About

The Sacred Ecology Forum encourages Earth-honoring devotional consciousness transformation in all aspects of our lives and for all living beings. Based in New York, NY, we raise awareness about environmental issues and their roots in spiritual and moral issues. Our ecological crisis and climate crisis are, fundamentally, a crisis of the human spirit. Our programming seeks to support individuals and communities on a path of transformation in their inner spiritual lives and their outer lives of service.

We draw inspiration from the Chaitanya Vaisnava Bhakti tradition and the teachings of AC Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada. His prophetic vision created a house the whole world could live in, that was simultaneously Earth-honoring, devotional, and respectful of all forms of life. Our homes are The Bhakti Center in New York, NY and Govardhan Eco Village in Maharashtra, India.

We desire to help develop the eco-theology of the Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition through the experience and practice of eco-bhakti. Eco-bhakti is one and the same root of the great tree of bhakti-yoga, the yoga of selfless devotion and fierce love which is at the core of many traditions of faith and spirit. We understand eco-bhakti as the common ground and good which connects our devotion to the Divine with our devotion to Earth. All of Earth is full of the energy and presence of Krishna, of the Divine. As we take shelter of the Divine for all of our devotional needs and desires, we are simultaneously taking shelter of Earth.  As we serve the Divine, we must always serve Earth and our fellow planetary communities and creatures in concert and in kind.

Our programming takes the form of workshops, discussion groups, and retreats. As community extends beyond our home base of New York, NY, we strive to make all our programs accessible for live online participation and to offer a number of online forums such as this website and our social media platforms. Our core program is a monthly discussion group, Eco-Sangas, that explore a current environmental or social issue through the lens of sacred texts. We also hold quarterly workshops and lectures that dive deeper into the teachings of sacred texts or introduce our community to someone who is living out spiritual ecology in a profound way. We hope to offer retreats as well as online classes to serve our community.

Forum Leaders

gopal patel oxford sacred ecology forum

Gopal Patel – Director, The Bhumi Project

Gopal is the Director of the Bhumi Project based at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. The Project works with Hindu communities globally to encourage good environmental practice, based on Hinduism’s core teachings. In particular the Project encourages Hindu temples and pilgrimage sites to become greener. The Project also facilitates partnerships between Hindu and non-Hindu groups which have a common purpose to protect the environment. Gopal speaks widely at interfaith and climate events and his writing has appeared in a number of media outlets.
vineet chander princeton sacred ecology forum

Vineet Chander - Coordinator for Hindu Life, Princeton University

Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University. He has also served as an adjunct professor, attorney, author, and communications consultant. His areas of specialty include the Bhakti movement, models of pastoral counseling, and the Hindu-American diaspora community. As the nation’s first full-time Hindu chaplain and program director, Vineet‘s work with Hindu-American students at one of the world’s premier educational institutions affords him a unique vantage point and powerful experiences from which to draw.
allegra lovejoy princeton yale sacred ecology forum

Allegra Lovejoy - Masters Candidate, Yale School of Forestry & Yale Divinity School

Allegra Lovejoy is a Hindu environmentalist and recovering farmer. Allegra is a graduate of Princeton University and is currently a graduate student at Yale School of Forestry and Yale Divinity School, where she is developing pastoral resources for the climate justice movement. She has worked with some of the leading organic farming organizations in the Northeast and has studied with International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Permaculture India Network, and Govardhan Eco Village, where she developed ecospiritual education curricula.
christopher fici union sacred ecology forum

Chris Fici - Ph.D candidate in eco-theology, Union Theological Seminary

Christopher is a Ph.D candidate in Theology/Religion, with a focus on Eco-Theology and Comparative Theology at Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York. The focus of his research is the concept and practice of anticipatory community, in which anticipators are creating ecologically sound and socially just personal, communal, and religious frameworks for the transition away from a fossil-fuel based society Christopher spent five years studying and living as a monk in Gaudiya Vaishnava communities in West Virginia and in New York City, where remains associated as a Vaishnava scholar-practitioner with The Bhakti Center. He is a former president of the Mid-Atlantic region of the American Academy of Religion (MAR-AAR), where he is still actively involved as the co-chair of the Comparative Religion and Ecology section.