This Is the Time
Just over two weeks away, The People’s Climate March is growing near … and large. Estimates for global participation, include the march in New York and solidarity events, big and small all over the world (over 200 in the US alone!), are reaching one million. A diverse coalition of than 1,000 organizations representing people from all walks of life are coordinating this call for world leaders to take meaningful action on climate change.
The Sangha will be present.
Come to New York by bus, train or carpool then join the sangha a day early on Saturday, September 20 at NY Insight for an event called “Preparing the Heart for Action” (register here). The big event is Sunday, September 21 when we’ll be marching together as part of the “Faith Coalition.” You can get more information about timing and the meeting place for our march on our Invitation to Join the People’s Climate March.
Our community is also joining and organizing solidarity events, as Brother Protection from Deer Park Monastery describes in his beautiful letter below. Engage your practice and offer your service. Then reach out to your fellow sangha members and encourage them to join you in this truly global moment of true consciousness.
Dear Beloved Mother Earth and Father Sun, Dear Thay, Dear Sangha,
Our Teacher has been showing us how to wake up as responsible children of the Earth for a long time. In the ‘70s Thay attended environmental conferences in the West. He reminds us that the Buddha’s teaching in The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion, which invites us to let go of notions of a self, of humans, of living beings, and of a life span, is the first text on deep ecology. In our spiritual practice we have grown up with Thay’s metaphors of garbage and rose, mud and lotus; we are learning to “drink our cloud” and to transform our suffering instead of covering it up with consumption. On the US Tour of 2007, Thay spoke about the impermanence of our civilization, acknowledging that it might already be too late but suggesting that if we do not get caught in denial, fear or despair, we can live and act peacefully in a way that can help ameliorate the situation of the Earth for coming generations. Thay’s book The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology appeared in 2008. A couple of years ago, Thay’s beautiful essay manifested—Love Letter to Mother Earth—which grew into the recent book, Love Letter to the Earth.
In the last several years many initiatives have been undertaken in our wider community. Earth Holding Practices, simplicity circles, vegan cooking, solar panels, car-free days and many more have been offered by our fourfold Order of Interbeing (OI) Sangha across the world. More recently it seems that many seeds of aspiration have emerged to engage our practice in climate change issues: OI response to climate change, the Earth Holding Here and Now blog, Earth Protection weekend at Deer Park, the intention of OI Dharma teachers in the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha to form a committee on climate change, the fall 2014 Mindfulness Bell issue on the theme of climate change, and on and on…
When I received the email from Bill McKibben and 350.org announcing their People’s Climate March in New York on September 21, I was again impressed with their clarity in communicating Information and building community. Their intention is to offer the people’s voice as world leaders gather at the UN Climate Summit for conversations on climate change. Spiritual elders including Thay have been invited to write statements to give these conversations a deeper spiritual component. In my heart the yearning to support these efforts is manifesting. I know that the Wake Up movement across the world is planning flash-mob meditations on the International Day of Peace, September 21. Individuals from several Buddhist traditions will ride the People’s Climate Train to the march in New York City. I aspire to fast that week and to participate in a peaceful flash-mob meditation that is being organized in Oceanside, California. I know that our Sangha has a lot to offer this cause, especially through our insight of interbeing, our peaceful togetherness, and our capacity to listen and speak without blaming or criticizing.
(L)et us live in the present and come together as a fourfold community, guided by the teachings of Thay, to offer our support to the Earth, our world leaders, and other caring people …
As I shared some of these thoughts with Brother Fulfillment at Blue Cliff Monastery, he clearly stated: This is the time! So let us live in the present and come together as a fourfold community, guided by the teachings of Thay, to offer our support to the Earth, our world leaders, and other caring people on September 21. Visit the links below and consider what action you can take on September 21 to express your deepest spiritual practice and love of Mother Earth. Encourage others in your local Sangha to do the same. Then, engage. This is the time!
Lotuses to you Bodhisattvas in engaged and loving action
A cell in the Sangha body—Brother Protection
Brother Protection (Thay Phap Ho), a monk in the Thích Nhất Hạnh tradition, resides at Deer Park Monastery and is active in its Earth Holding initiatives. The Deer Park community blogs about mindful engagement in a warming world at Earth Holding Here and Now. An interview with Brother Protection appears on the website of Wake Up, a global community of young mindfulness practitioners in the Thích Nhất Hạnh tradition who have, among other things, organizes meditation flash mobs around the world.