“May the Earth bear witness to all our actions.”
Akshobya, "The Immovable One," represents the knowledge of what is real and what is illusion. This understanding is most critical as we seek to recognize our unshakable connection to the earth. Akshobya Buddha's hands are shown in the earth-touching mudra, the gesture used by Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, when he overcame Mara and called upon the earth to bear witness to his enlightenment. This page is dedicated to the earth itself in honor of its role in Buddhism.
“Everything in this universe is enmeshed together like the lines and ties of a fisher’s net. To think that any part can stand alone is as foolish as it is to think that one small knot in a fisher’s net can catch a fish. Flowers do not bloom, nor does a leaf fall independent of causes and conditions. All things in the universe are interdependent in this ocean of constant change. This is the one thing that does not change.”
-From the Flower Garland Sutra
(from "living Buddhism" this site)
The following links are all effective natural resources preservation and protection organizations, with decades of experience. They move toward their goals through different avenues (the NRDC and EDF, for example, are more focussed on litigation; the Nature Conservancy has moved more land into preservationist hands than any other private organization in the US; and the NPCA supports our National Parks).
Natural Resources Defense Council
The (NRDC) works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
National Park Conservation Association Since their founding in 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been the independent, nonpartisan voice working to strengthen and protect America's favorite places.
Environmental Defense Fund The (EDF) promotes: clean air and water, abundant fish and wildlife, and a stable climate. Their work protects nature and helps people thrive.What sets them apart is how they make this happen: by creating solutions that also carry economic benefits.
Sierra Club "Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization -- with more than two million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. More recently, we've made history by leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption and toward a clean energy economy."
The Nature Conservancy The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Their vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.
Earth Sangha: Learn about socially engaged Buddhists actively involved in ecological restoration projects on East coast of the United States.
EcoBuddhism: A site where science, when coupled with wisdom, presents solutions to improve the sustainability of our interdependent ecosystem. This attractive site is an extensive and easy-to-navigate resource.
This study includes reading the book Dharma Rain from Shambala Publications. Additional study materials are available as a free download. Interaction with a personal mentor through email at email@example.com and is available at no cost. You are welcome to examine the study outline and materials.
Badiner, A. H, ed. Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology.
Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1990.
Dharma Gaia explores the ground where Buddhism and ecology meet through writings by the Dalai Lama, Gary Snyder, Thich Nhat Hanh, Allen Ginsberg, Joanna Macy, Robert Aitken, and 25 other Buddhists and ecologists.
Badiner Tucker, Mary Evelyn and Williams, eds. Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds.
Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1997. Twenty authors examine Buddhism's understanding of the intricate web of life. The authors explore theoretical and methodological issues and analyze the prospects and problems of using Buddhism as an environmental resource in both theory and practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh. The World We Have. Parallax Press, 2008. This book addresses the Buddhist teaching of the impermanence of all things. This teaching can offer inner peace and help us use our collective wisdom and technology to restore the Earth's balance. Hanh shows how acceptance of problems is that first critical step toward a deeper understanding of the best way to care for our Earth.
Kaza, Stephanie and K. Craft. eds. Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism. Shambala, 2000.
A comprehensive collection of classic texts, contemporary interpretations, guidelines for activists, issue-specific information, and materials for environmentally-oriented religious practice. Sources and contributors include Basho, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gary Snyder, Chogyam Trungpa, Gretel Ehrlich, Peter Mathiessen, Helen Tworkov (editor of Tricycle), and Philip Glass.
Macy, Joanna. World as Lover, World as Self. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press,1991. Macy offers concrete suggestions for showing how each of us can change the attitudes that continue to threaten our environment. She describes how decades of ignoring the reality of the interconnectedness of all things in the world has resulted in a self-centeredness that has devastated the environment. Humans, Macy implores, must acknowledge and understand their connectedness to their world and begin to move toward a more focused effort to save it.
Ruben Habito, Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World, Wisdom Publications; 1 edition 2006
This book shows how the healing of one's own life can become the basis of the Earth's healing and sheds light on Zen as a spiritual path. In the process of describing the Zen way of life, the author considers various Christian expressions, symbols, and practices, to show how they, too, point to the transformative and healing perspectives and experiences provided by Zen. Written equally for Christians, Buddhists, and anyone who just wants to make a difference in the world, Healing Breath offers an integrated spiritual path with socially active, ecological engagement as the ground.
Joe Swaffar, Site Steward