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Awarezen Eco-Zendo

Ecodharma: Meditation for Ecosattvas

Eco-meditations and reflections on transforming our attitudes and approach to living the Dharma in Gaian planetary terms with implications for deep dhammic eco-activism.

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Ecodharma: Meditation for Ecosattvas
Ecodharma: Meditation for Ecosattvas

Time & Location

Time is TBD

Awarezen Eco-Zendo

About the event

Drawing on the work of Buddhist thinker and teacher David R. Loy, Ecodharma is "a term for a new development of the Buddhist tradition [that] combines ecological concerns (eco) with the teachings of Buddhism and related spiritual traditions (dharma)." While still evolving and changing, Ecodharma has three key components:

1. Practicing in the natural world

2. Exploring the eco-implications of Buddhist teachings

3. Embodying that understanding in the eco-activism we need today

"Social engagement remains a challenge for many Buddhists, for the traditional teachings have focused on one’s own peace of mind. On the other side, those committed to social action often experience fatigue, anger, depression, and burnout. The engaged bodhisattva/ecosattva path provides what each side needs, because it involves a double practice, inner (e.g., meditation) and outer (activism). Combining the two enables intense engagement with less frustration. Such activism also helps meditators avoid the trap of becoming preoccupied with their own mental condition and progress toward enlightenment. Insofar as a sense of separate self is the basic problem, compassionate commitment to the well-being of others, including other species, is an important part of the solution. Engagement with the world’s problems is therefore not a distraction from our personal spiritual practice but can become an essential part of it.

"The insight and equanimity cultivated by eco-bodhisattvas support what is most distinctive about Buddhist activism: acting without attachment to the results of action, something that is easily misunderstood to imply a casual attitude. Instead, our task is to do the very best we can, not knowing what the consequences will be—in fact, not knowing if our efforts will make any difference whatsoever. We don’t know if what we do is important, but we do know that it’s important for us to do it. Have we already passed ecological tipping points and civilization as we know it is doomed? We don’t know, and that’s okay. Of course we hope our efforts will bear fruit, but ultimately they are our openhearted gift to the earth."

— David R. Loy (2018). Ecodharma:  Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. 

Somerville: Wisdom Publications, p.14.

The perspective and practice of Ecodharma is resonant with the gospel imperative of creation care, a natural outflow of the love of God for creation and His sovereign mandate for humanity to be responsible stewards of our planetary Gaia and all her flora and fauna. Ecological justice is thus not peripheral but central to the message of the gospel of Christ. The gospel of grace is also an eco-gospel and a prophetic call for justice for the marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised peoples of our blue-green-brown planet. 

In this series of regular meetings, we will explore as a community of grace and wisdom the multidimensional nature of the eco-crisis and its deep hidden dynamics of greed, hatred, and delusion in the human mind. We will engage in Ecodharma meditation practice to awaken and liberate ourselves from self-grasping ignorance that erects dualistic barriers and divisions resulting in existential conflict and colonialist exploitation of planet and people. We will inquire into ways of Dharma practice in natural environments and embody Dharma wisdom in our compassionate practice community, mindful personal lifestyles, and gospel-shaped eco-activism in the service of true life, light, and love.

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