Conservation and the Environment

The Lindisfarne Association

The Fund’s Environmental Program expanded throughout the 1970s and by the end of the decade promoted a “new environmental ethic” that included several of what RBF President William Dietel characterized as “lifestyle experiments.” One of these was the Lindisfarne Association, which promoted the integration of spiritual practices, scholarship, and alternative education. Lindisfarne sought to find a role for the humanities in what it viewed as an imbalanced scientific and technologically driven society. It began in 1973 in Southampton, New York, before moving to Manhattan and eventually to Colorado. It received support from founding RBF trustee Laurance Rockefeller as well as the Fund. Lindisfarne attracted a constituency of writers, artists, and intellectuals devoted to the study and enactment of a “new planetary culture.” It sought alternatives to mainstream American habits of thought, especially overconsumption and materialism. It hosted classes, retreats, and conferences, and functioned as a sort of think tank or institute for the counterculture. Disbanded in 2012, it had strong connections with Zen Buddhism, and its Colorado facilities are now owned by the Crestone Mountain Zen Center.

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