A Crisis for Buddhism?

This One Earth Sangha community conversation took place on January 24 with Buddhist scholar and Zen teacher David Loy. David made a compelling case that global climate change and other ecological crises present challenges to not only to a healthy biosphere but to the way Buddhism is understood and practiced in contemporary life.

The recording of this webinar, available as a video or audio-only, is offered freely and we invite your generosity, or dana, to support David and the work of One Earth Sangha.

100% of your donation is tax-deductible and will go to One Earth Sangha via our sponsoring institution, the Insight Meditation Community of Washington.

Download Audio-only: Community Webinar featuring David R. Loy - Audio Only

David Robert Loy is a prolific author, whose essays and books have been translated into many languages. His articles appear regularly in the pages of major journals such as Tikkun and Buddhist magazines includingTricycle, Turning Wheel, Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. Many of his writings, as well as audio and video talks and interviews, are available on the web. He is on the editorial or advisory boards of the journals Cultural Dynamics, Worldviews,Contemporary Buddhism, and Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. He is also on the advisory boards of Buddhist Global Relief, the Clear View Project, Zen Peacemakers, and the Ernest Becker Foundation.

David lectures nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity: what each can learn from the other. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. A popular recent lecture is “Healing Ecology: A Buddhist Perspective on the Eco-crisis”, which argues that there is an important parallel between what Buddhism says about our personal predicament and our collective predicament today in relation to the rest of the biosphere. Presently he is offering workshops on “Transforming Self, Transforming Society”and on a recent book. He also leads meditation retreats.

This webinar is offered freely and we invite your generosity, or dana, to support David and the work of One Earth Sangha.

100% of your donation is tax-deductible and will go to One Earth Sangha via our sponsoring institution, the Insight Meditation Community of Washington.

11 Comments on “A Crisis for Buddhism?

    • Hi Belinda,

      Thank you for your interest and your question. Indeed! We’ll be posting a recording to this page within 3 days of the session.

      In Sangha,

    • This was an exceptional conversation offered by Zen Practitioner David Loy! He surely clarified many of my questions about modern Buddhism and its role in addressing our climate crisis on a social level. Without addressing some of the ways that Buddhism’s duhka has ineffectively addressed the environmental crisis, we can’t move forward. This discussion is a move forward!

      Also, I’m grateful to have been introduced to the concept of Eco-Dharma after just completing a seminar on Eco-Spirituality. Currently as a graduate student of Counseling Psychology with a Somatic, Mindfulness, Family Systems and Expressive Arts focus, I’m encouraged and inspired by the possibility of integrating some of David’s ideas into my understanding and response to the Eco-Crisis on a personal level and working with clients.

      One Voice, One Planet,
      Thank you!!

  1. Our climate group at the Ann Arbor Zen Temple at that time. Can this be heard another time in case we hear it if we can’t change our meeting time?
    robert martin

    • Indeed! We’ll be posting a recording to this page within 3 days of the session. Thank you for your interest and your question.


  2. Oh I feel so sad I’ve missed the opportunity to participate live–and very grateful you will be posting it as a recording. THANK YOU!

  3. HI Kristin

    I’m not sure if I”m registered or not.
    Also is there a way of making a donation other than thro pay pal.
    Pay pal won’t let me pay in US dollars – and I’d like to donate from my US account – it converts US to canadian and back again! With the exchange rate the way it is, I”d rather you got US!

    all the very best


  4. Hi, Kristin,
    Thanks for the opportunity to connect with other eco-dharmists. The session was inspiring! We do need these prods to see clearly what all our comforts conspire to hide, and to meet others committed to clear seeing as well. I’d love to find a way to have a forum (hm-m, is the EcoSattva forum still up?) for sharing practicalities and invitations.
    Here’s a link to an article the Participant Media’s Take Part network picked up in a Greek newspaper: http://www.takepart.com/feature/2016/01/22/greece-austerity?cmpid=tpfeatures-eml-2016-01-24-greece. I send it on because it tells of four Greek people who are surviving in a kind of post-money society. (One fellow won an EU humanitarian prize, went to Brussels to refuse it and to lecture them on the very EU policies that led to the need for his project in the first place. Then he went outside and fed the poor of Brussels.)
    I’m afraid (yes, I see it) to say that I think comfort is our worst enemy.
    Blessings and bows,

  5. We’ve received some requests for the closing prayer/Dedication of Merit/Metta for All Beings. Here it is!

    May all places be held sacred.
    May all beings be cherished.
    May all injustices of enslavement, oppression and devaluation be righted, remedied and healed.
    May those captured by hatred be freed to the love that is their birth right.
    May those bound by fear be released to the safety of understanding.
    May those weighed down by grief be given over to the joy of being.
    May those lost in delusion find relief in the path of wisdom.
    May all wounds to forests, rivers, deserts, oceans, all wounds to Mother Earth be lovingly restored to bountiful health.
    May all beings everywhere delight in birdsong and blue sky.
    May all beings abide in peace and well-being, awaken and be free.

  6. O Bodhisattvas!

    Please help!

    One thing in every Bodhisattva’s practice these days stands out: no matter how hard we practice, so that all beings (all beings without an exception) benefit, the conditions for life in this world continue to deteriorate at ever increasing pace.

    What can be going wrong? Why isn’t the quality of life for all beings here and now improving?

    The reason that things in this world generally are going from bad to worse is that we don’t have a clear idea, a clear thought in our minds of how should all life in this world be accommodated optimally, so that all beings exist in harmony with all others.

    Due to our working towards different objectives (because there is no clearly defined, collectively held idea of what this world should be like at its optimum), there is no chance for conditions for all life here and now to become optimal ever.

    What needs to be done is that we all agree on what actually the optimal conditions for all life on Earth should be. Then, while we work towards the same, by all of us agreed upon goal, not anymore sorting out our differences in real life (which is very costly in time, resources, and lives), we stand a much better chance of seeing the tide turning, and seeing the conditions for all life on Earth starting, actually, improving!

    That all beings (all beings with no exceptions) benefit optimally fully here and now is very important, because here and now is forever in all three times and all directions of space. If all beings don’t benefit by our actions here and now, they never will. Here and now is all we have ever. All beings have to benefit fully here and now!

    Bodhisattvas! What kind of a world should the Earth be to accommodate all life optimally? How shall we unify, harmonize all our individual ideas about what this world should be like ideally so that we all work towards one clearly defined objective?

    Some ideas how this could be done are presented at http://www.ModelEarth.Org .

    May all differences, all controversies, all conflicts, and all complaints that there are in this world among all beings be resolved peacefully without any delays! May all these be prevented from ever arising by using what-so-ever expedient, skillful, effective, appropriate, and wholesome means! May this come to pass by the power of all true Bodhisattvas ever merit!

    !OmManiPadmeHum! – a meditation that focuses on establishing harmony across the whole spectrum of all life.

    May all beings, without an exception, benefit to the utmost by this action in all ways possible, spiritually and materially alike, starting with all beings that there are here and now.

    May humans voluntarily become fully and truly forever transparently sustainable for their own good and for the benefit of all beings!

    May the Great Enlightenment start happening here and now, or else it will never happen!


    Creating Lasting Peace- http://www.ModelEarth.Org/peace.html

    Mahayana: Philosophy for Sustainability- http://www.ModelEarth.Org/mahaecosoc.html

    Why Prayers, Meditations, Wishes, and Any Such Don’t Help to Establish a Lasting Peace in the World- http://www.ModelEarth.Org/praypeace.html

    This Paradise Earth: Philosophy in Practice http://www.ModelEarth.Org/paradise.html

    Thank you, Mr. Jan Hearthstone – http://www.ModelEarth.Org .

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