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Compassion in Action

Melissa Hoffer on Environmental Policy

This EcoDharma Exploration featuring environmental lawyer and Tibetan Buddhist practitioner Melissa Hoffer took place on Sunday, January 23. Find the recording and resources below. We welcome your support for this program.

There has never been a greater need for collective response to ecological suffering. But many of us feel powerless to change our society’s destructive course. How might we awaken to new possibilities for engaged practice, for action in defense of all living beings?

EcoDharma Explorations are offered monthly for you to explore a particular aspect of EcoDharma as well as develop a sense of community. In this gathering on January 23, environmental lawyer and Biden political appointee Melissa Hoffer shared how her Buddhist practice inspires her work, spoke on US environmental rulemaking, and offered concrete avenues for impactful engagement.

Melissa Hoffer is an attorney specializing in environmental law. She currently serves in the Biden administration as Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency. She previously served as the chief of the Energy & Environment Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where she oversaw enforcement of environmental laws, protected ratepayer interests, and supported federal regulations addressing emissions of mercury, air toxins, and greenhouse gases. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Melissa served for over five years as a vice president of Conservation Law Foundation. She is a practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

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More EcoDharma Explorations


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The Dynamic Balance of Yin and Yang, Emptiness and Action, Rest and Engagement, on the Path of Change-Making

What strength might we discover when we connect to often-overlooked virtues such as stillness, rest, and receptivity? On April 28, Deborah Eden Tull led this investigation into the sacred balance of light and dark within Nature and our own minds.


How might we nourish the ecological self and support its maturation? On May 26, join John Seed and Br. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson) to explore the interwoven teachings and practices of Deep Ecology and Buddhadharma.