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

Endorsement Sought by Dharma Teachers and Sangha Members Worldwide

This statement is also available in Chinese (traditional and simplified), Spanish, French, ThaiGerman and Italian.  If you would like to help make other translations available, please contact us.

Climate change is the most serious issue facing humanity today. It is already seriously impacting economies, ecosystems, and people worldwide. Left unchecked, it will cause tremendous suffering for all living beings.

A group of Dharma teachers from Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada, and the U.S. have issued a statement describing core Buddhist insights into the root causes of the climate crisis and ways to minimize its potentially tragic consequences. Over 100 leading Dharma teachers from around the globe have already signed it. The teachers seek the endorsement of the statement by other Dharma teachers as well as Sangha members worldwide. The teachers hope that by signing the statement both Dharma teachers and Sangha members will make solutions to climate disruption a central focus of their personal and collective activities. The teachers also hope that signers will use the statement to describe the Buddhist community’s perspective on the causes and solutions to climate change in interfaith dialogues, policy debates, and other public forums.

A draft version was hosted here on our site and your feedback, along with that of other teachers and sangha members, has informed the statement below. We invite your signature on the statement as well as your responses to its content and implications as well as ideas for its use within and beyond our community. Post a comment below or send an email to connect@1earthsangha.org.

rolandmarte-001

Photo courtesy of Roland Marte

The Earth As Witness:

International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change

Today humanity faces an unprecedented crisis of almost unimaginable magnitude. Escalating climate change is altering the global environment so drastically as to force the Earth into a new geological age. Unprecedented levels of suffering for all life on Earth, including human, will result. Significant reductions in greenhouse gases and other actions will be needed to reduce climate change to manageable levels. But more fundamental changes are also needed, and this is where we can draw guidance from the rich resources of the Buddha’s teachings, the Dharma. This statement briefly describes core Buddhist insights into the root causes of the climate crisis and suggests ways to minimize its potentially tragic consequences.

As a starting point, the Dharma states that to formulate meaningful solutions to any problem we must first acknowledge the truth of our suffering. As shocking and painful as it may be, we must recognize that without swift and dramatic reductions in fossil fuel use and major efforts to increase carbon sequestration, global temperatures will rise close to or beyond 2 degrees C. This increase will lead to injury and death for millions of people worldwide and the extinction of many of the Earth’s species. Millions more will experience severe trauma and stress that threaten their physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. These stresses will, in turn, trigger social and political unrest. In a grave injustice, low-income communities, poor nations, and people systematically subjected to oppression and discrimination, who contributed little to climate change, will initially be harmed the most. Even worse, as frightening as it is, if we fail to make fundamental changes in our energy, manufacturing, transportation, forestry, agricultural, and other systems along with our consumption patterns with utmost urgency, in mere decades irreversible climate shifts will occur that undermine the very pillars of human civilization. Only by recognizing these truths can we adopt a meaningful path toward solutions.

The Dharma teaches us the origin of our suffering. The majority of the world’s climate scientists are unequivocal that on the external physical plane climate change is caused by the historic and ongoing use of fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they generate when burned. Destructive land management practices such as clearing forests also contribute by reducing nature’s capacity to sequester carbon. The Dharma informs us, however, that craving, aversion, and delusion within the human mind are the root causes of vast human suffering. Just as these mental factors have throughout history led to the oppression, abuse, and exploitation of indigenous peoples and others outside the halls of wealth and power, craving, aversion, and delusion are also the root causes of climate change. Climate change is perhaps humanity’s greatest teacher yet about how these mental forces, when unchecked in ourselves and our institutions, cause harm to other people and the living environment. Led by industrialized nations, the desire for evermore material wealth and power has resulted in the reckless destruction of land and water, excessive use of fossil fuels, massive amounts of solid and toxic waste, and other practices that are disrupting the Earth’s climate. However, by acknowledging and addressing these internal mental drivers, we can begin to resolve the external causes of climate change.

The Dharma offers hope by teaching us that it is possible to overcome the detrimental forces of craving, aversion, and delusion. We can use the climate crisis as a catalyst to acknowledge the consequences of our craving for more and more material wealth and the pursuit of power and realize we must change our assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors. We can use the climate crisis as a catalyst to educate ourselves about planetary processes so we understand that the Earth has ecological limits and thresholds that must not be crossed. By learning from our mistaken beliefs and activities, we can create more equitable, compassionate, and mindful societies that generate greater individual and collective wellbeing while reducing climate change to manageable levels.

Finally, the Dharma describes a pathway of principles and practices we can follow to minimize climate change and the suffering it causes. The first principle is wisdom. From this point forward in history we must all acknowledge not only the external causes of climate change, but the internal mental drivers as well, and their horrific consequences. To be wise we must also, individually and as a society, adopt the firm intention to do whatever is necessary, no matter what the cost, to reduce the climate crisis to manageable levels and over time re-stabilize our planet’s climate.

The second Dharma principle is ethical conduct, which is rooted in a compassionate concern for all living beings in the vast web of life. We need to make a firm moral commitment to adopt ways of living that protect the climate and help restore the Earth’s ecosystems and living organisms. In our personal lives, we should recognize the value of contentment and sufficiency and realize that, after a certain modest level, additional consumption, material wealth, and power will not bring happiness. To fulfill our wider moral responsibility, we must join with others, stand up to the vested interests that oppose change, and demand that our economic, social, and political institutions be fundamentally altered so they protect the climate and offer nurturance and support for all of humanity in a just and equitable manner. We must insist that governments and corporations contribute to a stable climate and a healthy environment for all people and cultures worldwide, now and in the future. We must further insist that specific scientifically credible global emission reduction targets be set and means adopted to effectively monitor and enforce them.

The third Dharma training, and the one that makes all of the others possible, is mindfulness. This offers a way to heighten our awareness of, and then to regulate, our desires and emotions and the thoughts and behaviors they generate. By continually enhancing our awareness, we can increasingly notice when we are causing harm to others, the climate, or ourselves, and strengthen our capacity to rapidly shift gears and think and act constructively. Mindfulness increases awareness of our inherent interdependency with other people and the natural environment and of values that enhance human dignity rather than subordinate people, animals, and nature to the craving for more material wealth and power.

Earth held in two hands

As we each awaken to our responsibility to follow the path described in the Dharma to help us protect and restore the planet and its inhabitants, we may feel awed by the immensity of the challenge. We should take heart, however, in the power of collective action. Buddhists can join with others in their Sanghas, and our Sanghas can join hands and hearts with other religious and spiritual traditions as well as secular movements focused on social change. In this way we will support each other as we make the necessary shifts in perspectives, lifestyles, and economic and institutional systems required to reduce climate change to manageable levels. History shows that with concerted, unified, collective effort, changes that at one time seemed impossible have time and again come to pass.

When we come together to celebrate our love for the natural world and all of the beings that inhabit it, and when we take a stand to counter the forces of craving, aversion, and delusion, we reclaim our own inner stability and strength and live closer to the truth, closer to the Dharma. Together, we can seek to ensure that our descendants and fellow species inherit a livable planet. Individually and collectively, we will be honoring the great legacy of the Dharma and fulfill our heart’s deepest wish to serve and protect all life.

 


485 Dharma teachers have signed this statement.
See their names here.

Gerardo Abboud, Dongyuling Drukpa Kagyu Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Andy (Jiyo) Agacki, Bright Dawn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
joshua bee alafia, New York Insight, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Bobbi Allan, Stillness in Action retreats, Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia
Kim Allen, Insight Meditation Center, Santa Cruz, California, USA
Cecilia Amador, Shambhala, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
Bhikkhu Analayo, Numata Center for Buddhist Studies, Hamburg, Germany
Ayya Anandabodhi, Aloka Vihara ( Wales and U.S.), Wales
Jikan Daniel Anderson, Great River Tendai Sangha, Alexandria, VA, USA
Keren Arbel, Tovana: The Israeli Insight Meditation Society, Israel
Steve Armstrong, Vipassana Metta Foundation and Kamala Masters, United States
Sally Armstrong, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, California, United States
Shugen Arnold, Mountains & Rivers Order of Zen, Brooklyn, NY, UYA
dale asrael, Shambhala International, boulder, Colorado, United States
Carolyn Atkinson, Everyday Dharma Zen Center, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Pascal Auclair, True North Insight, Canada
Victoria Austin, San Francisco Zen Center, San Francisco, California, United States
Richard Avery, Thursday Night Sangha, San Diego, CA, USA
Martin Aylward, Moulin de Chaves Retreat Centre, France
Allan Badiner, Teach Buddhism at CIIS, and Contributing Editor at Tricycle, Big Sur, CA, USA
Sumedha Bagshaw, Ekuthuleni Retreat Place, France
Sandhya Bar Kama, Tovana, Gan Hashomron, Israel, Israel
James Baraz, Spirit Rock, United States
Susmita Barua, Lexington, KY, USA
Subhana Barzaghi, Diamond Sangha , Sydney, NSW, Australia
Itamar Bashan, Bhavana House, Israel
iñigo basterretxea, zen association alicante, alicante, alicante, Spain
Ariya B. Baumann, Winterthur, Switzerland
Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, United States
Gael Belden, UCLA, Ojai, Ca, USA
John Bell, Plum Village tradition, Belmont, MA, USA
marvin g. belzer, ucla, los ángeles, ca, usa
Stephen Benson, Peninsula Peace and Justice of Blue Hill, Maine, Blue Hill, ME, United States
Denise Bergez, True Silent Shining, Unified Buddhist Church, United States
Suvaco Bhikkhu, Hartridge Buddhist Monastery, United Kingdom
Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni, Awakening Simplicity Hermitage, United States
Isis Bianzano, Meditation Center Beatenberg, Switzerland, Ebertswil, Switzerland
Melissa Myozen Blacker, Boundless Way Zen, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Joseph Bobrow, Deep Streams Institute, San Francisco, CA, USA
Poep Sa Frank Jude Boccio, Empty Mountain Sangha/Tucson Mindfulness Practice Community, Tucson, AZ, USA
JM Dharmakara Boda, Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala in America, Los Angeles, California, USA
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Chuang Yen Monastery, United States
Bhante Bodhidhamma, Satipanya Buddhist Retreat, United Kingdom
Bhante Bodhidhamma, Satipanya Buddhist Trust, White Grit, Shropshhire, United Kingdom
Dennis Bohn, Unified Buddhist Church (Plum Village Tradition), New York, NY, USA
Sylvia Boorstein, Spirit Rock, United States
Lama Tilmann Lhundrup Borghardt, Freiburg, Germany
Sandy Boucher, Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center, Oakland, California, United States
Emily Bower, Shambhala International, Los Angeles, CA, US
Daniel Bowling, Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Center of Redwood City, Sausalito, CA, USA
Tara Brach, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, United States
Michelleanne Bradley, Vista, California, USA
Rebecca Bradshaw, Insight Meditation Society, Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, United States
Richard Brady, Putney, Vermont, USA
Leigh Brasington, (unattached), Oakland, California, United States
Caroline Brazier, Tariki Trust, Leicester, United Kingdom
Anne Briggs, Insight Meditation Community of Chestertown, Chestertown, MD, United States
Catherine Brousseau, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Arpita Brown, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
Natascha Bruckner, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Annik Brunet, Sukhasiddhi Foundation, United States
Leila Bruno, Pachamama Alliance, Boulder, Colorado, United States
Prajnatara Bryant, Prder of Amida Buddha - Pureland, London, Ontario, Canada
Lucy Brydon, RC, Bedford, United Kingdom
ann buck, Insight LA, Vipassina Support Int., Pac. Pal., Cal, USA
Venerable Bhikkhu Buddharakkhita, Uganda Buddhist Centre, Uganda
Irene Bumbacher, Center for Buddhism Bern, Switzerland, Bern, Switzerland
Monica Burgos, Quilmes, Argentina, Buenos Aires
Domyo Burk, Bright Way Zen, Portland, Oregon, United States
Grove Burnett, Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, United States
Lloyd Burton, Insight Meditation Community of Colorado, United States
Stefano Carboni, Plum Village, Teramo, Italy, Italy
Kyogen Carlson, Dharma Rain Zen Center, Portland, OR, United States
Eido Frances Carney, Olympia Zen Center, Soto Zen, Olympia, WA, USA
Nick Carroll, London Meditative Inquiry, London, London, United Kingdom
Amaraghosha Carter, Triratna, London, UK
Catherine Cascade, Bird Haven Zendo, Cheshire, Ore, United States
Barbara Casey, Canada
Eugene Cash, Spirit Rock and San Francisco Insight, United States
José María Castelao Cámara, Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom, México, DF, México
alicia castro, sangha santiago chile, La Florida, Santiago, Chile
David Chadwick, San Rafael, California, United States
Phap Ho Chan, Plum Village; Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California, USA
Susan Chapman, Shambhala, Vancouver, BC
David Chernikoff, Insight Meditation Community of Colorado, United States
Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey, United States
Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi, Gendun Drubpa Buddhist Centre (Canada/US), Canada
Beth Chorpenning, Rocky Mountain Insight, Manitou Springs, CO
Lama Karma Chotso, Kagyu Shedrup Choling , Miami, Florida, USA
Larry Jissan Christensen, Zen Center of Portland, Portland, OR, USA
Ginger Clarkson, Insight Meditation Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
Kirtan Coan, Winston Salem Community Dharma, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA
Pat Coffey, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, afton, USA
Howard Cohn, Spririt Rock/ Mission Dharma, Sausalito, CA, US
Mark Coleman, Spirit Rock, United States
Rev. Compassion, Peace Mountain Buddhist Hermitage, Cold Spring, New York, USA
Jeffrey Compton, Everyday Dharma Zen Center, Ben Lomond, California, United States
Carol Cook, Prescott Vipassana Sangha, Arizona, Prescott, AZ, US
Gillian Coote, Diamond Sangha, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Terry Cortés, True Virtuous Action, United States
Nigel Crawhall, Hout Bay Theravada Buddhist Centre, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
candace crossan, Spirit Rock, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Chris Cullen, Gaia House, United Kingdom
Hugh Curran, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, usa
Rosalie Curtis, San Francisco Zen Center, United States
Anne Cushman, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Fairfax, CA, United States
Sky Dawson, IMS and Forest Refuge, Perth, West Australia, Australia
Lama Samten Dawson, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Springfield, New Hampshire, United States
Aníbal de la Vega, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Han de Wit, shambhala europe, OEGSTGEEST, Netherlands
David De Young, Ajahn Chah Tradition, Bangkok, Thailand
Russell Delman, Embodied Life School, Sebastopol, California, United States
juliette delventhal, Spirit Rock, Bolinas, California, USA
Rev. Myô Denis Lahey, Abbot, Hartford Street Zen Center/Issan-ji, United States
Dana DePalma, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, San Anselmo, CA, USA
Swamini Sri Lalitambika Devi, Mahakailasa Ashram, New York, NY
Ven. Dhammadinna, Bodhiheart
Rev.C. Collins Dhammaratana, Contemplative Traditions, Hillsborough, NC, USA
Chas DiCapua, Insight Meditation Society, United States
Sue Dirksen, Santa Cruz, CA., USA
rinchen dolma, sangha activa, barcelona, barcelona, Spain
Yonathan Dominitz, Tovana, Insight Meditation Society, Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Bob Doppelt, United States
Lama Irene Dordje Drolma, Montchardon Buddhist Centre, Switzerland
Anna Douglas, Spirit Rock, United States
Julie Downard, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Joan Doyle, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA, US
Venerable Ani Drubgyudma, Flower Dance Temple, Pitcairn, New York, USA
Suzann Duquette, Karme Choling Shambhala Meditation Center, Barnet, Vermont, United States
Bonnie Duran, University of Washington and IMS/SRMC, Seattle, WA, USA
Curtiss Durand, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Davis, California, USA
Tamara Dyer, Insight Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Joshua Eaton, independent journalist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Loreto Egana, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Jan-Michael Ehrhardt, Friedenshof-Community, Neustadt am Rübenberge, Germany
Sudaya Elmhirst, Triratna, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Joseph Emet, Mindfulness Meditation Centre, Montreal, Canada
Marcus Epicurus, Free Sangha Forum - Theravada, Tillamook, Oregon, USA
Steve Epstein, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Betsy Faen, Beaches Sangha, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Floyd Fantelli, Bozeman, MT, USA
Barry Farrin, Diamond Sangha, Doonan, Qld, Australia
sean feit, Spirit Rock, Yoga Tree, Piedmont Yoga, SF Insight, Oakland, CA, United States
Norman Feldman, Gaia House and True North Insight, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Gaylon Ferguson, Shambhala International, Boulder, CO, USA
Peter Fernando, Original Nature Insight Meditation, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Anushka Fernandopulle, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, California, USA
Gendo Allyn Field, Upper Valley Zen Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, United States
Lyn Fine, Plum Village Tradition, Berkeley, CA, USA
Rev. Danny Fisher, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Ian Hakuryu Forsberg, Hokoji, Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, United States
Joanna Friday, Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness, United States
tiffany gallop, Morya Federation, mount laurel, New Jersey, usa
David Gardiner, BodhiMind Center, United States
Jean Gardner, Parsons The New School for Design, New York CIty, New YOrk, United States
Wendy Garling, Concord, MA, USA
Muli Glezer, Tovana Insight Meditation Society Israel, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Maggie Gluek, Sydney Zen Centre, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Gaelyn Godwin, Houston Zen Center, Houston, Texas, USA
Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation Society, United States
Thor Gonen, Bhavana House, Israel
sonia gonzalez, cancun, quintana roo, Mexico
Trudy Goodman, InsightLA, United States
Cindee Grace, Eureka Mindfulness, Eureka, California, United States
Ruby Grad, Portland, Oregon
Michael Grady, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, United States
Linda Graham, San Rafael, California, United States
Mary Grannan, Deep Spring Center, United States
Lucinda Green, Rocky Mountain Insight, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
David Greenshields, Centre for mindfulnesd, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
randall gribbin, Insight Meditation San Antonio, Texas and Wimberley Sangha, Wimberley, Texas, Canyon Lake, TX, USA
Cynde Grieve, Shambhala, Halifax, NS, Canada
Bobbe Gripentrog, Singing Bird Sangha, Tucson, AZ , USA
Stephen Gross, Sukhasiddhi Foundation, United States
Patricia Shingetsu Guzy, Zen Center of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
Sabine H. Kalff, Buddhist Center Zollikon, Switzerland
Ruben Habito, Maria Kannon Zen Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
Robert K. Hall, M.D., El Dharma of Todos Santos, Mexico
ko shin Bob Hanson, Milwaukee Zen Center, Neshkoro, Wisconsin, USA
Rick Hanson, San Rafael, CA, USA
Acharya Moh Hardin, Shambhala, Halifax, NS, Canada
Susie Harrington, DesertDharma, Moab, UT, USA
Zenkei Blanche Hartman, San Francisco Zen Center, United States
Suzanne Harvey, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Nashua, NH, United States
Isshin Havens, Jisui Zendo (http://aguasdacompaixao.wordpress.com) - Soto Shu, Porto Alegre, Rio Grand do Sul, Brazil
Samuel Haycraft, Hu Kuo Temple, Laguna Woods, CA, United States
Shundo David Haye, United States
Tarchin Hearn, Wangapeka Educational Trust, New Zealand
Shaku Jo\'on Gregg Heathcote, Buddhist chaplain at the University of Newcastle + Shin Buddhist priest, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Sarah Heffron, Moab, UT, United States
Kokyo Henkel, Santa Cruz, California, United States
Steven Hick, True North insight and Ottawa Insight Meditation Community, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Larry Higgins, Shambhala- Austin , Austin, TX, United States
Winton Higgins, Sydney Insight Meditators, Sydney, Australia
Glenda Hodges-Cook, Louisville Vipassana Community, Louisville, KY, USA
Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Heart Circle Sangha, Ridgewood, NJ, USA
Kurt Hoelting, Mindfulness Northwest, Clinton, WA, USA
John Holl, UU Sanghas, San Diego, CA, USA
Erik Hoogcarspel, Instituut voor Filosofie, Rotterdam, Netherlands
David Hope, Shambhala, London, UK
Vincent Horn, Heart Mind Studio, Asheville, NC, United States
Myphon Hunt, Everyday Zen, Yuba City, CA, USA
Chân Niệm Hỷ, Plum Village, United States
Jill Hyman, Insight Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Ca., US
Catherine Ingram, Living Dharma, New York
Christopher Ives, Stonehill College, Watertown , MA, USA
Sanford Jaffe, Vajrayana Institute, Narrabeen, NSW, Australia
Will James, Tallowwood Sangha, Bellingen, N.S.W., Australia
Helen Jandamit, The House of Dhamma, Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand
Marty Janowitz, Shambhala, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Berget Jelane, San Jose Insight Meditation, United States
Lama Döndrup Jennifer Grant, Sukhasiddhi Foundation, Fairfax, CA
Lynne Ji-En Lockie, Chattanooga Insight Meditation Group, United States
Dharmacarini Jnanacandra, Triratna Buddhist Community, Essen, NRW, Germany
Acharya Richard John, Shambhala, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sujatin Johnson, Order of Amida Buddha, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Robyn Judge, Earth, Perth, Wa, Australia
Ingen K. Breen, San Francisco Zen Center, At Large, US, UK, Eire.
Will Kabat-Zinn, Spirit Rock , Albany, CA, USA
Marco Antonio Karam, Casa Tibet Mexic, DF, DF, Mexico
Loraine (Jitindriya) Keats, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Lynn Kelly, Dhammagiri Forest Hermitage, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Karin Kempe, Zen Center of Denver, Denver, Co, USA
Bhikkhu Khemasiri, Kloster Dhammapala, Switzerland
Dharmacharini Khemasuri, Triratna Buddhist Order, Sheffield, UK
Eileen Kiera, Mountain Lamp and Plum Village, Deming, Washington, United States
Michael Kieran, Diamond Sangha, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Sumi Kim, Buddhist Families of Durham, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Lila Kimhi, Jerusalem, Israel
Ruth King, Insight Meditation Community of Washington and Mindful Members of Charlotte, United States
Sunya Kjolhede, Windhorse Zen Community, Alexander, North Carolina, United States
Bodhin Kjolhede, Rochester Zen Center, Rochester, New York, United States
Melanie Klein, Shambhala, Boulder, CO, USA
Paul Knitter, Union Theological Seminary Emeritus, Madison, WI, USA
Paul Koeppler, Waldhaus am Laacher See, Bonn, Germany
Dr. Sylvia Kolk, Germany
Sandra Kopka, Insight Meditation Sangha of Rio Arriba County, Dixon, United States
Joyce Kornblatt, Sydney Insight Meditators/Cloud Refuge Sangha, Blackheath, NSW, Australia
Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock, United States
Doug Kraft, Carmichael, CA, USA
Gregory Kramer, Metta Foundation, United States
Jacqueline Kramer, Hearth Foundation, Sonoma, CA, USA
Anna Kranz, Project Wellbeing, Barossa Valley, SA, Australia
Kirsten Kratz, Gaia House, United Kingdom
Kritee (Kanko), Cold Mountain Zen, Boulder, Colorado, United States
Peter Kuhn, Donovan State Prison Buddhist Services, San Diego, CA, USA
Rainer Künzi, Meditation Centre Beatenberg, Switzerland
Donna Kwilosz, University of New Mexico, Corrales, New Mexico, United States
Patrick Lambelet, Lama Tzong Khapa Institute (FPMT), Pomaia, Italy
Daniel Landry, Insight Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, USA
Stefan Lang, Zentrum für Buddhismus, Switzerland
Zohar Lavie , Tovana & Gaia House, UK & Israel
David Lawson, Deep Spring Center, United States
Gerard Lee, Plum Village Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Taigen Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago [Soto Zen], Chicago, Illinois, United States
Dianne (Nan) LeRoy, Listening Heart Sangha, Portland, Oregon, United States
Noah Levine, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, United States
Peter Levitt, Salt Spring Zen Circle, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Linda Lewis, Shambhala, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Ven. Chimey Lhatso, Karma Yönten Ling, Malmö, Sweden
Lama Tilmann Lhundrup, Dhagpo Kagyu Mandala, Germany
Keiryu Lien Shutt, United States
Myo On Susan Linnell, Albuquerque Zero Zen Center, Albuquerque, N. M. , USA
Adam Lobel, Shambhala, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224
Jeremy Logan, Masterton, New Zealand
Bopchi Eduardo Lopez, Mar de Lotos Templo Zen (Lotuses Sea Zen Temple), México City, DF, México
Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, Dharma Rain Zen Center, Portland, Oregon, United States
David Loy, Sanbo Kyodan, United States
Ven. Seikai Luebke, Ventura Co., CA, USA
Luke Lundemo, Conscious Living Project, Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Haju Linda Lundquist, Zen Buddhist Temple/Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Ilan Luttenberg, Buddhism in Israel, Israel
Allyn Lyon, Shambhala, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, USA
Jose Manuel Maceiras, Comunidad Budista Soto Zen, Valencia, Valencia, España
Prakash Mackay, Wailuku, HI, USA
Joanna Macy, Berkeley, 94705, USA
Manny Mansbach, Vermont Insight Meditation Center, Brattleboro, VT, USA
Daniel Hoshin Marighetti, Centro Zen de la Flor Dorada / Asociasion Budista Zen del Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay
Anna Markey, Insight teachers of Australia, Adelaide, Sth Aust, Australia
Eshu Martin, Zenwest Buddhist Society, Victoria, BC, Canada
Heather Martin, Salt Spring Vipassana , Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
Brandon Massey, Great Vow Zen Monastery, Astoria, Oregon, United States
justine mayer, Diamond Sangha Zen, Darwin, Australia
Kosho McCall, Austin Zen Center, Austin, TX, USA
Myoshin Kate McCandless, Mountain Rain Zen Community, Canada
Mary McCawley, Human Race, San Tan Valley, Az, USA
Kim McCluskey, Founder Sun In My Heart, ely, Minnesota, usa
Catherine McGee, Gaia House, United Kingdom
John McIlwain, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Christopher McLean, Insight Meditation, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Christopher McLean, Insight Meditation, Blackheath, NSW, Australia
Acharya Noel McLellan, Shambhala, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Karen McMains, Red Cedar Zen Community, Bellingham, WA, USA
J Richard Mendius, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, San Anselmo, CA, USA
Denkô Mesa, Comunidad Budista Soto Zen Canaria, Arico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Dr Manish Meshram, Gautam Buddha Unviersity, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
Jared Michaels, San Francisco Zen Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
Nathaniel Michon, Dharma Seal Temple / Koyasan Betsuin, Rosemead, California, United States
John Mifsud, East Bay Meditation Center and Spirit Rock, United States
Willa Miller, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Cambridge, MA, USA
Richard Miller, Integrative Restoration Institute, San Rafael, California, United States
Teresa Miller, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Tony Mills, Plum Village, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Alison Moore, Thai Forest tradition, Innerleithen
Melissa Moore, Shambhala , Petaluma , CA, USA
Colin Moore, Teacher at Golden Buddha Centre Totnes, student of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom
Jessica Morey, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, North Andover , MA, USA
Annie Morris Wieland, Stop CSG Blue Mountains, Katoomba, A, Australia
Robert Morrison, Natural Dharma Fellowship
carol moss, INSIGHTLA, malibu, California, USA
Rev. Mary Myers, Helix Healing Ministery, Community of Mindfulness, Pine Bush, NY, USA
Judith Myers Avis, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
Björn Natthiko Lindeblad, Sweden
Shinmon Michael Newton, Mountain Rain Zen Community, Canada
Sr. Chau Nghiem, Plum Village International Community, Atlanta, GA, usa
Vien Nguyen, Boat of Compassion sangha, North Potomac, Maryland, USA
Zoe Nicholson, The Lantern Initiative, Newport Beach, CA, United States
Wes Nisker, Spirit Rock, United States
Mark Nunberg, Common Ground Meditation Center, Minneaopolis, Mn, US
Tashi Nyima, New Jonang Buddhist Community, Dallas, Texas, usa
Sarana Nona Olivia, CA, USA
Beng Chung Ong, Subang, SL, Malaysia
Walt Opie, Berkeley, California, USA
Mary Grace Orr, Spirit Rock, United States
John Orr, New Hope Sangha, United States
Susan Orr, sacramento buddhist meditation group and sacramento dharma center, sacramento, ca, usa
Pat Enkyo O\'Hara, Village Zendo, NY, NY, USA
Pornchai Pacharin-tanakun, Mahamakut Buddhist University, Bangkok, Thailand
Ji Hyang Padma, Walnut Creek, California
Koshin Paley Ellison, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, New York City, NY, USA
Pam Parins Fisher, Dancing River Mindfulness Community, Grafton, Wisconsin, USA
jJohn Peck, Editor-translator, Philemon Foundation, Brunswick, Maine, USA
Bob Penny, Red Cedar Zen Community, Bellingham, Washington, United States
Carol Perry, Melbourne Insight Meditation Group, The Channon, NSW, Australia
Rev. Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger, All Beings Zen Sangha, Washington, DC, USA
Yanai Postelnik, Gaia House, England
Renee Kenshin Potik, Tower Meditation Sangha, Fresno, California, United States
Gawaine Powell Davies, Sydney Insight Meditators, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Ian Prattis, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Maria Rosa Ramon Boirras, Sangha Actuva, Barcelona, Cataluña, España
Tina Rasmussen, Awakening Dharma, San Rafael, California, USA
Mitchell Ratner, Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, Silver Spring, MD, (Plum Village Tradition) , Takoma Park, Maryland, United States
Leslie Rawls, Plum Village, Charlotte, NC, USA
Tejopala Rawls, Triratna, Melbourne , Australia
Terry Ray, Insight Meditation Community of Boulder, United States
Reginald A. Ray, Dharma Ocean Foundation, Boulder, CO, United States
Susana Renaud, La Casa del Corazón, United States
barbara rhodes, kwanumschool of zen, berkeley, ca, usa
Elizabeth Rice, InsightLA, Camarillo, CA, United States
Diane Rizzetto, Bay Zen Center, Oakland, CA, USA
Johann Robbins, Impermanent Sangha, United States
Shinshu Roberts, Ocean Gate Zen Center, Capitola, CA, United States
Di Robertson, Southern Insight Meditation, Christchurch, New Zealand
Satyavani Robyn, Amida , Malvern, UK
Felipe Rodríguez, Shambhala, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Nancy Roffey, Flowing Waters Sangha, Toledo, OH, USA
Sharda Rogell, Spirit Rock, Fairfax, CA, USA
Dr. Kai Romhardt, Netzwerk Achtsame Wirtschaft and Sangha Berlin-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany
Jo-ann Rosen, Dharmacharya, Ukiah, California, United States
Eve Rosenthal, Shambhala, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Adrianne Ross, B.C. Insight Meditation Society, Canada
Daryl Lynn Ross, True North Insight, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Donald Rothberg, Spirit Rock and East Bay Meditation Center, United States
Peggy Rowe Ward, Unified Buddhist Church, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Kirsten Rudestam, Insight Santa Cruz, santa cruz, CA, United States
patricia rudolf, vercheny, 26340, France
Jung-Gil Ryoo, Jung To Society (JTS), Seoul, Korea
Lawson Sachter, Windhorse Zen Community, Asheville, NC, United States
John Salerno-White, Tiep Hien Order, Plum Village Tradition, Vacaville, California, United States
Paramacari Samaneri, Isivana Vipassana Hermitage, AIr Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Margot Sangster, Vancouver , BC, Canada
Ayya Santacitta, Aloka Vihara (Austria and U.S.), Austria
Ayya Santussika, Karuna Buddhist Vihara, United States
Jeff Scannell, Montpelier Insight Meditation, Vermont, Montpelier, Vermont, USA
Gregory Scharf, IMS;SRMC, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
David Schneider, Shambhala, Cologne, Germany
Jill Schneiderman, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12603
Lucy Schwabe, Wellington, New Zealand
Doreen Schweizer, Valley Insight Meditation Society, United States
Khaisear Seck, Ratnavihara Buddhist Learning Centre, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Renate Seifarth, Insight Meditation, Germany
Hozan Alan Senauke, Clear View Project, Berkeley, CA, USA
Hozan Alan Senauke, Clear View Project, Berkeley, CA, USA
Jeanie Seward-Magee, Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha, Canada
Baruch Shalev, Plum Village tradition, Israel, Jerusalem, Israel
Shelagh Shalev, Mindfulness Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Richard Shankman, Metta Dharma Foundation, United States
shamini shanmugam, subang jaya, selangor, Malaysia
Maureen Shannon-Chapple, Insightla, Los Angeles, USA
Rae Shao-Lan, kenwood, CA, USA
Gina Sharpe, New York Insight Meditation Center, United States
Huifeng Shi, Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Fo Guang University, Jiaoxi, Ilan, Taiwan
Dan Siegel, Oakland, California, USA
Judith Simmer-Brown, Acharya, Shambhala International, Boulder, Colorado, United States
Arvind Singh, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
Ruby Sinreich, BPF Member, 27516, NC, USA
Christine Sloan, Shambhala, Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia, Canads
Tempel Smith, Spirit Rock, United States
Rodney Smith, Seattle Insight, United States
Bryony Smith , IMS, Barre, MA, USA
Stephen Snyder, San Rafael, California, United States
Hokai Sobol, Croatia
Nyaniko (Oren J. Sofer)
Maria Elena Sol Trujillo, Comunidad Interser , San Salvador, El Salvador
K V Vidyananda Soon, Malaysia
John Shoji Sorensen, Golden Foothills Sangha - Clear Mind Zen, Folsom, California, USA
Andy Spence, Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Eric Spiegel, Shambhala, Spencertown, New York, United States
Shodo Spring, Soto Zen, Faribault, MN, United States
Douglass St.Christian, Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Claire Stanley, Vermont Insight Meditation Center, Brattleboro, VT, USA
Ralph Steele, Just Life Transition Meditation Center, United States
Ange Stephens, Sebastopol, USA
Bhante Sujato, Bodhinyana Monastery, Australia
Taehye Sunim, Bodhidharma Association, Lerici, La Spezia, Italy
Rev. Heng Sure, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, United States
Janet Surrey, Metta foundatio, Newton, Ma, USA
Michelle Sutton, Budding Flower Sangha , Highland , NY, United States
Mark Sweitzer, Eco-Dharma Sangha (Colorado), Boulder, CO, United States
Alfonso Taboada, Shambhala, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Stephanie Tate, Glass City Dharma, Toledo, OH, USA
Natasha Tavares, Ontario College of Teachers Member, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
George Taylor, Presbyterian Church, USA, Spokane, Washington, USA
Erin Taylor, Original Nature Insight Meditation Centre, Wellington, New Zealand
Frank Taylor, Wakefield, MA, USA
Frank Tedesco, True Dharma International Buddhist Mission, Largo, Florida, United States
Christy Tews, Carson City, NV
Amma Thanasanti, Awakening Truth, Shakti Vihara, United States
Doreen Thompson, Tashi Gatsel Ling, Freeport, ME, Gray, ME, USA
trish thompson, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Viet Nam
Reverend Daito Zenei Thompson, www.sarasotazen.org, Sarasota, Fl, USA
Christopher Thurston, Awake~NC, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Christopher Titmuss, none, Totnes, Devon, England
Ricardo Toledo, Viento del Sur Diamond Sangha, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
John Travis, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Nevada City, CA, USA
Leslie Tremaine, Insight Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz , CA, USA
Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, San Diego, California, USA
Kuladitya Turnbull, Triratna Buddhist Order, Sheffield, UK
Kathryn Turnipseed, Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Santikaro Upasaka, Liberation Park, Norwalk, WI, USA
Jeanne van Gemert, Duke University, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Bruno Van Parijs, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Berchem-Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium
Ursula Velonis, Center for Peace Through Culture, Berkeley, CA, USA
Ron Vereen, Triangle Insight Meditation Community, Durham, NC, United States
Dokushô Villalba, Comunidad Budista Soto Zen, Valencia, Valencia, España
Mako Voelkel, Austin Zen Center, Austin, TX, USA
Fred von Allmen, Meditation Center Beatenberg, Switzerland
Ursula Flückiger von Allmen, Meditation Center Beatenberg, Switzerland
Victor von der Heyde, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Karma Justin Wall, MOCD , Tn, USA
Glenn Wallis, Diamond Sangha, Dunedin, New Zealand
Jisho Warner, Soto Zen, Sebastopol, California, USA
Melanie Waschke, Germany
Veit Weber, Shambhala Centre Fredericton, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Claudia Webinger, Ganden Chökhor Meditation Center, Switzerland, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Bradley Weigold, Laughing Rivers, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Thanissara Weinberg, Dharmagiri S.Africa / USA, South Africa
Kittisaro Weinberg, Dharmagiri S.Africa / USA, South Africa
Sandra Weinberg, New York Insight Meditataion Center, New York, NY 10016, USA
Arianna Weisman, Insight Meditation Center of the Pioneer Valley, United States
Pamela Weiss, Spirit Rock, United States
Tzungkuen Wen, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Julie Wester, Spirit Rock, United States
Sylvia Wetzel, Germany
Kate Lila Wheeler, United States
Justin Whitaker, academic, Bristol, United Kingdom
Diane Wilde, Sacramento Insight Meditation, Sacramento, CA, USA
Brooke Wiley, LeTort Spring Sangha, Carlisle, PA, USA
Cheryl Wilfong, Vermont Insight Meditation Center, E Dummerston, VT, USA
Jenny Wilks, Gaia House, United Kingdom
Peter Williams, United States
Dean Williams, Jijuyu-ji Zen Sangha of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH, US
angel Kyodo williams, newDharma Community, Berkeley, California, United States
Gayle Wilson, Center for Mindfulness, Placerville, California, United States
Diana Winston, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and Spirit Rock, United States
Jikyo Cheryl Wolfer, Olympia Zen Center, Port Angeles, WA, USA
Lori Wong, Insight Meditation Central Valley, Modesto, CA, USA
Al Wood, Human Kindness Foundation, Los Angees, California, United States
Amala Wrightson, Auckland Zen Centre, New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand
Larry Yang, Spirit Rock, East Bay Meditation Center, and Insight Community of the Desert, United States
Evan Zaleschuk, Zuru Ling Mindfulness and Healing Centre, White Rock, BC, Canada
Antonio Zambrana, Comunidad budista soto-zen Luz Serena, Málaga, Málaga, España
Wendy Zerin, Insight Meditation Community of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
janey zietlow, Burnsville, NC, usa
Annabelle Zinger, Quelle des Mitgefühls, Germany

Note: In order to maintain the integrity of this list, we do a basic search to ensure that the names above are qualified Dharma teachers. If you believe we have made an error, in either direction, please send an email to connect@1earthsangha.org. Thank you!

1308 Sangha members have signed this statement.
See their names here.

Sign On!

Sangha Members:

Note, if you are a qualified Dharma teacher please do not sign here and instead go to the form for Dharma teachers below.
If you would like to endorse the statement, please add your name, location and the name of your local sangha, if any, below. Please consider sharing this opportunity with your email, facebook, twitter and other networks.

Sangha Members Endorse Statement on Climate Change

As a practitioner of the Dharma and member of the global sangha, I endorse this statement.

[signature]

Join!

Share this with your friends:

   

Dharma Teachers:

If you are a Dharma Teacher from any country and would like to add your name to the list of signers on the statement, please add your name, location and affiliation below. Please consider sharing this opportunity with your email, facebook, twitter and other networks.

Dharma Teachers Endorse Statement on Climate Change ***Dharma Teachers Only***

As a trained teacher of the Dharma, I endorse this statement.

[signature]

Join!

Share this with your friends:

   

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

  1. I think this is a great statement you’ve all come up with. I think that many dharma centers need to look at their consumer habits as well.

  2. I have been studying climate change for a book I am writing, and this statement is very well said and all our efforts are sorely needed.

  3. Excellent work friends. Thanks for your collective efforts in shaping this. May we support each in taking the further steps needed to embody this affirmation.

  4. This is a very good project, and I am thankful that this awareness is growing.

    I would like to add that I would feel much more comfortable with identifying Samadhi (firmness of heart) as the third Dhamma training instead of only mindfulness. This is in line with the Suttas of the Buddha.

    Please consider this edit:

    “The third Dharma training is firmness of heart. Mindfulness helps make this firmness of heart possible, along with all the other trainings, and offers a way to heighten our awareness of, and then to regulate, our desires and emotions and the thoughts and behaviors they generate.”

    I also think this effort will gain more monastic Sangha support if this edit were made.

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for taking time to make this suggestion. We will gladly pass this on to the authoring teachers.

      Be well!

  5. An excellent initiative.

    Your excellent core statement says: It (Climate change) is already seriously impacting economies, ecosystems, and people worldwide. Left unchecked, it will cause tremendous suffering for all living beings.

    You rightly say that climate change is already impacting on people and planet. Left unchecked, it will CONTINUE TO CAUSE tremendous suffering for all living beings.

  6. I fully support the intention of this initiative and hope that it will be of some benefit, although I wonder how much effect it can have beyond the already “converted” few. I imagine that most people even peripherally interested in Dharma will be quite sympathetic to these concerns. The challenge is to transform this into real change, and to heighten awareness of those who don’t think there is a problem, or don’t think they can do anything to help.

    Is it possible to know who the Dharma teachers that created this document are? I couldn’t find this information on the site.

  7. This is well done and deeply meaningful. Well timed as our sangha delves more deeply into deep ecology and mindfulness. Thank you for this offering.

  8. Greetings
    I did not see a place for additional lay practitioners to add their signature. At the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland CA. many classes are offered but I have not heard mention of Blue Planet specifically there. Do you know why? There should be many thousands of signatures on this statement already.

  9. Greetings, all.

    I have read The Earth as Witness: International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change, and I thank you for your excellent work.

    I also would like to urge a crucial, fundamental improvement:

    It seems obvious that humans already have exceeded the carrying capacity of planet Earth. Every day there are more humans; every day, those of us in the consumer class consume more; every day, additional humans move into the consumer class. It appears that Homo sapiens’ most important, far-reaching problems, including global warming, can be solved (with or without the dharma) only by reducing the number of humans on Earth by a large fraction. Short of this, for humans and the many creatures that share our home, our fate is sealed, and there is no mention in your statement of this reality.

    Please consider adding to your statement the obvious truth that the climate is changing because there are too many humans on Earth, and that we won’t be able to reverse this process without reducing our numbers.

    Good luck.

    –Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. To clarify, we at One Earth Sangha are not the authors of the statement but just the online host so it is not ours to edit. We are, however, delighted to gather feedback and your suggestion will be included in that.

      Thank you for your practice.

  10. Thank you so much for this excellent statement – it seems based on a very careful and conservative interpretation of future climate scenarios. Since we find ourselves in a situation of progressive climate destabilization, it is crucial to constantly stay connected with the latest climate science.

    While it is possible to review the latest studies as they are released, the United Nations helped form the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Here one can read the consensus reports from all climate science studies http://www.ipcc.ch/

    The IPCC has produced a video on its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yiTZm0y1YA Published on Nov 21, 2013 Video 9 minutes This first part on the Working Group I is now available. The other parts will be released with successive contributions in the course of 2014. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

    There is really much to read at the IPCC – but it is the one source for the most authoritative information.

    But it takes more than 2 years to author the reports, and while they may be correct, the may not be fully current. This is just a polite way of saying that it could be much more dire that expressed – and it is important to check the very latest science. We may find that the next revision will also be an exhortation to action, it may necessarily be more of an invitation to acceptance.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  11. I have listened to the talk by Dr.Doppelt on Dharmaseed. Thank you for the suggestions that you have made for individual actions to address climate change. You specifically mentioned things like turning off lights, and more generally consumption habits. Please can you address the impact of adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet and lifestyle in the context of actions that an individual can take? I feel that this is a very important and critical component that needs to be mentioned.

  12. “Simplify. Simplify!” as Henry D. Thoreau urged in “Walden”. Raise a raised bed organic salad garden in back – or front – yard. Bury all raw kitchen garbage in it. My raised bed garden is 3 ft X 12 ft, produces every day of the year and feeds relatives & neighbors as well. Deep-compost, deep mulch, uber producing, near workless/weedless/bugless … I’ve raised food gardens since early 1930s, w/no chemicals ever. For free how-to article send email to normRlee@att.net
    with “Organic Food Garden” in subject box.

  13. I am truly heartened by the statement, as I have been yearning for some form of acknowledgement of the climate crisis from the community of Dharma teachers and guidance on how we can respond in the context of Buddhist practice. This is a well-considered and evocative statement and I sincerely hope it will move us all to take in the enormous implications of the global situation and respond with compassion and with our eyes wide open to what is unfolding.

  14. Hello there. Could you please explain the reason for creating two different petitions? why one for the teachers and one for sangha members? why not one from the sangha?

    • Hi Gilia,

      Thanks for your question. I can’t speak authoritatively for the group of Dharma teachers who authored the statement but I suspect they wanted to clarify the specific support from the teaching community for the statement so as to show the direct connection to the Dharma and a Buddhist/mindfulness path.

      Hope that helps!

  15. Posting this now on cuke.com with the Most Important Thing in the World Award. I signed it and I hate to sign things or belong to anything. I’d say it’s cautious and understated.

  16. Dear Dharma friends,

    I´m writing from Argentina. Thanks for the initiative.
    I’d like to share the Statement in the Spanish speaking world.
    Friends from Comunidad Budista Soto Zen of Spain have offered to translate it.
    So you might count on an Spanish version if you need.

    Yours in Dharma,
    R.

    • Excellent, Ricardo. We’ll be following up so look for an email from One Earth Sangha soon!

  17. I appreciate very much what you are doing. The climate change is a nightmare. However, my present problem is a technical one. I want to sign up for your mailing list. I did so, but Í received a document to confirm my intention, which I cannot open. Would it be possible to send it in another form or is there another way I can confirm my intention to join the communitry?

    • Hi Florian,

      I’m not sure what went wrong but I’ve added you to our subscriber list on my end so you should be good to receive our next quarterly newsletter. Let us know if you’d like us to send the one that just went out last week.

      Thank you for your practice!

  18. I add my gratitude and appreciation for this excellent work and for the additional clarifications in the comments.
    I also want to respond to the query about the impact of vegetarian or vegan diets. While it may seem morally correct to not consume animals or animal products the impact on climate change and sustainability is more complicated than eliminating this source of nutrition from our diets.. I have learned how deleterious commodity production of soy and other vegetarian/vegan essentials is to our health and the health of our planet. Processed foods of any kind (and all soy protein is processed in energy intensive and toxic ways) are as destructive as industrial agricultural processes to our soil, water, air and climate. I have learned to avoid all industrial agricultural products, especially industrially raised animals and products, soy, wheat, and corn products unless you know the source – the organic label has been seriously corrupted. Pasture raised animals, milk and eggs are one of most sustainable and healthy sources of nutrition, especially when you are able to know your farmers and purchase locally. An agriculture without animals is unsustainable and we are required to look deeply into all that we consume, with awareness for lives that we take in order to live, and discern the wisest action for us.

    • Well said Ellen. There’s a very good TED talk by Allan Savory that talks about well-managed grasslands using grazing and how it reduces desertification and global warming.

    • I agree with a lot that you say, Ellen, but not so much about the eating of animals being sustainable. Maybe, in places like Tibet, where it might be difficult to grow sufficient fruits and vegetables, but generally, the raising of animals uses vast quantities of feed, and if you would expect most people to keep their meat habit, getting their meat from local, sustainable, farmers – that would not suffice. And no matter how well animals are treated, being slaughtered is no picnic! An agriculture without animals is unsustainable? How is that? I grow a lot of my produce; I don’t eat any animal products (been plant-based for over 5 years now); I am much healther than I was as either a meat-eater or a vegetarian (eating dairy and fish). Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell if you want to see the mother of all epidemiological studies on nutrition. Please keep an open mind – I have made the transition from steak, lamb chops, and pizza – to kale, chard, collards, arugula, squashes of all kinds, and many kinds of beans, and I’m quite a happy camper. By the way, I also give blood about every 2 months, and sometimes I’ve been told that I’m the first person who came in that day with adequate hemoglobin – must be those beans! ;)

    • all about good for ‘us’ or ‘me’ (and you do not seem to consider this ‘us’ as all living beings). what about good for them — in this case animals, to start with? especially in a Buddhist cause i’d anticipate more sympathy and empathy, i.e not contributing to consciously killing or torturing them — and not because its good to our health but in order to lessen suffering.

  19. Thank you Dharma friends for writing and gathering signatures of support for this important statement. It is a clear and compelling call for the increased awareness and action that is needed to stabilize the Earth’s climate. Dharma teachers and Sangha members might find helpful two websites that regularly suggest specific actions to take regarding climate change, non-violence, and protection of the environment: EarthAction.org. recommends actions that anyone anywhere on this planet can take to create a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. 2020Action.org features one timely issue and action every month that Americans can take to help stabilize our climate and create peace through justice and non-violence.
    A lotus to you.

  20. Friends,
    This is a most helpful way to think of the climate crisis. I would only add that the damage has already begun and we can only hope to contain or mitigate the disaster. It’s too late to avert it. Such is our situation.

    In Dhamma friendship,
    Lynn

  21. Wholeheartedly agree with this but could not help feel for the other life around our little planet that we have been destroying for many years. How can we ever make up for what we have done? This statement, by One Earth Sangha, is one of many voices that point in that direction.

    • I don’t think we can ever make up for the suffering we have caused other beings. Accepting this is the way to move forward.

  22. Greetings, I appreciate your work on this critical topic. Please consider adding buttons on your web page to facilitate sharing on Facebook, etc. Gratefully, Kendra

  23. Allan Savory’s TED talk and ideas on grazing by livestock to remedy desertification has been widely criticized. My friends in the academia who work on Arid Lands science have said that there is no science to back up his statements.

  24. Climate science has indeed shown us that a significant proportion of greenhouse gases come from factory farming of animals. A reduction in factory farming may go a some way towards halting the progress of climate change.

    There is a fast growing movement toward veganism as a way to show compassion to our planet, ourselves and other sentient creatures. It is interesting to see so many people embrace veganism, when the current practice of Buddhism in the West has not (yet). We We practice metta, we have compassion; furthermore we have the means to change our lifestyle. We have a choice as to where we buy our food. If anyone, shouldn’t it be us who are flag bearers of veganism? I hope to see more discussion around this.

  25. http://www.foeeurope.org/meat-atlas

    Please see this link for a very thorough and balanced treatment of the subject of animal foods on the health of the planet.

    Meat Atlas: facts and figures about the animals we eat
    9 JANUARY 2014
    The report presents a global perspective on the impacts of industrial meat and dairy production, and illustrates its increasingly devastating impact on society and the environment. The way we produce and consume meat and dairy needs a radical rethink.

    The Meat Atlas aims to catalyse the debate over the need for better, safer and more sustainable food and farming and advocates clear individual and political solutions.

  26. I am happy to read the statement on climate change. With the news yesterday that the clock is officially ticking toward a time (in 90 or more days) when President Obama may authorize construction of Keystone Pipeline to cross into the US from Canada, we are being asked to attend vigils on Monday in our parts of the US. In addition, there are plans for civil disobedience if another threshold is crossed and further steps are taken toward approval of this pipeline.

    How can the one earth sangha contribute to the creation of safe and truly peaceful events as public sentiment grows angrier?

  27. This is the trailer for an upcoming movie about the harms of factory farming on the environment.
    “This documentary will be as eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth. It follows the story of Kip, a passionate environmentalist and filmmaker, who is discovering the biggest secret that even the most powerful environmental organizations are too scared to talk about.”

    http://cowspiracy.com/

  28. Thanks to all those offering this statement. It has puzzled me for some years that we have been largely silent about the climate emergency.
    I ask that teachers take the next steps. What will their personal commitment be? How will they offer teaching to those of us who seek it, those who do not, and those who are indifferent or in denial?
    It is excellent that we all seek to live an ethical and compassionate life. It is consistent with the Dharma that we consume less, travel less, eat vegan/vegetarian/have fewer children. Many of us reading this do some or all of those already. If all the world’s Buddhists lived thus, the impact on climate change would be insufficient to halt, or even radically slow, what will now occur.
    This is not an acknowledgement of defeat, but a call to enquiry.
    The question to be asked is ” why is there no effective global leadership in the face of the climate emergency?” No individual or institution has offered anything approaching effective leadership. How can we invite powerful people of goodwill to ask this question? However you think about it, all other possibilities to address social injustice will depend on a global response to the climate emergency.
    I ask that the hosts and or authors of this statement consider the question. I invite responses from anyone who can offer a way forward.

    • As I understand it, Di Bligh is asking how more people can become engaged in climate change than “just” all of the buddhists in the world. As I see it, we don’t have to wait for an individual or institution to offer leadership. Each of us knows people who are not buddhists. Do we discuss climate change with them? Do we invite them to join us when we are attending events about climate change? Do we think about how to raise these issues with them in ways that won’t overwhelm them to the point that they look away to protect themselves?

      Buddhists tend to have a way of talking with other Buddhists. I think it’s time for Buddhists to also talk with non-Buddhists……not to proselytize about Buddhism but rather to engage with people who don’t necessarily speak the language that Buddhists use. We need to reach out to other lovely people that we know and find out what they’re feeling about climate change, what they know about it, what they want to learn, and perhaps why they aren’t engaged in climate change issues. We need to be sensitive to people who aren’t engaged in climate change. We should not judge them but we do need to understand them better so we can find ways to engage them that are effective for them. Each person has her reasons for looking in one direction but not in another. Applying the dharma to the ways we reach out to people who are not buddhists is not very different than loving your pet, plant, child or relative. Though they may not speak your language, they need to be approached with loving kindness as do your pets, plants, children and relatives.

      While we wait for that effective leader or institution to emerge, I suggest that we engage with our neighbors, colleagues, shop keepers. We are all surrounded by large circles of people. Connect with them. Use what we know without proselytizing.

      In my community I have been hosting climate change house parties. I’m no expert on climate change so I invite people who know more than I do to give talks. And there is time for people to socialize. We will be adding a letter-writing component at the next event. That’s one model that can work for you but perhaps you will think of another that works better in your situation. I’m learning that I don’t have to be an expert to reach out.

      Let’s not wait for the emergence of a single leader or institution. Who will you meet today? Will you engage? How? You are the leader.

  29. Many thanks for your well-considered initiative. There is one omission however: no mention of the global geoengineering/weather manipulation that has been ongoing for decades, possibly in a misguided attempt to limit the terrible effects of climate change. This is a major part of the current climatic problems and is the largest global experiment taking place, in secret, without any public consent, which results in high altitude aerial spraying of toxic nanoparticles such as aluminium, boron, barium and metallic oxides. This is not a conspiracy theory – it is for real & it will continue to cause even more destruction on this beautiful planet until good people such as yourselves LOOK UP & help us to stop this insanity.

  30. Dear sisters and brothers, thanks for this initiative. Beautifully done. One small amendment might be considered. The paragraph that begins with “The second Dharma principle is ethical conduct” uses the words “demand” and “insist”. While I think I can relate to the intent of these words, they are tinged with a tone of force and us/them attitude. In the Plum Village tradition, one of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing is to engage people with whom we disagree in compassionate dialogue. The major power holders and corporate leaders themselves have Buddha nature but are currently caught in their sense of separateness and the three poisons that Buddha named–greed, aversion, and delusion. They are us. We are all involved in climate change, and we all have the desire, however buried, to live in a beautiful, kind, and healthy world. Maybe the statement could be amended to use inclusive language that identifies our common ground and welcomes the participation of “governments and corporation” in a larger calling, rather than the tinges of us and them language. In gratitude, John

  31. Dear Friends,

    Witnessing the anxiety felt by so many of us that our planet, our very world, is in pressing danger gives rise to my need to reach out. Living with this stress is acute suffering level one. Asking others to share in this world view by sharing our fear with them is acute suffering level two. Please hear my concern.

    Climate change is a given. The world and all things associated with the world are changing things. This is the wisdom of Lord Buddha. Impermanence is truth. The rest of the data presented in the International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change concerning the how and the why of climate change is subjective.

    The only way that we have of assimilating data is through our subjective apparatus. (eyes, ears, nose, etc.) I am NOT suggesting that these view points are right or wrong, good or bad. I am suggesting that all view points are subjective. Points of view are conceptual overlays. I might add, there are many, many conflicting conceptual overlays. I am also NOT suggesting that we should abandon healthy examples of non-harming, non-deception, non-stealing, and non-greed. (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, and Aparigraha). We know these examples as Metta. Thank you for these examples.

    Our suffering does not come from climate change. Lord Buddha has prepared us for inevitable changes that are constant. (Anicca). The changing climate is the simple act of the climate reveling it’s true nature to us. It is a changing thing and has always been a changing thing. Our suffering comes from our attachment. Our attachment is to me and mine. Such examples as, “my view point is correct, my conceptual overlay is right, and my view point is fixed because it is backed by objective data” are the cause of our suffering. Encouraging others to assume our view points and hence our anxiety by scaring them into submission is not useful. Again, thank you for your beautiful examples of care and loving kindness toward others. This is useful.

    In love and respect,
    Steve Yochum

  32. un aviso para el corazón..un legado desde el budismo al mundo

  33. Dear Fellow Buddhists,

    Thank you for your efforts on behalf of all sentient beings. However, one of the principal causes of climate change, and of the ecological disaster that we are experiencing, is not mentioned in this statement: animal farming for the production of meat and animal products.

    According to the United Nations, animal farming:
    1. accounts for 37 percent of all human-introduced methane (23 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2) and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.
    2. produces 18 percent more green house gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) than all cars, trucks, planes, trains, and other means of transportation.
    3. emits 2.4 billion tons of CO2 every year through deforestation for animal grazing and feed crops.
    4. yields 65 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.
    5. emits 90 million tons of CO2 worldwide every year through the use of fossil fuels on farms to grow feed and to intensively raise land animals for food.
    6. contributes to air pollution by releasing compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane.

    In addition, animal farming generates 13 times as much excrement as the entire human population, introducing dangerous levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water supply, which rob water of oxygen and destroy aquatic life. Furthermore, waste lagoons on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) pollute and deplete groundwater.

    As Buddhists, it is incumbent on us to recognize that our species’ craving for animal flesh results not only in unspeakable cruelty toward animals, but also hastens humanity’s demise.

    The most significant action we can take to avert this ecological disaster is to promote respect and compassion for animals, and to reduce or eliminate animal flesh and other animal products from our diet. It is in our power to make a substantial positive change right now, without waiting for governmental action.

    Concrete action inspired by wisdom and compassion is required. Significant action to avert the catastrophic effects of climate change must include a dispassionate examination of our eating habits.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    The Board of Directors
    Dharma Voices for Animals
    http://www.dharmavoicesforanimals.org

  34. I wonder how non”Buddhists” might be addressed so as to be motivated to join this all-so-important effort.

  35. I am glad that Marge has raised this very important question about how non-”Buddhists” might be engaged in ways that motivate them to participate in all important efforts. In a prior post of mine, I introduced some artificial distinctions between Buddhists and non-Buddists and emphasized an illusory notion that One Earth Sangha is a group of Buddhists. I will now introduce another artificial distinction: activists and non-activists.

    I am currently living in several worlds as many of us are. In one, I attend meetings with people who see themselves as activists and who do not identify as buddhists. They are far more knowledgeable about climate change than many who spend considerable time meditating. They are doing fabulous work to raise awareness of climate change and many of them demonstrate great wisdom in the ways they approach this. I learn from them regularly. For example, after a recent building explosion in NYC’s East Harlem, the group spent considerable time discussing how to sensitively offer support to the victims while also viewing this event as an opportunity to work with local politicians to raise awareness that gas leaks and aging infrastructure can be addressed by repairing and replacing old infrastructure with more of the same or by looking for new, cleaner/safer more sustainable ways to power NYC. Discussion has also included how to engage the E. Harlem community since there is awareness of separations based on socioeconomics and race and of the importance of making what we’re doing truly kind, compassionate and inclusive.

    As I see it, many in that group practice the dharma but without using the word “dharma” or being familiar with the writings of the Buddha.

    In another part of my life, I am hosting climate change house parties. I invite people who are and are not practitioners of the dharma and who know less about climate change than do those in the “activist group”. I see one aspect of my task as connecting people since we all need to learn to collaborate more broadly. It is one thing to collaborate within a sangha that embraces buddhist teachings and another to collaborate when a group has fewer explicitly shared values. And yet, I am observing that the sense of urgency helps some people move pasts an emphasis on differences.

    A person who attends these events has questioned calling the events that I host “parties”. Is it not a defilement to call them parties and to serve refreshments when there is so much fear and grief in the topics we discuss? Perhaps. But, perhaps many more will attend an event with a topic that is scary if there is a promise of food and an opportunity to engage socially. I am finding that this is the case and that there are real benefits to engaging people who want to learn about climate change but who do not meditate or identify as activists.

    All of the events I have hosted so far have included an educational component and am now adding bits of activism. At the last event, we focussed on Keystone Pipeline, started with a moving Ted Talk by Garth Lenz about the Alberta Tar Sands, then had a knowledgeable member of the local chapter of the Sierra Club and of 350nyc talk about the proposed pipeline and then I offered a handout to guide those who were willing to write letters to Sec. Kerry that evening before the period for submitting comments to the US State Dept. would soon be closing. Though there was food, as in previous events, this time fewer people ate it because they were too busy and focussed on the learning and letter writing. I am planning another event in a month that will also have a letter writing component.

    I am finding that lots of people are looking for a bit of leadership to help them get engaged in climate issues. We all have opportunities to reach out and engage with people about climate change. I’m not uniquely qualified. My biggest asset is that there is a meeting room in the building where I live that can accommodate up to 50 people.

    Let’s be creative in our outreach. Take advantage of moments to plant little seeds when talking to people on buses and while waiting on lines. Host events. Be aware that sharing from fear is less effective but don’t avoid engaging.

    The dharma teaches about interdependence. As part of this, we humans all depend on one another. Our actions impact others and theirs impact ours. As I do climate work, I understand this more than ever. It is my need to know that more people are learning about and engaging with climate change that motivates my action. It is my need to have politicians make good decisions that motivates me to get over my fantasy that I don’t need to engage politically.

    There are MANY people who will respond. We need to observe which methods are more effective and under which conditions.

    Thank you to all who have joined this sangha. I feel supported by your presence.

    Susan

  36. Dear Sangha Friends,

    I have decided to be in Washington DC on 4/26 for the event below because it shows potential to both influence the President’s decision about the Keystone Pipeline and because it supports a group of people who refer to themselves as the Cowboy Indian Alliance. This group consists of native American people, ranchers and farmers who are on the front lines of the proposed Keystone Pipeline. I grew up with television programs that depicted these groups as enemies. I am moved by efforts that bring people together to work collaboratively on climate change. I view them as signs of healing.

    In case you would like to be in Washington on 4/26 for this event, here is a way of RSVP’g and obtaining more up to date information about the 4/26 event as it becomes available:

    http://act.350.org/signup/rejectandprotect/
    akid=4339.642468.z9LBAg&rd=1&source=350&t=3

    As you can see above, 350.org is supporting the efforts of the Cowboy Indian Alliance.
    I am grateful that these groups have found a way to collaborate.

    For more information about the Cowboy Indian Alliance and the event they are organizing, see http://www.rejectandprotect/FAQs

    with metta,

    Susan

  37. I recently have started sharing home with Varhuna, a young man from shri lanka. He has very environmetal non-friendly manners. When he goes to the bathroom, he flushes the toilet before and after doing a simple wee. He also like putting the heater on and keep himself in short sleeves. He makes himself tea boling water in the kettle as for 5 cups.

    I’ve talked to him about climate change and he said that he comes from another culture and a buddhist background. And that humans can’t do nothing about nature but just buddha.

    SEing I could not convince them via climate facts, i said he’ll have to pay for the rise in utility bills. He said he will.

    It hurts to live with such a man but instead of becoming unfrindly or asking him to leave the house, I am trying to find a way to make him understand that we humans can do somethin about climate change if we unite together. That’s how i discovered this website.

    It seems to me that varhuna says that his background is buddhism but he is as the many christians that say they are but not practice any of the christian teachings.

    I’ll try my best anyway to try to change his mind about climate change and send him the link of this website. Wish me luck.

    • So àgata, your comment is great because it captures the essential nature of the world challenge. Just take your comment and multiply by ~8 billion and you have described the climate change conundrum nicely. I would only add an increasingly nearing deadline.

      I look forward to what is said, and what you learn. Great question.

  38. My family, my friends and I, we have been working for many years in environmental protection. If you begin you need to know there is often disappointment and frustration it is not easy. The politicians and the global economy they do not want interference in making money.
    Dear Sangha, dear Friends,
    do not let yourselves be dispirited. Many great changes have arisen because the people have made it the base. Change is coming from the base and not from above. It helps if we start with the things in our daily lives. If we restrict the consumption,if we buy organic food when we exchange or give away our used clothes and other things and not throw away. Many things we can do.
    It takes a lot of patience to bring environmental protection closer to the people.
    The best argument for environmental protection is our daily model which we exemplify.
    Sometimes when I’m disappointed because we had no success with our activities, then I take refuge to the Buddha and come back to my breathing. This gives me the strength to keep going and not to give up.
    It is not easy, this please do not think.
    Many greetings from Germany
    Amelie

  39. A good statement. Thanks for doing this. I only want to make one very small editorial suggestion. Perhaps it would be better to not use an automotive metaphor in the following sentence. How about the phrase “rapidly change direction” instead? “By continually enhancing our awareness, we can increasingly notice when we are causing harm to others, the climate, or ourselves, and strengthen our capacity to rapidly shift gears and think and act constructively.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>