Mindfulness and Climate Action
A Series of Online Conversations
Open to Everyone
An Initiative of One Earth Sangha, Buddhist Teachers Collaborative for Climate Action, and Conversations That Change The World from Maestro Conference
We invite you to join a conversation as we explore the impact of climate change, its underlying causes, and how Dharma practice can inform our personal and collective response. Climate change, the greatest crisis of our civilization, threatens a sustainable environment that can support life on Earth. We have a short window of opportunity to shift this unprecedented challenge into a radically new way of being and living. To meet this task requires a profound reorientation of our relationship to the earth and its resources, including a move from our fossil fuel economy to renewable energy. Underpinning this shift is a transformation of consciousness from seeing the world as an object to exploit, to knowing and living our profound interconnection with all things.
As part of Earth Care Week this October, the Dharma Teachers International Collaborative on Climate Change and One Earth Sangha will launch a set of five online conversations with leading Dharma and mindfulness teachers, listed below. This introductory series will be followed by a three-month online interactive program for aspiring “EcoSattvas” beginning Earth Day, 22 April 2015. Offered free to everyone with the invitation to donate, the conversations will be hosted by Dharma teacher Thanissara Weinberg and One Earth Sangha founders Lou Leonard and Kristin Barker as part of Maestro Conference’s Conversations That Can Change the World. We aspire to offer context, guidance and a practice to support this extraordinary journey, as we engage the immense struggle of our times with hope, fearlessness, and vision.
Join us, as together we can bend the course of history.
These conversations are offered freely to the community in the interest of supporting a wise and compassionate response to climate change. Dana, or generosity, is considered an essential part of our practice. All of the teachers and support staff on these calls offer their gifts freely in this spirit of dana. We invite you to help us defray the direct costs associated with this offering as well as the continued work of One Earth Sangha by making a donation here. Any amount you offer is deeply appreciated.
Questions about the calls? See our FAQ!
To keep up with our growing community, we invite you, if you haven’t already, to join the One Earth Sangha mailing list.
Sunday, October 5; 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST
Jack Kornfield is one of the leading Buddhist teachers in America. A practitioner for over 40 years, he is one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness and vipassana meditation to the West. His approach emphasizes compassion, lovingkindness and the profound path of mindful presence, all offered in simple, accessible ways in his books, CD’s, classes and retreats. More at www.jackkornfield.com
Tara Brach, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, lecturer, and popular teacher of Buddhist mindfulness (vipassana) meditation. She is founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC, and teaches meditation at centers throughout the United States. Tara has offered speeches and workshops for mental-health practitioners at numerous professional conferences. These, along with her many audio and video talks, address the value of meditation in relieving emotional suffering and serving spiritual awakening. Tara is the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. More at www.tarabrach.com and www.imcw.org
Ruth King, mentored by Jack Kornfield, teaches at insight meditation communities nationwide. She designed and teaches the “Mindful of Race Retreat – A Stimulus for Social Healing and Leadership”, and the “Mindfulness Practices for Living Well” 8-week course. Ruth has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is a graduate of the Dedicated Practitioner Program of Spirit Rock. She is the author of The Emotional Wisdom Cards and Healing Rage – Women Making Inner Peace Possible. Ruth is a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington and is the founder of Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, NC, where she resides. More at www.RuthKing.net.
Sunday, October 12; 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST
Rev angel Kyodo williams is a maverick teacher, author, activist, master trainer and founder of the Center for Transformative Change. Her book Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, and “a classic” by Buddhist pioneer Jack Kornfield. She notes, “Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching or speaking, her voice is unique. www.angelkyodowilliams.com
Ayya Anandabodhi Bhikkhuni, originally from Wales, has lived as a Theravada Buddhist nun in the Forest Tradition for over 20 years. She is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, a Forest Monastery for nuns located in the foothills of the Sierras. In 2011 she took full ordination as a bhikkhuni, joining the growing number of women who are reclaiming this path of practice originally given by the Buddha. She offers Dharma teaching in Northern California and occasionally further afield.
Susie Harrington teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, based in Moab, Utah. She has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and began teaching in 2005. Influenced by her long relationship with wilderness, she often offers retreats outside, believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body, our daily lives, and our connection to the earth. Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface to her teaching.
Sunday, October 19; 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST
James Baraz is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. James started Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader program, the Kalyana Mitta (Spiritual Friends) Network, is teacher-advisor to the Spirit Rock Family program and serves on its Board of Directors. He’s been teaching the popular online Awakening Joy course since 2003. James is co-author of Awakening Joy, which is based on the course. He is also an advisor to One Earth Sangha, a sangha website devoted to Buddhist responses to Climate Change. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Catherine McGee has been teaching Insight Meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. Her teaching emphasises embodiment and working with whatever hinders us from living our deepest knowing in the world through body speech and mind. She is also a student of the Diamond Approach. You can read a a beautiful article by Catherine on the First Foundation of Mindfulness shared here on One Earth Sangha.
Chris Cullen works as a Dharma teacher and psychotherapist. He trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and did the Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Chris co-founded the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project, and is on the teaching team at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. He teaches retreats at Gaia House and other centers, and mindfulness courses for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament in London.
Sunday, October 26; 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST
Chas DiCapua has been practicing mindfulness and Buddhist meditation, primarily in the Theravada school, for over 20 years. He has trained with Burmese meditation masters, western monastics of the Thai Forest tradition and senior western Vipassana teachers. Chas is interested in how the basic material of our everyday lives, including relationships, can be used as a vehicle for awakening. Chas is the Resident Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society and teaches retreats there and at various centers and sanghas throughout the country.
Bonnie Duran met the Dharma in 1982 in Nepal and India. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader program, currently in the retreat teacher-training program, a local dharma leader at the Seattle Insight Meditation Society and helped establish People of Color and Allies Sangha’s in Seattle and Albuquerque. Bonnie is involved in Native American spiritual practices and traditions. She is a contributor to Dharma, Color and Culture and has written for Turning Wheel. Dr. Duran is an associate professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at UW and the director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research.
Vinny Ferraro has been practicing meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned spiritual teachers including Ajahn Sumedho and the Dalai Lama. In 1998, he spent a year sitting bedside with the dying through the San Francisco Zen Center Hospice Program, as well as experiencing “A Year to Live” practice (based on the book by Stephen Levine). He has taught meditation to incarcerated youth and adults and is currently the head trainer for MBA, The Mind Body Awareness Project. Vinny also leads workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organization called Challenge Day. He is a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader and has been teaching the weekly Friday night insight meditation group Urban Dharma in San Francisco since 2004.
Sunday, November 2; 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST
David Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. His essays and books have been translated into many languages. He lectures and leads workshops nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity, social and ecological issues. More at www.davidloy.org
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Theravada Buddhist monk originally from New York City. He was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1972 and lived in Asia for almost twenty-five years. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, including translations of several major collections from the Pali Canon. In 2008, he founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit that sponsors projects dedicated to hunger relief and sustainable agriculture for poor communities around the world. In 2013 he was elected president of the Buddhist Association of the United States(BAUS).
Ayya Santussika Bhikkhuni left her career in software design to train as an interfaith minister in 1998, during which time she also began staying in monasteries and learning from master teachers in Thailand. She took robes in 2005 and trained in the Ajahn Chah tradition in both England and America. She received bhikkhuni ordination and co-founded Karuna Buddhist Vihara in Mountain View, CA in 2012. She is a director on the board for Buddhist Global Relief and teaches Dharma with a focus on engaged Buddhism.
Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni was born in Austria and has a multifaceted background in hotel management, cultural anthropology and avantgarde dance theatre. Her first teacher was Ajahn Buddhadasa, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She has practiced meditation for over 25 years and trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah. Ayya Santacitta is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women near Placerville, CA and received bhikkhuni ordination in 2011.
Host Dharma Teacher, Thanissara, was trained in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah, is a Dharma teacher and activist. She is co-founder of Dharmagiri on the border of Lesotho and South Africa, and Chattanooga Insight. She has taught meditation retreats for 25 years, and has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice. Thanissara is author of The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra, co-author, with Kittisaro, of Listening to the Heart, and is writing Time To Stand Up, a book on Buddhism and Climate Action, due out next year.
Lou Leonard is the leader of the climate change program at World Wildlife Fund which he joined in 2008 after a year on the staff of the Obama for America campaign. He has worked with Kristin Barker to create One Earth Sangha and practices within the Insight Meditation Community in Washington Lou actually came to the Dharma as a response to the challenges of working on climate issues, so he’s very interested in the connections between these two issues. Lou’s complete bio, which says more about his career as an environmental lawyer and teacher, can be found on the WWF website.
Kristin Barker is co-founder of One Earth Sangha with Lou Leonard. She is dedicated to cultivating broad-scale awakening to authentic earth relationship through meditation, sustainable living and advocacy. As an active member of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), Kristin is also a co-founder of “White Awake” whose mission is to develop awareness of race dynamics among white people engaged in spiritual communities and progressive causes. She has worked as an independent consultant and staff member at several environmental organizations in Washington, DC.
Yong Oh works as an acupuncturist and offers mindfulness classes in Chattanooga, TN. He is dedicated to exploring that vital connection between the body and mind through both acupuncture and meditation. He entered the Buddhist path through the Soto Zen tradition but has practiced primarily in the Insight tradition under the guidance of Kittisaro and Thanissara since 2010. Yong is an active member of the Chattanooga Insight Meditation sangha and is currently serving as a Board member for Southern Dharma Retreat Center in North Carolina.
Charlie Rebich lives in Oakland, California and teaches mindfulness and communication part time. His full-time gig is at www.MaestroConference.com. MaestroConference is the technology partner with One Earth Sangha, creator of the online conferencing technology behind these events. MaestroConference is also hosting a whole series of events called Conversations That Can Change World. See their website for more information.
“In this present age, so full of danger and confusion, spirituality and social engagement cannot remain separate domains each sealed off by rigid boundaries. The major social upheavals of our age-global warming, widespread poverty, war, ethnic conflicts, the violation of human rights, the cruel treatment of animals- all stem from a deep crisis at the core of the human mind. To heal the maladies that afflict humanity calls for something far more potent than international treaties and technological innovation. A more stable solution must be ethical and spiritual. The only solution that can truly work must begin at the foundations, within the depths of human consciousness. Most of all we need a global awakening of the wisdom that embodies timeless standards of justice, and a boundless love and compassion that extends to all living beings. But to heal the crisis of our age, love and compassion must serve as more than lofty spiritual ideals. They must become spurs to action moving us to work indefatigably to eliminate the suffering of others and to promote their long-term welfare and happiness.”
~ Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi