Gathering a Mindful Presence for the People’s Climate Mobilization
Standing Up for All Children of All Species
Buddhist and Mindfulness communities in Washington DC and around the world are coming together in April as part of the People’s Climate Mobilization. Beginning with a live webinar on April 2nd, supported by daily delivery of EcoDharma to your inbox and culminating on April 29 with marches everywhere, this is a chance to initiate or confirm our communities’ sustained engagement in the cause of environmental health and justice. Together we can bring the gifts of mindfulness and the Dharma and join with others in calling for the dignity and freedom of all beings, near and far, born and yet to be born.
The People’s Climate Movement (PCM) was launched in 2014 when it organized the historic first People’s Climate March on September 21, the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit. As heads of state from around the world gathered, 400,000 people from every walk of life marched through the streets of New York City demanding bold and urgent action to confront the global climate crisis. The Movement platform includes goals to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas pollution to combat climate change and improve public health, and also to ensure that investments are targeted to help low-income people and people of color to access good jobs and improve the lives of communities of color, indigenous peoples, low-income people, small farmers, women, and workers.
But Why a March?
Between the Women’s March on Washington, the Indigenous nation’s March on Washington, the Science March, you might ask what good will another march do, even for something as important as climate change. This march won’t change anyone’s mind, at least not overnight. But history has shown that marches like this, when properly understood, are about so much more. Our demonstrations might get the attention and interest of others. But even if they don’t, these occasions give us all a chance to clarify together that what’s happening matters to a wide variety of people. They provide the context for forging new relationships, learning from one another and then, most importantly, resolving to return home and take further action together. Conditions are always changing. Our dedicated practice, both inner and outer, can remain.
The Buddhist gathering at the People’s Climate Mobilization is being spearheaded by One Earth Sangha (as a People’s Climate Mobilization partner organization) and is joined by members from the Buddhist Climate Action Network (BCAN), Earth Holders Sangha (from the Thich Nhan Hanh tradition), Shambhala, Insight, Zen, Soka-Gakkai, and other traditions as well as Buddhist Global Relief who have engaged in environmental/climate action previously or are now stepping up to do so.
There are several ways to get involved!
Committing Ourselves to the Path of Engagement
Sunday, April 2: Live event on One Earth Sangha featuring Hozan Alan Senauke
To underscore that our practice must be sustained, not just for a single march, and to integrate Earth Day, we’re launching a month of deepening outer practice with a live, online event.
Hozan Alan Senauke joined us on Sunday, April 2nd from 12:30 to 2:00 pm US Eastern time for a live discussion exploring what it means to walk the Bodhisattva Path in these times and the practices we can undertake.
A world-renowned voice in socially engaged Buddhism, Hozan Alan Senauke is a Soto Zen priest, folk musician, author, poet, leader of Clear View Project and former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. The event will be open to all. Learn more and return to this page at the time of the event.
Get Your Daily EcoDharma Drop
As part of our “Month of Deepening Our Engagement Practice,” we are offering a daily drop of EcoDharma right into your inbox. Every morning for the month of April, we’ll deliver a quote from one of the well-known or new voices in EcoDharma from a variety of traditions all designed to inspire your love, courage and wisdom in acting on behalf of all beings.
Walking Together in the People’s Climate March
Washington DC and Sister Locations around the World, Saturday, April 29.
The People’s Climate Mobilization main event will take place on Saturday, April 29th in DC and at sister marches around the world. All those in the DC area and within a 12-hour bus ride are encouraged to come to DC to walk together. If you’re outside the DC area or otherwise unable to come, we hope you’ll join one of the thousands of sister marches being organized around the world. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re organizing a Buddhist / Mindfulness presence at a sister march and we’ll share the details with our network.
Help spread the word! Use and share our social media resources here:
Buddhist / Mindfulness Gathering in DC
At the main PCM event in Washington DC, the Mindfulness / Buddhist Community will come together at 9:30 am at Upper Senate Park, near the start of the March. There we will gather our collective attention and awaken our collective intention with sitting, walking, or chanting under the leadership of members of various Buddhist traditions. You’ll have the opportunity to greet old dharma friends and meet new ones.
Pending a final and expected permit, our plan is to convene in Upper Senate Park near the Capitol Building, a 5-minute walk from Union Station, the nearest Metro stop. The park is bordered by Delaware, New Jersey, and Constitution Avenues (map here). Look for Dharma banners near the round fountain on the upper level starting at 9:30 am.
We will practice together until around 10:45 am at which time we will begin walking together to join the larger Inter-Faith Community as it lines up for the march, probably on 3rd Street in front of the Capitol (final details to follow).
Bring signs and banners! These can be hand-held or supported by wooden or PVC pipe poles. However, the poles cannot exceed ¾ inches in diameter and must have blunt ends and no protruding nails. Our permit allows us to bring signs and banners and display them in the park, but when we walk as a group to 3rd St. we need to keep them furled until we join the larger Inter-Faith and PCM group, which will have a formal march permit.
Ways You Can Get Involved
Our community, all those connected with One Earth Sangha, have a critical role to play in generating a strong Buddhist presence at these events. Here’s how you can contribute:
- SIGN UP: Get on the list to keep up to date. Register with the One Earth Sangha so we can keep you informed of important developments. As well, you might sign up for the national PCM list here. As well, your Sangha might be interested in becoming a PCM partner.
- FOLLOW: Join the One Earth Sangha facebook event.
- SPREAD: Reach out to your local Dharma and Eco friends asking them to save the date and join you in planning participation. We’ve provided sharing resources including sample newsletter text, email to your community and social media.
- MAKE ART: Create signs and “circles of resistance” parachutes. If you’re in the DC area and would like to help with local art-making, please send us an email at email@example.com.
- CAPTURE THE MOMENT: We need folks who will be taking pictures, posting to social media and hopefully send to us. Let us know if you’re interested.
- TRAVEL to DC: If your’e within 12-hours of DC, join or help organize a bus, maybe even a Buddha Bus, from your area.
- Learn more about transportation options from the PCM organizers.
- Organizing a bus might feel overwhelming but there are people and tools in place to support you. Check out the PCM bus organizing cheat-sheet (“Charter Bus 101”) to demystify the whole project. If you are putting together a bus, be sure to register using the PCM’s Bus Captain form.
- As inspiration, the wonderful staff at Compassion NYC are organizing a “rolling retreat” using three buses (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!) each with their own onboard teacher. Your bus might also offer some teacher or peer-led Dharma offerings, structured conversations and practice.
- HOUSING: Those in the DC area are encouraged to offer housing to those in our community who live outside the area for the evenings of April 28th and possibly the 29th. The Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light team has set up this housing exchange facility:
- Potential hosts: If your congregation’s facility or your home is within an hour’s drive or metro ride of downtown DC, and you can offer visitors a place to stay on the days before or after the March, particularly Friday night April 28, fill out this form.
- Visitors seeking hospitality: If you are seeking a place to sleep in the days preceding or following the March, either in a congregational facility or in hosts’ homes, please view the various hospitality offers here and choose one or a few that best suit your needs. Then fill out this form.
- GATHER: If you’re outside bus range or otherwise unable to travel to DC, join or help organize a Buddhist/Mindfulness presence at sister marches in your local city or town. If there is a BCAN chapter near you, reach out! These marches are already forming so your best source for general information is the National PCM sister marches listing and partner directory. Email us with details of your organizing and we’ll share out to the Sangha.
- INSPIRE: Generate and share your ideas for visual images and slogans that folks can use for signs and banners. See our resource sharing page for ideas.
Questions? Check out the PCM Freqently Asked Questions list.
We look forward to coming together with you and your communities in this opportunity for public practice!
Join the PCM Coordinators
We’re delighted to be in collaboration with and benefit from the time, energy and talents of the our volunteer team (“Protectors of Indra’s Net”):
- Amelia Williams, One Earth Sangha
- Andrew Rock, Florida EcoSattva Group & Florida Community of Mindfulness
- George Hoguet, Earth Holder Sangha in Plum Village Tradition
- Jerry Gerber, New York Insight Meditation Center
- Mark Rasmuson, Shambhala and One Earth Sangha
- Mitchell Ratner, Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, Plum Village Tradition
- Peter Williams, One Earth Sangha
- Regina Valdez, Buddhist Global Relief