Earth Dharma

Arboretum Bonsai
In Buddhist philosophy, “Dharma” refers to “the way things are,” the laws of nature and  also refers to the collection of Buddhist teachings.  Our “Earth Dharma” collection will offer Buddhist teachings on our fundamental relationship to the earth and each other, the Dharma of  climate change and new ways to tell our own, collective story.

We begin with the fundamental principle of unbiased loving-kindness, described here in the Metta Sutta:

May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, the great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,those living near and far away, those born to-be-born–
May all beings be at ease! Let none deceive another, 0r despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world. 



In Love with the Earth

When we realize the Earth is not merely the “environment,” we are moved to care for the Earth as we would ourselves. In his tender, “Love Letter to the Earth,” Zen master Thích Nhất Hạnh implores us all to love and protect the great mother of all beings.

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What Would Love Do?

In the face of deforestation and cultural annihilation, the Dayak Benuaq of Borneo are engaged in an ancient ceremony that confronts violence and threat with the power of a peaceful, non-dualistic view. Dharma teacher Jane Brunette invites us into solidarity with indigenous guardians of Earth’s eastern lung.

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A Jewel of Awakening

Is there a gift of our present ecological crisis? By seeing things as they are, Dharma teacher Chas DiCapua reveals that we have the opportunity to awaken from the nightmare of separation. We can come to embody our deepest nature, compassionate wisdom.

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Are We Willing to Look?

The haunting photography of J. Henry Fair asks us to hold a steady gaze as we view vast landscapes transformed by industry. In this interview with the artist, we explore the paradoxical beauty of his work and what it might awaken in our hearts.

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Facing the Heat: The Suffering that Leads to the End of Suffering

The U.S. Government and media may be breaking the silence on climate change. How is it that we live our lives with only intermittent awareness of the truth of global warming? Is responding as difficult as we might think? Joseph Goldstein, cofounder of Insight Meditation Society, explores the teachings that shed light on these questions.

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Accessing Natural Wisdom: The Work that Reconnects

How can we uncover and sustain our own power to respond to a challenge as ominous as global climate change? In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we offer an introduction to the skillful means of Buddhist scholar and renowned activist, Joanna Macy and the Work that Reconnects.

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Interrupting the Trance of Disconnection

Can we harm the earth without harming ourselves? The teaching of interdependence clarifies that we cannot. In this 3rd of our 4-part series, Chas Dicapua looks at how we can begin to shift our relationship to the earth by simply looking closely at cause and effect.

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The Heart Of The Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra

Inspired by the traditional Buddhist text of the Heart Sutra, renowned Dharma teacher Thanissara offers this new and epic poem about the origins and consequences of disconnection and our collective journey home.

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How Did We Come to This?

Our focus on sense-pleasures comes at a price. How we view our relationship with the Earth determines how we care for it … or not. In this 2nd in our 4-part series, Chas Dicapua explores the roots of global climate change.

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Inspiration and Joy
Amidst Suffering and Loss

Dharma teacher James Baraz describes how being with what is difficult, on any level from deeply personal loss to the immensity of climate change, can lead us to surprising freedom.

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The Earth as Witness: International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change

The global sangha of Buddhist and mindfulness teachers and practitioners is invited to join Dharma teachers from around the world in signing this new statement on climate change.

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Attending to Suffering

Why pay attention to climate change? Because it is happening. In this first of a four-part series of posts transcribed from a July 2013 talk “The Dharma of Climate Change,” Dharma teacher Chas DiCapua invites us to attend, as part of our practice, to what is present and causing suffering.

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A Calling for Our Time: Feedback on Teachers’ Statement

The Earth, #1

Dharma teachers from around the globe have been working since June on a statement that clarifies the relationship between the Dharma and climate disruption and the responsibility Buddhists have to meaningfully engage in the issue. Now they want your feedback.

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Responding with Wisdom: Feedback on 16 Core Principles

What are the Dharma principles that can motivate and inform our response to climate change? A group of more than 30 teachers from various Buddhist traditions offer this list and now they want your feedback.

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It Is Here We Awaken

Practicing the first foundation of mindfulness, knowing body internally and externally, we can come to know we are of this earth. And it is here, on this earth, that we take our place as human beings.

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Spiritual Ecology – The Cry of the Earth

The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was asked what we need to do to save our world. “What we most need to do,” he replied, “is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying.”

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Buddhism + Ecology

The fundamental Buddhist teachings around interconnectedness, non-violence, and conditionality all contribute to both a practice and understanding that augments and honours the ecological paradigms now arising.

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