Loving the Earth: Awareness, Action and Celebration

Update from the Spirit Rock Green Group

This year Spirit Rock offers its second annual Earth Day, on Sunday April 20th on the theme: Loving the EarthAwareness, Action and Celebration.

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Join Spirit Rock in their second annual Earth Day event! On this Easter Sunday, we bring awareness to the Earth’s deep suffering even as we dedicate ourselves to renewal and rebirth for the planet and all beings. This will be a day of learning, reflection, meditation and music with Jack Kornfield, Wes Nisker, James Baraz, Donald Rothberg, Ayya Anandabodhi, Ayya Santacitta, Ayya Santussika, David Loy, H. Margarita Loinaz and Jennifer Berezan. We will bring our attention to the urgency of climate change, and the capacity of our community to respond appropriately and compassionately. We hope you will go home inspired to act!

At last year’s Earth Day event, “love” emerged as speakers wove compassion, loving-kindness, and the need to care for ourselves as we care for the world into their presentations. You can listen to Earth Day 2013 presentations on Dharmaseed.

A lot has happened since Spring 2013. More than 2000 insight community members from all over the world signed a petition calling on teachers at the International Vipassana Teachers meeting to offer “guidance and leadership in addressing the issue of climate change.”

The teachers who met in June 2013 more than answered the call. Some formed a Dharma Teachers International Climate Collaborative which drafted The Earth as Witness: International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change.  If you’d like to sign-on to show support for this statement, you can follow the link. Here is an excerpt:

The Dharma offers hope by teaching us that it is possible to overcome the detrimental forces of craving, aversion, and delusion. We can use the climate crisis as a catalyst to acknowledge the consequences of our craving for more and more material wealth and the pursuit of power and realize we must change our assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors. We can use the climate crisis as a catalyst to educate ourselves about planetary processes so we understand that the Earth has ecological limits and thresholds that must not be crossed. By learning from our mistaken beliefs and activities, we can create more equitable, compassionate, and mindful societies that generate greater individual and collective wellbeing while reducing climate change to manageable levels.

And, in October 2013, teachers organized a week of teachings on climate, called “Earth Care Week.” Oneearthsangha.org reported that events in the US, Canada and the UK included “dharma talks, day-longs, film screenings, children’s programming, nature walks, sustainability projects, peaceful demonstrations and direct care for natural environments.”

Articles and Resources by participating Teachers

James Baraz wrote this article for Huffington Post for “Earth Care Week” October 2013.

Donald Rothberg compiled this list of Resources on Dharma and Climate Disruption.

H. Margarita Loinaz advocates for an expanded ecological awareness in a report back from her recent daylong at Spirit Rock.

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