Letter to President Barack Obama

Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada.
Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada.

Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo credit: Peter Essick

There are many ways to engage in wise action in a time of increasing climate change and other environmental crises. An important step can be simply sitting with the difficult emotions that arise and noticing how these can affect our response. Many of us experience, feelings of disempowerment or overwhelm in the face of problems that are so broad and complex. Sometimes there is an urge to find some way check out.

Taking action that contributes to solving the problem can be part of a wise response. We can gather with others, listen to each other’s experiences, express our caring through words or song. We can take steps to make our lives and organizations more sustainable. And, when the opportunity arises, we can join with others to speak and act in the public conversation about climate change.

Whatever steps we take, we can see them as taken in solidarity with the whole human family, all species and the Earth itself. With mindful awareness, we can experience these actions as a direct expression of our practice and of the Dharma itself, particularly: the experience of interdependence of all beings, a sense of global kindness, the sincere wish to refrain from harm, a deep compassion for all suffering, appreciation for the privileges we have to take action and the recognition that many are not so fortunate. We might sense that each action we take, no matter how seemingly small, is a jewel in the larger web.

Tipping PointOne Earth Sangha is a home for all expressions of wise response to climate change. We are here to cultivate sangha – a sense of community – in these responses. As a Buddhist community devoted to teachings of wisdom and compassion we have an important contribution to make to the public conversation, one that draws on the compassion and wisdom in every human heart and makes enemies of none.

In that spirit, we offer here an opportunity to join with other Buddhists in asking U.S. President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. If this action resonates with you and you chose to add your name to the petition, we invite you to do so as a practice in mindfulness, noticing what arises along the way. . What motivates you to sign? Do conflicting feelings also arise? Can you cultivate a sense of gratitude toward yourself for acting in the interests of people known and unknown, the not-yet-born and indeed all life on Planet Earth?

Letter to President Obama:

To:  President Obama, President of the United States of America

Dear President Obama,

As leaders of the Buddhist/ Mindfulness/ Dharma/ Yoga Communities, we join the call requesting you to act courageously and reject the Keystone pipeline.

We appeal to your wisdom, compassion and courage – the wisdom to see that this project, and projects like it, lead us on a path of destruction; and the compassion and courage to set a new course for our planet – one embracing renewable energy – at this crucial hour in humanity’s history.

We ask you to embrace intelligent solutions and bypass what “business as usual” calls pragmatism. We remind you of a message of hope you offered the world 6 years ago.

Together, with your active support, we can work towards a sustainable future for the generations to come. We thank you for your attention to this pressing issue. We thank you for your wise guidance towards decreasing dependence on fossil fuels while generating innovative investment in sustainable energy.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

You can sign the petition here:
Petition to U.S. President Obama: Reject the XL Pipeline

Some of the Buddhist Leaders who have signed:

Bhikkhu Bodhi-Translator, Teacher, Activist, New Jersey
Joanna Macy-The Work That Reconnects, Berkeley CA
Bhikkhu Sucitto-Chithurst Monastery, W.Sussex, UK
Dr.Jack Kornfield-Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Joseph Goldstein – Barre MA
Tara Brach-Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
James Baraz – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Berkeley CA
Andrew Harvey – Institute for Sacred Activism, AR
Roshi Joan Halifax -Upaya Zen Center, NM
Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni – Awakening Truth, Colorado
Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni – Aloka Vihara, San Francisco CA
Ayya Anandabodhi Bhikkhuni-Aloka Vihara, San Francisco CA
Eugene Cash – Spirit Rock & San Francisco Insight
Rev.Gil Fronsdal-Insight Meditation Center,Redwood City CA
Bhante Bodhidhamma – Satipanya Retreat, Minsterley UK
Sarah Powers – Insight Yoga Institute, New York
Ty Powers – Insight Yoga Institute, New York
Christopher Titmuss – Teacher, Activist UK
Gregory Kramer – Insight Dialog, Orcas WA
Noah Levine – Dharma Punx, LA
Catherine McGee – Gaia House, Devon UK
Santusssika Bhikkhuni – Karuna Vihara, Millbrae CA
Bob Doppelt – Mindfulness & Climate Teacher, Eugene Oregon
Kristin Barker – One Earth Sangha, Washington DC
Trudy Goodman – LA Insight
Kittisaro – Chattanooga Insight & Dharmagiri S.Africa
Chris Cullen – Oxford Insight & Gaia House UK
Karma Lekshe Tsomo – Sakyadhita, San Diego
Ashin Sopaka – Penang Malaysia
Adrianne Ross – Vancouver Insight, Canada
Kathryn Turnipseed – Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha, NM
Chas DiCapua – Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
Martin Aylward – Moulin de Chaves Center, France
Pascal Auclair – Montreal Insight, Canada
Stefan Lang – Beatenberg Meditation Center, Switzerland
Grove Burnett – Vallecitos Mountain Center, Taos NM
Tina Rasmussen Ph.D – Awakening Dharma, CA
Stephen Snyder – Awakening Dharma, CA
Michael Grady – Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, MA
Pamela Weiss – San Francisco Insight
Dr Itamar Bashan – Bhavana House, Tel Aviv Israel
Norman Feldman – Insight Retreats, Ontario Canada
Fred Von Allmen-Beatenberg Meditation Center, Switzerland
Anna Douglas – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Donald Rothberg – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Spring Washam – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Sylvia Boorstein – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Sally Armstrong, Co-guiding Teacher SRMC, CA
Arinna Weisman – Bay Area Queer Sangha, Oakland, CA
Nolitha Tsengiwe-Johannesburg Insight, Dharmagiri S.Africa
Nobantu Mpotulo – Pretoria Meditation, Dharmagiri S.Africa
Judy Tobler – Cape Town Meditation & Dharmagiri, S. Africa
Sue Cooper – Dharmagiri, Cape Town S.Africa
Bhikkhu Khemasiri – Kandersteg Monastery, Switzerland
Sally Armstrong – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Guy Armstrong – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Tempel Smith – East Bay Sangha, Oakland
Sujato Bhikkhu – Santi Forest Monastery, Australia
Ralph Steele – Life Transition Therapy, Santa Fe NM
Molly Swan – True North Insight, Ontario Canada
Ilan Lutenberg – Tovana Insight Meditation, Israel
Rob Burbea – Gaia House, Devon UK
Sister Kovida – Forest Sangha, Glastonbury UK
La Sarmiento – Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, DC
Stephen Fulder – Tovana Insight Meditation, Israel
Sebene Selassie – New York Insight.
Kirsten Kratz – Sangha Seva, Devon UK
Wes Nisker – Berkeley, CA
Mary Grace Orr – Spirit Rock Center, Volcano HI
Larry Yang – Spirit Rock Meditation Center CA
Noon Baldwin – Ekuthuleni Retreat Place, France
Sumedha – Ekuthuleni Retreat Place, France
Eva Bruha – Kalyana Centre for Mindfulness, Ireland
Howard Cohn-Spirit Rock & Mission Dharma San Francisco
Dechen Rochard – Cambridge University, UK
Mark Coleman – Awake in the Wild, CA
Diana Winston – Awareness Research Center UCLA
Thubten Chodron – Sravasti Abbey, WA
Elizabeth West – Buddhist, Christian, Vedanta Network, UK
Rory Singer – New Road Consultancy, UK
Dokjang Sunim – Czech Republic & Korea
Andrea Fella – Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City CA
Carol Wilson – Insight Meditation Society, MA
Sharda Rogell – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Sister Upekkha – Forest Sangha, India
Ursula Flueckiger-Beatenberg Meditation Centre,Switzerland
Gavin Harrison-Hawaii Island Insight Meditation Community
Anne Cushman – Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
Ven Pannavati Bhikkhuni – Sisters of Compassion, NC
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor – Bay Area Sanghas, CA
Bernie Clark – Yin Yoga, Vancouver Canada
Shell Fischer – Winchester Insight Group, Virginia
Trisha Stotler-Insight Meditation Community of Washington
Ruth King – Mindful Community of Charlotte, NC
Hugh Byrne – Mindfulness for Everyday Life, MD
Ven. Dr. Cintita Dinsmore – Austin, TX
Ven. Samten Palmo – Sebastopol, CA
Lama Döndrup Jennifer Grant, CA
Amaranatho Samanera – Australia
Dhammadarsa Bhikkhu – Australia
Suvaco Bhikkhu – Devon Vihara UK
Mahesi Caplan – Golden Buddha – Totnes UK
Moyra Keane-Jo’burg Meditation & Dharmagiri, S.Africa
Simon Whitesman-Institute of Mindfulness-S.Africa
Marjo Oosterhoff – Irish Theravada Sangha
Greg Scharf – IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Sangha
Noliwe Alexander-East Bay Meditation Community Oakland
Yanai Postelnik-Gaia House UK
Rodney Smith-Seattle Insight
Dana DePalma-Spirit Rock, Marin CA
Sandy Boucher – Author, Oakland CA
Gina Sharpe – New York Insight
Thanissara – Chattanooga Insight & Dharmagiri S.Africa

4 Comments on “Letter to President Barack Obama

  1. Dear Mr. President Barack Obama,

    please act in a wise way 4 the welfare of the futuregenerations,

    Your’s sincerely

    Rolf E.

  2. Leading from the heart of compassion and wisdom will result in the most positive benefit for all.

  3. Please use your office Dear President Obama, as a platform to lead us in creating a true condition of sustainability for the earth.

  4. Yet here we are. On our computers made of plastic and rare Earth metals, sitting in our homes and offices, surrounded with all the trappings of the modern industrial society that got us into this mess.

    Sure, we can beg Pres. Obama to not allow the KXL pipeline to be built, but that is a pipedream. In many states it is already under construction. And even if it is not made operational through America, Canada has contingency plans drawn up to use run the pipeline to one their other coastlines.

    “Sustainability” and “green technology” have become catchphrases, marketing tools. The only way life on this planet, and humanity, might have a chance is through the dismantling of the industrial culture that is destroying it. Yes, the same one we rely upon for our creature comforts. It will happen. If not through our efforts, then nature will do it for us, and that will be messy. Really messy.

    -Dave J.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *