about_16_4034400446About Deborah Eden Tull

How we treat ourselves and how we treat our world are one and the same.

Long ago I found myself asking the questions, “How can I cultivate peace and sustainability in my life and help others to do the same? How can I contribute to a more conscious, equitable world in an age of such disconnect?” These questions have taken me on a journey that continues to inspire and humble me to this day. I often feel as if I’ve lived many lives in the years I’ve been here. 

My journey has taken me from city to farm and back many times, to sustainable communities around the world, to the life of a Zen monk, and to living and serving as a meditation and mindfulness teacher, writer, activist, and sustainability educator — committed to living and teaching the path of engaged interconnection.

Born and raised in the city of Los Angeles in a family of free thinkers, artists, and activists, I had some experiences at a young age that inspired me to courageously seek out alternatives to the over-consumptive and stressful life I witnessed in the city. My mother’s work to address systemic homelessness exposed me to the vast social injustices of our time and at the same time I became aware of the rapid loss of living systems on our planet. I lost my father to cancer at age 11 and this loss opened up a lifelong inquiry into love, consciousness, and what it means to live wholeheartedly in the time we are here. 

I left LA in 1991 to attend Hampshire College and over the next decade I practiced meditation, worked as an organic farmer, studied sustainable design and green architecture, and spent a lot of time living “off the grid” and learning to work in partnership with nature in intentional communities. Even in the world of change makers, I learned that our greatest challenges to personal and collective well-being often lie in our deeply limited conditioned perceptions about the world and ourselves. The trance of separation seemed to keep even well-intentioned people caught in the duality of “I versus you” rather than “We.” The mind of separation perceives through the lens of disconnection, dissatisfaction, and competition. It believes in having power over, rather than power with. It compels us to live in survival mode sustaining feelings of fear, threat, and judgment in an effort to have control over life. 

My experiences led me to turn within and, at the age of 26, I entered a silent Zen monastery to train as a monk for the next seven and a half years. One of the gifts of my training was to discover that the only way to truly cultivate transformation, release the myth of separation, and remember the unity that is our birthright is from the inside out.  

Inner connection is our natural state of being.

How we treat ourselves is reflected in how we treat our world.  Through cultivating a practice of present moment, compassionate awareness, our relationship to ourselves and thus to all of life transforms. Our relationships with our self, one another, and our planet are deeply impacted, and we come home to the authenticity and interconnection that is our natural state. We remember who we really are…beyond the distraction of the mind of separation.

My primary teachers are the wisdom of the natural world and Zen awareness practice. I have also been deeply influenced by the field of Deep Ecology, Conscious Movement, Sustainable Design, and am a devoted student of Shamanism. Each of these pathways teaches us how to move beyond the bubble of “I” and separation to embrace the consciousness of “We” and non-separation. Some of my teachers and inspirations along the way have included Cheri Huber, Joanna Macy, Walter Makichen, Diana Winston, Vandana Shiva, Simon Buxton, Wendell Berry, Masanobu Fukuoka, and more.

In 2007, after years of living off the grid, close to the earth, and dedicated to compassionate awareness, I returned to Los Angeles and set out to incorporate the tools and skills I had learned into life in a metropolitan city and began teaching others to do the same. 

 WHAT I OFFER

I teach retreats and courses on compassionate awareness, relational intelligence, and how to allow daily life to be a laboratory for awakening. I also teach The Work That Reconnects, as created by eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy, and guide people through the process of transforming our pain for our world into compassionate action. 

The backbone of awareness practice is the notion that “how you do anything is how you do everything” or “as above, so below,”  as Western mystics sometimes say. In every moment of our lives, we are either moving from compassionate presence or from the mind of separation. We are either focusing on the process of our lives (which positions us to see clearly and honor interconnection and long-term sustainability) or the content of our lives (which positions us as a separate self, standing outside the landscape of life looking in and assessing, judging, and seeing through a distorted lens).

 WHAT MEDITATION IS

Meditation is not just something you practice on a meditation cushion. It is a moment-by-moment engaged practice and a way of life. For many people, there is a sense of “duty” with becoming more conscious, but part of what I teach is also the most enlivening, creative, joyful, passionate, and life-affirming work we can do. Meditation is not about finding “peace” and stopping there. It is an invitation to ever expand our heart’s capacity and to continually release the lens of “other” in relation to ourselves, other people, and all forms of life.

My teaching style is experiential, engaged, and based in compassionate inquiry. As a female teacher it has been life-affirming for me to take a stand for the natural quality of feminine receptivity in a male-dominated world, and my teaching comes from this place.

For me, this work is a tremendous and continual gift, as I witness transformation in people’s lives every single day and experience the willingness, tenacity, compassion, and resilience of people all over the world committed to living more present lives and learning to turn within for guidance rather than to the conditioned mind —  programmed over the years by our family, culture, schools, movies, TV, books, advertisements, and traumas. 

 HOW WE CAN CONNECT

There are many ways to participate in this practice. In addition to the offerings listed on my website, I also teach through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and Worldwide Insight (LINK). 

 Write to me if you would like me to lead a retreat, workshop, or give a talk in your area. 

For information about workshops, click here.

For information about my non-profit, click here.

The soil from which all of this work has grown is the soil of compassionate awareness. All are welcome to participate.

In Peace and Passion,

Eden

 

Deborah Eden Tull
www.deborahedentull.com
admin@deborahedentull.com