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John Seed and Br. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson) led this EcoDharma Exploration on May 26, 2024. A recording is available below. We welcome your support for this program.

Photo by Jesse Bauer on Unsplash

“I am part of the rainforest protecting myself. I am that part of the rainforest recently emerged into thinking.” — John Seed 

Underlying all the symptoms of the environmental crisis is the illusion of separation between humans and the rest of the natural world. As Arne Naess the initiator of the deep ecology movement posits, ecological ideas won’t be enough to save us from our slide into oblivion. What we need instead is an ecological identity, an ecological self.

In the Buddhist and Yoga traditions we are encouraged to realize something often translated as “non-self”.  By quieting the mind and looking deeply, we are invited to slowly detach from a habit of grasping at what the thinking mind perceives as a separated and independent individual.  Among Deep Ecology processes, we find some key contemplations that can dramatically bring home important dimensions of this insight; notably the “Epic of Evolution” and the “Earth as Peppercorn”.  Importantly, research has shown also the importance of continued practice to make these insights part of our world-view; becoming “trait change” rather than just “state change”.  Here lies a beautiful complementarity between Deep Ecology and a contemplative path that includes regular meditation practice.

John Seed and Br. Tenzin led this EcoDharma Exploration to explore the teachings and practices that support a re-orientation towards greater intimacy with the web of life; How might we nourish the ecological self and support its maturation? What beneficial speech and action might arise from this reformed identity? What is the role of community in this process and in healing our relations with the wider community, that of all living beings?

This gathering took place on May 26, 2024. A recording is available below.

John Seed

John Seed is founder of the Rainforest Information Centre. Since 1979 he has been involved in the direct actions which have resulted in the protection of the Australian rainforests. He has written and lectured extensively on deep ecology and eco-psychology and has been conducting experiential deep ecology workshops around the world for 35 years. The book he wrote in 1988 with Joanna Macy and others, Thinking Like a Mountain – Towards a Council of All Beings, has been translated into 12 languages. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by the Australian Government for services to conservation.

Br Tenzin

Br. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson) began with an ecologist’s understanding of interdependence, researching the impact of climate change on biodiversity, but the rainforest soon led him to meditation. Now ordained as a monk in the Buddhist tradition, he has studied and practiced meditation under Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France, in the Sakya Tibetan tradition, and at Pa Auk Tawya in the Burmese Forest tradition. His approach is informed by Theravadin, Zen, and Vajrayana methods of meditation and mindfulness, as well as Hatha Yoga, Deep Ecology, and his deep love of wild places. He currently lives on the Dorrigo Plateau in New South Wales, Australia, where he has a project to co-create community space for meditation and nature connection: http://www.gaiaforest.org, and he can be reached at .

 

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One Earth Sangha and our featured speakers offer these explorations on a donation basis, with no required registration fee. We invite you to participate in the tradition of offering dana, or generosity. Your support makes these gatherings possible, and any amount offered is greatly appreciated.

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Recording

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