facilitators Program and teaches a mindfulness training course and Dharma study program.


  • Deep Ecology At the LeaF Festival

    We host a Deep Ecology workshop as part of the annual LeaF Festival.

    Find out more about LeaF

Deep Ecology Events

Click on the links below or contact us to find out more about each event.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to stay in the loop about CEL’s Deep Ecology events. We send out newsletters about once a month.

Join us

If you are familiar with Deep Ecology work and would like to become involved in our planning for the 2019 Deep Ecology calendar of events, please contact us using the form below.