This interview is a special edition for the Eco Warrior. Ehud Sperling, founder and president of Inner Traditions International, joined me on the podcast this week. He originally came on to talk about his Costa Rica reforestation project called Hacienda Rio Cote. But we ended up talking about life, so many aspects of life. And I was so inspired after this conversation that I couldn’t help but share every minute of it with you.
If you’re an Eco Warrior, you’re going to love hearing from Ehud. He’s been in this space exploring religion, spirituality, and our relationship with animals, the environment, and that which is bigger than us for many years. He’s seen so many things change, and he’s seen the world and especially the United States, go through hardships and unrest.
He has an admirable way of viewing the world, knowing what he believes and bravely going for it, but accepting those around him who disagree. He blazes the trail and focuses on his “tribe”, the people who see the world the way he does and work to save the human experience. He shares advice for every eco warrior who experiences overwhelm and defeat. He encourages us to focus on our creativity and imagination, and stay out of useless arguments that hold us back.
I met Ehud through Nicholas Pearson, who came on the podcast in episode 15. Nicholas talked to us about ethically sourced healing crystals and shared his book Crystal Basics. He’s a crystals and reiki expert if you want to check out that interview too.
4 Simple Ideas To Make a Difference:
1. NOURISH THE INNER BODY. Ehud mentions his daily practice of yoga and ending a hot shower with a freezing cold shower. We can also eat fresh, natural food (see: Ayurvedic Diet for Vegans with Dr. Vatsala Sperling) and spiritually connect to what nourishes us.
2. SUPPORT & ENHANCE THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT. Make the world a better place through our presence here. Be respectful and compassionate. Embody the role of eco warrior.
3. PLANT A TREE OR GARDEN: Contribute to the symbiotic relationship we have with other living beings. Bring a new tree or new plant into the world.
4. GENERATE OUR OWN ELECTRICITY. Look for ways to become self sufficient in energy, whether it be solar or hydro power. Stop burning fossil fuels and lobby where possible to transform the energy grid.
Visit Hacienda Rio Cote in Costa Rica:
Ehud and his wife, Vatsala, are excited to have people visit. You can book the lodge on the following websites. When you book the lodge, say that you want to do “Reforestation” because they have a whole program for people to help when they visit. You can also participate in cultural programs.
Book directly through their website: Hacienda Rio Cote Lodge
Book on airbnb: HRC Reforestation Lodge: Remote, Wild, Authentic (Airbnb)
Book on Expedia: HRC Reforestation Lodge: Remote, Wild, Authentic (Expedia)
Book on Travelocity: HRC Reforestation Lodge: Remote, Wild, Authentic (Travelocity)
My favorite Ehud quotes:
- “As we pollute our oceans, rivers and streams, we’re polluting our blood stream at the same time.”
- “It’s a vast symbiosis. I don’t believe in evolutionary theory. We’re all relying on each other.”
- “It doesn’t mean that you have to be a vegetarian, but it does mean that you should take some interest in how food comes to you, and how the animals are treated.”
- ” You look to a world of harmony and peace, where all these different parts are working together and that’s your golden age. When they’re not working together, you have these transitions and changes.”
- “All I can say is I’ve seen times that are as difficult or more difficult, but I’m a believer in our tribe leading the way.”
- “There’s respect. There’s love. There’s appreciation. There’s community. And there’s this really important vitamin T: tolerance. We have to have tolerance for each other.”
- ” There’s no reason why your exercise bike couldn’t be sending power to the grid. Your whole house could be a source of energy and be organized in such a way that it is net zero.”
- “In my view the great wealth isn’t in the 1%. It isn’t in the large corporations. It isn’t in the pharmaceutical companies. It’s in the human imagination.“
- “Don’t allow other people’s ideas and formulations to crowd out your own internal navigation system.“
- “I think it’s a real mistake to think in a Darwinian fashion that we somehow sit at the pinnacle of some hierarchy of life. It’s a vast symbiosis.”
- “When our needs and our intentions are correct, and our hearts are pure, we’ll be given what we need to sustain ourselves.”
- “We like to say that we are the market for our books.”
- “You want a healthy body that’s sensitive to its visual impulses, smell, taste, hearing. That is pro human.“
- “We’re not mainstream, we’re upstream. Our job is to create the trends. If we’re fortunate, they become mainstream.”
- “You can drive as many Priuses as you want, and put up as many solar fields as you want, but that’s not going to stop an extinction event.”
- “This rainforest around me is an information database on a level we can’t even imagine.”
- “In terms of humanity saying ‘Here’s the solution. Or I’ve got the solution.’ I wouldn’t listen to anyone who says something like that.“
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Ehud Sperling is founder and president of Inner Traditions International, one of the world’s largest publishers of books on spirituality, religion, and alternative health.
ABOUT INNER TRADITIONS:
Started back in 1975 in a small office in New York City, Inner Traditions • Bear & Company now has 13 imprints and more than 1,900 titles in print across a wide and eclectic range of subjects. The company is considered one of the largest and oldest publishing houses in the world devoted exclusively to the subjects of spirituality, esotericism, and alternative health and healing.